Chiapas is one of the most magical states in all of Mexico, and San Cristobal one of the most beautiful colonial cities you will ever visit. It has many architectural treasures, a large amount of museums , wonderful food, and a very interesting cultural mix of foreigners, Mexicans and indigenous population that fill its streets day and night.
The name Chiapas derives from "Chiapan" or "Tepechiapan", the name of an indigenous population. After the Spanish arrived, they established two cities called Chiapas de los Indios and Chiapas de los Españoles, with the name of Provincia de Chiapas for the area around the cities. The first coat of arms for the state was created in 1535 as that of the Ciudad Real (San Cristobal de las Casas).
Chiapas is home to the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, Toniná, Tenón and Chinkultic. It is also home to one of the largest indigenous populations in the country with twelve federally recognized ethnicities, amongs them Tzetzales, Tzotziles, Ch’ols, Tojolabals, Zoques, Lacandons, Mochos, and Mams. Mayan civilization began in the Pre-Classic period, but did not come into prominence until the Classic period (300-900 CE). Development of this culture started off as agricultural villages during the Pre-Classic period, with city building as social stratification becoming more complex during the Classic. At its height, it had large cities and elaborated writings of sciences such as mathematics and astronomy. Cities were centered on large political and ceremonial structures elaborately decorated with murals and inscriptions. The Mayan civilization had vast trade networks and large markets trading in goods such as animal skins, indigo, amber, vanilla and quetzal feathers. It is not known what ended the civilization but theories range from over population, natural disasters, disease and loss of natural resources through over exploitation or climate change.
San Cristobal is close to many incredible sites that we will visit throughout the week, we hope that you can join us for everything! (Click on TOURS for more information.)