Chiapas is a state in Southern Mexico known for its mountainous highlands and dense rainforest dotted with colonial little towns and Mayan archeological sites. One of the least touristy places in Mexico, there are lots of things to do in Chiapas. This hidden gem has lots of things to offers for travellers. Chiapas is also a pretty compact state so it is easy to travel around the area.

Where is Chiapas?

Chiapas is located in the most southern part and on the Pacific coast of Mexico. It borders Guatemala on east and southeastern sides, Pacific ocean on the southwest and the states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Yucatan from west to northeast.

The Ultimate Chiapas Mexico Travel Guide - 13 Things To Do In Chiapas Mexico | Chiapas Tips | chiapas turismo | chiapas fotografia

Flights to Chiapas Mexico

Chiapas has a small international airport that connects the state from other major cities of Mexico. Tuxtla Gutiérrez is about an hour by road to San Cristóbal de las Casas where the majority of the tourists stay. You can take a bus, rent a car or take a cab from the airport to your hotel.

As an alternative, you can also take a bus to Chiapas from Cancun, Merida, Playa Del Carmen and other major cities in Mexico.

Is Chiapas safe?

Chiapas is generally safe but as rule of thumb, be aware of your surroundings, take care of your personal belongings and don’t flash your money around.

Best places to visit and things to do in Chiapas

1. Cañón del Sumidero


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Cañón del Sumidero or Sumidero Canyon is a deep natural canyon surrounded by the Sumidero Canyon National Park. It is a protected area and covers 4 towns in the state of Chiapas. This amazing canyon is best seen from the boats that leave the river from Chiapa de Corzo. Aside from the amazing landscape, this national park also houses endangered and threatened species such as river turtle and American crocodile.

For the prices of the tour from San Cristobal de las Casas, click here.

2. Palenque Mayan Ruins


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The archeological ruins of Palenque are one of the important sites for Mayans dating from about 600 AD to 800 AD. The ruins are located 6 km from the town of Palenque. Surrounded by thick vegetation, you can also bird watch and check out the falls in the area.

For the prices of the tour to the ruins of Palenque, click here.

3. Cascadas de Agua Azul


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Cascadas de Agua Azul is a waterfall 69 kilometers from Palenque. Located in the Municipality of Tumbalá, this waterfall is high in mineral content that results to its intense blue color. Its naturally-made swimming pools are a product of the series of limestone beds on the Xanil River. There are restaurants, and cabins in the area if you want to stay overnight. There are also hiking opportunities in the area.

4. San Cristóbal de las Casas


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San Cristóbal de las Casas is a little charming city known for its colorful buildings. There are several places that you can check out here; the town’s plaza, hilltop churches, museums, local markets, and the Mayan Villages.

San Cristobal is also a good base while in Chiapas. This little town has many tour operators that offer tours around Chiapas. And if that’s not enough, check out the restaurants for authentic Mexican foods.

To check the rates for the tours around the town, click here.

5. Laguna Miramar

Laguna Miramar is a freshwater lake surrounded by the lush forest of Lacandon Jungle. It is one of the most ecologically diverse areas of Mexico, containing around 20% of all species.

There are several things to do in Laguna Miramar if you want to take a break in nature. You can kayak, hike, bike, bird watch or explore the caves in the area.

6. Chiapa de Corzo


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Chiapa de Corzo is a laid-back town in Chiapas. It is known for its colonial architecture and it’s a good alternative for San Cristobal sans the crowd. There are beautiful churches and waterfront in the area worth checking. Chiapas de Corzo is also a good base to explore Sumidero Canyon and the archeological sites in the area.

7. San Marcos island, Boca del Cielo

Boca del Cielo is one of the few seaside villages in Chiapas and known for its laid-back beach. The island of San Marcos is the main point of interest and it’s short boat ride away from the main village. The island is only 300 meters wide but 10 km long. If you want a quiet beach, this is a good place to relax and just enjoy nature.

8. Las 3 Tzimoleras


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Are you a fan of extreme adventures? Las 3 Tzimoleras is a private eco-ranch in Tzimol that offers canyoneering, rappelling, camping, horse-back riding, ATV and hiking. The main attractions are the 3 beautiful waterfalls in the area where the place is named after.

9. La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve

La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve in Chiapas is an ideal place to disconnect from everything and enjoy the nature. This Biosphere Reserve is a highly dynamic ecosystem where land, fresh water, and salt water meet. It is home to several threatened and endangered species including jaguar, spider monkeys, Rufus kingfishers, green parrots, and agami heron. The place is also home to several iguanas, crocodiles and several migratory birds who use the place as a stopover.

Grupo Turistico Costa Verde is a community-based cooperative tour company in El Castaño that offers a tour in La Encrucijada Biosphere Reserve.

10. Lagos de Montebello


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Lagos de Montebello is a national park in Chiapas, Mexico. It comprises 59 multicolored lakes, pine forest, and Mayan ruins. The lakes are famous for its different colors ranging from turquoise to dark green, and purple to reddish black. There are also cenotes and limestones caves in the area.

Lagos de Montebello is about 2.5 hours away from San Cristobal de las Casas. For the tour prices going to Lagos de Montebello, click here.

11. Volcán Tacaná

Volcán Tacaná is a UNESCO biosphere reserve and the second highest peak in Central America. If you like hiking, Tacana is considered one of the most interesting hikes in the region. Along the trail, you’ll find farming villages, ancient magma flows, and lush rainforest. It takes about 10 hours to reach the summit from Union Juarez, Chiapas. 

12. El Chiflon


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El Chiflon is 5 waterfalls in Tzimol, Chiapas. Famous for its multi-staged cascades and turquoise waters, the waterfalls are surrounded by mountains and rainforest. The activities here range from enjoying a nature tour, scenic views, hiking, zip-lining, or simply relaxing.

For the tour prices going to El Chiflon, click here.

13. Zinacantán

San Lorenzo Zinacantán is a charming little village in the Chiapas Highlands. The Tzotzil Mayan people from Zinacantán are known for their colorful and embroidered tunics. If you want to see these colorful textiles and to help out the local community by buying them, they held an open-air market every Sunday.

How to get around Chiapas


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There are many colectivos in the main towns. Colectivo is a small van that follows specific routes. This is the cheapest way to get around. Most colectivos have a sign on their windshield for their destinations. If you are not sure if they will pass to your destination, just ask them. Or you can either rent a car, take a taxi or join private tours.

Hotels in Chiapas


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Chiapas is a very affordable place to travel. You can find decent hotels in Chiapas for less than $50 a night. Below are some of our favorites.

Hotel Posada El Zaguan is a small hotel in San Cristobal known for its nice decorated rooms and quiet location in the center of the city. It is an old house converted to a hotel but very comfortable and clean. To check their latest rates and reviews, click here.

Parador Margarita is known for its beautiful courtyard and traditional Mexican interior. Only 3 blocks from the main square, this place offers the best value in town. To check their latest rates and reviews, click here.

Puerta Vieja Hostel is a good hostel near the main square. If a hostel is your thing, this hostel offers a comfy bed with curtains for privacy, evening activities, tasty breakfast, and awesome social vibe. To check their latest rates and reviews, click here.

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The Ultimate Chiapas Mexico Travel Guide - 13 Things To Do In Chiapas Mexico | Chiapas Tips | chiapas turismo | chiapas fotografia


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