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 Chiapas State Guide & Directory

Also see San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

Palenque, Chiapas
Chiapas, the southernmost state in Mexico, is an exquisite land that is full of natural wonders. Nature blessed Chiapas with a variety of plants and animals and endowed it with rich natural resources. Geographically, the state is bordered to the west by Oaxaca and Veracruz, to the north by Tabasco and Campeche and to the east with the Central American country of Guatemala. The landscape in Chiapas includes rain forests, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, volcanoes and coastline. Ancient Mayan pyramids rise from the jungle floor, their presence whispering secrets from ages long past. Chiapas has several ancient Mayan ruins, perhaps the most notable being the beautiful ancient site of Palenque.

Cataratas de Agua Azul, Chiapas
Cataratas de Agua Azul
The waterfalls of Aqua Azul, located 30 miles from the ruins of Palenque, definitely top the list of natural wonders to visit while in Mexico. Limestone deposits in the soil color these waters a brilliant turquoise at certain times of the year. Shallow pools are available to swim in and this activity is very popular here. There are plenty of safe locations to enjoy swimming, but be aware that not all areas are suitable for this activity.

Catedral de San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas
Catedral de San Cristobal de las Casas
Another not to miss place to visit in Chiapas is the beautiful colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas is located in the highlands of Chiapas at an elevation of 7,000 feet. The city sits in a valley that is ringed with pine trees, the air is crisp and the scenery outstanding. Cobblestone streets meander their way past colonial buildings painted in a variety of rainbow-colored hues. The majority of the city's inhabitants are descendants from the Maya who still retain their culture. As well, many indigenous villages lay on the outskirts of town and the city serves as a gateway to visit these communities.

Also of note is San Juan Chamula, a highland village located 6 miles northwest of San Cristobal del las Casas. The religion practiced here is unique, a blending of Catholic and Maya traditions. Inside the village church, The Templo de San Juan, pine needles carpet the floor and hundreds of candles are lit. Healing ceremonies are performed by the village shamans, who utilize a variety of techniques to rid their patients of illness.

Many shopping opportunities abound in this region. The state of Chiapas is known for its beautiful crafts which include exquisite embroidery and weaving. A traditional weaving common in this region is called the 'huipil', a textile woven with elaborate abstract designs. Oftentimes worn as a shirt or dress, this form of weaving also is made into blankets, purses and shawls. Fine leather-worked objects and amber are also popular purchases while visiting Chiapas.

The capital of the state, Tuxtla Gutierrez, is also the state's largest city. This city is known for its modern amenities and its fast-paced atmosphere. This city serves as a major transportation corridor for travelers and many choose to stop only briefly here while on their way to other destinations. However, one of Mexico's finest zoos is located in Tuxtla Gutierrez, the Miguel Alvarez del Toro Zoo. Animals indigenous to the region can be seen here, including eagles, snakes, jaguars, flying squirrels, monkeys and several species of birds including parrots and toucans.

Chiapas is uniquely different from other Mexican states. The population is mainly indigenous and unlike other regions of Mexico, the citizens here do not typically speak Spanish as their first language. A variety of Indian dialects are spoken and as direct descendants of the ancient Maya, the people of Chiapas provide a rare glimpse into an indigenous people who have proudly retained the roots of their rich and ancient history.

A list of Chiapas businesses:

Spanish language Chiapas SanCris Spanish Language School
SanCris Spanish Language School is located in the heart of San Cristóbal de las Casas, the cultural capital of the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Located at Dr. José Felipe Flores #73 in a lovely neighborhood called Barrio de Guadalupe. Our Spanish Language School is run by experienced local teachers. We offer a personalized learning program with one-on-one and group instruction to students of all levels. All of our teachers are professionals with extensive knowledge of grammar and experience teaching.
San Cristobal de las Casas hotel Villas Casa Morada Hotel
Hotel Villas Casa Morada is a boutique hotel with a private atmosphere and charming facilities . Our 10 suites are decorated with handcrafts made by artisans from Chiapas and offer to our selected guests a unique atmosphere with comfort and care.

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