Colonial city that has become a must for bohemian, chic people. The integration of the ideas, traditions and customs of its indigenous and mestizo population with those of those of the foreigners (mainly European) that have established their residence here in the last decades, give it a certain cosmopolitan look. Magical Pueblo to visit on foot and admire the beauty of its colonial legacy (baroque, plateresque and neoclassic architecture) and the live history of its main ethnic groups (Tzotzil and Tzetzal). Perfect for a romantic escapade in couples, with friends or with the family (without very young children).
Outstanding: Downtown; Plaza Mayor 31 de Mayo, heart of the city; Cathedral, baroque style, considered as the most representative monument of the place; Church and Ex Convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Church and Ex Convent of la Merced; Church of Saint Nicholas, Del Carmen Church, Temple of Charity, Church of San Francisco, House of the Sirens, Altos de Chiapas Museum (indigenous handcrafts and historical background of the city); Na Bolom Museum (handcrafts and objects of the Lacandona region); Museum of Amber; Museum of Mayan Medicine.
Must: Handcrafts tianguis (outdoor market) of Santo Domingo; José Castillo Tielemans Market; indigenous communities of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán; Cervantino Barroco Festival (already renowned worldwide); Expo Ámbar. For the palate: excellent quality hams and cold meats; chalupas coletas, sassafras tamales, bread soup, coleto roast, atole de granillo and posh (typical regional drink, sacred for the indigenous people). In their handcrafts: colorful Mayan textiles, pottery, filigree and amber work.
TO STAY SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS
• Hotel b¨o
Innovative modern style concept. With 22 rooms. LUM restaurant under renowned Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, who incorporates traditional Mexican cuisine with the best of local gastronomy.
Av. 5 de Mayo 38. Centro.
Tel: (01-967) 678 1515.
• Hotel Parador San Juan de Dios
Quaint boutique hotel, away from downtown; in what used to be a colonial hacienda of the 19th century, surrounded by splendid gardens. Twelve comfortable rooms decorated with antiquities. On weekends it is rented for events, therefore it may be noisy. Their cuisine is not their strong point: I recommend eating elsewhere.
Calzada Roberta 16 Col. 31 de Marzo.
Tel: (01-967) 678 4290/1167.
TO EAT SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS
• El Caldero
Simple, rustic and popular. The main attractions are the home-style soups that are prepared with such good seasoning. Ideal for families or friends.
Red pozole; Mole de olla.
Insurgentes 5-A. Centro Histórico.
Tel: (01-967) 631 6535.
• El Fogón de Jovel
Typical Chiapas cuisine in a rustic and simple atmosphere. Live music. Ideal with the family or friends. Slow service.
Mole; Freshly made tortillas; Chia water.
Av. 16 de Septiembre N° 11, esq. 5 de Febrero. Centro.
Tel:(01-967) 678 1153/2550.
• Tierra y Cielo
Cuisine from Chiapas.
Inside the hotel of the same name. Sophisticated regional cuisine under the lead of Chef Marta Zepeda, whose purpose is to preserve the traditional flavor of the dishes from Chiapas. Ideal for couples or friends.
Av. Benito Juárez N°.1. Centro.
Tel: (01-967) 678 1053.
• Trattoria Italiano
Small establishment without a fixed menu, where the owner chefs (mother and daughter) give personal attention to their guests and cook what is most fresh according to the season, Ideal for couples or in small groups.
Belisario Domínguez 8-B. Centro.
Tel: (01-967) 101 6561.[/one_half_last]