On the outskirts of San Juan Chumala, there is the old church which has an equally old cemetery. Most people come to Chumala to visit the weekend market and the new church (entry is 20pesos), but the old church should not be missed.
The local community has been around for a long time and the ruins of the iglesia are a reminder of the days of old. When I was walking around there were a few families in the cemetery grieving over the newly departed. So despite the run-down look, the areas is still very much in use.
I booked at tour for 240 pesos (at backpackers hostel) for Lagos de Montebella. ( it can be cheaper as i spoke some1 who paid 200 pesos at another touroperator) First we visite the Caves. price included.
Picked up at 9 hours at Backpackers hostel. Last pick up 9.15.
Arrived at 9.30 at 10.00 we needed to leave again.
Tip : good shoes and flashlight. i was lucky i had both with me. It is very dark and slippery.
Rancho Nuevo. About 9 km south east of San Cristóbal, just off of highway 109
Open All year daily 8-17. about $1.25
Lake Pojoj entranc e5 pesos was included in trip. Arrived here 15.45
Didnot find this very intresting.
There is a lake you can go with a kind of float to an small island to the middle.
costs 60 pesos a person.
more pics at my travelogue
had tour on 23 februari 2008
first the caves then cascadas el chiflon now to the lakes.
At 14.57 we arrived at Caseta de Cobra 20 pesos (was included)
we passes lake Tinto no pics.
We get out at 3 lakes Lake Encantado, Esmeralda and Ensueno
Dont know which lake is on the pics.
look on travelogue for more pics
23 februari 2008
After the caves we went to the waterfalls. and arrived there at 12.00 (2 hours)
Entrance 10 pesos (is included in tour) about 1 km walking to the waterfall.
Picknick places 50 pesos you can also swim here.
last toilet (bano) after 268m. Used it on the way back costs 2 pesos.
At the sliding point you can do 2 other waterfalls trials.
You need good shoes to walk also some protection for your camera would be nice it will get wet because of the waterfall.
I wished i could spent a day here. It looks very nice you can swim, picknick and walk to the waterfalls. at 13.45 i had to leave again
It is 122 kms south of San Cristobal de las Casas
34 kms south of Comitan de Dominguez
24 kms southwest of Tzimol
21 kms east of Puliltic
more pics see travelogue
tel 01 (963) 703 6584
01 (963) 703 6998
A nice way to get to San Juan Chamula is on horseback. Everyday, you can get a horsetrek from one of the cafes on Real de Guadalupe in San Cristobal. It's not the most exciting trek if you're an experienced rider, but there are a couple of places where the horses like a good gallop. You take the tracks out of San Cristobal and wind through shacks up and down the hills, past people working in the fields.
Just outside San Juan, you leave the horses and walk into the town. The highlight here is the church, for which you need to buy a ticket in the tourist office to the right as you're looking at the church. This is a combined ticket for the small museum behind the tourist office too.
The church is quite the most bizarre experience. You think you're entering a typical colonial Catholic church, but inside there are candles everywhere, pine-needles carpeting the floor and no pews. Instead, huddled groups sit on the floor which curanderos (medicine men and women) are chanting and performing cleansing rituals. Walk in further and look at the back wall of the church behind the altar. In the central position, where Christ on the cross would normally be is a statue of Saint John the Baptist. It's his church and his image is in the most important position.
The worshippers here are adherents of traditional Chamulan Catholicism, and it's very obvious that Christianity lies hand in hand with much older indigenous beliefs and customs.
DO NOT TAKE PHOTOS IN THE CHURCH.
Photos are OK outside, but even here and in the surrounding countryside, be very wary about taking photos of the local people.
the nature reserve is just a short 10 minute taxi ride from San Cristobal. there is a two km Long Trail of those who would like to get a break from cities and towns. However, I wouldn't this this as a "must do" because there didn't seem to be as much flora and fauna as promised, and the climb is definitely steep. Avoid on wet/rainy days.
Admission fee is about USD 3.50
This is the main village of Tzotzil indians, some 7km north of San Cristobal. The place is known for it's church and unusual religion. Here christianity is combined with old spiritualism. The result can be seen inside of church.
I'd also recomend to visit San Juan on sunday when the weekly market is held.
For more info check my San Juan Chamula page
I visited the infamous ruins of Palenque not as a daytrip from San Cristobal de las Casas, but by spending a night over there. Some people offer tours to see Palenque on a long trip from San Cristobal. Honestly, I’d say spend a night over there. The site is huge! Its definitely one of the best Mayan sites out there. I loved the palace, which had an amazing tower. The temple of the inscriptions is amazing as well. Among the other kewl areas is the plaza of the cross, which houses several nice temples. Check out my Palenque page for more information.
Some people say you can visit Tonina as a one day tour from San Cristobal. I recommend you do spend a night in or around Ocasingo though. I spend the night in the sleepy town of Ocosingo. The next morning I visited the sight of Tonina, where I had the pleasure of spending the morning chatting with the care taker of the ruins of Tonina... this lady was so knowledgeable on the area, heck she used to own the land were the ruins are located (her name is Maria del Soccorro Espinosa, talk to her if you get a chance!). The poor thing has to do with an extra large land area right next and in front of this amazing ruin found on a hill. We must have talked for hours about the ruins, her life, the EZNL (guerillas in Chiapas), and More! Read more about this interesting ruin in my Tonina page.
If you have the time, try camping or spending a night in a cabin at the Parque Nacional Lagunas de Montebello, which is a beautiful park with over 50 lakes... all of which have a different color based on the minerals present in the water. These are one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen. Find more about this park in my Comitan page.
Anyway, the next day I joined the Brits on a boat ride on the 'Canyon del Sumidero,' which is a beautiful Gorge. You get to see grate wildlife like caimans or alligators (never can tell), birds, and more. Check out my page for more information.
I took a kewl horseback ride to the town of San Juan de Chamula from San Cristobal. It was a 5-hour fun ride with fellow backpackers from Australia, Britain, and the States. We were all soar at the end of the trip... jejeje. It had been years since I rode a horse. Check out my page for more information on that town and the horse ride trek.
On the way from San Cristobal to Palenque many people pass through the city of Ocosingo. They don't know, that near Ocosingo are the ruins of Tonina. Those ruins are not as spectacular as Palenque, but they are worth a visit!
See my travelogue!
second time we get out was at Lake Tziscao. you can walk down i didnot do that.
travelogue for all pictures