Last weekend, Jon and I headed to San Cristóbal in Chiapas, Mexico. This is a really popular destination for expats living in Guatemala to go to renew their visa. I had moderate expectations considering it was a tourist town, but I was pleasantly surprised by how charming San Cris was! From the food to the liveliness and culture, San Cris has a lot to offer.
We started by taking a 10 hour bus ride from Panajachel to San Cris on Saturday (one of the worse parts of living in Panajachel–it’s in the middle of nowhere and you have to take a shuttle or bus with winding roads to get anywhere). We got there on Saturday night and walked around to get some tacos and enjoyed the ambiance. We stumbled upon a dance group practicing traditional dance numbers, which was really fun to watch!
On Sunday we walked around San Cris and enjoyed the food and ambiance. We went to an amber museum (apparently Chiapas is known for their amber–who knew?!) and then stopped at a restaurant on the street. Jon got the pozole which I had not had in a long time. It did not disappoint!
We kept walking and went to a chocolate shop (my favorite) where we tried a few samples. Of course we got some chocolate as well because… how can you resist really great chocolate? We also ended up wandering around the main street and zócalo and it had a really great vibe. Live music, people selling things, and street food all made for a great atmosphere.
We wandered into the tourist market as well as the local market. Each were unique and I enjoyed exploring both. We then made our way to the Casa Na Bolom museum, which was the old house of anthropologist/photographer husband and wife team Frans Blom and Gertrude Duby Blom. Jon and I obviously loved this! They both studied the Lacandon Maya people in that region of Chiapas. The museum itself is now a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of Lacandon culture and traditions. We loved this and would recommend it for anyone going to San Cristóbal!
Some of my favorite food we got while there included elote, pozole, tacos al pastor, chicharrones, dark hot chocolate (traditional Maya style!), and grilled chicken rotisserie style. This is one of Jon’s favorites, as it is really delicious fast food in Mexico. They also give you tortillas, salsa, onions, and jalapeños, so you can’t go wrong with that.
On Monday, we walked up to the Church of Guadalupe, which had a really great view of the city. We also went to the Chocolate Museum, which was neat to see how chocolate was traditionally made. I will forever be indebted to ancient Maya culture…
Our trip was supposed to last a little longer than that but unfortunately we both got SUPER sick on Monday night. It was honestly the most sick I have ever been in my life! We were stuck in our hotel for a few days and didn’t make it back to Panajachel until Thursday. Bummer for our trip. But we did have an amazing two days before that! So I am choosing to focus on the good stuff.
Next time we go to San Cris, we need to head over to the traditional Textile Museum. I have heard really great things about it. We will see you again, San Cristóbal!