Join Travelian guides Carmen Silva and Colleen Besman for this incomparable tour with one of Mexico’s anthropological textile experts.
Discover Chiapas, Mexico’s most indigenous and southern state! Enjoy marimba music, local cuisine, boating, and indigenous markets with a small group of similarly curious travelers and expert guides. Travel safely with excellent drivers and sleep in comfort at outstanding hotels.
Visit the 25 mile-long Sumidero River Canyon with cliffs over 3000 feet in height and abundant wildlife. Our private boat lands in the Pueblo Magico of Chiapa de Corzo, where our knowledgeable local guide will take us to a gourmet regional cuisine restaurant for lunch, then introduce us to one of Mexico’s Master Marimba makers.
Next, we’ll travel up to San Cristobal de las Casas, situated at 7200 feet, in a high fertile valley surrounded by mountains. Chiapas is home to many indigenous groups descended from the Maya, two of the largest being the Tzotzils and Tzeltals, who inhabit villages surrounding San Cristobal. The indigenous people of Chiapas speak their own languages (often in addition to Spanish), practice their own unique customs, and can be identified by their traditional dress that varies by group/village. The markets are a buzz of symphonic sounds!
Founded in 1528, San Cristobal was designated a “Pueblo Magico” (Magic Town), and is one of Mexico’s best-preserved Spanish colonial towns. With its narrow streets, colorful one-story houses, and tiled roofs that enclose lovely courtyards, it offers the visitor not only a journey back in time, but also a contemporary bohemian ambience of art galleries and sophisticated restaurants catering to an international crowd of travelers and residents. You’ll have the opportunity to visit its plethora of artisans’ markets, shops and museums, including the unsurpassed Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya with our expert guide.
Several interesting day trips we’ll take from San Cristobal include visits to the outlying highland villages of Chenalho, San Juan Chamula, San Andres, Aguacatenango, Amatenango del Valle and San Lorenzo Zinacantan. These towns offer a unique inside view into the traditions and customs of the region’s indigenous communities. We’ll be invited to visit homes and workshops of their master artisans. One of the largest autonomous indigenous communities in the world, San Juan Chamula (pop. 60,000), is just a few miles from San Cristobal, but in many ways a world apart. The church there has no pews, no altar, and the priest was expelled decades ago for meddling with local customs. Statues of the saints remain, but the nave is used for elaborate ceremonies involving candles, eggs, live chickens and — oddly — soft drinks. Our visit to Chamula on Sunday (Market Day), offers a unique window into Chiapas's rich Mayan heritage.
Join Travelian’s professional guides to this astonishing region of Mexico filled with adventure, master artisans, regional cuisine and natural wonders!