San Cristobal del las Casas

8
Mar
2008

Arnaud and I originally weren’t sure if we wanted to drive so far afield to see San Cristobal, but we are very glad we did (despite the piece-of-shit car we are driving).  San Cristobal is an entirely charming town set in the mountains of Chiapas.  In some ways it has things in common with other colonial cities like Oaxaca, but in others it is a world apart. Especially in the surrounding areas, you get the sense of a poorer people and a culture apart from the rest of the country.  It is quite chilly here (50F/11C) and the contrast with Palanque (where it was 95F) is striking.  There is a heavy and obvious indiginous Mayan presence in the city and surrounding communities, and the mix of Catholic and local religious traditions is pretty interesting.  We went to a few churches today and witnessed some prayer rituals that seemed quite unique.  One of the great things about being here out of season is that we really have our pick of hotels and were able to negotiate heavy discounts everywhere we went. The hotel we are staying in is completely empty except for us, but it is very nice and I can highly recommend it.