About Me


San Cristobal is definitely one of my favourite places to be in the world. Instead of tree nights as planed I ended up staying for over a month in total in this pretty, little mountain city. The first time I arrived with the night bus from Oaxaca I felt instantly that I liked this place and would enjoy my time here.

It has the perfect size to be able to walk anywhere but have enough space to wander and explore many things. While on first glance there is not a lot to do in the city itself but rather in the surrounding area where many of Chiapas sights like the canyon Sumidero or the church of Chamula with its strong traditions, are to be found.

Though if you spend some more time in the city San Cristobal you will have the chance to enjoy all the welcoming cafes and bars, art collectives and markets. Some French style bakeries have established tasty breads and pastries and have an assortment of natural products and rolling tobacco. The cultural scene has a diverse program in places like yoga studios, cinema rooms (which you can also rent with friends to see the movie you enjoy most) or art centers with live performances from 8-bit DJs to Balkan bands. There are also a fair few galleries in town but coming from Oaxaca I felt like they were not the most significant.

Many tour companies offer trips to the surrounding sites, the prices seemed to be reasonable and often the trip there by yourself would be little cheaper and consume a lot more time. I treated myself to a boat trip through Canyon Sumidero with Jalapeno-Tour and felt like it was worth it. We motored through the high upwards reaching rock formations covered with greens giving an incredible sight, crocodiles and alligators, many different species of birds and some monkeys inhabit the riverbanks and can be observed from the boat. Sadly, the rubbish darkens the picture immensely, collecting itself in many of the bends it is a danger to the diverse flora and fauna. During my weeks in San Cristobal, I visited some of the surrounding villages by public transport to go at my own pace and got to know some of the traditions and communities. When I went to Chiapa del Corso with some people from the hostel we stumbled into a celebration that had the whole village parade through the streets with rattles dressed in colourful costumes with masks resembling the Spanish conquerors in a bizarre way. A lovely group of locals invited us to their house to join the preparations asking us to spread pictures and knowledge about their traditions.

river curve with loads of collected plastic and trash, crocodile swimming amongst it
Shocking view of the impact of humans

I also went to Chamula to visit the Church with its extreme traditions. It is not allowed to record what’s going and upon entering I would not have been able to interfere with the picture presented. The floor is mostly covered with candle debris and pine-needles, the believers of this ancient religion pray loudly to Christian saints while drinking cups of Posh (a strong local spirit) und burp out their demons. At times they will be screaming their sins into a chicken and slaughtering it ceremonially. Around the Church and even in the freezing cold rain there are several worshipers passed out, resting from their intense prayers. The intertwining of Catholic and traditional Maya religion can be found across Mexico and has brought forward some interesting practices.

A very special experience was my visit to a Zapatista-community, in the mountains around San Cristobal there are several of these autonomous villages and most of them are not open to visitors at all. Together with two other girls I went to one community that is known for being a little more welcoming and after a chat about our intentions and where we come from, we were granted to enter. Two Ladies accompanied us on a little walk through the village and we were allowed to take pictures of the buildings only. Unfortunately, neither spoke very well Spanish and they seemed quite resistant to tell us much about themselves, but it was an impressive and unique place I loved to have the opportunity to witness. Memorable was also the drive there, apparently normal practice is it, that people from the villages use their authority to block the roads by simply holding a rope across the street asking for a fee to pass, it can be mildly negotiated but will have to be paid.

Another reason for me to love San Cristobal so much is the view, the city is surrounded by Mountain ranges with amazing trekking paths. From roof top terraces you can look across the small roofs and colourful streets and soak up the open minded, calm and frisky atmosphere.

Just as myself many travellers get stuck here for a little longer than expected because it is not just lively, chilled, super friendly and exiting but also very cheap, south of Mexico City I found that the cost of living here was the most affordable.

For me, being an introvert and needing calm spaces, the stunning garden of the hostel I stayed in was a highlight in this city. In the warm afternoon sun, I was sitting underneath the trees bursting with flowers, watched the colibris, butterflies and clouds dancing through the sky in pure peace. My dorm only had the luxury of one level beds and a huge panoramic window facing the spacious garden and viewing further Mountains. (Check out the blue house of Iguana Hostel)