I arrived at San Cristobal de las Casas around 3:30 in the afternoon on November 1 and got a decent room for 130 pesos, about $12. This is the city briefly occupied by the Zapatistas rebels in 1994. Fighting stopped long ago, but a formal peace has not been agreed upon by the government and the rebels, and there were usually at least a few Mexican soldiers visible around the city. It is a very pretty colonial city, a bit out of the way, inexpensive and with a mild, sometimes chilly climate. Though it was only a few hours in a not too fast bus from tropical Palenque, San Cristobal is much higher in elevation and quite cool. It is also a good place to shop for amber, which is mined in an area north of San Cristobal near the village of Simojovel. I stayed until November 13, about half that time recovering from what I suspect was Montezuma's revenge, possibly brought on by eating salad washed in local water.
Some pictures from San Cristobal, starting with two of the Convento de la Merced, now an ex-covento and home to the Museum of Amber:
Several pictures taken from a hill near the center of San Cristobal, the Cerro de San Cristobal. First a few city views showing the valley setting:
Still on Cerro de San Cristobal, shots of the Templo de San Francisco, Iglesia de Guadelupe, and Iglesia de San Cristobal on top of the cerro:
Now some pictures of the city from the Cerro de Guadelupe, where the Iglesia de Guadelupe sits. The first picture has the Cathedral near the center, it's the yellow thing, the second is of the Cerro de San Cristobal where the earlier pictures were taken:
The Iglesia de Guadelupe:
Real de Guadelupe and a side street. Like I said, a very pretty colonial town:
Two pictures of the Cathedral. I got to San Cristobal during the last days of a festival with music and dancing in front of the Cathedral at night. I didn't spend much time participating in the festival, just wanted to explain all the chairs in front of the Cathedral:
Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Palacio Municipal:
The Templo de Santa Domingo and its courtyard. The Templo de Santa Domingo has a historical museum inside and a crafts market outside:
While in San Cristobal I visited several museums, including the Museum of Amber and the Museum of Traditional Mayan Medicines. I liked the Museum of Amber and got the urge to travel to Simojovel to purchase amber near its source. I held off on this until I got to Tuxtla gutierrez. The Mayan medicines were mostly herbal cures, including one that is supposed to cure baldness. Why would anyone want to cure something as convenient as baldness? I didn't find a cure for Montezuma's revenge.
On November 13 my bowels felt stable enough to tackle the two hour bus ride to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Tuxtla did not warrant a separate page, so I suggest going back to the Mexico page from here.