Monday, 17 December 2012

San Cristobal ... traditional and tequilla

Stepping off the overnight bus in San Cristobal at 7 am I was hit by a wall of cold. This town is at high altitude which means it is bloody freezing at night and early morning. But my concerns about the cold were soon forgotten as I walked through the cobble stoned streets filled with interesting people ... this place is so very charming. Even better, I found a place that has amazing coffee so all was good with the world.


San Cristobal is nestled in a higland valley and is surrounded by pine forests. It sits within a very indigenous area with Tzotzil and Tzeltal villages all around. These traditional people sell their wares at the many market stalls making for some fun and interesting shopping.

(Mum, hope you like the colourful wall hangings as you are now the proud owner of one.)

The area has a lot of Zapatista sympathisers, a few of which we came across on a drive to a nearby town. I did want to stop for a chat but thought it probably wasn't such a great idea.

We decided to visit the small town of Chamula, about 15 minutes from San Cristobal which is home to the Tzotzil people who believe strongly in tradition. The men wear tunics of homespun wool but many mix up their look with a cowboy hat.

They worship at Templo de San Juan. A simple white church that dominates the town square. Tourists are permitted to visit the church but are strictly forbidden to take photographs as the locals believe the camera removes the spirit from the body. Interesting.

 The floor of the church is covered with a thick layer of pine needles and there are thousands of candles set up in rows all over the floor. Worshippers kneel amongst the pine needles and quietly chant while others are blessed by what I assume are holy people. I've been into some of the grandest cathedrals in the world but none of them has been as amazing as this simple but powerful place of prayer.

But life isn't all about churches, I am in Mexico so there is always some tequila thrown in. We had a fun afternoon on the rooftop terrace of our hotel downing a tequila shot or three before hitting a local bar. Well, what's a night out without a bit of bar dancing and a singalong.

Yes, I know, some things will never change!

Photos from San Cristobal
Mexico - San Christobal


  1. You look like you really enjoyed Mexico.

  2. I sure did enjoy Mexico, such a cool place