Things to do in San Cristóbal de las Casas

Our most recommended things to do in San Cristóbal de las Casas

Sumidero Canyon Excursion from San Cristobal de las Casas

1. Sumidero Canyon Excursion from San Cristobal de las Casas

Marvel at the majestic walls of the Sumidero Canyon on this 5-hour excursion that feels like a journey back in time. Tours depart from the Algrano Cafe in San Cristobal de las Casas. After a transfer to the jetty, take a boat to the canyon. Be on the lookout for crocodiles, monkeys and a wide variety of birds. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the colonial city of Chiapa de Corzo. Take some time to browse the numerous shops that offer local craft items. Continue to San Cristobal de las Casas, where the tour ends.

From San Cristóbal: Agua Azul and Palenque Day Trip

2. From San Cristóbal: Agua Azul and Palenque Day Trip

Following pick-up from your hotel in San Cristóbal de las Casas, head towards the ancient Maya city of Palenque and stop at the amazing waterfalls of Agua Azul along the way. Gaze in awe at the cascades, formed by the currents of the Otulún, Shumuljá and Tulijá rivers and shallow canyons banked by vertical cliffs. Get the chance to cool down with a swim, time permitting, and marvel at the different areas and landscapes of the natural wonder. Continue to the waterfalls of Misol-Ha, where the water can rise to heights of up to 30 meters in the natural rainforest surroundings. Then, discover the ruins of the Maya civilization at the archaeological site of Palenque. Admire the impressive buildings and structures of the former city state, including the Temple of the Foliated Cross and Temple of the Sun in the stunning Temple of the Cross group of step pyramids. Return to San Cristóbal at the end of the day for drop off at a central location.

Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from San Cristobal

3. Sumidero National Park Full-Day Trip from San Cristobal

Embark on amazing experience to Sumidero National Park. Explore Sumidero Canyon and the town of Chiapa de Corzo on this 9-hour tour from San Cristobal. Begin with a 45-minute drive through the mountains, along a scenic highway toward Tuxtla Gutierrez. Admire the beautiful panoramic views as you pass through the clouds to reach the canyon. The tour continues with a boat trip, as you marvel at the immense Sumidero Canyon from another perspective. After taking in this stunning natural scenery, you’ll visit the magical town of Chiapa de Corzo, known for its magnificent 16th-century Mudéjar Fountain, with its colorful xicalpestles (lacquered and painted gourds). It’s also home to Parachico revelers, the main attraction at the Fiesta of San Sebastián. After the visit you’ll continue on the drive, enjoying breathtaking views of the Sumidero Canyon from several lookout points, including the Ceiba, the Coyota, the Roblar, the Tepehuaje and the Chiapa. These locations allow you to admire the grandeur of the canyon as well as the local flora and fauna.

Chamula and Zinacantán Day Trip from San Cristóbal

4. Chamula and Zinacantán Day Trip from San Cristóbal

Learn more about the everyday lives and ancient beliefs of the indigenous Tzotzil Maya people on an amazing day trip from San Cristóbal de las Casas. Travel in air-conditioned comfort to the town of San Juan Chamula to get a better understanding of the mix of contemporary culture and ancient traditions that gives the town its unique aspect. Continue to Zinacantán, where the majority of the population are Tzotzil Maya indigenous people. Visit the church and the home of a family co-operative, where you will be welcomed with a regional drink and can watch the women at work on pre-Columbian waist looms. Get invited into their kitchen to taste their traditional handmade tortillas before the return journey to San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Montebello Lakes and Chiflon Day Tour from San Cristobal

5. Montebello Lakes and Chiflon Day Tour from San Cristobal

This 12-hour tour takes you from San Cristobal de las Casas in the morning to Lagos de Montebello. Head first to the Chiflón waterfall, a natural freefall of water surrounded by reeds and palm groves. Next on the itinerary is a visit to the Montebello Lakes in a nature reserve that is Mexico's most beautiful lake district. The reserve comprises acres of pines, oaks and rainforest where, weather permitting, there will be the opportunity to enjoy views of the many lakes and the varying colors of the waters. After visiting this picturesque natural environment, the tour returns to San Cristobal de Las Casas, arriving in the early evening.

San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

6. San Cristobal: Chiflon Waterfalls & Montebello Day Tour

Start this full-day adventure into the wilderness of Chiapas with a morning pick-up from your hotel in San Cristobal. Drive to the impressive El Chiflon Waterfalls near the colonial city of Comitan, and hike an approximate 1-mile (1.5 kilometers) to the top of the multi-staged cascades, surrounded by mountains and rainforest. Known for creating the impression of a pair of “angel’s wings” that appear to emerge from the mountain, the falls also offer striking turquoise waters that you can take a dip in at the end of your walk. Continue to Montebello Lakes, a collection of 52 crystal clear lakes surrounded by pine forest. Here, you can dive into the refreshing blue waters, and even cross in a cayuco (a small, rustic wooden raft) to see beautiful orchids. In total, you will visit about 5 to 7 of the main lakes to experience the contrasting colors, which can vary from dark green, to bright emerald, turquoise, and even purple or red, depending on the mineral content. You will then be transferred back to San Cristobal for a drop off at your hotel, or the Zocalo (Plaza 31 de Marzo) if you prefer.

Agua Azul, Misol-Ha & Palenque Ruins

7. Agua Azul, Misol-Ha & Palenque Ruins

Enjoy the stunning Chiapas state and explore its many treasures on this exciting day tour. Travel from San Cristobal to the beautiful Agua Azul Cascades, one of Mexico's most stunning natural attractions. Marvel at the clear blues of the water and relax to a breakfast of tasty regional dishes. After breakfast, opt for a invigorating dip in the large ponds formed by the waterfalls. From Agua Azul, make your way to the impressive Misol-Ha Cascade, which drops from a staggering 25 meters. Relax before this beautiful natural wonder and let the majestic sounds of cascading water wash over you. After Misol-Ha, head over to the fascinating Palenque Archeological Site, named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its immense historic and cultural richness. Spend a few hours here exploring the remains of one of the capital cities of the Mayan empire. The tour will end in Palenque at 17:00, and you will have time to enjoy a dinner before the journey back to San Cristobal at 21:30.

San Cristobal: Palenque, Agua Azul, and Misol-Ha Day Trip

8. San Cristobal: Palenque, Agua Azul, and Misol-Ha Day Trip

Get picked up early in the morning in San Cristobal de las Casas and begin your tour. Stop at a traditional Mexican restaurant and enjoy a delicious breakfast.  After, head to a set of waterfalls named "Cascadas de Agua Azul," created by the currents of the Otulún, Shumuljá, and Tulijá rivers. See shallow canyons with vertical cliffs. Go for a swim and enjoy the different views that surround you.  Continue to the Misol-Ha Waterfalls which are 30 meters high and surrounded by a tropical jungle, making this a beautiful and refreshing place. Then stop at the archaeological site of Palenque where a professional tour guide will accompany you in this historic site. Admire The Palace, The Temple of the Foliated Cross, The Temple of the Sun, and other famous sites in this Mayan city known for its architectural and sculptural heritage. After, reflect on your fun-filled day as you head back to San Cristobal de Las Casas to get dropped off.

San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour

9. San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour

Learn about the indigenous communities of the state of Chiapas on a 5-hour cultural tour of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan. A local guide will explain the history of the region, famous for its blend of Mayan beliefs and Catholicism. Go to the Church of San Juan Bautista (St. John the Baptist) to admire the beautiful façade and peek inside at the arrangement of altars, where the Catholic saints are dressed according to indigenous customs. Learn about the native people and their traditions, and how ancient Mayan beliefs intertwine with modern day Catholic practices. Continue to Zinacantan, near San Cristobal de las Casas, and visit the Church of San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence). Watch the laborious handicrafts of the weaver women, who, with a loom at their waists, produce magnificent textile pieces, including tablecloths, bedspreads, cushion covers and traditional huipiles (ponchos).

Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo from San Cristobal

10. Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo from San Cristobal

Explore Sumidero Canyon and Chiapa de Corzo on a full-day tour from San Cristobal. Begin with a 45-minute drive through the mountains, along the scenic highway, toward Tuxtla Gutierrez. Pay attention to the beautiful panoramic views as you drive through the clouds to reach the canyon. Arrive at Chiapa de Corzo, an archaeological site of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Embark on a boat trip that will take you on a 2-hour ride down the river where the steep walls of the canyon tower overhead. Look out for stunning waterfalls, caves, and dramatic cliffs. You may even glimpse a crocodile, and will definitely see plenty of other natural wildlife, especially birds.   Take your last photos as you make your way back to the dock and get back into the van. From here, make the return trip to San Cristobal, passing along the curvy mountain roads. You will be dropped off in the city center so you can continue your day of sightseeing, shopping, or popping into a local cafe for a fulfilling lunch on your own. From the city center, you can easy walk to your hotel.  

Frequently asked questions about San Cristóbal de las Casas

What are the best day trips and excursions from San Cristóbal de las Casas?

The best day trips and excursions from San Cristóbal de las Casas are:

Palenque

Other Sightseeing Options in San Cristóbal de las Casas

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What people are saying about San Cristóbal de las Casas

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 158 reviews

It seems to me an essential tour if you are traveling through the San Cristóbal area. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to get to know a bit of the local indigenous culture. The tour itinerary is very well designed. It is very dynamic and fun. If you are also lucky enough to have Alonso as your guide, the experience will undoubtedly be unforgettable. It was 10.

What a magical experience and would recommend to anyone. Everyone from our hotel pickup, translator to our boat driver were all just excellent. Plan to return next May and will for sure book this experience for my mom. A+++++++++ all the way!

the guide-driver was very friendly and very informative and explained to us what was necessary about the places where we went as well as his recommendations of what to take and what to leave in the van, the transportation was very comfortable

Very professional, fun activities, very worthwhile. We were given an english guide who was really nice and extremely helpful, and made sure we got the most out of the day

Highly recommended experience, very friendly driver and very nice visits. Recommend bringing water, hat and sunscreen.