Chiapas: Top 15 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


Things to do in Chiapas: The 15 Best Places to Visit

Are you planning to visit Chiapas on your trip to Mexico?

That’s a great idea!

Chiapas is a stunning region with nature reserves, archaeological sites hidden in the jungle, traditional communities and colonial cities. It has so much to offer for an unforgettable stay.

To help you plan your trip, I have prepared this guide with all the best things to do and see in Chiapas. It’s a perfect destination to combine with the Yucatan Peninsula on your next trip to Mexico.

In this guide, you will find all the attractions in Chiapas with practical information and my tips so you can make the most of your stay.

So, what are the best places to visit in Chiapas? Where to stay?

Book your tour in Chiapas

If you just want to book an activity in Chiapas at the best price, without reading the article (although I recommend reading it for all the details!), here’s the summary table of the best activities in Chiapas.

The great thing is that for all the activities I present in this article, cancellation policy is flexible.

Simply click on the names of the activities to make your reservation:

TicketDescriptionPrice (subject to change)
PalenqueTour to Palenque from San Cristobal de las Casas, with Agua Azul and Misol-Ha67$ USD
Bonampak and YaxchilanTour to Bonampak and Yaxchilan from Palenque, with breakfast and lunch92$ USD
Montebello and El ChiflonTour to Montebello Lakes and El Chiflon from San Cristobal de las Casas45$ USD
Montebello and El ChiflonTour to Montebello Lakes and El Chiflon from Tuxtla Gutierrez72$ USD
RaftingRafting in the Lacandon Jungle from Palenque, with breakfast and lunch169$ USD
Sumidero CanyonSumidero Canyon (boat ride + lookout points) from San Cristobal de las Casas77$ USD
Sumidero CanyonSumidero Canyon (boat ride + lookout points) from Tuxtla Gutierrez96$ USD
Zinacantan and San Juan ChamulaTour to Zinacantan and San Juan Chamula from San Cristobal de las Casas35$ USD
Comitan and Las NubesTour to Comitan and Las Nubes Waterfalls (Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve) from San Cristobal de las Casas120$ USD
Comitan and Las NubesTour to Comitan and Las Nubes Waterfalls (Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve) from Tuxtla Gutierrez135$ USD

Best Things to Do in Chiapas

1.The archaeological site of Palenque

Palenque is one of the must-see places in Chiapas. It was one of the most important Mayan cities, along with Tikal in Guatemala and Calakmul in Campeche.

Surrounded by the jungle, Palenque offers a unique experience of exotic bird songs and monkey howls.

It is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the world.

Palenque has many attractions to explore:

  • The Temple of the Inscriptions, where the tomb of K’inich Janaab’ Pakal I, a 7th century ruler, was found with valuable artifacts, such as a jade mask. You can see a replica of the tomb at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, which is worth visiting if you are in the capital!
  • The Palace, which has a magnificent view of the site.
  • The Cross Group, with the Temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Foliated Cross, related to three deities of Palenque.
  • The Museum of Palenque, one of the most important museums of Mayan archaeology with 6 rooms displaying 234 artifacts from the region.

You may also like: How to Visit the Archaeological Site of Palenque

How to visit Palenque:

  • You need to pay 2 entrance fees: 97 pesos (includes the ruins and museum) and 85 pesos (entrance to the national park)
  • The archaeological zone is open from 8 am to 5 pm, and the museum from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm
  • You can get there from the town of Palenque (5 miles) by driving along the Palenque Archaeological Zone Highway for about 30 minutes, or by taking a colectivo (shared taxi) that goes between the town and the ruins.

If you want to visit Palenque from San Cristobal de las Casas, you can also book this one-day tour that includes pick-up at your hotel, entrance to the Agua Azul and Misol-Ha waterfalls, and a guided visit to Palenque.

You can book it here:

Palenque archaeological site in Chiapas

2. The Misol-Ha Waterfall

Misol-Ha is a spectacular place in Chiapas that you won’t regret visiting! It is a 100 ft waterfall surrounded by a lush jungle that creates a large natural pool where you can swim.

Misol-Ha is close to the ruins of Palenque, the Agua Azul waterfalls and the Mayan site of Toniná. You can easily do the whole tour in one day.

If you want to save time and hassle, I suggest you book this tour (click here!), which includes pick-up from your hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas, visit to Misol-Ha, Agua Azul and Palenque.

Fun Fact
Misol-Ha and Palenque were the main filming locations for the movie Predator (1987) with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

You can watch a key scene that took place in front of the waterfall!

misol ha
misol ha

3. The waterfalls of Agua Azul

The Agua Azul waterfalls are one of the most stunning sights in Chiapas.

The water has a magical color because of the high concentration of limestone in the Yax-Ha river, which feeds the waterfalls.

Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit to enjoy the natural pools!

My advice
Try to avoid going during the rainy season because the water loses its beautiful color.

How to visit Agua Azul:

  • The entrance fee is 80 pesos (2 tickets of 40 pesos), open from 8 am to 6 pm
  • If you are driving from Palenque: take highway 199 Palenque-Ocosingo and after 40 miles turn right on the road leading to Agua Azul (there is a blue sign).
  • If you are taking public transport from Palenque: take a colectivo to Ocosingo (1h30, 80 pesos) and tell the driver that you are going to Agua Azul. He will drop you off at the intersection of the road to Agua Azul. You can either take a cab from there (30 pesos) or walk 2.5 miles
  • If you want to join a guided tour, you can book this one (click here!) that includes pick-up from your hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas, visit to Palenque, Agua Azul and Misol-Ha.
Agua Azul Waterfalls, Chiapas

4. Toniná

Toniná is a hidden gem in Chiapas that you should visit. It is an archaeological zone with an impressive 7-story temple or Acropolis that has many altars, temples, houses and palaces.

You can enjoy a stunning panoramic view of the surroundings if you climb the 260 stairs to the top of the pyramid.

Did you know that the pyramid of Toniná is taller than the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán and the Pyramid of Cholula in Puebla? It is 250 ft high!

Toniná has many attractions to see, such as temples, sculptures, murals, labyrinths, two Mesoamerican ball game courts and a museum. To make sure you don’t miss anything on your visit, it’s worth hiring a guide.

My advice
You can also try some delicious cheeses in Ocosingo, especially the famous queso de bola.

How to visit Toniná:

  • The entrance fee is 75 pesos (also includes the museum), guide service (optional) costs about 200 pesos
  • The closest town to Toniná is Ocosingo. You can take the ADO bus from San Cristóbal or Palenque to Ocosingo (2h30 or 2h50), then a combi from Ocosingo to Toniná (20 min)
  • If you are driving, you need to get to Ocosingo by taking Highway 199 from San Cristobal or Palenque. After Ocosingo, take Highway 218 and turn left on the road to Toniná (25 min).
Toniná Chiapas
Toniná Chiapas

5. Bonampak and Yaxchilán

Bonampak, which means “painted walls” in Mayan, is a small Mayan site that flourished from the 6th to the 9th century. You should visit it if you want to see some amazing Mayan art.

It is famous for its incredible murals in the three rooms of Structure 1 or “Temple of Murals”. They show the life of the time, such as priests and nobles, war and prisoners, human sacrifices, dancers, customs, etc.

These murals are priceless because they are the most complete representation of a pre-Hispanic civilization discovered so far!

Bonampak was a vassal of Yaxchilan, an important city that dominated the region and today is known for its sculptures, considered masterpieces of Mayan art.

Yaxchilan is located only 12 miles away, on the banks of the Usumacinta River, which forms the border with Guatemala.

How to visit Bonampak and Yaxchilán:

It is not very easy to get there on your own…

  • There is no public transportation
  • To reach Bonampak, you can drive up to a certain point, but then you have to take a van from the community of Lacanjá.
  • To reach Yaxchilán, you can only take a boat (40 min) from Frontera Corozal.

So the best option is to take a tour to Bonampak and Yaxchilán from Palenque, which includes pick up at your hotel, the guide and entrance fees to the sites, the river ride, breakfast and lunch.

You can book it here:

Bonampak murals. Photo Mando Barista

6. Ecotourism in the Lacandon Jungle

The Lacandon Jungle is one of Mexico’s most amazing rainforests and a must-see in Chiapas!

It became a Natural Monument in 1992, protecting the animals that inhabit its 4357 hectares, such as the jaguar and the eagle, which were symbols of power for the Mayas, as well as various species of monkeys, parrots, toucans, etc.

In this lush jungle, you can meet the Lacandones and experience their daily life surrounded by nature.

What to do and see in the Lacandon Jungle:

  • Explore the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve, a pristine and well-preserved area of the jungle
  • Spend a night at the Top Che ecotourism center run by a Mayan family
  • Visit the archaeological sites of Bonampak, Yaxchilan and Lacanja
  • Go to the Las Nubes ecotourism center (40 pesos entrance fee) to see the waterfalls and walk along the trails until you reach the viewpoint
  • Visit the La Guacamaya ecotourism center (free entrance) which is involved in the conservation of the scarlet macaw. They offer tours on the Lacantun River and trekking excursions to fund the center

My tip
If you like adrenaline, you can take this tour in the Lancandon jungle (click to book!) from Palenque with hiking and rafting.

It includes pick-up from your hotel, breakfast and lunch, rafting down the rapids of the Lacanja River, guided jungle hike, meeting with the inhabitants of the Lacanja Chansayab Mayan village and visit to the Moctuniha waterfall.

selva Lacandona Chiapas
Lacandon jungle Chiapas

7. San Cristobal de las Casas

San Cristobal de las Casas is the cultural capital of Chiapas, located 7,000 ft above sea level.

It is a colonial city that was founded in 1528 by Diego de Mazariegos. It has preserved its traditional charm and authenticity with its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, churches and markets.

Its architectural richness reflects the greatness of this city that was the capital of Chiapas until 1892.

What to do and see in San Cristobal de las Casas:

  • The Zócalo, the main square of the city, and the cathedral
  • The Guadalupe Church, which you can reach by climbing 79 steps. It offers a beautiful view of the city
  • Na Bolom, a cultural association located in a lovely colonial house that works for the preservation of the Lacadon culture
  • The Textiles of the Maya World Center which displays 500 beautiful Mayan textile pieces from Chiapas and Guatemala
  • The Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzman, a stunning example of baroque architecture in Chiapas
  • Visit the markets: the Mercado de Dulces y Artesanías for sweets and souvenirs, the Mercado de Artesanías de Santo Domingo for handicrafts or the Mercado Viejo to experience local life
  • The Calle Real de Guadalupe with shops and restaurants

My tip
Check out my Definitive Guide to San Cristobal de las Casas with all the tourist attractions, practical information, best restaurants and hotels.
The Cathedral of San Cristobal in Las Casas. Photo Marcos Ferro

8. The Sumidero Canyon

The Sumidero Canyon is a natural wonder of Mexico, a national park and a Ramsar site. It is one of the highlights of Chiapas!

It is a geological fault formed 35 million years ago and crossed by the Grijalva River. You can take a boat ride to enjoy the amazing scenery.

You will see birds sunbathing (there are 195 species in the area!), some monkeys and crocodiles, and many natural formations.

Its most famous attractions are the Cave of Colors with a sculpture of the Virgin of Guadalupe and the Christmas Tree, a waterfall named after its shape.

Besides the boat ride, I highly recommend you to go up to the viewpoints to have a view from above. It is even more impressive!

How to visit the Sumidero Canyon:

  • By boat: you can take a boat ride from one of the four docks: Unidad Deportiva, Cahuaré, Belisario Domínguez and Chiapa de Corzo. If you go by yourself, you will have to wait for the boat to fill up with other passengers.
  • By car: you can drive to the viewpoints that offer spectacular views of the canyon from above. The viewpoints are La Ceiba, La Coyota, El Tepehuaje and Los Chiapa.

How to get to Sumidero Canyon
If you don’t have a car, it is quite complicated to get to the Sumidero Canyon, especially to the viewpoints.

The best option in this case is to join a tour like I did. It is a small group tour that includes transportation, a boat ride on the Grijalva river and a visit to the viewpoints, with free time in Chiapa de Corzo.

To book, click here on the name of the tour that suits you better (the only difference is the departure point):

Cañon del Sumidero
The Grijalva River in the Sumidero Canyon

9. Visit the Tzotzil communities

If you want to experience the culture of the tzotzil people, you should visit these two communities near San Cristobal de las Casas:

  • Zinacantán is a small town known for the beauty of its traditional clothing. You can learn about the textile production process in a workshop and visit the church of San Lorenzo.
  • San Juan Chamula, whose inhabitants wear black or white lamb’s wool clothing. Its church is a fascinating mix of Mayan and Catholic rituals in a mystical atmosphere. It is a must-see in Chiapas!

I invite you to read My Article about Zinacantán and the Complete Article about San Juan Chamula!

My tip
They are autonomous communities with their own laws and the police have no authority here.

It is very important to be respectful and not take any photos of the people or the inside of the church of San Juan Chamula.

It may be seen as offensive and you risk having your camera confiscated or even being physically attacked. It’s not worth it.

How to visit San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán:

  • By car: from San Cristóbal, take the Puerto Caté-San Cristóbal Highway (25 min).
  • By public transportation: colectivos go from the San Cristobal municipal market (25 pesos).
  • You can join a tour from San Cristóbal de las Casas that includes transportation, a visit to Zinacantán with a demonstration of traditional weaving and a tasting of pox (a local alcoholic drink), and a visit to San Juan Chamula to discover its church and cemetery.

Book it here:


10. El Chiflón Waterfalls

El Chiflón was one of the best surprises of my trip to Chiapas!

It is a beautiful natural site in Mexico located between the mountains and the rainforest.

It has 5 turquoise waterfalls, fed by the San Vicente River: El Suspiro, Ala de Angel, Velo de novia (the highest, 395 ft), Arcoiris and Quinceañera.

The park has a trail of about 1 mile that lets you see all the waterfalls in the middle of nature. It is easy for everyone to enjoy.

My advice
Try to avoid the rainy season (between June and September) because the water turns brown instead of its beautiful turquoise color!

How to visit El Chiflón:

  • Entrance fee to El Chiflón: 80 pesos, option to zip-line (200-650 pesos, price varies according to the length you choose).
  • There is a campground and cabins at El Chiflón if you want to spend the night there
  • To get there from Comitán de Domínguez, take highway 226; or a colectivo to Socol or Tuxtla and ask the driver to stop at El Chiflón (45 min), then walk for 10 min.
  • To get there from San Cristóbal de las Casas, take the 190 and then the 101 (2h20). To get there by public transport, you have to go through Comitán de Domínguez first.

If you don’t have a car, the best option is to take a tour to Cascadas El Chiflón because the distances are long!

It includes transportation from San Cristobal de las Casas, a visit to Lagunas de Montebello and free time for you to explore El Chiflón. Book it here:

The foot of Velo de Novia Waterfall, El Chiflón, Chiapas

11. Montebello Lakes

The Lagunas de Montebello National Park is a vast natural area of 23 square miles that has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

The park is very big (with 59 lakes!) and of course you can’t see them all. These are the lakes I recommend you to visit in Montebello Park:

  • Lake Tziscao is the largest and deepest lake in the park, located on the border with Guatemala. You can find cozy cabins and small restaurants where you can spend the night.There are small restaurants and cabins to spend the night.
  • Lake Pojoj boasts an Orquídeas Island, which you can access by renting a raft (100-150 pesos, depending on the duration) or a kayak (1h, 80 pesos)
  • Cinco Lagos consists of five interconnected lakes that offer the most breathtaking view of the park. You can enjoy a raft ride or rent a cabin there.
  • Lake Montebello is the perfect place to conclude your visit to the park. It has a charming atmosphere and you can relax in the small restaurant with a cup of typical Mexican chocolate by the lake.

Check out: My Complete Guide to Visit the Lakes of Montebello!

My tip
El Chiflón is a convenient stopover if you are traveling to Montebello Park from San Cristobal.

Not only is it a stunning attraction that you should not miss in Chiapas, but it also breaks up the long journey!

How to visit the Lagunas de Montebello National Park:

  • Getting there from Comitán de Domínguez: 1 h by Highways 190 and 307. If you go by public transport, the colectivo (1h15) leaves every hour from Calle 13a Sur Poniente and stops at Cinco Lagos. Be careful not to miss the last colectivo or you will be stuck!
  • Getting there from San Cristóbal: there is no public transportation. You have to take Highway 101 to Comitán de Domínguez and then Highway 307 (total 4h-4h30).

If you are staying in San Cristobal de las Casas, the most convenient way is to join a tour because there is no direct public transportation and, even if you have a car, the road is long and has many curves and bumps.

I recommend this tour that includes transportation, a visit to the Lagunas de Montebello and El Chiflón. Click on the name of the tour:

cinco lagos montebello chiapas
Cinco Lagos in Lagunas de Montebello National Park, Chiapas.

12. Comitan de Dominguez

Comitán de Domínguez is a city in the south of Chiapas that will delight you with its gothic, baroque and art nouveau architecture. It is also a city with a rich gastronomy, famous for its typical distillate, the Comiteco, which you can pair with spicy butifarra sausage.

Some of the attractions that you can enjoy in Comitán de Domínguez are:

  • Mercado 1 de Mayo, a market that has been operating for over 100 years. There you can sample jocoatol, a fermented corn drink, and atole de granillo, a corn-based beverage with sugar and cinnamon.
  • Stroll through the streets to see the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, the Chapel of San Sebastian, the Church of San Jose, the Juanchavin Theater and the Municipal Palace.
  • The charming neighborhood of Caralampio, where you can see colorful houses and murals.
  • The Hermila Dominguez de Castellanos Art Museum
  • A coffee break on the terrace of the Rosario Castellanos Cultural Center, which is housed in a former convent from the 16th century.
  • The House-Museum of Dr. Belisario Domínguez, who was a prominent politician who gave his name to the city.

From Comitan, you can also explore the Mayan ruins of Tenam Puente and Chinkultik, the waterfalls of El Chiflon, or dive in the cenote Chucumaltik!

How to get to Comitán de Domínguez:

  • From Tuxtla Gutierrez: by car (2h45) take Highway 190D and then Highway 190; or by ADO bus (3h20)
  • From San Cristóbal de las Casas: by car (1h50) take Highway 190; or by ADO bus (2h).

If you want to discover more of Comitan de Dominguez and its surroundings, you can join a tour that includes hotel pick-up, lunch and a visit to the stunning waterfalls of Las Nubes in the Lacandon jungle. To book this amazing experience, just click on the tour name below:

Comitán de Domínguez
Comitán de Domínguez

13. Visit a coffee hacienda

If you are a coffee lover, you should visit a coffee hacienda in Mexico. Coffee was introduced to Mexico in the 18th century and today it has a controlled designation of origin in the states of Veracruz and Chiapas, which is the largest coffee producer in the country.

You can visit several coffee farms that welcome travelers and offer more than just a cup of coffee. You can also enjoy ecotourism activities, such as hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and staying overnight at the farm.

You can follow the Coffee Route to explore the farms of Irlanda, Argovia, Hamburgo and La Chiripa, where you can learn about the history and culture of coffee production. You can also discover natural attractions like the San Francisco waterfall, which is a hidden gem in the jungle.

hacienda cafe chiapas
En la Ruta del Cafe de Chiapas

14. Tuxtla Gutierrez

Tuxtla Gutiérrez is the capital city of Chiapas and a lively place with an airport. It can be a great starting or ending point for your trip through Chiapas.

Some of the attractions that you can enjoy in Tuxtla Gutiérrez are:

  • Marimba Garden Park, where people gather from 7 pm to dance to the rhythm of the marimba, a musical instrument invented in Chiapas.
  • The Marimba Museum, located right in front of the park, which tells the history and evolution of this instrument.
  • The regional museum, which displays the history and culture of Chiapas from pre-Hispanic times to the present day.
  • The Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden
  • The Cathedral of San Marcos, which has a stunning façade that is illuminated by a show of lights, sounds and colors from Thursday to Sunday at 8 pm.

And if you want to taste the famous Chiapas coffee I recommend Café Avenida, an emblematic place on Avenida Central that has been serving delicious coffee since 1936!

15. Taste the gastronomy of Chiapas

Chiapas is a paradise for food lovers, as it offers a variety of typical dishes and drinks that reflect its rich and diverse culture.

Some of the dishes that you should try are: sopa de pan, a hearty soup with bread, egg and plantain; tamal chiapaneco, a corn dough filled with chicken, pork or cheese and wrapped in banana leaves; queso relleno, a cheese ball from Ocosingo, stuffed with pork and cooked in tomato sauce.

Another delicacy is tascalate, a refreshing drink made with roasted corn, cocoa, achiote and cinnamon.

Finally, there is pox, a traditional liquor made from corn, sugar cane and wheat, used in Mayan ceremonies for 2000 years.

It is quite strong (39% to 53%), so I suggest you start with a milder one that is infused with fruit. You can find them at La Posheria in San Cristobal de las Casas, a cozy place that offers different flavors of pox and other local products.

tamal chiapaneco
tamal chiapaneco

Tourist map of Chiapas

Here you have a map with the main tourist attractions of Chiapas!

Where to stay in Chiapas?

San Cristobal de las Casas

  • The Coffee Bean Hostel: A very cozy hostel with nice common areas, a restaurant and bar, a garden, terrace with hammocks, pool tables and several breakfast options, starting at 12 $usd in a shared dorm!
  • Parador Margarita: Only 3 blocks from the main square and the bus station, it is a small haven of peace with a garden and very comfortable beds. Wifi and breakfast are included, only 46 $usd per night!
  • Hotel Diego de Mazariegos: A magnificent 18th century mansion with a preserved Mexican colonial style, a charming interior courtyard with a fountain and classic decoration in warm tones. The hotel has two restaurants and a bar. Wifi and breakfast included, from only 73 $usd per night!
  • Casa Lum Hotel Boutique: My favorite hotel in San Cristobal de las Casas! It is a small and sophisticated hotel decorated between modernity and traditional design. Includes a great restaurant, a terrace with a panoramic view over the city and a garden. A few steps from the main square, it is the ideal place for lovers, from 164 $usd per night!

Comitan de Dominguez

  • Corazon del Café: A hotel very close to the Plaza de Armas, with modern and comfortable rooms, good wifi and restaurant. From 40 usd per night

Tuxtla Gutierrez

  • Hostal Tres Central: Is a cozy and colorful hostel, it has a terrace with hammocks and a view over the mountains. Shared dorms and private rooms, very clean and with wifi. It offers the best value for money in town for its category, from only 13 usd!
  • Hotel Madrid: If you are looking for a little more comfort, this hotel is very well located in the center of Tuxtla Gutierrez, a few steps from the Marimba Garden and the main square. King bed and breakfast included, from only 35 usd per night!
  • Marriott Tuxtla Gutierrez Hotel: A high-end hotel at very affordable prices with very comfortable beds, very good wifi, gym, pool, restaurant open also for dinner. With breakfast buffet, starting at 73 usd per night!

My tips for visiting Chiapas

If you want to explore Chiapas on your own, you should follow these tips:

1. Rent a car

Based on my personal experience, I would advise you to rent a car if you want to explore Chiapas on your own.

Public transportation in Chiapas is very challenging, as the distances are long and the options are limited. You may be able to take a colectivo (shared taxi) to your destination, but you may have trouble finding one to take you back!

Chiapas is not like the Yucatan Peninsula, where you can easily find buses or colectivos.

The good news is that there are many tours available from San Cristobal de las Casas, Tuxtla Gutierrez and Palenque that can take you to the most important places to see in Chiapas. However, if you want more freedom and flexibility, renting a car is the best option.

2. Plan your distances well

Chiapas is a large state with many attractions, but some of them are far apart.

For example, it can take you 4 to 6 hours to drive from San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque, or from Palenque to Bonampak and Yaxchilan.

It is important to plan your itinerary well and avoid driving too much in one day. 

3. Never drive at night

For safety reasons, it is advised not to drive or travel at night on the road in Mexico.

Chiapas is no exception, especially on Highway 199 (Palenque-San Cristóbal) and Highway 307 (Palenque-Bonampak, Yaxchilán). These roads are not well lit and may have potholes, animals or other hazards.

It is better to drive during the day and reach your destination before dark.

4. Have a map with you

With so many forests, jungles and isolated places, the GPS signal and network can be easily lost in Chiapas.

It is always a good idea to download maps to your phone, but if you are going to Chiapas on your own, it is best to have a paper map as well. You can buy one at any bookstore or tourist office in Chiapas.

5. Bring the right clothes

In Chiapas, you can experience different climates and temperatures in one day.

You can be cold in the morning and then sweat from the heat and humidity in the afternoon. That’s why it is very important to pack light and comfortable clothes, but also a warm sweater or jacket for the evenings.

And don’t forget a good repellent because mosquitoes are voracious!

How to get to Chiapas?

To get to Chiapas, you need to take a flight to Cancun or Mexico City first, as there are no direct international flights to Chiapas.

There are 3 airports in Chiapas: Tuxtla Gutierrez (the largest), Palenque and Tapachula.

From Mexico City:

  • Going from Mexico City to Tuxtla by bus takes 14h (TAPO or Central del Norte) or 1h30 by plane with Viva Aerobus, Interjet, Aeromexico.
  • Going from Mexico City to Palenque by bus takes 17h (TAPO or Central del Norte) or 1h10 by plane with Interjet. Palenque airport is 2 hours from the city.

From Cancun:

  • Going from Cancun to Tuxtla takes 18h30 by bus or 1h40 by plane with Viva Aerobus or Volaris. The other companies pass through Mexico City.
  • Going from Cancun to Palenque by bus takes 13h30. You can also go by plane but passing through Mexico City.

To find a cheap flight to Cancun or Mexico City, I recommend you to use our flight comparator in partnership with Skyscanner, it’s the guarantee to pay the best price!

How to get around Chiapas?

By car

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Chiapas and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use Cars, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Booking Cars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

By bus

ADO buses are very convenient for getting around Chiapas because they reach many destinations, the seats are comfortable and there are even some night buses.

It is best to buy your ticket in advance on their website as they are usually cheaper than at the station.

By colectivo

The colectivos are shared vans that make the same trips as the buses, but departures are more frequent.

And the great advantage (which is very practical) is that you can ask the driver to get off on the way (ex: El Chiflón, Misol-Ha, Agua Azul).

By plane

As I explained above, there is an airport in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Palenque and Tapachula.

But there are no flights between these destinations in Chiapas.

Is Chiapas dangerous?

Chiapas has a history of conflict with the Zapatista movement, but today Chiapas is safer than many other Mexican states.

You can walk the streets and visit the tourist attractions of Chiapas, but of course, always be careful as in any trip.

It is also important to avoid driving at night.

What is the best time to go to Chiapas?

The best season to go to Chiapas is the dry season (January to June) and avoid the rainy season (May to September), when you can admire the turquoise water!

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visit Chiapas Mexico
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I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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