Tuesday, November 22, 2016

CHIAPAS, MAYAN JUNGLE























































Photos by: Facehunter & Coe+Due

Last week we embarked on a journey with our dear friend Yvan Rodic, to discover the southernmost state of Mexico: Chiapas.

 Known for its majestic lush jungle greens, impressive sceneries, and pre-mayan and mayan cultures, we were all very excited to explore this magical ancient land.
We stayed at the colonial and colorful town of San Cristobal de las Casas, which is a charming little town 1hr away from the capital Tuxtla Gutierrez, and from there you can take the tours to the many different attractions.

We arrived late to Chiapas, at around 9:30pm, so the first night we just had a nice dinner and a few drinks around El Andador.  If you walk around Real de Guadalupe street you will find plenty of restaurants, bars and salsa dancing venues. There is not much of a party scene in San Cristobal but there are still a lot of places where you can have a great chill bohemian night with friends.There's also many great hotels to stay in with a "hacienda style" vibe, but we would have to say that our favorite hotels were Hotel Bo and Casa Lum- if you decide to stay elsewhere, don't forget to pay a visit to the restaurants in both of these hotels for a wonderful dining experience.

One thing we learned from our time in Chiapas, and that you should keep in mind, is that you must always check the weather! It rains a lot and you have to be ready for unexpected delays. As we headed to el Cañon del Sumidero on our third day, we realized that not only was it going to rain but the fog was completely taking over the road and our view. As we drove up to the view point, the fog had completely covered the Canyon, making it almost invisible-though it also gave it this mystical /cool appeal that we loved!
We waited for it to clear a bit, and it did for 15 min so we did manage to snap a few pictures. Once we left the view point and headed to the town where you take the boat-ride, the fog had cleared completely and we got to appreciate the majestic scenery from a different perspective. The ride takes about 2 hours and the boat goes very fast, except for a few stops where you are allowed to photograph the landscape.

For our next tour we booked a taxi to visit the Blue Water Waterfalls and Palenque ruins. We woke up at 5 am because we wanted to beat the crowds and be able to take clear shots. What we didn't expect was that there was going to be a huge protest in the middle of the road. A trailer truck was blocking it and no one could pass through. Our taxi driver suggested we walk past the truck to the other side and once there, we could take another taxi to the waterfalls.

We were successful at crossing past the truck and getting to the waterfalls, which were completely isolated from tourists due to the blockage (yay!). What we didn't get to do was go to Palenque because of the delays with the protest, so our taxi driver took us to another waterfall that was on the way back and was less visited by tourists. Even though we were a bit sad not to see Palenque, we did get to see something very special and secluded.

A very unique experience was visiting the autonomous town of San Juan Chamula, which is known for having one of the most populated Tzotzil communities, and the best and most colorful fabrics/clothes that you can purchase all over town. A must is going inside their beautiful church, but be mindful as to not take any pictures inside! It is prohibited. Its important to show respect when going there, since it is a very special place where people still stay true to their Mayan traditions and rituals and you can get to experience something very extraordinary. We also visited the town of Zinacatan, a neighbouring town that is completely different from San Juan Chamula in terms of customs, social interactions and attire. While we were there we had the pleasure of sitting down with the locals to have some food (corn tortillas with cheese and pumpkin seeds) and try their local drink "Pox" (a traditional mayan drink that is flavored aguardiente ) the legend says that drinking pox has the ability to cure diseases of the body and soul. Able to even heal a broken heart. 


We finished every day with an amazing cultural experience, and then celebrated by trying different restaurants for dinner. Our top choice was Lum, where we had delicious gourmet mexican food that had us wanting more.


Our last days we spent in San Cristobal de las Casas exploring the colorful town and visiting their beautiful churches. We also had the opportunity to hear the music from the Cervantino festival and witness several cultural events going on around town. The town is extremely happening on the weekends and just strolling around you will stumble upon many things to see and do.


On our very last day we visited a Zapatista (EZLN) town called Oventic. When we arrived, men came to the entrance to take our names and to ask us a few questions about ourselves and why we wanted to visit their autonomous town. After explaining we just wanted to see the town and take some photos if possible, they came back after 40min saying we could come in and take photographs of the town, but not of the people. 

A masked man then gave us a small tour of the place. The town itself is small and the people are friendly; it has one school, a hospital and several small houses along with some shops selling their art and clothing. The walls of every building are covered with colorful revolutionary murals and symbolic figures such as Emiliano Zapata. Although this isn't a tourist attraction, it is open for people who wish to visit and are curious about the community- but you should always be prudent and respectful of their ideology and history. 

Book your trip to Chiapas: 

for flights: click here 

for hotels:  click here


What to wear in Chiapas: 





8 comments:

  1. These travel diary photos look amazing! Your blog has so many travel photos and it just gives me the wanderlust.

    xoxo
    www.atsunamatsui.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. OMG the colors and the place and the culture, beautiful photos you two!!!!
    http://sepatuholig.blogspot.com
    Instagram @grace_njio

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm dying to visit Mexico and seeing all this beautiful and colorful photos I want to go there even more.
    Great post
    xx
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_zn7IqrAY1I44bRuN6dH-Q
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing photos !

    http://www.fruityandpassion.com/2016/12/winter-calling.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. You literally just killed me with your pictures ;( greetings from a very cold Berlin <3

    Carmelatte

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your pictures are beautiful! Would love to go there soon!

    http://jamieonthings.com/

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love your looks! Great blog

    xxAmanda
    http://poiseinwings.com/

    ReplyDelete
  8. loving these travel photos! I love how you captured the colorful city!

    www.prettyinleather.net

    ReplyDelete

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