Sunday, May 5, 2013

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, the Most Magical of the Pueblos Magicos

After leaving Agua Azul, we started the 132 mile mountain drive to San Cristobal de las Casas.  Here's one more look at beautiful Agua Azul.
The water seemed even more blue in the morning light.
The drive out of town was gorgeous, and it was fun to see the kids out playing in the water as we drove over bridges.  Imagine what it would be like to be a kid growing up in all this natural beauty.
There is a large indigenous population in this area, and most of the women we saw along the road were wearing the local dress.
This woman was at a small shop along the road selling, among other things, gasoline, since you won't find any gas stations for quite a while in these parts.
The mountain road was two lanes, curvy, and full of green,
and the homes were mostly made of wood.
When we passed through the town of Ocosingo, the statue welcoming us displayed the native dress that we had been seeing along the road.
I breathed a sigh of relief at the Pemex station, where we could all finally get gas!  The other thing I noticed in Ocosingo was the first opportunity to buy amber, as we are now entering the land of the amber mines.  We visited one store there to take a look,
and then arrived just before sunset in San Cristobal de las Casas, where we spent two nights.

There is a unique mix of people in San Cristobal, combining indigenous people, Europeans from Italy, German and France, South Americans, "Average Joe" tourists, and hipsters clad in Guatemalan style clothes.  It was designated as a Pueblo Magico in 2002, and then proclaimed to be the most magic of all the Pueblos Magicos in 2010. 

The indigenous ladies walk the streets both wearing and selling beautiful textiles from Chiapas,
and for many, selling is a family affair.
These ladies are wearing skirts made of sheep's wool.
Here are a few more examples of the textiles from the area.
There are colorful houses,
and unique architectural details reminiscent of the type you see in San Miguel de Allende,
Because of the European influence here and the number of Italians settled in the area, I was delighted to be able to get an amazing pizza, something I've been craving!  We ate at the same restaurant both nights, first enjoying the veggie pizza,
and then the mushroom pizza.  Heavenly!
You will also find many "hippies" wandering the streets here, either passing through on the way to Guatemala,
or making San Cristobal their home.  Here are some of the locals observing gem stones we brought with us.
Since San Cristobal is situated in the mountains, the climate is quite a bit cooler and the weather was a surprise after being in hot, humid Palenque!  But the town is enchanting and totally unique is a must see if you are visiting Chiapas.  After spending Sunday and Monday night there, we left the town on Tuesday morning and began the challenging three hour mountain drive to Simojovel, the town of the amber mines, and it is here that I will leave the story.

We send you all our best wishes, and hope you all make the most of this glorious Sunday.

xoxo Linda

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