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From the looks of this thoroughly charming city you'd never know that Chiapas is one of Mexico's poorest regions or that it was the locus of the 1994 Zapatista rebellion. San Cristóbal is the perfect hub for exploring the region's towns, lakes and rivers, and archaeological sites; a smart choice would be to make this your home base for a week or longer. In addition to admiring the town's
colorful facades, budget some time to visit the market, peek into a few churches, and enjoy a cup of locally grown coffee in a shady courtyard. No itinerary is complete without a trip to the indigenous villages, such as San Juan Chamula, outside of San Cristóbal.The town's cool climate is a refreshing change from the sweltering heat of the lowlands. On chilly evenings wood smoke scents the air, curling lazily over the red-tile roofs of small, brightly painted stucco houses. The sense of the mystical here is intensified by the fog and low clouds.
Celebrated for its religious and cultural traditions, San Juan Chamula is one of the most fascinating highland villages. The Chamulas, a subgroup...