A Month in Chiapas

Aug 4th, 2019, 03:15 PM
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A Month in Chiapas

Well, I've finally gotten the first chapter up, one of maybe 9 or 10 that will appear on consecutive Saturdays. Mostly about San Cristobal de las Casas but some about Chamula on Day of the Dead and the last on Chiapa de Corzo where I went the last night to avert possible mishap getting to the airport for my flights home.

https://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/a-month-in-chiapas




Templo y Ex Convento Santo Domingo
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 4th, 2019, 03:41 PM
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oh gawd, I love Chiapas
europefun is offline  
Aug 5th, 2019, 09:11 AM
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Nice mmeperdu!

I missed San Cristobal de las Casas this past trip into Chiapas. I considered going but decided on Tuxtla to see the Cañón del Sumidero instead (with Chiapa de Corzo as a bonus) and because Tuxtla seemed to have more regular bus service for ongoing travel to Guatemala. I wonder how San Cristóbal compares to places in the region like Antigua Guatemala in terms of what it offers.

I hope you saw the Cañón too while there.

Best wishes, Daniel

Daniel_Williams is online now  
Aug 5th, 2019, 09:48 AM
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Hi Daniel. No, didn't get to the cañón but saw the boats along the riverfront in Chiapa de Corzo. To be honest, towns appeal to me more than natural wonders & who knows why we like what we like, though if I go back it could certainly make the cut, especially if I come down the mountain again prior to my flight. I'll be interested in your take on how you perceive San Cristóbal compares to Antigua Guatemala, or other places, from my posts as the weeks go by.

Though I've seen lukewarm comments here about San Cristóbal, I found it sort of perfect. Cool weather year-round, restaurants & accommodations for every budget, beautiful architecture though not grand in the way many of the colonial cities are grand. But I prefer it, and the size of the town, not too big & not too small. I also loved the independence of the indigenous people, seemingly more than what I as a stranger observed in Oaxaca. I was impressed by that.
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 5th, 2019, 06:33 PM
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Nice report. I echo some of your thoughts on 'San Cris', even though it's been quite a while since we've been there. But it was during (or because of?) that trip that we decided to move to Mexico full time. I can't recall exactly the year, but we flew from MEX to TGZ for $17 US each one-way on Mexicana. No wonder they went bankrupt.
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Aug 5th, 2019, 07:33 PM
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It's crossed my mind more than once in the last year or so to move to Mexico, though at this point I'm not sure I have to energy to completely uproot. But if I can convince my son to take my house it would be a way. I'll be part-way there soon as my granddaughters appear to be coming here for school beginning next week & maybe their father will follow. Fingers crossed. I'm betting I have a few good years left but no time to lose.

Glad you like the report. I like doing them and they'll dribble out over the next couple of months. Not as if we're drowning in material on this forum so happy to contribute.
MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 6th, 2019, 04:43 PM
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" I have a few good years left but no time to lose"
LOL, when we made the move, my wife's BFF said, hey why not, you've got another good 10 years! That was 9 years ago!
Anyway, no matter if we die here or move back NOB it's been a fun ride. I'd recommend it to anyone.
Look forward to your next installments.
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Aug 7th, 2019, 12:42 AM
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"Though I've seen lukewarm comments here about San Cristóbal" I may well have been guilty of that mmePerdu! As I recall, we did try to meet up there, but the dates didn’t work out. If we had, you may have been able to introduce me to its charms and I may have come away with a different impression.

I enjoyed our time there but just found it to be a little too full of gringo tourists compared with other places we visited in Mexico.

Looking forward to reading of your experiences. Overall we loved Mexico and hope to return and maybe combine with Central America, in which case we may well revisit SC.
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Aug 7th, 2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by baldone View Post
" I have a few good years left but no time to lose"
LOL, when we made the move, my wife's BFF said, hey why not, you've got another good 10 years! That was 9 years ago!
Age is relative, right? The same friend might add another 10 years now, being 9 years older themselves. I want to give my granddaughters an example of an adventurous life, as mine did for me, the best thing I think we can leave them. I don't think my son has ever quite understood but the girls are 13 & one is very much getting it, the one that's most like me already.

Crellston, I'd forgotten our exchange. And I should qualify my "sort of perfect" assessment. Perfect is another of those hugely subjective adjectives. I like having a few English-speaking tourists around as it means more locals may be likely to speak English, though I get along ok without a language in common, have done always except once in China in the boonies. But with a certain number of tourists the infrastructure for us improves, gives us more choice & basic comforts that otherwise a town would have no use for. And I found there were far more Mexican tourists than English-speakers which makes for a nice balance. I was happy to have an English bookshop and a restaurant owned by an English woman with whom to chat. It occurs to me that someone on their own may have somewhat different priorities than 2 traveling together. And, of course, if my Spanish was more than rudimentary it would make a difference.

MmePerdu is online now  
Aug 10th, 2019, 11:05 AM
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Next installment, called Walkabout, San Cristóbal, is just that, a get-acquainted mini-tour around centro, the historic heart of the town. Truth be told, walking around is what I spend an inordinate amount of time doing when I travel, anywhere, & probably among the reasons I enjoy staying in 1 place so long. For some unknown reason I prefer hilly places so, for instance, when someone once described Mérida to me as "flat as a pancake" it was a great disappointment. Anyway, here's the link to just walking around in hilly San Cristóbal: https://www.travelgumbo.com/blog/wal...san-cristo-bal


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Aug 11th, 2019, 06:23 AM
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Mmeperdu—San Cristóbal from your pictures reminds me a fair amount of Antigua (maybe hillier? the central part of Antigua is pretty flat although certainly surrounded by hills/volcanoes). It would be interesting to hear from someone who’s been to both.

That’s interesting what you write about preferring hilly places and having less of an interest in natural wonders. My travelling companion last year prefers places where the streets are not on a grid.

I’m definitely different in this regard. My travel goal is to educate myself, and this can be history/culture as seen through the eyes of villages/towns/cities/ruins but it can also be about geology/flora/fauna for natural wonders. And sometimes both categories can leave me in awe. For current manmade offerings, I’ve appreciated places more based on their vibe than anything. For example, I enjoyed Tampico and Veracruz and they were definitely flat, but offered attractive water views in places and had a fun energy.

It’s interesting how people’s interests can converge and diverge but I’m glad our appreciation of Mexico is something we definitely share .

Daniel_Williams is online now  
Aug 11th, 2019, 02:48 PM
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Having been to both Antigua & San Cris, I think visually Antigua was more compelling. I think the setting with volcanoes as a backdrop and the ruins in the city tipped the scales for me. Not that I didn't like San Cris; far from it, it's a beautiful city too.
And I think Veracruz is my favorite city in Mexico, for the vibe like you observed.
​​​​

Last edited by baldone; Aug 11th, 2019 at 02:52 PM.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 12:52 PM
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A comparison of several points, San Cristobal vs Antigua, Guatemala:

Population: San Cris - 185,000. Antigua - 45,000.
Av price of 3* hotel: SC - $39. Antigua - $71.
Elevation: SC - 7200'. Antigua - 5,000'.
Climate averages: SC - high 63/73F, low 43/52F. Antigua - high 72/78F, low 53/60F.
Antigua is about 15 minutes closer to the local airport.

My take (esthetics aside altho they seem about comparable in photos unless a volcano & local ruins puts Antigua ahead), SC's larger population may mean more conveniences for a long-term stay. It appears SC also has generally cheaper accommodations. SC is higher which presumably accounts for Antigua's slightly warmer climate, warmer is a good thing. All in all, the benefits of a larger population without being a big city puts SC slightly ahead for me for a long-term stay.

I'm thinking about it all because it's time to start considering places for my winter trip. I thought I'd decided on Penang but now having 2nd & 3rd thoughts. I'm surprising myself with Mexico City also creeping into the mix.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 01:17 PM
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It was interesting to read both your comparisons, mmeperdu and baldone. The temperature difference I wasn't aware of, for one! I remember needing a sweater at night in Antigua. Also, I'm not sure I'd read too much into availability of conveniences for a long term stay by comparing the actual populations of Antigua and San Cris. Firstly, Antigua is listed in guidebooks as the *must-see* of Guatemala; I suspect for this reason, Antigua has a large foreign tourist presence that won't be reflected in those numbers (in fact foreign tourists were visibly more than anywhere else I've been in Mexico or Central America--as a caveat I should add that I've not been to some biggies like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta) and secondly Antigua's proximity to the largest city in Central America (Guatemala City) brings a considerable stream of capitalinos to dine, party, etc... into Antigua that also won't be reflected. Antigua reminds me of Key West (pop ca. 25,000) in that way...the low population does not reflect how busy it is!
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Aug 14th, 2019, 01:51 PM
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>>>I'm surprising myself with Mexico City also creeping into the mix.<<<

My wife and I have decided to stay a few months in Mexico City when we're able to get away for an extended period, which will be in a couple of years. The neighborhood I've focussed on is La Condesa.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 03:27 PM
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Daniel, your description of the stream of visitors to Antigua would also send me in the direction of San Cristobal. Yes, I saw tourists but far from a "stream" & while I have no illusions that it's much off the beaten path, fewer does suit me better. Fewer visitors would also explain lower accommodation costs. The "conveniences" I mention are more those that make living there comfortable, rather than catering to visitors. I was there in October and realize it could be a slower season for tourists.

Fra_Diavolo, La Condesa is a neighborhood I see mentioned regularly. More research is definitely in order but I don't recall anyone saying they hated Mexico City, au contraire. But being a lover of smaller places in general, I'll be working up to it. Maybe the thing to do, since my flights so far have all gone through MEX, is to stop for a week or 2, stick my toe in the big water.
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Aug 14th, 2019, 05:26 PM
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>>>Maybe the thing to do, since my flights so far have all gone through MEX, is to stop for a week or 2, stick my toe in the big water.<<<

Absolutely! Don't hesitate.
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Aug 15th, 2019, 06:38 AM
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Thank you for your report. I'm always interested in anything that isn't Puerto Vallarta. Cooler is better!
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Aug 15th, 2019, 08:07 AM
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Mlgb, my pleasure. Lots more to come, I'll post new links every Saturday.
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Aug 16th, 2019, 05:00 PM
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I think anyone that enjoys Mexico really needs to experience Mexico City. Condesa is a cool area. So is nearby Roma. Roma probably offers more bars, cafés & restaurants. But they're adjacent colonias, so it's easy to stay in one and visit the other. Even walking, although it's a long walk (from one to the other) than you might think by looking at a map.*
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