Balmy, booming, bustling Tuxtla Gutiérrez, population 600,000 and the state’s only true metropolis, will be a place you pass through on your way to San Cristóbal de las Casas to the east. Chiapas's only airport of any size is here, as well as a large bus terminal. But an innovative zoo and the nearby Cañón del Sumidero might keep you here for a day. You could be here if your transportation schedules in and out of Chiapas don’t mesh exactly either.
Tuxtla's mouthful of a name derives from the Nahuatl word tochtlan, meaning "abundance of rabbits." Its second name honors Joaquín Miguel Gutiérrez, who fought for the state's independence from Spain and incorporation into the newly independent country of Mexico. The town became the state capital in 1892, taking the honor away from San Cristóbal.
To get your bearings, stay on Avenida Central, which becomes Boulevard Belisario Domínguez as it heads west.