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My historical travel adventure through Chiapas, Mexico

When I first heard that this year’s Adventure Travel World Summit was to be held in Chiapas, Mexico in the small, colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas, frankly I was a bit nervous. I, along with everyone else, had been inundated with graphic and violent images of tourists, seemingly innocent civilians and other not-so-innocent people being killed and wondered whether it was worth traveling to Mexico right now.

Well, my adventuresome spirit won the day and I’m so happy that it did! Chiapas, a state in Mexico that borders Guatemala offers quaintness, history and culture at every turn.

Typical Street in San Cristobal de las Casas Mexico

It is also home to one of the largest indigenous populations in the country with twelve federally recognized ethnicities.

San Cristobal de las Casas, located about 100 miles from the border, is the cultural capital of Chiapas with its beautiful cathedral, cobblestone streets, colorful clothing, amber museum, friendly people and seemingly energetic nightlife offering travelers a lovely, albeit basic vacation experience.

For me though, the highlight was our transport and visit to the 6th century Tonina archeological site, a Mayan ruin. The serpentine road ride (which in Mexican time was supposed to be 1 ½ hours, but in reality was 2 ½ hours) took us past breathtaking waterfalls and numerous small farming villages.
 
These same villages were involved in the 1994 Zapatista uprising, which succeeded in gaining land rights for the indigenous peoples from the few families that controlled the land throughout Chiapas.

At times, the scene was isolated and lush while at other times, it was mountainous and barren. However, after 2 ½ hours and with my constitution quite weak, we arrived in the area of Tonina only to find out that the one and only bridge had been washed out due to the intense rains of the last weeks.


View Mexico Trip


To our surprise, we found out that the local guides were waiting for us. In an instant, we were transferred to a flatbed 4X4 truck and transported across the river just in time to see Tonina at high noon.

Mayan Ruins in Chiapas MexicoTonina was impressive and although I was a bit worried about the potential for poisonous snake sightings, paramedics followed our group closely and the snakes seemed to stay away from our determined group that climbed to the top level (rising at 1700 feet).
At the top of the Mayan Ruin Chiapas Mexico

This was a land worshipped by the Mayans, conquered by the Spanish and rife with struggle, yet it still provided beauty and spirituality for all.

Throughout our stay in Chiapas, we felt safe, we felt inspired and we felt grateful to share the experience with each other.

 

1 Response
  1. jenny kets

    Cruising in Mexico is also a great way to see some of the wonderful sights. We can cruise along the Mexican Riviera, on the west coast of Mexico. There are a number of options on which ports to visit during a Mexico cruise, and the most popular include Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. When it comes to getting off the cruise ship and onto dry land there are some excellent excursions available with lots of options to choose from.

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