There are not too many interesting sights on the 2- day drive from Oaxaca to San Cristobal except several in the Valley itself.
We decided on a visit to the Zapotec ruins at Mitla. The buildings are covered with mosaic patterns of stones. There are several tombs that you can climb down into. Much of the rock and other building materials were pillaged to build the Cathedral also located at the site. The huge one -piece door lintels were mined in the mountain near here and somehow transported here intact.
On Day 2 we set out early to beat the heat, but it was already 28 c at 8 am. Mid morning we ran into a road blockade caused by protesting taxi drivers. Luckily Daniel found a way for us to weave thru some of the cars and then off the road thru a construction site to bypass the road -block. There was a massive back up and we could have been help up there most or all of the day.
The scenery here in Chiapis is spectacular. There are high mountain passes covered with green vines or cultivated with corn. The indigenous people here wear beautiful woven clothing.
San Cristobal de Las Casas is located in a region that is mostly made up of mountainous terrain, but the city itself sits in a small valley surrounded by hills. The city’s center maintains its Spanish colonial layout and much of its architecture, with red tile roofs, cobblestone streets and wrought iron balconies often with flowers. We enjoyed the several pedestrian only streets that criss-cross the downtown. There are a number of very nice bakery/cafes, restaurants, and bars to enjoy here. We had a hotel on the Zocolo so we were near all the action.
This is a very colorful city from the buildings to the signage. We walked up the long staircase to the Iglesia Guadaloupe and toured the main Cathedral as well. Having breakfast on our first morning here there was a 7.4 earthquake to shake things up a bit.
Exploring the mountain villages around the town we ended up in Zinacantan, which is know for it’s beautiful weaving and the interesting fusion Catholic/indigenous church located there. We met a local man, Alan, who is about to set of riding his bike to Ushuaia
Next we were off to visit San Juan Chamula, which is the site of the famous indigenous church with the pine needle floor. They believe that the camera can steel your soul and NO PHOTOS are allowed.
We set off up a mountain road to end up in the remote village of San Andes Larrainzar where there are stunning panoramic views.