I crossed the border and was good for another 180 days. I had heard so many good things about Mexico. Several people said that San Cristobal de Las Casas was a great little town with a large historic district and said it is a must see, if I liked Antigua and Granada, both of which I loved! So, I thought I would head there, then over to see the cenotes in the Yucatan peninsula, with several stops along the way.
The first city on the way to San Cristobal was Comitan, which was about half way from the border and had some ruins close by that looked very interesting. So, from the border, I took a collectivo (MXN$60 – $3.50) to Comitan. It was a couple of hours ride through some very beautiful countryside. There were a lot of ranches with green grass, cattle and rustic looking houses along the way.
I had booked the Hospedaje Corazon on Booking.com. The collectivo dropped me off at the gas station on the main road, just around the corner from the hostel. A single room was approximately $7.50. It was very cheap, but the place was really nice and clean.
I had a comfortable bed, thick blanket, and the shower and restroom were just outside my room. The staff were very helpful and friendly. Another nice thing, it was only about 10 minutes to central park, 5 minutes from the collectivo terminal to the ruins and a 3 blocks from the San Cristobal terminal. It was a perfect location!
That evening, I went down to central park to check out the scene. It was a really beautiful park, so well manicured and bustling with people, music playing in the background and food vendors everywhere. I especially liked the fresh corn vendors! 🙂
There was a taco stand just to the left of the main Cathedral that had delicious tacos. I had a few chicken tacos for around a dollar. I also went down towards the market, which had been transformed with hundreds of stands, vendors, etc. for a celebration they were having at Iglesia de San Caralampio.
It was a carnival atmosphere, but the stands wound through the small streets all the way from central park to the church. In front of the church they had loud music, fireworks, rides for the kids, games and several restaurants under tents.
Nice atmosphere with so many families and children having fun. The next day, I spent the entire day exploring the city. I saw beautiful churches, spent some time in central park, checked out the city market and in the evening, went back to enjoy the lights, food and fun of the festival.
Tenam Puente Archaeological Zone
In the morning, I got directions to the terminal and headed to the ruins. The collectivo route went directly to Zona Arqueológica de Tenam Puente, (wiki) which was the end of the line. I believe it took about half an hour and cost MXN$ 20 ($1.25). When I arrived, it was just past nine and the staff at reception had not arrived. There was a maintenance man there that pointed me in the right direction. I headed over to the security booth, dropped off my bag (bags not allowed for some reason?) and proceeded into the park.
The first couple of ruins were not that exciting, but according to the map at the front, there was much more to come. Instead of hiking up the steps up the front wall, I walked around the side, where there was a path leading through a grassy area. There were some interesting trees, flowers, and orchids living in the trees. All of the plants were very rough desert type plants, the whole area surrounding the ruins was dry and rocky.
The path went up the hill and around to more ruins. This time there were several pyramids buried in the trees. It was a beautiful site! As I walked further, the surroundings just got better and better. This really was an amazing site. (wiki)
On the far end, you could see for miles and miles. It was ever so peaceful, as well, since there weren’t any people around. I had passed one school group, but the place was large enough that I was able to avoid them the entire day.
I ended up spending a couple of hours there, got loads of photos and headed back to the reception area. The person in charge had arrived, so I paid my MXN$ 45 entrance fee. Luckily, the collectivo to Comitan had just pulled up, so I jumped in and away we went.
I arrived in Comitan at around noon, which was check-out time and had to decide whether to stay one more night or head straight to San Cristobal. I was so looking forward to getting to San Cris, so I decided on the latter, packed up my things and went down to the collectivo terminal.
It wasn’t far away, just a couple of blocks down the main road. There was a collectivo ready to depart. The cost was 60 pesos (+/-$3) to San Cristobal. We waited about 15 minutes and were on our way.
PS. One thing I did miss, that I found out about after I had already left Comitan is the Chiflon Waterfalls, which are only about a half hour from Comitan and are supposed to be absolutely beautiful. If you happen to be in the area, you should definitely check them out!