Mexico
Chiapas

Here you’ll find travel reports about Chiapas. Discover travel destinations in Mexico of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

54 travelers at this place:

  • Day1

    Day 1

    May 1 in Mexico

    ¡Qué onda güey! Ya estamos en México güey! Well we are and have been for a week now. But I've been a bad blogger (another lucrative career down the internet crapper) so I'll just zip back a bit in time if you'll permit me.

    It was three years since my last visit here but that was a very different trip and every place I'm visiting this time is different from that amazing motorcycle trip three years ago. However, apart from Holbox, I have at one time or another been to all places we're going to on this trip. Why go again? Because they're awesome, Gi has never been and my memory being what it is (shit) it'll all seem new to me anyway.

    Aeromexixo had decent prices to Mexico City so that was as good a place to start as any. And seeing as the plan that developed involved moving east and we (read I) had to finish the trip on chilled, beachy note, Yucatan seemed like the place to end the trip before flying back from Cancún. Isla Mujeres seemed like a great choice but I had been there a couple of times but strangely never the beautiful, chilled island of Holbox so that's where it'll all end in about a week.

    1) Ice cream in Chapultepec park, Mexico City
    2) Casa de los Azulejos, Mexico City
    3) Sanborns restaurant, Casa de los Azulejos, Mexico City
    4, 5) The National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City
    6) Gi tasting chapulines (crickets) for first time, bar in Coyoacán, Mexico City

    Hasta luego!
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  • Day9

    I'm pretty sure I've written about this before but damn the disorganization of Mexico can be trying. The Mexico City airport is the scene of the latest chapter. We arrived nice and early for our domestic flight to Oaxaca because, well you just never know at an airport, and especially in an airport in a large Latin American city. We had no bags to check, had our boarding passes on the appropriate app on my phone, nothing in our carry-on bags that might cause problems... so it should be a breeze, right? Well it was... almost. The electronic boarding passes worked - the first time (more on that later), bag check was fine, off we sauntered to gate #1, our gate. We're walking along the corridor and see a sign for gates 1 to something, don't remember exactly what, so follow that sign down the stairs. When we get to the bottom we realize that strangely we're in a baggage pickup for arrivals area. Ok no problem, we'll just turn around and get back on track. Not so fast says the security guard who is stationed right there seemingly just for this situation. He advises us that we have to exit the arrivals area and circle back to the departures area, check in again and go through security. Naturally I took this news with the usual equanimity I always greet totally fucked up shit like this.

    But this second time we're at a different check in area and, as is often the case with airline and security staff, the ridiculous inconsistencies are shown. The lady at the check in is confounded by our electronic check in app and has to call in her colleague who assures her it's valid. Then the security makes me take out my wee travel speaker and Gi her camera, none of which happened the first time. We make it with plenty of time to spare. And of course the flight is delayed. Ahhh the joys of traveling.
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  • Day316

    Adios México. Te Amo!

    March 28, 2017 in Mexico

    We came into Mexico a bit apprehensive and thought we would continue at a similar pace to the US, so we would be through and into Guatemala in 6 or 7 weeks, yet here we are nearly 4.5 months later!

    We loved the Baja California for its deserted beaches and dry dessert climate. I'll never forget my birthday where I spotted a large fin from my hammock strung across our palapa (palm shelter), and our friend Andre whisked us out in his small boat so I could chase whale sharks without a tour boat in sight.

    The journey across to the mainland was way better than we were led to believe, and immediately the hot and humid climate hit us. We spent more time on fantastic beaches, but also half our time up high in the mountains. We climbed volcanoes, soaked in hot pools, saw millions of mating butterflies, and swam in incredible lakes and rivers.

    We visited dozens of pre-hispanic archeological sites, some of which are so awe inspiring they barely seem possible. Teotihuacan and the structures smack in the middle of Mexico City were just amazing, huge cities with massive pyramids and tens of thousands of inhabitants. Monte Alban is one most people have never heard of but it's 360 degree vistas over 3 surrounding valleys made it a truly special place, and Palenque embedded deeply in the rainforest with a howler monkey soundtrack was just awesome.

    The climate has been incredible, with the only real day of rain coming in the rainforest. Down by the beaches it's stinkingly hot but generally with a nice breeze, and up high its hot in the day with a cool night.

    What makes the country so really special is the people. Even though most of them don't have much by our standards they are happy people and are so friendly & just genuinely want to help you out. As a foreigner you are not treated as a walking cash machine or as some sort of alien, and we've met so many amazing people, both locals and travelers alike.

    We've been surprised how much we love this country, and we're now planning on coming back this way before we head home, and maybe even keep the van somewhere so we can explore more in the future.
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  • Day185

    When the jungle takes over

    January 15, 2017 in Mexico

    Palenque is one of Mexico's most celebrated archiological sites, located amidst the jungles of Chiapas. 1400 temples and other stone ruins lie beneath the forest floor, with only a handful completely excevated and another 20 or so visible to visitors.

    We started with a jungle tour, where a local guide showed us some of the hidden temples beneath giant trees (pictures 4 and 5 are in temples below the forest), today home of thousands of bats (pic 4 has 4 in it) and snakes (luckily, no pictures here ;) ). We also swam in a small waterfall and swang from vines, you know, the things expected of foreigners in the jungle ;)

    Our little jungle trip was followed by a historic tour of the fully excevate temples and a royal Mayan palace. We learnt that the Mayans had flowing water systems, lots and lots of kings, who liked to be buried in fancy tombs with jewelry, jade stones and masks and to sacrifice people to the gods. But never rabbits, they were sacred and not to be killed.

    The most fascinating thing to me is the fact that the jungle has claimed back this place, overgrowing the old city with tens of meters of plants, dirt and giant trees. Makes me feel quite small and humbled, in a perfectly good way.
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  • Day306

    Clouds and Lakes

    March 18, 2017 in Mexico

    The road winding through the jungle along the Guatemalan border was really a strange one. Gone were the accustomary corners/topes and instead there was a long straight road. For most part the surface was excellent and you could fly along at over 60mph, until you suddenly hit some massive broken up section where you would drop a foot or bounce over the rough road worse than a bucking bronco.

    As we had over 4 hours drive to cover going slow wasn't much of an option and we hit a few things way too fast. Then when we were on the gravel road down to our camp spot we heard a loud clunk and Elvis had a new rattle. It didn't take me long to realise one of our brand new front shocks was hosed, and without the dampening effect it was a bit bouncy onward journey.

    Fortunately we didn't have far to go to get to Las Nubes. The name 'The Clouds' comes from the white spray kicked out of a pretty small but ferocious waterfall. We had a nice walk through the rainforest, including navigating the labyrinth of large rocks some of which you had to crawl under, and took in some amazing miradors (viewpoints). Maya absolutely loved it and was haring around like a dog possessed! We rounded it off with a cooling dip in the river, a safe distance away from the falls and the scary whirlpools that drained some of the pools.

    The next day we continued to limp along, and decided to spend the night at the beautiful National Park of the Lakes of Montebello. We camped right on the waters edge, but the weather was a bit iffy so we whiled away a lazy afternoon. In the morning it brightened up and we did a short hike to the 5 Lakes area. It was a gorgeous walk through the rainforest, punctuated with incredible views over the lakes from high up on the limestone cliffs. The calcium makes its way into the water and gives the lakes an sumptuous milky blue glow when the sun reflects off it.
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  • Day308

    Poorly Elvis :(

    March 20, 2017 in Mexico

    So Elvis has had a few problems recently - some small, some not so.

    We had a weird problem a few weeks back when we woke up to find our coach batteries run down to zero, and over the past week we've been seeing weird readings on our battery meter ranging from 14V (charging) to <11V (less than empty). We had just spent a week in the back of beyond and had nearly made it back to civilisation when the engine died. After a bit of messing around (we even had a helpful tractor driver try to jump start us but to no avail) I pulled the coach battery out of the back, which allowed us to limp 10km into Comitán, a decent sized town near the Guatemalan border.

    We spent the night in a Walmart car park and the next day was a bank holiday so we weren't holding out much hope but the first mechanic shop we came across just happened to be an alternator specialist. In 2 minutes he had it diagnosed and in under an hour it was fixed for 20 quid!

    We decided not to try and sort the broken front shock there and limped back to San Christobal, where we were going to be staying for a few days. The front shock is only a month old too, but the roads and topes (speed bumps) are pretty evil around here.

    The good news is the battery problem appears to have fixed the highly worrying propane alarm going off. I just need to fix a leaking indoor shower, wire in a proper volt meter so we can see what's going on in more detail, and patch up a bit of paint work that blistered in the rainforest heat/humidity...

    We're actually pretty lucky that this happened in Mexico, with a plethora of good and cheap mechanics and also we weren't hundreds of miles from a big town.

    Fingers crossed this is the last of Elvis's health problems, but I wouldn't lay any money on it.
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  • Day315

    Gut Feeling

    March 27, 2017 in Mexico

    I was laid out for a day with my stomach problems and then we had a couple more days finishing off the dental treatment, but we were lucky it was such a nice town to hang around, and a fantastic campsite where we met so many wonderful people.

    Eventually we got on the road and finally left San Cris, albeit with a sense of deja vu as we headed back towards Comitán (where we broke down a week previous). We did our final stock up at Walmart and cruised on to Lagos De Colón (I guess because the myriad of lakes and rivers looks a bit like your guts?).

    We drove past a lake crowded with people and shops, through a few shallow fords, and found a fantastic camp spot by a gorgeous, crystal clear gurgling brook. As we were sleeping in our car they only wanted one dollar for parking, rather than the 5 bucks if we had a tent?!

    In the morning we checked out the archeological site, which had renovated (rather than restored) structures resulting in some pretty unique droopy pyramids. There was something special about the site, and we decided if we were ancient Mayans this would be where we lived!

    It was only a small site so we were finished early, and we headed straight back to our previous camp spot where we whiled away the day alternating between the hammock and stream. It was so hot Maya even had her first self-initiated swim, and we felt like proud parents! This place was truly blissful.
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  • Day184

    More asphalt...

    January 14, 2017 in Mexico

    We spent the morning in Oaxaca, walking some more through the historic city center, the farmers market, and both got a haircut ;)

    The next 13 hours, we spent driving. German philosopher and author Precht is keeping us good company with an introduction into world philosophy and modern questions of society. The road was as windy as it gets for about 5 hours, crossing another mountain range in the jungle, and spat us out in small villages, with lots of agriculture around.

    At 12:30, we made it to our little jungle hut, a nice place to stay and chill in a hammock. Finally!
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  • Day292

    (If you don't recognise the Monty Python skit, shame on you!)

    After tearing ourselves away from the beach we spent a day restocking our dwindling supplies of food, water, beer & petrol. We then headed inland, crossing an incredibly windy estuary that logically was home to a huge windfarm and made for an interesting drive.

    We wound our way up to about 600m above sea-level & headed 3km down a dirt road to a community cooperative-run area of natural beauty, Cascadas El Aguacero. After over 750 steps down into the sandy bottom of the deep canyon we had a wonderful natural shower under the cool waterfall & lounged in the more bath-like (albeit a lukewarm one) river. The carpark gradually emptied & we spent a lovely quiet night with electricity from their incredible solar power set up with just the resident cat for company.

    Despite the temptation to descend back to the lush waterfalls we headed on another couple of hours to another eco-tourism place, Sima de las Cotorras (aka Sinkhole of the Parrots). I don't think I need to explain much more about this place, but we spent a lazy afternoon watching them sweep down x-wing stylee to their roosts on the cavernous walls to a raucous screeching from the existing inhabitants. We even got up at sunrise to see them spiralling out for the day too.

    We then cruised an hour or so down the road to El Cañón del Sumidero (Canyon of the Drain!), and took a couple of hours boat trip into the national park. It was a fun ride on a fast boat and we saw plenty of crocs sunning themselves on the banks. After such an early start it was only early afternoon so we decided to plow on to our next destination, the much anticipated San Cristóbal de las Casas, climbing from a few hundred metres up to over 2,000 in only 40 minutes (fortunately it was a decent road, albeit a toll one).
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  • Day297

    San Cristóbal De Las Casas

    March 9, 2017 in Mexico

    Although it's not Christmas we made straight for San Nicholas, a nice forestry area at the edge of town with great camping. We spent the first night partying around the pool table with a bunch of local lads and met a bunch of nice people some old friends and some new, including Josh, Chantelle and MK their dog (Maya's new bestie) who we would travel with for a while.

    As we are soon leaving Mexico we wanted to take advantage of the cheap but top quality dentistry and one quick check up visit soon led to the inevitable follow up cleaning, extracting and patching. I had an incredibly uncomfortable extraction of a rear molar, due to it having a twisted root (I declined the x-rays to my error!), and spent the next week munching painkillers.

    The rest of the time we spent exploring the labyrinth of markets selling an amazing array of artisanal products, and eating from a huge range of cuisine - highlights include an authentic Thai and Pibil Cochinita (slow cooked pork from the Yucatan area).

    We visited Cholula, the next town over, but there are no photos as there were strict rules about protecting the indigenous culture who live here & still wear traditional dress. The church was unlike any other I've been in, for example there was a disabled boy being blessed with a chicken, that was subsequently sacrificed on the candle and pine needles covered floor, whilst the rest of the family drank coke (to burp out bad spirits) and pox (pronounced posh). Quite an experience!

    On our final night in town the camp site got invaded with kids, and a dozen tents sprung up outside the van. Bizarrely enough their teacher had a pretty broad Barnsley accent and the kids where impressively clever & polite, so it was actually pretty cool to chat with them. We headed for slow Thai (it was worth the wait!) then drinks at Funky Burrito, whose owner rented an airstream on the camp site. We had a fun night hanging out with him and (repeatedly) sampling his own brew mezcal (little known sister of Tequila).
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Estado de Chiapas, Chiapas, CHP, تشياباس, Chiapase osariik, チアパス州, 치아파스 주, Чьяпас, Чяпас, 恰帕斯州

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