El más mágico de los pueblos mágicos de Mexico!
Lately I had the chance to live one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. I spent 3 months living in the Mexican mountains in San Cristòbal de las casas, in the state of Chiapas. This place has a special charm, the Mexican culture is very strong, the weather is almost perfect and the people are very welcoming. Considered by many to be the cultural capital of Chiapas and also the most magical of all the pueblos magicos in Mexico. San Cristòbal is located at 2120 meters from the sea level in the middle of several mountains what explains its fresh climate, the temperature normally varies between 10 to 25 degrees Celsius. You should enjoy the mornings cause they are generally sunny and beautiful, then somewhere in the afternoon it starts to rain almost every day, which makes it cooler in the evening.
Every day there are women walking in the streets to sale us shawls, mostly made of wool to keep us warm. They also sale many other things like belt, bracelet, etc and all are handmade. That’s the way those ladies make a living. There is a lot of people selling all kinds of things in the street and others who just ask for money. Among them there are a lot of children. I asked the locals what the kids are doing in the streets? Why are they walking alone like this? They replied that in the villages around, people don’t have contraception, so they have a lot of children but have nothing to feed them so they send them very young to the streets to bring back money to be able to eat. In my eyes, they are so young, so beautiful and so innocent that it’s difficult for me to conceive that this is their reality.
When you travel, you learn that the world is not the same everywhere and in many places, life can be very different from what you have known. You just have to open your mind and learn as much as possible about others ways of living. Some people have been luckier than others in life, if you found yourself in the luckiest category is important to help those who have less chance.
San Cristobal is interesting in many ways, first of all the atmosphere of a small city where we recognize the face of peoples have an indescribable charm. There are pedestrian street, called andador, there is where all the action happen, the little shops, a lot of restaurants, people playing music and much more. Music is very present, there are a lot of artists who perform in the street, they create a magical atmosphere. Most of them are locals or people who live there for a while, they live their life in simplicity. There the cost of life is very low so they can live well. When you want to do your grocery you don’t go in the super market you go in los mercado (food and artisan markets). You can visit my blog titled Los Mercado de San Cristobal de las casas to learn more about it (it’s worth a look cause that is a big piece of the magic of San Cristòbal). It’s a really interesting place where you find everything you want at very low cost. The way this city was built everything seems close, the streets are very narrow and the doors of the buildings are almost in the streets, but if we look closely we discover beautiful interior’s gardens and sometimes even mini cities that look like nothing from(the) outside but when the doors opens you can see a lots of houses, a courtyard and much more. The city is also very colourful like almost everywhere in Mexico which gives it even more charms.
Something I found interesting is that every where you see things hand made, the people still work in an artisanal way. For me is actually amazing to see that cause in Canada there is almost nobody who work with their hands. Almost every clothes the locals made is with embroidery, even now with the covid 19 they have made mask with embroidery colourful. That is their signature. I have talk with a lady who do that and she told me that sometimes 1 piece can take months to do, I was really impressed. The people who live around are so pure, they still have patience, old methods for work, for take care of themselves and they live in a way that we have forget in the modern world. That have remind me to enjoy more and take it easy. Life is good, is not a race. We should appreciate what we have and take the time to live it at 100%.
No matter where I am I see beauty in this world, my eyes are simply attracted by and there everywhere I look was pure beauty, not the artificial beauty we see in the magazines but the one you see when you look an old lady with lots of wrinkles, you can see in her face how much she have live. Also by seeing joy in the eyes of the children when you accept to share with them the empanadas that have cost you 20 pesos, all that is priceless for me. There is a lot of that kind of magic everywhere that’s one of the reason I love it that much.
San Cristobal de las casas has nothing to do with where I come from, the landscape of this city is amazing it was great to live there. Where I lived we had one of the best views in town, I took a picture of it so you can see it too. On a sunny day and also when it was cloudy, both are worth it. I was very lucky because there I could go have my coffee in the morning and even go there in the evening to think about my day looking at this view.
In that magic town, there are churches in almost every corner. San Cristobalito was my favourite, this little withe and red church is located in the top of a montane almost in the middle of the city. For get there you have to climb a long stairs, which each step give an incredible view of San Cristobal. There are benches all the way up, it’s surprise me cause in my eyes they was not looking in the right side cause if you sit on you look the church and not the view. After thinking about it I realize that those benches was for pray, not for sit. At this moment all have make sense in my head, if you kneel you can pray front of the city, everything had been think in a way to experiment a moment of glory going in that church.
There is an other big yellow church located down town, who catch the attention, It’s name is La cathedral and is the symbol of San Cristòbal. Front of it you can find shows, people selling clothes, hats, toys for the kids and mostly street foods. Every kind of Mexican streets food are there, tamales, tacos, empanadas, chalupas, arroz con leche, pozole and more. Those people are there until late in the night so when every restaurants are close, you are still avail to find foods and really cheap. The food in San Cristòbal is really authentic and sometimes impressive like the traditional sopa de piedra (rock soupe), for put it simple is a seafood soupe with a volcanic rock inside that give a special taste it’s not something you find everywhere. I had the chance to pass el día de los muertos (the day of the dead) there and i discovered than almost every restaurants sell el pan del muerto, is a type of traditional sweet bread than they made only in this time of the year and is actually good. If you have the opportunity try the chocolate artisanal made in Chiapas is also very cool, you can found that almost everywhere and this is a kind of chocolate more natural that we use to eat and more bitter but really interesting. The bananas are also impressive, there is so many types there. I never saw a red banana before and you ? Is actually so many kind that we don’t find everywhere. I tried so many things here and everything I discovered was magical.
I am so grateful to have the opportunity to experiment the San Cristòbal lifestyle and discover the Mexican culture to its maximum. For sure is a place I wish to come back in the future, I have been seduced by the cosy ambiance of this beautiful town. If you pass by you will also be seduce, am sure of it !
Here am gonna give you some of my favorites places in San Cristòbal.
- Sarajevo cafe jardin the cutes cafe I have been, there I go for write, read and enjoy myself with good food, cafe and juices.
- La Plaza San Agustín, is a place where you found a lot of nice restaurants and cafe. It’s like an inside garden with terrace. Really nice.
- El Tacoleto, the best taco in town!
- La Trattoria Italiana, really welcoming place with grate food and great location!
- Las Jícaras del Huanacaxtle, 100% locals food, there you can find la traditional supa de piedra.
- Kukulpan, located in the side of la Trattoria Italiana, is a really nice spot for go take a coffee in the morning. The terrace really nice.
So if you like culture, music, colours San Cristòbal de las casa is a place to put in your bucket list. You will not be disappoint for sure, thousand surprises waiting you there and still more around.
If you want to know a little more about this amazing place clic here we have made a video for you guys!
Thank you to have pass by here, I hope you enjoyed it. See you soon in a new adventure!