Of all the places big and small we’ve ventured to in Mexico, I think San Cristóbal de las Casas (SC for short), is my favorite. It was safe and charming and the large indigenous population alongside a surprising number of expats lent it a quirky atmosphere. Situated at 7,200 feet above sea level in the mountainous Central Highlands in Chiapas, it was cool and dry, and even a little rainy, which was a welcomed change of pace (except that we arrived on a Sunday morning and I only had shorts left to wear for the next two days until I could get my laundry done).
We spent a leisurely four days wandering around the city, indulging a little too much in café and good eats, checking out the various churches, and making a daily pilgrimage to the most amazing fruits and vegetables market I’ve ever seen.
Like most places in Mexico we’ve been to, street vendors were aplenty. Not pictured here, indigenous women wearing exquisite and ornate hand woven clothing walked around the city in droves, constantly imploring people to buy their bracelets and blouses. Their work was masterful and beautiful, but not cheap!
Can’t resist an old VW bug and cobblestone streets, both things that SC had in abundance.
Ben and I hiked up many steps to a church we saw sitting high over the city. It was basically empty up there aside from two other tourists, a handful of locals, a sketchy dog, and a random sheep.
We saw these prayer flags all over the place in Mexico.
View from the church of San Cristobal and the surrounding mountains. Seeing the peaks and valleys and huffing from the altitude made me miss home a bit.
Some backpacks crafted by indigenous people along just one of the many pretty streets.
Ben at the entrance to our hostel, with the ever-important five gallon jug of water. This hostel had a pretty courtyard and the comfiest beds ever- the sheets and pillow cases were all made from a thick, cozy brown fleece.
Where we rested our weary feet in the hostel.
I’ve noticed a lot of political and philosophical graffiti in Mexico. The words scrawled on the sides of buildings and walls usually mean something potent, ironic, or thought provoking, which I appreciate. “El hombre le teme a lo que desconoce” translates to, “Man fears that which he does not know”.
Ben matching the pretty blue church, la Iglesia de Santa Lucía.
Inside the blue and white church.
San Cristóbal had a ton of adorable cafés and coffee shops to choose from including this one here.
A Bialetti Moka and a Chemex because hey we were super under budget and it was raining.
Tied for the best chilaquiles.
We found an incredible market with amazingly clean and quality fruits and veggies at shockingly low prices. I think we bought a bunch of kale for 25 cents. Some things were more expensive, like red onions and garlic, but still not bad. We could have spent hours roaming around this market because it was massive and labyrinthine.
Rambutan fruits by the cart load (see below). They are yummy cousins of lychees with really funny hairy red shells.
Ben furtively snapped this photo of some indigenous people casually carrying live chickens by tying their feet together and then draping them over their arms. They were for sale, but we didn’t ask how much.
Finally, I had to throw in another VW bug because who ever saw such a silly license plate?!