Palenque, the Agua Azul Waterfalls, the Montebello Lagoon, the Sumidero Canyon and the Lacandona Jungle are all examples of the unique Mexican beauty found in Chiapas. Though the state is an important part of the diverse and varied Mexican identity, it did not officially become part of the republic until 1824.
Multi-cultural Chiapas is home to 12 of the 62 indigenous groups officially recognized by the Mexican government. This means that it is a state that boasts a strong concentration of indigenous traditions that coexist harmoniously with old Spanish ways introduced by the Conquistadors and contemporary Mexican customs, as well as with ideas of its many visitors and foreign residents.
The different indigenous groups that call Chiapas home include the Tseltal, Tsotsil, Ch’ol, Tojol-ab’al, Zoque, Chuj, Kanjobal, Mam, Jacalteco, Mochó, Cakchiquel and Lacandona, also known as Maya Caribe. These different groups are not insular or closed off from the rest of society and it is quite common to see a wide variety of faces, colors, clothing and looks throughout the streets of Chiapas. It is also possible to learn more about their distinct histories and the state of Chiapas in general in some of the local museums that explore everything from ancient paleography to science and technology.
As far as traditions go, Chiapas boasts festivals that combine indigenous beliefs with the avant garde culture typical of contemporary Mexico. It is a state in which the past is seen, felt, lived and tested out in a cosmopolitan environment noted for its magnificent structures and breathtaking ecosystems.
The local ambience is one of the reasons why the Fiesta Grande of Chiapa de Corzo, one of the state’s main celebrations, was noted as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage tradition.
San Cristóbal de las Casas is part of the Pueblos Mágicos (“Magical Towns”) program in the region, imbuing its inhabitants with a wealth of natural treasures, including rivers, seas, canyons, jungles, mountains, flora and fauna.
All of these natural attributes means that, undoubtedly, Chiapas is an ideal place for hiking, rappelling, zip-lining, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, camping, boating excursions, rock climbing and other outdoor activities.