San Cristobal de Las Casas
San Cristobal de Las Casas is one of the main touristic destinations in Mexico. It is called Pueblo Magico (Magic Town) but also "Hoyo Negro" (Black Hole). Why the Black Hole? Because its charm and unique atmosphere sucks the visitors in: many people plan to come here for few days only and decide to stay months, some stay forever. Read below, for information about things to do in San Cristobal and places that make San Cristobal a spiritual and cultural capital of Chiapas. It is also a perfect base for tours and excursions in Chiapas. Go to our VISIT CHIAPAS section for more info about best places in Chiapas.
If you are staying at Iguana Hostel, come to the reception and ask for tips on activities and places of your particular interest and we will be happy to share our knowledge.
A Magic town that will stay in your memories for ever!
MUSIC IN SAN CRISTOBAL
San Cristobal is without a doubt a town of musicians full of passion and life. Many start their music adventure here or establish and reunite with other musicians to create their own fuision-style music.
Here, we witnessed beginnings and bloom of a French band Zumbido, now travelling with their concerts in Europe.
San Cristobal is filled with bars and restaurants, where in the evening you can listen to a unique style of Son Jarocho, traditional music from Veracruz, to vibrant music from the Southern Italy, dance to Cuban salsa with live music or move to the reggae rhythms. There are no cover fees, just buy your pint or tequila!
Apart from the bars, you will see musicians playing on the main pedestrian streets. Our favourite places for live music, food and wine are: Revolucion Cafe Bar, Restaurante Cocoliche, El Paliacate Espacio Cultura, Bebop Club - just to mention a few.
YOGA, MEDITATION & HEALING IN SAN CRISTOBAL
San Cristobal is a paradise for those who are interested in yoga, spirituality and natural medicine. There are several places offering variety of yoga classes to cater to different needs. There are meditations, courses, workshops, massages, all kind of therapies, shops with natural and organic products and few organic market and the popular Tianguis at 16 de Septiembre #23 every Wedensday and Saturday. There is also a Buddhist Centre offering meditation, lectures and a possibility for finding your inner peace.
San Cristobal de Las Casas is also a great place to experience Temazcal ceremony as there are various options availalbe weekly. Please read below to find our more why Temazcal is such a powerfull healling tool. (or talk to Monika at Iguana Hostel)
CULTURE, ART & CINEMA IN SAN CRISTOBAL
San Cristobal is well known for its alternative vibe, with an important contribution of travelling artists from all over the world.
There are few CULTURAL CENTERS in San Cristobal with a weekly program of performances, music, events, just next to regular classes such as belly dance, air yoga or theatre workshops: Arteria, Wapani, Paliacate Espacio Cultural, Casa de La Ensenanza.
When talking about culture, we must mention ART AND INDEPENDENT CINEMA, which you will have chance to watch at Kinoki. Kinoki presents documentaries on Zapatistas, local problems and Mexican cinema every night. Recently we have opened a new space, IGUANA CINE BAR at Iguana Hostel (Calle Comitan 11, Barrio el Cerrillo) with screenings fo Art cinema, Mexican movies and documentaries. Check ICB facebook page for the programme.
Within recent years, San Cristobal has been filling with ART GALERIES: Arteria, Muy just to mention few. Don’t miss KIKIMUNDO, art gallery of Kiki Suarez in Calle Miguel Hidalgo #3. Serene Hotel offers Art Walking Tours.
The busiest time to visit San Cristobal, high season and high prices is for the Easter Holiday. This is when Feria de la Primavera y la Paz takes place – it’s a whole week filled with live concerts and events.
We really recommend you to talk to the reception, while staying at Iguana Hostel, and we will be happy to help you to find what you are looking for.
LEARN SPANISH IN SAN CRISTOBAL!
There is no better place to learn Spanish than San Cristobal. There are 3 main, well known schools with Spanish language classes and Mexcian culture: Insitituto Jovel, Casa en el Arbol, Tierras Mayas. All of them receive good reviews and have similar prices, so we cannot recommend you one. If you are planning to take some classes and stay longer therefore, send us an email to Iguana Hostel to arrange you stay at a discounted price.
Another reason to learn Spanish in San Cristobal is that people here - locals and foreigners - are very friendly and they will have a lot of patience and understanding for your effort in learning a new language. You will have plenty of opportunities in San Cristobal to practice your Spanish.
The temazcal (sweat lodge) is an ancient indigenous tradition of America. The structure consists of a small dome made of wooden poles covered with cloth. This creates a circular space inside that is perfectly sealed when the door is closed. It is dark and very hot inside!
Temazcal is usually done in groups, where you sit in a circle inside the structure and red-hot stones are brought and placed in the centre. The door is closed and water is poured over the stones, creating an intense cloud of steam, turning the space into a stifling hot oven that forces you to sweat and cleanse your body of toxins.
The ceremony includes chants, songs, playing instruments and prayers, while more hot stones and aromatic herbs are brought inside making the heat almost overwhelming. Therefore it is much more than sauna, it's all a spiritual experience!
If you are interested in participating in a temazcal ceremony, talk to us at Iguana Hostel Reception (ask for Monika), and will contact you with one.