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Yucatán Peninsula > Chiapas
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Chiapas is a state in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico.

Chiapas is about as far south as you can get in Mexico. It borders Guatemala on the southeast, the Pacific on the southwest, and the states of Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Tabasco from west to northeast.


A typical roadside scene in Chiapas


Other destinations

The entrance to Cañón del Sumidero


Weekend Market in Oxchuc

Suggested reading

  • The Lawless Roads by Graham Greene. Graham Greene describes his journey to San Cristobal de las Casas through Chiapas and Tabasco in the 1930s. (ISBN 0140185801)
  • The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene. A whiskey priest, a corrupt church, and Chiapas all set in one of Greene's most powerful books. (ISBN 0140184996)


Most people will speak Spanish, but this is less common among the indigenous peoples, where Tsotsil and Tseltal are the most common languages. Very few who can speak English, almost always very badly.

Get in

It has a small international airport in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and is also connected by highways (some are toll roads, or cuota) with the surrounding states and Guatemala.

Get around

The easiest way to get around within cities is probably by private car, taxi, or colectivo. Colectivos are small vans or buses that are very cheap and follow specific routes. The main destinations on the route of each colectivo are listed on the right side of its windshield, though it is sometimes hard to tell if it is really going your way. Asking the driver usually works, but don't expect him or her to speak English.

Outside of cities, the best way to get around is by private car, bus (slow, with frequent stops), colectivo (a little more expensive than in the city), taxis, or pickups (camionetas). Taxis outside of cities charge very high rates if it is not their regular route, so make sure the driver knows you do not want a "viaje especial" (special trip). Sharing taxis is very common, and almost universal outside cities. The pickups that are for public transportation are usually identifiable. Try to get a seat in the cab, unless you enjoy being pressed against a large group of sweaty locals in the hot sun. Pickups are also fairly slow and make frequent stops, but they are faster than the bus.



Christmas Tree Falls in Cañón del Sumidero



  • Volunteer as a Human Rights Observer in the autonomous Zapatista communities contact Capise ( for short (5 days) activities or for longer volunteership contact Frayba [1].
  • Participate as a volunteer or group coordinator on sustainable projects in Maya communities. The NGO NATATE A.C. focuses on the following fields: alternative technologies, waste management, water(capture and filtering), Education, reforestation, construction. Opportunities are available for short and long term voluntary service.


  • Immerse yourself in the Maya culture and get to know traditions, languages and communities with La Casa en el Arbol. You may may learn Spanish as well as Maya languages such as Tostsil and Tseltal.


  • Mole Like happiness sauce.


  • Pozol. Chocolate/Maize drink from Chiapas.

Stay safe

Like any other city and remote location in the world has its problem, but be aware of your personal belongings all the time, and do not walk with jewelry and expensive objects in sight. Chiapas is usually in secure state, where the warmth of people will make you feel at home.

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This region travel guide to Chiapas is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!