Tapachula de Córdova y Ordóñez or simply Tapachula is a city of 197,000 people in Chiapas.
1 Tapachula International Airport (TAP IATA) (along Fed Hwy 225 (La Carretera Puerto Madero-Chiapas) at the Ciudad Hidalgo exit, 19 km (12 mi) south of Tapachula.). The following airlines offer year-round service:
Nearest airport to Tapachula, Puerto Chiapas and the Guatemalan frontier towns of Cd Hidalgo/Cd Tecun Uman; and Talisman/El Carmen. It is also another transit point for onward travel to Guatemala from Mexico as it may be less expensive to fly to Tapachula from Mexico City (or elsewhere in Mexico) and continue by bus or shuttle to Guatemala then flying into Guatemala City from Mexico or the U.S.
There are plenty of buses going to Huixtla, Tuxtla Gutierrez, San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico City, Oaxaca, among others. Also, Tapachula is a good connection point between Guatemala and Mexico with plenty of buses going to Guatemala City. Unlike other Mexican cities, bus companies in Chiapas have their own separate bus stations with the following:
- 2 Autobuses Expreso Azul (AEXA), 16a Ave Nte #13, Los Naranjos, Centro (SE corner of intersection of 16a Av Nte & 3a Calle Pte west of town.), ☏ .
- 3 FYPSA, 3a Ave Nte #88, Los Naranjos, Centro (Along 3a Ave between 15a y 13a Calle Nte), ☏ .
- 4 Omnibus de Cristobal Colon (OCC) (Subsidiary of Grupo ADO, first & platinum class bus station), La Terminal 17a Calle Ote #45, (Along Calle 17a Ote between 1a Ave Nte y 3a Ave Nte). Grupo ADO is the main bus company serving the Yucatan Peninsula and the southeastern part of the country on multiple routes. OCC, Rapidos del Sur (RS), AU and Cristobal Colon are their subsidiary brands operating bus services in Chiapas state. International buses from Guatemala are at the OCC bus station and cross through Talisman/El Carmen.
- 5 Autobus Unidos (AU), Cristobal Colon y Rapidos del Sur (RS) (Second class bus station), 9a Calle Pte #63. Second class brands of OCC/Grupo ADO with frequent departures to Arriga, Cintalapa, Esquintla, Huixtla, Tonala, San Cristobal Colon, Tuxtla Gutierrez, etc but with more stops en-route thus taking longer to get there than first class services.
- Ticabus, La Terminal OCC 17a Calle Ote #45 (Along Calle 17a Ote between 1a Ave Nte y 3a Ave Nte), ☏ . (Ticket office) M-Sa 06:00-14:00. International bus company going across the Central American isthmus between Panama City and Managua. From Managua one route goes to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula in Honduras while another continues along the Pan American Hwy to San Salvador, Guatemala City and Tapachula in Mexico. They also have another north-south route connecting El Salvador to Honduras. Passengers can transfer to Hedman Alas (another unaffiliated company) in Guatemala City if going to Honduras.
- Linea Dorada, ☏ . Goes east towards Guatemala City via Huehuetenango and/or Quetzaltenango. Passengers transfer in Guatemala City to go to Flores (nearest city to Tikal). Phone number is the Guatemala number.
- Trans Galgos Inter., ☏ . departs 13:00 Check schedules.. International services to Tapachula from Guatemala City via El Carmen, Retalhuleau and Coatepeque on one route and twice daily to San Salvador on another. They also operate a third domestic route to Quetzaltenango from Guatemala City. They also book onward travel all the way to the U.S. border through Mexico. US$17.
If you have free time in tapachula head out of town a little to calle miguel hidalgo (the one out near calle semanarista) and check out the crocodile zoo. A quirky little backyard business that houses something like 50 crocs and alligators of various species and sizes. the family that runs it is friendly and as much as seeing the crocs themselves it´s funny to watch small children chase an even smaller puppy around a backyard literally packed with ferocius reptiles in various cement and chainlink enclosures. Cost is M$25 per person and a cab should cost about M$25 each way.
- 1 Museo Arqueológico del Soconusco, 8a Av Nte #24, Zona Centro (Housed in the old city hall (antiguo palacio municipal) building next to the Parque Central de Miguel Hidalgo in downtown.), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-18:00. A small museum that has a collection of Mayan & Olmec artifacts from the region.
- 2 Zona Arqueologica de Izapa, Km 304 La Ruta de la Costa y Soconusco (Carretera 200) (10 km NE of town on Ruta de la Costa y Soconusco (Carretera 200).), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. The settlement at Izapa extended over 1.4 miles, making it the largest site in Chiapas. The site reached its apogee between 850 BCE and 100 BCE; several archaeologists have theorized that Izapa may have been settled as early as 1500 BCE, making it as old as the Olmec sites of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán and La Venta.
The first human settlements of the peoples that later developed into the Mayan civilization have been found on the northern Pacific coast of what is now Guatemala. However, southern Chiapas state in Mexico and Guatemala were historically a unified whole.
One archaeological site of note, Izapa, is 10 kilometers from Tapachula. In addition, the Museo Archaeologico del Soconusco is located in the center of Tapachula in the same building that houses the tourist information center and the Casa de Cultura.
A tour of Mayan archaeological sites in western Guatemala and southwest Chiapas is available. These sites include: Izapa, Iximche, Zacalueu, Tenam Puente, and Chinkultic.
- 1 Sr Tanngo, 4a Av Sur Km 2.5 Carretera Puerto Madero-Tapachula, ☏ . Daily 13:00-19:00. Sr. tango is an argentinian steak house that also has bland tasting pizzas and carries a real old school mafia air to the place. Salads are pretty good and the air conditioning is top notch if you need to escape the heat.
Open Wednesday through Saturday nights, the ambiance at 19 Dias y 500 Noches, the local piano bar, is wonderful. The live music on Friday and Saturday nights begins at 9pm and goes on into the night.
If you´re on a budget, Tapachula has very affordable lodgings. One example is Hotel Tacana (8a Norte at 13a Poniente). The rooms go for as little as M$100 per night and many have been newly renovated.
Located a block and a half from the main plaza in town (miguel Hidalgo), on 5a calle pointe, one of the cheaper places to stay is Hotel Quinta instantly recognizable by its astonishingly large sign that says ¨hotel¨ in black and white vertical letters.
The lowest budget rooms go for M$200 with no television and no air conditioning. Rooms are a little dirty and toilets have no toilet seats but you can't beat the price in this part of town.