Tuxtla Gutiérrez, usually just called Tuxtla, is the capital of Chiapas, and a busy government, commercial and services-oriented city. It is not a tourist attraction, but a transportation hub for tourists coming into the state, with a major airport and a bus terminal.
Tuxtla, a city of 700,000 people (2015), is the economic powerhouse and biggest city of Chiapas. It is a transportation hub for the entire region which also hosts one of the main airports of Chiapas. As most of Tuxtla has been constructed during the boom that began in the 1970s, the city has very little to offer to tourists. Tuxtla has had one of the fastest growing rates in Mexico since the 1970s.
With its relatively low altitude, the area has a hot and relatively humid climate with most rain falling in the summer. Except for a rainy and dry season (summer-fall and winter-spring respectively) there is little variation in the climate during the year. Even the distinction between the rainy and dry season is one of quantity of rain. Air conditioning is rare as most homes and offices use fans and most rooms and offices open into streets or courtyards. Most businesses close in the late afternoon from 14:00-16:30 or 17:00 when it can get hot. Although it is not on the coast, it is close enough that hurricanes and tropical storms can affect it at time.
- 1 Tuxtla Gutiérrez International Airport (TGZ IATA Angel Albino Corzo Airport) (30 km outside of the city).
A taxi to downtown Tuxtla costs US$20. The taxis are part of a taxi cartel put together by the government. You will have to buy a ticket for the taxi in the airport.
Though colectivos do not come up to the airport itself, they pass by it on a road a short walk from the parking lot and cost considerably less than a taxi.
There are several direct buses from the airport to San Cristóbal de las Casas (1 hr 15 min, M$218 as of November 2016.)
- From San Cristóbal, there is a toll and a toll-free road. The toll road can be a scenic drive while climbing down from San Cristóbal but check in advance whether the road is blocked by protesters during the daytime since you might otherwise spend the entire day waiting for the toll booth at the bottom to open.
- From San Cristóbal, buses of all kinds go very frequently (1 hr, from M$50,) most of them to the terminal in front of Mercado de los Ancianos. Note that the highway which connects the two cities is very often blocked by groups protesting. Usually, the old toll-free road is still serviced by a few buses then but takes substantially longer. It is best to ask in advance whether any bloqueos are expected if you plan on catching a flight in Tuxtla.
As in most Mexican cities, taxis are readily available and relatively cheap. The city also has the usual confusing network of very many routes of colectivos and other buses that gets even locals confused. Avenida Central (which cuts through the city from west to east) and some other major roads are serviced by the faster conejobus.
- 1 Parque de la Marimba. A park where they have regular marimba concerts. The concerts start at about 6 and go on until late.
- 2 Museo de la Marimba, Calle 9a Pte, ☏ . 10:00-21:00 daily. Museum of the Marimba, right beside the Parque de la Marimba.
- 3 Parque Central. Central park, a nice place to walk around.
- 4 St. Mark's Cathedral, Av. Central Ote, ☏ . Another Catholic church, this one with notable stained glass and a painting. Lots of pigeons when you're hanging around the bell tower outside.
- 5 Palacio de Gobierno. The state government buildings.
- 6 Museo del Café de Chiapas, Calle 2a. Ote. Nte. 236, ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-17:00, closed Su. A museum about the history of coffee along with various art and coffee sampling. ~M$30.
- 7 ZooMat, Calle Señor del Pozo 242, ☏ . Tu-Sa 08:30-16:30, Su 08:30-18:00, closed M. A spacious zoo which hosts only animals that can be found in the region naturally. In fact many of the animals roam the area freely and are not kept in cages. Don't miss the Museo del Cocodrilo while you're here.
- 8 Museo Chiapas de Ciencia y Tecnología. COCYTECH, Calz. Cerro Hueco 3000, ☏ . Tu-Su 10:00-17:00, closed M. A museum for all of the science lovers out there. Anthropological and zoological exhibits, etc.
- 9 Glorioso Cristo de Chiapas, Segunda Pte. Nte (it's about 11 km from town: go south on hwy 133, then west on Central Ote. and north on Segunda Pte. Nte). daily 10:00-20:00. If you want some stellar views of Tuxtla Gutierrez, this is a great place to get them. Also has some stations of the cross stuff, and a Jesus silhouette within the main cross statue itself. M$10-15 for parking.
- 10 Museo de Paleontología Eliseo Palacios Aguilera, Norte Oriente 11A, ☏ . Tu-F 10:00-17:00, Sa Su 11:00-17:00,. Paleontology exhibits specific to Chiapas. Tuesdays free?
- 11 Regional Museum of Chiapas (Located in: Instituto de Antropología e Historia). Tu-Su 09:00-18:00, closed M. Museum dealing with MesoAmerican history and history following the Spanish conquest in the state of Chiapas.
- 12 Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden, Av, 5a. Avenida Nte, ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-15:30, closed M.
- 13 Mirador Los Amorosos. Another viewpoint over the city.
- 14 Parque Bicentenario, Av 1a. Sur Pte 1336. Popular city park with replica of a Mayan tower on a hill from which you can look around at the city.
- 15 Joyyo Mayu, Contra esquina del Reloj Floral. daily 06:00-20:00. Park with lots of greenery and ponds (ducks, fish, etc), across from a flower clock.
- 16 Cascada El Chorreadero (on the way to San Cristobal de las Casas, look for turnoff on north side of Hwy 190 about 20 km from center of Tuxtla (best use Google Maps or something)), ☏ . daily 08:00-18:30. A waterfall of "underground river" origin emanating from a grotto/cave in a canyon. Picturesque but may need to inquire as to condition since runs low at times. May be possible to swim in pool below.
- 1 Convivencia Infantil, Calzada al sumidero, ☏ . daily 08:00-21:00, closed M. Games, rides (e.g. go-karts), replicas of pyramids and dinosaurs, etc.
- 2 Alberca Reserva Cerro Hueco, Calle Marcelino Álvarez 420 (next to the Science and Tech Museum). daily 09:00-17:00, except Tu. Nature preserve and swimming pool. (May want to take a look at the color of the water before jumping in.).
- Aéreo Park, At Joyyo Mayu Park. High ropes course with informational signs about the different trees as you go along.
Things in Tuxtla are very reasonably cheap and affordable in the fact that it was set for the poor living standards of the indigenous that live there. Despite that, it is a very modern city with lots to do and see. There are plenty of shopping malls to shop in and items are very cheap.
- 1 Plaza Las Américas, ☏ . daily 09:00-23:00. For when you need some mall time; has a theater also.
- 2 Plaza Ámbar, Carr. Panamericana a Chiapa de Corzo 651. M-Th 12:00-23:00, F-Su 08:00-23:00. Another mall.
- 3 Central de Abastos, Avenida la Floresta 52, ☏ . Like a wholesale open market. May be of limited interest.
- Mole — A type of sauce from the south. Ordering a 'mole' will normally get you chicken and rice smothered in this sauce, sometimes tortillas are served underneath, sometimes they're given separate.
- Casa Blanca (Near the Quality Inn off 5a Norte). Delicious pork tacos, cheap, clean, fast.
- Pozol — A choclate/maize drink typical to Chiapas, not to be confused with Pozole, a type of stew/soup from further north.
Some fair accommodations to be had here as well as in Chiapa de Corzo just to the southeast which lies along the Rio Grijalva.
- 1 Hostal Casa de Zeferina, Calle Cuarta Pte. Nte. 517, ☏ . Clean, quiet, has wifi and a/c, homey, comfortable beds, recommended especially if you like pink colors and huskies (because they are pet-friendly). M$298.
- 2 Hotel Parque Marimba, Av 1a. Sur Pte 1059, Centro, ☏ . This one is very chic with bright colored blankets and walls. You're going to think you're in a gelato shop possibly. It has wifi and a/c, hot water, and breakfast, and a very sleek looking exterior. M$574.
- 3 Hostal Tres Central, Central Norte (just a block or two north of Parque Central), ☏ . You'll be able to recognize this one because of the pajaros (birds) painted on the white edifice of the building. It has balconies and dining and lounging common areas (including a library), plus wifi and a/c. Breakfast is extra. M$340.
- 4 Hotel "Madrid", Sexta Pte. Nte. 175, ☏ . This is another modern looking one, at least on the exterior. And it includes a hearty breakfast with some papayas and other fruits in the morning, as well as wifi and a/c. Plentiful hot water. M$553.
- 5 Fiesta Inn Tuxtla Fashion Mall, Panamericana 651 C, El Retiro, 29096 (in Ambar Fashion Mall.), ☏ . This one is for when you really want to live it up on the town, maybe celebrate your honeymoon or just stay in a grand hotel. It has an outdoor pool, hot tub, gym, restaurant/bar, and breakfast buffet, along with wifi and a/c, airport shuttle, and bus center. If you're not acrophobic, try to get a room high up so that you can get views of the surrounding Chiapas mountain scenery. If you get bored, there's a Cinemex in the attached mall. M$787.
- 6 Hilton Garden Inn, Boulevard Belisario Dominguez, De Los Castillos 1641, ☏ . Pool, restaurant/bar, breakfast, all the amenities you'd expect with this chain. Where else could you stay at a Hilton Garden Inn for like US$40? M$851.
- Chiapa de Corzo - Colonial town, where the Cañón del Sumidero is, also the castle on the Chiapas crest.
- Palenque - Ancient city, about 6 hours away, close to the Agua Azul and Misol Ha waterfalls
- Bonampak - Ancient city
- Comitán - about 3 hours away, go here to get to the Lagos de Montebello
- San Cristóbal de las Casas - Beautiful colonial city with lots of indigenous artisanship. Lots of foreigners and nice cafés.
- San Juan Chamula - 10 km from San Cristóbal, a Tsotsil indigenous village.
- Campeche - 11 hours away by bus.
- La Realidad - A Zapatista caracol or autonomous village, can be difficult to get to. Zapatista buses leave from Las Margaritas every day at 7am.
- Tapachula - City about five hours from Tuxtla, go here to get buses to Guatemala City.