San Cristóbal de las Casas

Orientation & Geography

North America, Mexico, Chiapas

San Cristóbal de las Casas is a city and municipality located in the Central Highlands region of the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is not the political capital of the state, although it was until 1892, but it is still considered to be the “cultural capital.” The municipality is mostly made up of mountainous terrain, but the city sits in a small valley surrounded by hills. The city’s center maintains its Spanish colonial layout and much of its architecture, with red tile roofs, cobblestone streets and wrought iron balconies often with flowers. Most of the city’s economy is based on commerce, services and tourism. Tourism is based on the city’s history, culture and indigenous population, although the tourism itself has affected the city, giving it foreign elements. Major landmarks of the city include the Cathedral, the Santo Domingo church with its large open air crafts market and the Casa Na Bolom museum. The municipality has suffered severe deforestation, but it has natural attractions such as caves and rivers.