Chiapas from Villahermosa (4n/5d)

The archaeological zone of Palenque, one of the most important cities of the Maya Culture

The archaeological zone of Palenque, one of the most important cities of the Maya Culture

Arrival Villahermosa, capital of the state of Tabasco. The area’s petroleum industry spurred the city’s growth into a bustling tropical metropolis. Villahermosa takes advantage of the Grijalva River for much of its trade, especially with the interior of the state. A broad boulevard follows the western bank. The river is usually busy with river boats carrying people and produce to and from the interior. Transfer to hotel.

Leave Villahermosa to the archaeological zone of Palenque, one of the most important cities of the Maya Culture and an example of architectonic perfection. The most notable buildings are: the Temple of the Inscriptions, a majestic pyramids with a secret crypt; the fabulous royal tomb, with an exquisitely engraved monolithic sarcophagus; the Palace, with a four story high square tower, probably used as an astronomical observatory; the temples of La Cruz and La Cruz Florida, as well as many other buildings whose temples, ending in crests, add to the monumentality of the place. Lunch at local restaurant

Leave Palenque to the impressive and beautiful waterfalls of Agua Azul situated among lush vegetation. The water descend through hills, in a rapid succession of falls and pools of deep blue-turquoise. Box lunch and continue to San Cristobal de las Casas.

DAY 04 – SAN CRISTOBAL DE LAS CASAS (San Juan Chamula & Zinacantan)
Walking tour of the city including : the barroque Cathedral with a magnificent altarpiece and valuable paintings. The fine old salomonic styled Santo Domingo convent that houses the Regional Museum and the Altos Cultural Center. The baroque church of the same name has a strong influence of popular art from neighboring Guatemala. It has outstanding and rich golden carved panels in its interior altarpieces in its niches and a wooden pulpit of extraordinary beauty. The Caridad church with a beautiful salomonic altarpiece and an image of the Virgin of the Charity. Leave San Cristobal de las Casas to visit the indian communities of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, 2 maya villages which were studied by anthropologists for many years and the residents reluctantly accept the inevitability of tourism. These indians towns allow us to observe traditional everyday life of its inhabitants. The athmosphere of its churches is particularly interesting as they illustrate the mixture of Indian and Christian religious customs. Lunch at local restaurant. Late afternoon return to San Cristobal de las Casas.

Leave San Cristobal de las Casas to Chiapa de Corzo, founded in 1528 on the riverside of the Grijalva River. In its plaza, surrounded by beautiful arcades, there is an exceptional brick colonial building; the Fountain of the Royal Crown, with an octagonal floor it evokes the profile of the royal crown. Continue on an exciting boat ride through the Sumidero Canyon, a natural geological wonder formed by the waters of the Grijalva river. The cliffs and granite walls of the canyon are up to 800 meters above the water level. According to legend, the Chiapa indians resisting the Spanish would rather throw themselves down than become prisioners. Lunch at a typical restaurant. Continue to Tuxtla Gutierrez, capital of the State of Chiapas located in a warm and fertile valley 12 kilometers to the left of the Grijalva river. It is a modern and tranquil city. Its tropical environment encourages the growth of palm trees and flamboyants which can be seen in its parks and plazas. It is the center of a thriving coffee-growing region and home of Mexico´s famed marimba music. Drop off at airport.

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