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Kristen & Joe: San Cristobal

Every 90 days Joe and I must leave Guatemala for a couple days.  We decided to go to San Cristobal in Mexico for a couple days.  San Cristobal is called the cultural capital of the Chiapas region of Mexico.  Our van left for the 9 hour drive at 7 am.

Waiting for the Van

Once we got to the edge of Guatemala, we had to stop to get our exit stamp, then change vehicles for a few minutes, and then stop again to get our entry stamp into Mexico.  Luckily, the process didn’t take too long because it was very hot.

Waiting to get into Mexico

At the Mexico Immigration Desk

I was concerned that San Cristobal would be hot.  I’m used to the temperate climate of Guatemala.  We live in the highland region at a pretty high elevation, so it almost never gets above mid-eighties.  Turns out, San Cristobal is in the highland region of Mexico, and it was slightly cooler than where we live.  The weather was beautiful.

Once we got to San Cristobal, we could understand why it was called the cultural capital of Chiapas.  There aren’t a lot of sights to go see, but there’s lots of art and music.  When we got there, we dropped our stuff off at the hostel and headed out for something to eat.

Our Hostel

We found a great restraunt in the middle of a cultural center and I had a salad, some delicious enchiladas with mole sauce, and a liquado.


Liquados are also common in Guatemala and I have them frequently.  They are fruit blended with milk or yogurt.  I’m practically addicted.

After dinner, we walked around the shops and looked at the regional art.  we went to bed soon after because we were exhausted from the long drive.

After breakfast at the hostel the next day, we headed for the artisan market.  I have to say, being an art lover, I’ve been to my fair share of artisan markets, and this was one of the best.

This beautiful display cost around four U.S. dollars!!!

It all had regional handmade items and some were extremely creative.  In time, I will go into more detail, but since we bought some for Christmas gifts, I don’t want to ruin the surprise.  The market wasn’t very touristy.  In fact, there weren’t a whole lot of people there and was a very relaxing experience.

We then decided to head to the local market where we saw lots of fresh fruits and veggies. We then visited the meat and fish market.  I don’t understand why it’s common for the produce to be outside and the smelly stuff such as meat and fish are inside.  We didn’t stay long.

Joe was craving American fast food so we went to Domino’s for lunch.  We don’t have ANY American fast food where we live.  No McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Taco Bell.  None of that, and Joe loves his fast food.  Later that evening, we found a great restraunt that had live music and just chilled out and ate.  It was a fantastic day.

The next day, we went to the artisan market to pick up some last minute stuff.  Joe needed some t-shirts so we picked up some and a straw hat for each of us.

For lunch, we went to fantastic restraunt that had a fixed menu.   For a set price, we enjoyed some carrot bread, cream of broccoli soup, a salad, delicious chili relleno, and flan for dessert.  Yum!

After lunch, we decided to head toward a church the was recommended to us.

After we took a peak at the inside, it started raining on us, so we decided to stop at a tea and coffee shop, (I love my chai tea) before heading to an artsy cinema that was showing an educational film on the drug cartels of Mexico.  After, the movie, we found a great little British pub, where we got hamburgers and listened to more live music before going to bed.

The next day was our long drive back to Pana.  This drive took alot longer.  The driver was over an hour late picking up up and then wanted to stop for an hour to eat breakfast.  This wasn’t scheduled, so no one was happy about it.  Where we stopped, the price of food was pretty high and since there were mainly backpackers with us, many of them couldn’t afford it.  Joe’s theory is that the driver was up late drinking the night before and that is why he was late and decided to stop for breakfast.  We’ve been getting to know Latin America and I think Joe was dead on about his theory.  The ride was pretty uneventful until we had to change cars at the border.  We then loaded into a vehicle that was on its last leg and had a difficult time going up hills.  Since we were mainly driving through mountains, it became an ordeal.  We were even passed by a bicycle  once.  Needless to say, our 9 hour drive turned into 12 hours and we have never been so happy to get home.

I know that an artsy weekend  isn’t everyone’s idea of an exciting weekend, but between the art, live music, educational films, and great food, it was my idea of heaven.

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