One of the busiest and most famous roads in Chiapas is the one that connects Palenque to San Cristóbal de las Casas, with several interesting stops along the way. Some tips for exploring this area.

Palenque y San Cristóbal de las Casas are the most visited places in Chiapas, both unmissable for the traveler. The traveler who visits Chiapas and does not travel the winding road that connects them is rare.

Palenque archeological zone, Chiapas, Mexico.

Road Palenque - San Cristóbal de las Casas:

The federal highway 199 It runs in a tortuous way through 213 kilometers that separate Palenque de San Cristóbal de las Casas. Federal Highway 199 is famous for several reasons: its sharp curves avoiding beautiful mountain landscapes and the more than 400 speed reducers (Yes, you read well, a little torture for the car and for you). The low cars are possible that they touch with some disproportionate stop, that so well they construct, the trick is to happen them inclined. With rains and wet asphalt extreme precautions.

San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
San Cristóbal de las Casas

What to visit from Palenque to San Cristóbal de las Casas?

On this road we find several jewels, let's see what you can visit on the way:

CASCADA MISOL-HÁ: Just 20 kilometers from Palenque we find this beautiful waterfall of 30 meters where you can look out from behind your curtain of water and enjoy the beautiful nature of the place. There are cabins to stay. Read about Misol-há Waterfall

Misol-ha Waterfall, Chiapas, Mexico.

BLUE WATER: pools and turquoise waterfalls that dress Chiapas. In Agua Azul you will enjoy impressive landscapes. You can walk along the river for several kilometers. There are cabins to stay. More about Agua Azul Waterfall

Agua Azul, Chiapas

TONINÁ: Halfway through we find one of the most important Mayan cities of the Classic period (from 200 BC-900 AD), 70 meters of stepped pyramids that offer spectacular views of the Ocosingo valley. In the town of Ocosingo there are several lodgings. From Ocosingo, a truck leaves for the remote Miramar lagoon. Archaeological area of ​​Tonina

Toniná, Chiapas, Mexico.

How to travel this road?

  • tourist excursion: It is the most usual option among travelers. The agencies of Palenque y San Cristóbal de las Casas They offer excursions for about 600 mxn with the visit to Misol-há, Blue water and archaeological zone of Palenque. The excursions from San Cristóbal are returned the same day to the beautiful colonial city. Where they do not stop is to visit Tonina, one of my favorite Mayan sites. The excursion takes all day, they leave daily.
  • collective: the federal 199 Dozens of collectives, vans of 12 passengers pass by and stop where you indicate. With this option you get to all the tourist spots in the area with the time you want for you. It is less comfortable for the different groups and trips to the points, but very valid for those travelers who like to go at their own pace.
  • bus: ADO has a bus that links Palenque y San Cristóbal de las Casas with stop in Ocosingo, Tonina, with an estimated distance of 5 hours, 7 the most delayed. East truck (bus) does not stop at Misol-há nor in Blue water, so you would miss them.
  • taxi or private transport: you can share a taxi among several to get from Palenque to Misol-há, or hire a transport service to San Cristóbal if you are several friends.
  • Own car or rental: Drive with the patience and care that this road requires. Estimated time: 3 hours and a half. Chiapas It is an area with a special idiosyncrasy, and many times there are uprisings in the area. It is possible that you will find local retailers inviting you to collaborate with their cause. I leave you some driving tips in Chiapas.

Road hazards:

As we indicated, Chiapas He lives in a special framework, with occasional surveys of the population. One of their most common practices is to cut roads and make you collaborate with their cause, whatever they tell you. It is one of the reasons why I do not recommend traveling by rental car to Chiapas, but you have a vast travel baggage. They are not usually violent situations, but they can scare those who are not accustomed. Here you have the testimony of a traveler who crossed in car rental from Mexico to Guatemala, the friend César: «In this journey we had the first control of the Zapatista community in Ocosingo. A caravan of milk because they were stopping everyone with a plank with nails in the middle of the road and they asked for money for the cause, in that case it was to pay the electricity because the government and foreign companies took it from Chiapas and they charged a lot for it. We paid the 50 pesos that they asked for and they gave us a paper in case they came back to stop us, so we did not have to pay again. I do not know what will happen if you do not pay, there were some with a machete in hand over there, I do not know if intimidating or that they came from the mountain to cut branches that is quite normal over there. I just in case I preferred to pay and collaborate with the cause. "

Remember that it is a tortuous road and full of bumpers. With rains and wet asphalt extreme precautions. Do not drive at night, for driving safety and possible assaults. This road is one of those trips that fall in love with the traveler, you'll see.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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