Driving through Chiapas has its own peculiarities, which we will see What roads you will find, is it safe, where to rent a car? 

First I want to emphasize that the most tourist Chiapas is a friendly territory to travel independently in local transport. A lot of independent traveler arrives in Chiapas and this has allowed the development of a tourist transport industry. They move between different populations making stops of tourist interest.

Something similar happens in Guatemala and many other countries with more backpacking roots, where there is a lot of tourism flow that travels in tourist transport economically.

Just as I always encourage the traveler to rent a car to tour the Yucatan Peninsula, Chiapas has its own peculiarities. We will see them for you to decide.

Drive through Chipas, Mexico.

Particularities to drive through Chiapas:

If I do not encourage the traveler in general to visit the neighbor Chiapas Rental car is for the following reasons, although more experienced travelers do:

  • Being a mountainous area several main roads shows difficult by narrow and tortuous, and more in the rainy season, where water falls abundantly and there may be landslides. We must also take into account the strong wind that sometimes hits the Pacific coast, where caution should be exercised under these circumstances.
  • Chiapas has more army controls as usual, so if you're not used to it, it gives you the feeling of "dangerous place", especially on the border road with Guatemala, the beautiful road that runs from Palenque to Comitán. The controls and questions are frequent, and seeing so many military is something that collides.
  • You can also meet with local checkpoints organized by locals.  It is a usual form of protest in this state, where they ask drivers for money for their cause, at other times they cut the road and you have to stray. If you go in tourist collectives, you barely hear about this problem because the driver resolves for you. These road cuts happen especially in the section between Palenque and San Cristóbal de las Casas. Also between Tuxla and San Cristóbal.

Being aware of these difficulties on the road, for me Chiapas is a wonderful state to travel by car, beautiful roads with landscapes where to stop to enjoy.

Coffee Route, Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico.

Where to rent a car in Chiapas

We explain another of the curiosities of Chiapas: The main destination of the state is San Cristóbal de las Casas, the main base of many travelers.

In this city there is no possibility of renting a vehicle, from here tourist transport leaves to all the most tourist destinations in the area: Sumidero Canyon, Palenque, Toniná, Chiflón, Montebello, San Juan Chamula, Zinacantán. Wherever you want to go there is an excursion, and they are usually quite affordable.

  • The nearest place to rent a car is in Tuxla Gutiérrez, capital of the state that is located one hour from San Cristóbal de las Casas, or in the Ángel Albino Corzo International Airport, which is located between Tuxla and Chiapa de Corzo. If you don't have to go through Tuxla, rent the car at the airport, as entering Tuxla is a hassle.
  • The same thing is going to happen to you in Palenque, where the closest place to rent a car is Villahermosa.
  • En Tapachula, border with Guatemala on the Pacific coast, the other international airport of Chiapas is located, where it is also possible to rent a car.

Reserve your car at Rentalcars, agency that includes different car rental companies


Cross borders by car:

Cross to Guatemala y Belize from Mexico by rental car is not easy, only some car rental agencies make it easy to do so, one is American Car Rental and another one that I know is Price Car Rentals.

In a private car it is simple. Read what are the relevant procedures to cross borders by car.

Las Nubes, Chiapas Mexico.
The roads offer great viewpoints in Chiapas


What kind of roads are there in Chiapas

In Chiapas there are two types of highways, of quota and the roads libres. Previously we have already commented that the mountainous landscape gives rise to very winding roads, with dizzy curves. Who likes to drive, will enjoy.

Plan your routes well, sometimes a few kilometers are made in several hours.

  • roads of cuota (with tolls): there are several payment roads, such as those linking the Pacific coast from Puerto Arista with Tuxla Gutiérrez, and Tuxla to San Cristóbal de las Casas.
  • free roads They are the rest, without payment, in good condition. The back roads is where you can find some section with holes and less signs of help on the road.
Tips for driving in Mexico.

The famous caps in Mexico:

The buffers They are used as speed bumps, being located mainly at the entrances and exits of the towns of the secondary roads and in rural areas. It is the effective way to stop the speed of traffic that tends to divide towns on both sides of the road, where children play, people walk and dogs lie down to rest. You must be careful crossing the villages.

What of eat the caps It is common, some are not seen as poorly indicated or positioned, others are so exaggerated that almost the scales, be careful especially with low car. A whole world of buffers.

In many towns, you will find people selling local products, from mango to fish. If you are attentive and respecting the speed limits I do not doubt that you will enjoy going through the small towns of Chiapas.


Caution on the road with:

The secondary roads are not illuminated. For the rural areas travel at night People on a bike and on foot returning home, be careful. It is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to drive at night if you do not know the area, the visibility will greatly impede your driving.

In Chiapas it is not advisable to drive at night, do not do it.

Gasoline and gas stations in Mexico:

Petrol is supplied by PEMEX, the national company. There's a lot gas stations In all the territory, you will not have problems to refuel. If you go to remote places such as archaeological sites, caves or any point that you should use dirt roads, go with the full tank. You should know that in many towns of Chiapas they sell gas in people's homes in case they have to get out of a hurry, you know.

In rural areas of India, families in charge of a blind minor frequently isolate and deprive him/her of the care and attention they provide to their other children; such situation becomes even more severe among lower-caste families, orphans and if the blind child is a girl. gas stations there are services free and often a grocery store. The staff offers to clean the windshield, check the tires and the oil level. You give a few tips for the service. The driver does not get out of the car.

It can be paid in cash or with a card. If you carry better cash, they explained to me that at some gas stations they cloned cards. If you want to know the price of gasoline in Mexico, click here.

Parking in cities:

Large cities have private parking lots for cars, where they are more protected than on the street. Many hotels offer private parking, as do restaurants.

If there is a yellow or red line painted on the curb, you CANNOT park on the street.

Language to understand us to drive through Chiapas

Here it is drive (he drives) car (auto, car). Whether strike (bursts, clicks) tire(tire) you should look for a vulcanizer (tire workshop) for fix it (fix it) The tank (deposit of gas (petrol) fill it at the gas station, or at the Pemex. The trunk It's the trunk. The car prendes (you boot) and the indicators (intermittent) drivers do not use them too much.

In addition the roads to drive through Chiapas are guarded by the Green Angels. I hope you enjoy the road a lot.

Driving tips for Chiapas, Mexico 1

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.
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