San Lorenzo Zinacantán is one of the Tzotzil Mayan populations of Chiapas. Close to San Cristóbal de las Casas, the tourist heart of the region, it is one of the interesting towns to visit in Los Altos.

Zinacantan it was one of the centers Mayan Tzotziles most important in pre-Hispanic times. It was conquered by the Aztecs in 1486, during the reign of Moctezuma Xocoyotzin. Its name is Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, and it means lto the land of bats. Later it was the Spaniards who came to her to conquer it.

Today Zinacantán is known for its handicrafts from Chiapas, especially his vividly colored fabrics. Zinacantan textiles much appreciated by foreigners.

Tzotzil Mayan fabrics in Zinacantan

Tour to Zinacantán, indigenous peoples From chiapas

From San Cristóbal de las Casas, the beautiful colonial city that collects the sympathies of all types of travelers, they leave daily the excursion that they call the «indigenous peoples«. It is a midday visit to Zinacantán, famous for its crafts, and San Juan Chamula, with the great attraction of its church that gathers the religious syncretism of the area.

It is a good excursion that almost nobody gets lost in Chiapas.

These two Mayan populations tzotziles They are easy to visit by public transport, but most visitors arrive on excursions. The excursions They offer visits of calculated time, guided explanations, something that allows you the best understanding of the places you travel. They also offer you a visit to a local house where they prepare tortillas in the traditional way.

In these villages in the area, there are many details that you miss if you don't have the knowledge. And above all the trips They offer something that the human being highly esteems: comfort.

Mayan altar
Mayan altar
Zinacantan Chiapas
Zinacantan weavers

How to get to Zinacantán?

If you go on an excursion, they will take you to one of the families of Zinacantán, where they will offer you posh o pox (the alcoholic beverage distilled from cane and cornstarch) and food.

In return they expect you to buy something from what they make or arrive manufactured. Zinacantán is known for its colorful and embroidered fabrics, since the Maya got very vivid and permanent colors in their clothes. You will see looms and how they work the little purely handmade that is sold in the village. Mexican handcrafts.

Zinacantan, place of weavers. Handicrafts of Chiapas. 1
House of artisans visited on tour
Zinacantan crafts
Mayan Chiapas

Parties in Zinacantán

The town is surrounded by hills, sacred places in the Mayan worldview. They are grown from flowers that they sell in today's Mexico City and other places: this is how we see how the old trade routes between this town and the center are still alive.

You can live important parties such as the Day of the Dead (1 and 2 November), the Virgin of Guadalupe (12 December) or the Holy Cross (May 3), where you can live the shocking religious syncretism of these peoples. The temples of San Lorenzo y San Sebastián they are an example, although the temple San Juan Bautista in Chamula It takes the palm in this direction.

Temple of San Juan Bautista in Chamula, Chiapas, Mexico
San Juan Chamula

This region of Los Altos de Chiapas is a world apart that nobody likes to miss. As travelers like to say, this area is very authentic.

Zinacantan, place of weavers. Handicrafts of Chiapas. 2

Zinacantán, towns

 LOCATION: Zinacantán is located 11 kilometers from San Cristóbal de las Casas. On the road that leads to San Juan Chamula, you take the detour at kilometer 9 to get to Zinacantán.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?  From the Municipal Market of San Cristóbal de las Casas, buses leave for Chamula (approx. 20 minutes). If you want to combine the view with Chamula on your own, you must return to Sancris and take another combi, there are no direct routes between Zinacantán and Chamula.
WHAT TO SEE? Antzetik Tajteklum Museum, the archaeological remains located in the municipal seat, the temple of San Lorenzo and San Sebastián. Visit one of the tourist houses with looms.
TOUR FROM SAN CRISTÓBAL: from San Cristóbal de las Casas excursion indigenous peoples (includes Zinacantán and Chamula) has a price of 250 mxn approx.

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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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