In this southern Mexican state, beautiful mountain ranges and dense rainforest are dotted with impressive archaeological sites and picturesque colonial towns.
Chiapas is México’s southernmost state, bordering Guatemala. The state has a beautiful coastline along the Pacific Ocean. Visit Chiapas to discover a place with vast geographical richness, steeped in tradition and once an impressive ancient Mayan metropolis.
The archaeological ruins in Chiapas are considered national treasures. Find the famous Mayan site of Palenque and marvel at stunning temples, palaces and sculptures dating from about A.D. 500 to 800.
Visit Yaxchilan, the ancient Maya city on the bank of the Río Usumacinta (Usumacinta River), once a dominant power in the region. See its well-preserved stone lintels above the doorways of the main structures and its hieroglyphic texts describing the city’s dynastic history.
About 75 minutes south from Yaxchilan is a smaller Mayan archaeological site called Bonampak. This spot is home of the famous Templo de los Murales (Temple of the Murals) with well-preserved Maya murals. Stop at the ruins of Chinkultic to see step-pyramids and at Toniná to take stunning photos of the 243-foot-high (74-meter) pyramid, one of the tallest in México.
Enjoy the many natural attractions of Chiapas, such as the spectacular waterfalls Cascadas de Agua Azul and Cascada de Misol-Ha. These beautiful falls draw many tourists to the region. See the Selva Lacandona (Lacandon Jungle), one of the Northern Hemisphere’s last major tropical rainforests.
Learn about the great diversity of wildlife in Chiapas, including species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Among them you may find pelicans, monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars and iguanas. The coastal areas have large quantities of turtles, fish and crustaceans.
Browse for treasures among the wide variety of crafts and folk art produced by the many indigenous ethnicities living in Chiapas. Visit the colonial city of San Cristóbal de las Casas to see the Templo y Ex-Convento Santo Domingo (Temple and Former Convent Saint Domingo). This baroque church and museum displays regional artifacts. Surrounding it is a popular market with many artworks and colorful weavings.