The Chiapas Highlands~Traditions, Textiles and Orchids

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Discover Chiapas, Mexico’s most indigenous and southern state! Enjoy dancing, hiking, eating local cuisine, boating and walking through indigenous markets with a small group of similarly curious travelers, in comfort with expert guides.

The capital of Chiapas State, Tuxtla Gutierrez, with its half a million inhabitants offers us surprises! The Marimba is its signature instrument and tropical music will be presented in the Marimba Park as well as at the restaurant we’ll eat in our first evening. Bring along your dancing shoes! Our second surprise will be to visit the 25 mile-long Sumidero River Canyon with cliffs over 3000 feet in height and abundant wildlife. You’ll want your boat shoes for this breathtaking boat trip! Our boat lands in the Pueblo Magico of Chiapa de Corzo which will be in the midst of its annual January Grand Festival. We’ll have an opportunity to witness a Parachico parade after our lunch at a fine local restaurant.

We’ll next venture up to San Cristobal de las Casas, situated at 7200 feet, in a high fertile valley surrounded by mountains. Chiapas is home to many indigenous groups descended from the Maya, two of the largest being the Tzotzils and Tzeltals, who inhabit villages surrounding San Cristobal. The indigenous people of Chiapas speak their own languages (often in addition to Spanish), practice their own unique customs, and can be identified by their traditional dress that varies by group/village. The markets are a buzz of symphonic sounds!.

Founded in 1528, San Cristobal was designated a “Pueblo Magico” (Magic Town), and is one of Mexico’s best-preserved Spanish colonial towns. With its narrow streets, colorful one-storey houses, and tiled roofs that enclose lovely courtyards, it offers the visitor not only a journey back in time, but also a contemporary bohemian ambiance of art galleries and sophisticated restaurants catering to an international crowd of travelers and residents. You’ll have the opportunity to visit its plethora of artisans’ markets, and shops and museums, including the unsurpassed Centro de Textiles del Mundo Maya.

We’ll also visit the remarkable Moxviquil Orchid Museum outside San Cristobal. Orquideas Moxviquil has rescued more than 3,000 plants in the region. The organization’s impressive collection includes more than 400 of the recorded 700 species of orchid flowers that are found in Chiapas, including several species that are nearing extinction in their natural habitats.

Several interesting day trips we’ll take from San Cristobal include visits to the outlying highland villages of San Juan Chamula, San Lorenzo Zinacantan, Amatenango del Valle, and San Andres Larrainzar. These towns offer a unique inside view into the traditions and customs of the region’s indigenous communities. We’ll be invited to visit homes and workshops of their master artisans. One of the largest autonomous indigenous communities in the world, San Juan Chamula (pop. 60,000), is just a few miles from San Cristobal, but in many ways a world apart. The church there has no pews, no altar, and the priest was expelled decades ago for meddling with local customs. Statues of the saints remain, but the nave is used for elaborate ceremonies involving candles, eggs, live chickens and — oddly — soft drinks. Our visit to Chamula on Sunday (Market Day), offers a unique window into Chiapas's rich Mayan heritage.

Join Travelian’s knowledgeable guides for this journey to an extraordinary region of Mexico filled with adventure, master artisan workshops, regional cuisine and beautiful natural wonders!.


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Day one

Fly to Tuxtla Gutierrez ~ You will need to make your own air reservations. We recommend flying on either Interjet or Aeromexico. If you would like to share a van to the airport in Mexico City (we'll have lunch* at the airport) our guides will be departing at 7:00 am from San Miguel de Allende and will fly on Interjet flight 2605 at 1:35 pm to Tuxtla Gutierrez. Arrive in Tuxtla Gutierrez and a shuttle will take us to our hotel. Check into hotel. Leave for dinner* and marimba show at a regional restaurant.

A fee will be charged for van transportation each way: San Miguel to Mexico City airport / Mexico City airport to San Miguel.

Day two

Drive to Chiapa de Corzo. Take a private boat tour of Sumidero Canyon. Have lunch* in town. Meet artisan mask maker in his studio/home. Watch Parachicos parade. Return to hotel, meet and leave for dinner*.

Day three

8:00 A.M. Breakfast at our hotel. Check out - Drive to San Cristobal and check into hotel. Meet our guide for orientation and maps. Walk with guide and visit Santo Domingo, Regional Museum, and the Textile Museum. Have lunch* and time to go to the market, and explore town on your own. Meet for dinner.

Day four

8:00 A. M. Breakfast at our hotel. Leave for Chamula Sunday Market and tour of town and church with our guide. Leave for the Tzotzil village of San Andres Larrainzar to visit their Sunday Market. Then we'll visit the village of Zinacantan and visit master weaver at her home/workshop. A box lunch will be provided. Return to San Cristobal and have time to rest and meet for dinner.

Day five

8:00 A. M. Breakfast at our hotel. Leave for Moxviquil Orchid Museum (Early birding available at the site) for a private tour. Leave for lunch*. Visit Museo de Trajes Regionales for a private tour. Return to hotel. Meet for dinner.

Day six

8:00 A.M. Breakfast at our hotel. Leave for the village of Amatenango del Valle. Visit two workshops of Artisan Maestros. Return for lunch* in San Cristobal. Have time to visit markets, shops, museums or other pints of interest recommended by our guide. Meet for dinner* at our hotel.

Day seven

8:00 A.M. Free day to wander, explore, shop, or relax on your own.

Day eight

8:00 A.M. Breakfast at our hotel. Free morning for last minute exploring or shopping. Check out of hotel. Have lunch* in town. Drive to Tuxtla Gutierrez and stay at hotel near airport. Enjoy dinner at our hotel.

Travelers joining the Chiapas Lowlands tour will have an opportunity to go birdwatching that morning at the Huitepec reserve with our birdguide, and join the other travelers that afternoon at our hotel.

Day nine

Return to San Miguel You may wish to stay longer in Chiapas or leave directly for the US or Canada. If you wish to return to San Miguel with our guides, we will leave for the airport at 10:00 am We’ll fly on Interjet airflight 2600 at 12:50 pm. (We'll have lunch* at the Tuxtla Gutierrez airport) A van will pick us in Mexico City and take us to San Miguel de Allende.

A fee will be charged for van transportation each way: San Miguel to Mexico City airport / Mexico City airport to San Miguel.

asterisk Meals marked with an asterisk are not included in the fee.
    This itinerary is subject to changes without prior notification.


What's included

 Accommodations (8 nights)
 Breakfast daily, one lunch
 Private sightseeing (including all entrance fees) as outlined in the itinerary
 Comfortable private transportation with driver
 Tipping & porterage taken care of by tour leader along the way
 Professional local guides
 Travelian Tour leaders
 Small group experience; Max 16, avg 10


Booking and cancellation policies

We accept payments by:

   Credit Card (Paypal) through our Online Booking System    

   USD Wire Transfers Read More

   Checks (No US Bank Checks please) Read More

   MXN Cash (Mexican Pesos) Read More

Please remember that each traveler must turn in a signed Trip Form
(Except if you are using our Online Booking System)

Instructions for Trip Form:
 bullet Download this link: Trip form
 bullet Fill it out
 bullet Print it and sign it
 bullet Put your Trip Form, your phone number, and email address inside an envelope
 bullet Seal the envelope and address it to:     Rodrigo Lopez / Travelian PMB 214-B
 bullet If you are in San Miguel de Allende, deliver the envelope to: La Conexion on Aldama #3
 bullet If you are in United States or in Canada or another country outside Mexico, mail it to:
    Rodrigo Lopez / Travelian PMB # 214-B
    220 N. Zapata Hwy. # 11
    Laredo, TX 78043-4464


Payment with credit card
    To pay with credit card, please use our Online Booking System it's very simple.

Payment by wire transfer
    To pay by wire transfer from a U.S. Bank in U.S. Dollars, please use this information:

    bullet Beneficiary: Intercam Casa de Bolsa, S.A. de C.V.
    bullet Address of beneficiary:  Rio Tiber No. 67   Col. Cuauhtemoc   06500 Mexico, D.F.
    bullet Account No. 8900720557
    bullet ABA (Routing): 021 000 018 (for domestic transfers, within the USA)
    bullet Bank: Bank of New York Mellon
    bullet Branch address:  1 Wall Street 19th floor   New York, N.Y.   10015 U.S.A.
    bullet For further credit to: Rodrigo Lopez

       Please notify Rodrigo Lopez, of the expecting wire transfers so that we can
       identify them immediately.

       For any questions regarding this matter, please contact directly Rodrigo Lopez
       Email: or by phone: +52 (415) 100 2798

       To to download or print this information about Wire Transfers, please click here.

Payment with check (don't send US checks please)
     If using a bank account from Canada or another country (except USA),
     please make your checks payable to: Rodrigo Lopez

    bullet Put your check, Trip Form, your phone number, and email address inside an envelope
    bullet Seal the envelope and address it to:     Rodrigo Lopez / Travelian PMB 214-B
    bullet If you are in San Miguel de Allende, deliver the envelope to: La Conexion on Aldama #3
    bullet If you are in United States or in Canada or another country outside Mexico, mail it to:
       Rodrigo Lopez / Travelian PMB # 214-B
       220 N. Zapata Hwy. # 11
       Laredo, TX 78043-4464

Payment with cash (only mxn pesos)
    At the moment we can only accept cash payments in pesos.
    All cash payments must be delivered to Carmen Silva personally:
    bullet Tel. 415 152 1662, Cel. 415 100 2081


Booking and cancellation policies

bullet Reservations will be confirmed once the full payment
   has been received
bullet Due to the cancellation policies of our providers, we must
   retain 30% of your payment if you cancel your reservation.
bullet If you cancel less than 15 days prior to departure 100% of
   your payment becomes nonrefundable. If you or we are able
   to find a traveler to fill your space we'll refund 100% of your
bullet If Travelian does not have the minumum number of travelers
   necessary for this trip, the trip will have to be cancelled, and
   you will receive a full refund of your payment

Travel Insurance
    We recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance in case
    you need to cancel.

    Here are links for providers we recommend:


What to take

We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack, whichever is easiest for you to carry.
A good size daypack is also essential.

Check list

bullet Official ID your current Passport, Mexican residency ID
   (copies are fine)
bullet Original INAPAM ID (if you have one)
bullet Water Bottle
bullet Binoculars
bullet Camera
bullet Flashlight
bullet Hat
bullet Sunblock
bullet Sunglasses
bullet Insect repellent
bullet Day pack
bullet Light-weight walking/hiking shoes
bullet Cold weather garments for day and night
bullet Pack your binoculars, toiletries and travel documents in your
   day pack A supply of resealable plastic storage bags can be
   handy for storing food items from the breakfast, to be used
   as mid-morning snacks
bullet Be sure to bring your own kleenex and small change for
   bathroom fees
bullet Money belt
bullet First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids,
   anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of
   diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you
   may be taking)
bullet Bring $5000 to $6000 Mexican Pesos for meals not included

9 days

Travel style
Culture, Nature, Shopping

Trip type
Small Group

Physical demands

Start/Finish City
Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Trip Highlights
Take a breathtaking tour of
   the Sumidero Canyon
Immerse yourself in the Fiesta
   Grande of Chiapa de Corzo
Enjoy the charm and history of
   San Cristobal de las Casas
Explore the unique highland
   villages of Chiapas
Learn about the textiles of
Purchase textiles first-hand
   from great artisans
Discover the orchid diversity
   of Chiapas
Enjoy the unique Chiapanecan

Trip Cost
Please request a quote by sending an email to:

or please give us a call:

+52 (415) 100 2798
+52 (415) 100 9175
+52 (415) 152 3644
+52 (415) 152 1662