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Getting There & Departing

By Plane -- The local airport is little used, and the closest airport with regular service is in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

By Car -- From Palenque (5 hr.), the beautiful road provides jungle scenery, but portions of it may be heavily potholed or obstructed during rainy season. Check with the local state tourism office before driving. From Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the 1 1/2-hour trip winds through beautiful mountain country.

By Taxi -- Taxis from Tuxtla Gutiérrez to San Cristóbal cost around 650 pesos.

By Bus -- The ADO station (which also handles the affiliates Altos, Cristóbal Colón, and Maya de Oro) is at the corner of Insurgentes and Bulevar Juan Sabines, 8 blocks south of the main square. This company offers service to and from Tuxtla (12 buses per day), Palenque (almost every hour), and several other destinations: Mérida (two buses per day), Villahermosa (two buses per day), Oaxaca (two buses per day), and Puerto Escondido (two buses per day). To buy a bus ticket without going down to the station, go to the Ticket Bus agency, Real de Guadalupe 24 (tel. 967/678-8503). Hours are Monday to Saturday from 7am to 10pm.

The best cheap way to get to and from nearby Tuxtla Gutiérrez is by microbus, 16-seat buses that depart every 5 to 15 minutes from the small bus station across the street from the ADO bus station. The company is called Omnibuses de Chiapas (no phone). Look for white buses that say omni or expreso on the front. The fare is 38 pesos and the trip takes an hour. There are also vans making the run every 15 to 30 minutes. They can be found just off Juan Sabines by the bus station. You'll have to ask someone to point them out to you because there isn't a sign. The problem with these is that they pack too many passengers in them for comfort.

Orientation

Arriving -- To get to the town square from the highway, turn on to Avenida Insurgentes (at the traffic light). From the bus station, the main plaza is 8 blocks north up Avenida Insurgentes (a 10-min. walk, slightly uphill). Cabs are cheap and plentiful.

Visitor Information -- The Municipal Tourism Office (tel./fax 967/678-0665) is in the town hall, west of the main square. It's open daily from 9am to 9pm. Check the bulletin board here for apartments, shared rides, cultural events, and local tours.

Personal Safety -- Though criminal organizations are active in the state of Chiapas (smuggling drugs overland from Guatemala and preying upon Central American immigrants attempting to get to the U.S.), they mostly work in the Pacific coast region of the state. San Cristóbal is far from this area. Life here remains normal. Locals don't evince the concern that they do in other parts of Mexico. The city doesn't have a gang problem and is by and large a safe place to visit.

City Layout -- San Cristóbal is laid out on a grid; the main north-south axis is Insurgentes/Utrilla, and the east-west axis is Mazariegos/Madero. All streets change names when they cross either of these streets. The zócalo (main plaza) lies where they intersect. An important street to know is Real de Guadalupe, which runs from the plaza eastward to the church of Guadalupe, and has many hotels and restaurants. The market is 7 blocks north of the zócalo along Utrilla.

Take note that this town has at least three streets named Domínguez and two streets named Flores. There are Hermanos Domínguez, Belisario Domínguez, and Pantaleón Domínguez; and María Adelina Flores and Dr. Felipe Flores.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.