Getting There & Departing
By Plane -- Tuxtla's airport (airport code: TGZ) is 45 minutes south of the city. There is taxi service at the airport. With the separate closings of Aviacsa and Mexicana, air service has declined, but the void has been partially filled by Aeroméxico (tel. 800/237-6639 in the U.S., or 01-800/021-4000 in Mexico; www.aeromexico.com) and two domestic discount airlines: VivaAerobus (tel. 01-81/8215-0150 in Mexico; www.vivaaerobus.com) and Interjet (tel. 866/285-9525 from the U.S., or 01-80/0011-2345 in Mexico; www.interjet.com.mx). But no matter which you choose, you'll be flying in and out of Mexico City.
By Car -- From Oaxaca, you'll enter Tuxtla by Hwy. 190. From Villahermosa, or Palenque and San Cristóbal, you'll enter at the opposite end of town on the same highway from the east. In both cases, you'll arrive at the large main square at the center of town, La Plaza Cívica.
From Tuxtla to Villahermosa, take Hwy. 190 east past the town of Chiapa de Corzo; soon you'll see a sign for Hwy. 195 north to Villahermosa. To San Cristóbal and Palenque, take Hwy. 190 east. The road is beautiful but tortuous. It's in good repair to San Cristóbal, but there may be bad spots between San Cristóbal and Palenque. The trip from Tuxtla to Villahermosa takes 8 hours by car; the scenery is beautiful.
By Bus -- The ADO bus station (tel. 961/612-2624) is a mile northwest of the city center on Avenida 5 Norte Poniente, at the Plaza del Sol. There are eight buses a day to Villahermosa, three or four buses a day to Oaxaca, and five to Palenque. There's usually no need to buy a ticket ahead of time, except during holidays. Small buses (microbuses) to San Cristóbal leave every 5 to 15 minutes from the station at the intersection of Avenida 4 Sur and Calle 15 Oriente.
Arriving -- There is taxi service from the airport to town (220 pesos) and taxi service at the bus station.
Visitor Information -- Information desks are on the main square and on Avenida Central across from Parque de la Marimba. They are open daily from 9am to 2pm and from 4 to 8pm. Some staff speak English and can provide good maps.
City Layout -- Tuxtla is laid out on a grid. The main street, Avenida Central, is the east-west axis and is the artery through town for Hwy. 190. West of the central district, it's called Bulevar Belisario Domínguez, and in the east, it's Bulevar Angel Albino Corzo. Calle Central is the north-south axis. The rest of the streets have names that include one number and two directions. This tells you how to get to the street. For example, to find the street 5 Norte Poniente (5 North West), you walk 5 blocks north from the center of town and turn west. To find 3 Oriente Sur, you walk 3 blocks east from the main square and turn south. When people indicate intersections, they can shorten the names because it's redundant.