Although they are extremely different, especially in terms of climate and identity, the southern states of Mexico, Chiapas, and Yucatán share several attractions in common. Similarities become more relevant than ever at a time when tourism that comes to Mexico is focused almost exclusively on five destinations.
It should be noted that although both states are perfect for lovers of typical Mexican colonial cities, for adventurers who want to immerse themselves in exuberant nature, and for the curious in search of the main Mayan archaeological sites, the wonders of Chiapas, although they are just as extraordinary, they are still a bit unnoticed and this makes the visit a little less noisy.
That said, here are three reasons why Chiapas is the new Yucatan.
1. Chiapas and Yucatan, a trip to the heart of the Mayan world
Those who travel to the Yucatan Peninsula to discover the remains of the Mayan cities of Ek Balam, Uxmal or Coba in the middle of the jungle, or to admire the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, one of the new wonders of the world, will feel just as satisfied in Chiapas. In fact, this mountainous state is also home to important Mayan cities.
Among the incredible remains of Chiapas is the pre-Hispanic city of Palenque, listed by UNESCO as one of the most influential Mayan sites on the planet.
On the other hand, even more, lost in the middle of the jungle, only accessible after a boat trip on the Usumacinta River, the first Mayan city, Yaxchilán, is an incredible archaeological site and a true jewel that is still very well preserved. The ancient city of Bonampak and in it is also majestic and it is possible to contemplate original paintings, stelae and very old and unique lintels.
2. Immersion in exuberant nature in both states
The Yucatan Peninsula is home to several million hectares of the Selva Maya, which is one of the main lungs of the continent after the Amazon. In Chiapas, we have the Lacandona Jungle which also plays an important role in the oxygenation of our planet. This place is full of biodiversity. Hundreds of plant species protect butterflies, birds, mammals, reptiles.
Another example of the natural treasures of Chiapas, El Triunfo is considered the most diverse forest in North and Central America.
Chiapas also has nothing to envy Yucatan when it comes to cenotes. Geologists may argue, but in that state there are also deep, wide abysses filled with water, known as cenotes.
An example of this is El cenote Chukumaltik, an extraordinary site where it is possible to observe, under crystal clear waters, a magnificent statue of the Virgen de los Dolores.
3. Cute Mexican colonial cities in southern Mexico
If Mérida, Valladolid and Campeche are the essential colonial cities in southern Mexico, Chiapas also has some gems that should not be missed. In fact, San Cristóbal de las Casa is the most beautiful colonial city in the state and one of the most beautiful in the country. Founded by the Spanish in the 16th century, this magical town fuses traditions with its architecture, making it one of the most emblematic places in Chiapas. Its colorful houses, its many churches and its cathedral are simple works of art that every traveler needs to admire once in a lifetime.
For its part, the center of Comitán also stands out for its colonial and baroque style. Finally, the Fuente de la Pila, a work of Spanish-American colonial art, is one of the reasons to visit Chiapa de Corzo, a town that is said to have been abandoned by the Spanish due to its heat.
The state of Chiapas is a unique place for those who seek to disconnect from their daily life and discover Mexico beyond Yucatan. With its cultural heritage and legacy of Mayan customs as well as its exceptional landscapes and natural resources, Chiapas has everything that gives Mexico its charm.