La Ruta Maya

La Ruta Maya

San Cristóbal de Las Casas is strategically located within the magical land of the Maya. Day trips and longer adventures farther East and into the jungles of Chiapas bring travelers closer to understanding and appreciating the rich past and present cultures of the Maya. The end-of-the-world prophesies have made La Ruta Maya (or The Mayan Route) a popular topic. For this reason, in November 2011 Lonely Planet named The Mayan Route as the second of ten top regions of the world to visit in 2012.  But even before the prophesies made the headlines, people were...
Fiestas in San Juan Chamula

Fiestas in San Juan Chamula

Wild west cowboy hats, knee length tunics of white or black lamb’s wool, and hands inside tunics at chest height all distinguish the Tzotzil community of San Juan Chamula from its neighbor Zinacantan in the valley next door. I call it a cowboy town, a bit rough and ready for action.   The church in the center of town is what draws most visitors to Chamula. It’s here that Maya beliefs and traditions prevail over Christian practices. Statues of Catholic saints clothed in layers of heavily embroidered Maya textiles carry mirrors around their necks. Some say...
Circle Tour Through Chiapas

Circle Tour Through Chiapas

Road Trip! We did the circle tour of Chiapas in a speed limit-breaking three days. From San Cristóbal de Las Casas to Palenque, south to Guacamayas, west to El Chiflon, and back up to San Cristóbal de Las Casas. We probably should have taken five or more days to fully enjoy the rich Maya history and natural wonders of the area. There are so many opportunities for adventure and eco-travel along the beaten and un-beaten paths. But if you have only three days, it’s a beautiful trip that will bring you back another time to San Cristóbal and La Joya Hotel to explore...
The Ruins of Tonina

The Ruins of Tonina

The ruins of Tonina lie approximately two hours from La Joya Hotel San Cristóbal, at the end of a beautiful drive through hills and pastures. Tonina offers a unique opportunity to explore Maya history quietly, and often alone, without throngs of tourists and souvenir vendors. Because the original buildings were constructed with small rocks that climb a steep hill, the ruins are not considered a true pyramid but a series of seven terraces. These terraces rise 71 meters and face south to views of rich farmlands and distant mountains. Most of Tonina’s structures...