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Chiapa De Corzo

“Never surrender!” is the unofficial motto of Chiapa de Corzo. Many cultures have inhabited this nook in the Rio Grijalva since 1500 BC, including the warrior soctón or chiapa Indians. In 1528, they allegedly jumped off a cliff to their death rather than succumb to the Spanish. In 1863, liberals and conservatives battled here concerning the French invasion of Mexico. And in more recent history, the mixture of mestizo and indigenous inhabitants fought for economic survival when tourism hit an historic low after the civil unrest of the Zapatista movement.

Today, the small city, located just 8 miles east of downtown Tuxtla, brims with national and international tourists eager to see the majestic Moorish fountain, the impressive Santo Domingo Church and ex-convent, and La Ceiba or silk-cotton tree where one of the soctĂłn leaders was hung yet supposedly lives on, according to local legends.

Many also come to Chiapa de Corzo in order to set out by boat and experience the intriguing Cañon del Sumidero. Around the embarcaderos and the main plaza, natives hock their wares, which include wooden figures and embroidery. 

The wooden masks and regional dress, when not sold to tourists, are used in the colorful Fiesta Grande de Chiapa. From January 9th to the 23rd, the city comes alive with strange and wonderful processions, dances and floral offerings. Midway through the festival, the parachicos appear dressed in embroidered black pants, sarape and an elaborate headpiece. Over their faces, they carry masks painted like Spaniards and a chinchin or rattle in their hands. They dance through the streets creating a commotion, which only subdues some when they stop to eat with the rest of the city at La Gran Comida.

Speaking of food, don’t miss the Jardines de Chiapa Restaurant located at one of the area’s five embarcaderos. In the leafy courtyard of this beautiful Colonial building, dine on Chiapas’ most famous cuisine, including purslane soup, roast pork, and exotic drinks and sweets. Another riverside hotspot is the Rio Grande restaurant on the Cahauré shore. Load up on an inexpensive and tasty breakfast or lunch before touring the Canyon. The huevos rancheros are a special treat.

Back in town, you can enjoy a meal and a relaxing massage at La Ceiba Hotel and Spa. Located just off the main plaza, this historic three-star hotel provides a touch of luxury to your stay in Chiapas at a reasonable rate. Busloads of tourists overrun this pleasantly quaint city in December, January and Easter time, so plan accordingly.


Other places nearby Chiapa De Corzo: Comitan De Dominguez, Zihuatanejo, Taxco, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Santo Tomas Jalietza, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Toniná (ruins), Palenque, Teotitlan Del Valle and Ocosingo.

By Noel Chilton
Sewing Ernie heads for Sesame Street Live, baking 5-tiered cakes for a quinceanos parties, founding an art center, and removing chocolate milk stains...
13 Jan 2009

Things to do in Chiapa De Corzo

Cañon del Sumidero

Crocodiles, Vultures, and Rodents, oh my! Guides point out all these creatures and more on the 35 km. trip through the canyon (not the yellow brick road). The ride starts at one of three embarcaderos ...
Chiapa De Corzo, Mexico
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