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Tuxtla Gutierrez

Many visitors hop right over Tuxtla, land of the rabbits, and focus on the more popular Mayan ruins, natural wonders, and quaint colonial towns of eastern Chiapas. However, Tuxtla de Gutierrez, located at 550m (1804 feet) above sea level, provides a pleasant respite for harried travelers who have been racing around tourist attractions. Don’t sleep-in too late, though, or you’ll miss out on all the little-known treasures Tuxtla has to offer.

Tuxtla History

The Zoque people founded the settlement in the 15th century and called it Coyatoc, home of the rabbits. The Zoque made their community in the foothills of the Mount Mactumatza where hare and other small animals abounded. Later, the Aztecs moved in and translated the name into Nahuatl—Tuchtlan. Under Spanish rule, the name evolved to Tuxtla. Diego de Mazariegos led the first Spanish expedition into Chiapas. He and his followers defeated most of the indigenous groups living in what is now known as the Depression of Chiapas, while some are said to have hurled themselves into the Cañon del Sumidero to avoid capture.

The title of state capital bounced back and forth between Tuxtla and San Cristobal for decades until it finally stuck in 1892. In 1911 citizens of San Cristobal tried to forcefully regain their leadership role, but failed. Today, the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez is the center of government affairs, a commercial hub, and home to over 565,000 inhabitants.

Tuxtla Today

Tuxlecos are mostly mestizo people, busy with their everyday commercial and service activities. Many of their enterprises cater to business travelers attending agricultural or political conferences.

The modernity and cleanliness of the city pleasantly surprise both business and pleasure travelers alike. The city has taken pains to plant and protect many green areas amidst the modern constructions. Restaurants and hotels of all categories can be found along the main boulevard or downtown.

Things to See and Do in Tuxtla

In the center of town, visitors can gaze up at the cathedral, enjoy an agua fresca on the plaza civica or the Parque de la Marimba, experience the city’s important theaters and libraries, or stroll through the markets.

The museums, botanical garden, zoo, and scenic overlooks (Los Miradores) are located on the edge of town. The Museo Regional de Chiapas gives an introduction to the area’s archaeology, history and customs while the Museo de Paleontología Eliseo Palacios exhibits evidence from ten thousand years of flora and fauna. Tuxtla de Gutierrez also makes for a good base camp a day trip to the Cañon del Sumidero.


Other places nearby Tuxtla Gutierrez: Acapulco, Toniná (ruins), Comitan De Dominguez, Santo Tomas Jalietza, Oaxaca, Tehuantepec, Chiapa De Corzo, Ciudad Cuauhtemoc, Santa Catarina Minas and Zihuatanejo.

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 Tuxtla Gutierrez

San Marcos

The Catedral de San Marcos flanks the plaza cĂ­vica to the south. The strange side-view reflects the many renovations inflicted on the building over five centuries. The landmark not only attracts ...
City Plaza
Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico
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