If you want to explore the different Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas, this list will help you figure out which ones to add to your Mexico bucket list.
Chiapas is the Southernmost state in Mexico, bordering Guatemala, and it’s one of the most historically and culturally rich regions of the country.
Maybe you’ve heard of a few of the most popular places in the state, like the ruins in Palenque and the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas, and while both of these places have made it on the list of Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas, there are a few others that are definitely worth discovering.
What is a Pueblo Mágico?
In the past, so many incredible towns were often overlooked by tourists for the sole reason that no one even knew they existed. Thankfully, in 2001, the Mexican Government launched the Pueblos Mágicos Award, which has helped bring attention and tourism to these lesser-known spots.
These magical towns bring the magic of Mexico to life through culturally rich experiences, vibrant traditions and flavors, natural landscapes, and a certain feeling that just can’t be felt in the overrun tourist hotspots.
Each year, new towns do their best to maintain the culture of Mexico in hopes of getting awarded as a Pueblo Mágico, and because the list updates each year, this also encourages current Pueblos Mágicos to continue their efforts of preserving their magic.
If you’ve always traveled to the traditional cities of Mexico like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, and Mexico City, maybe it’s time to explore the smaller towns and get a taste of the Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas.
How many Pueblos Mágicos are there in Chiapas?
There are currently six Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas
Pueblo Magicos in Chiapas
Chiapas has some of the most diverse nature and beautiful indigenous cultures in all of Mexico.
This is why you have to discover these six Chiapas Pueblos Mágicos.
1. Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, Chiapas
In 2023, two new towns were added to the list of magic towns in Chiapas and the first one is Ocozocoautla de Espinosa, or as locals call it, Coita.
The town is just about an hour and a half from San Cristobal de las Casas, but it’s much smaller and lesser known.
However, each year, it’s growing and growing, and I bet, given the Pueblo Mágico title, it will just make its popularity rise even more.
Coita is known for its beauty, both natural and man-made. With small streets lined with colonial architecture, bright-colored buildings, and local markets.
Coita will feel like a step back in time. So much of the town is steeped in Zoque culture, and it’s something you won’t find in many other parts of Mexico.
Zoques are considered one of the oldest groups in all of Mesoamerica, and their language has survived centuries. In Coita, you can see this influence through the colorful textiles and traditional handicrafts that are still being made today. The best way to see this culture, though, is at the famous Carnival de Coita.
It’s full of Zoque traditions and is one of the most colorful festivals in Mexico. It’s one of the oldest carnivals in the country and brings in guests from all over the world to experience the unique rituals and dances.
Everyone takes to the streets dressed in their most colorful outfits, with what looks like piñatas on their heads. Everyone wears masks and participates in asking the sun god for a good harvest.
The traditions that can be experienced in Coita make this one of the most culturally rich towns on this list of Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas.
Where to Stay in Ocozocautla
Most people stay in the capital city of Tuxtla and drive 30 minutes into the magical town.
Fly into Tuxtla and stay at the Holiday Inn Express Tuxtla Gutierrez La Marimba, an IHG to have a nice place to stay and easy access to Coita.
2. San Cristóbal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas is typically the first stop on everyone’s Chiapas itinerary. It was listed as the first Pueblo Mágico in Chiapas in 2003 (just two years after the program started!), so it’s definitely worked hard to keep its magic town status.
It’s one of my favorite Pueblos Mágicos in all of Mexico and definitely my favorite in Chiapas. It’s extremely culturally rich and has a ton of activities to do.
Because it’s so close to Guatemala, you’ll find the place is filled with backpackers that are on the gringo trail (a backpacking route through the Americas.) But in recent years, it’s also become a hotspot for digital nomads who want a slower pace to the bigger beach towns.
Walking around town is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, just admiring all of the brightly colored buildings and cobblestone streets.
There are also a ton of markets in San Cristobal. You can find everything from embroidered shirts to colorful skirts and woven huaraches.
Because of its location, the indigenous culture is very present in San Cristobal. It’s amazing to learn about the different customs that are still in practice today.
From San Cristobal, you can take quite a few day trips to some of the must-do’s in the region. The most popular is the incredible Sumidero Canyon.
You can take a boat ride through the canyon and see some of the most breathtaking views in Chiapas. Another nearby town that you can visit is Chamula which has an incredible history and a church with a service unlike any other in Mexico.
Where to stay in San Cristobal
There is an abundance of gorgeous stays in San Cristobal. Check out the full guide on where to stay in San Cristobal.
This hotel is perfect for those who want to keep their costs low. It’s located right in the center of town and has a gorgeous Mexican-style garden to enjoy breakfast and a yummy coffee on the cool San Cris mornings.
If you’re looking for a little more luxury, enjoy this hotel. You can relax after a day of walking around town in the jacuzzi tub or get an onsite massage at the spa.
3. Chiapa de Corzo
Just 10 minutes from Tuxtla Gutierrez is the most unique Pueblo Mágico in Chiapas, Chiapa de Corzo.
It’s one of the oldest towns in all of Mexico, as it was founded in 1528. The town is surrounded by mountains and sits on the Grijalva River.
Lots of travelers sadly only see a small part of this town on their way to the Sumidero Canyon. If you have the time, spend a few hours (or a day) wandering around and seeing all it has to offer.
The main plaza looks quite a bit different than other towns in Mexico. Usually, there is a large church that is the center of attention, but here, it’s a Moorish-style building that may make you feel more like you’re in Seville than Chiapas.
The town is also known for its delicious cuisine, so you need at least a little bit of time to try all the best foods. Read our full guide to traditional Mexican food to learn more about these and other foods.
Where to Stay in Chiapa de Corzo
You can stay right in the center of town at this colonial-style hacienda. There is a lovely green garden to enjoy a homemade breakfast, and the rooms are full of traditional decorations, giving you the full Chiapa de Corzo experience.
I didn’t realize how big the state of Chiapas was until I tried to get to the magic town of Palenque, but I knew I had to see it with the famous Palenque ruins and the jungle that surrounds it.
The town is extremely remote and is not the easiest of the Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas to reach. There are a few ways of getting to Palenque. You can fly into the small airport via CDMX, Cancun, or Tuxtla, but keep in mind there aren’t flights every day.
You can also hop on a bus and make the six-hour journey from Tuxtla or San Cristobal. This is the most popular way to get to the ruins but prepare for a long few days.
Palenque was a Maya city-state that flourished from the 7th century BC to the 10th century AD. The ruins are remarkably well-preserved and are considered some of the most impressive works that the Mayas ever created. Walking through the site, it’s easy to see why it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The buildings at Palenque were designed to align with the sun and stars, showcasing the Mayas’ advanced knowledge of astronomy.
One of the most impressive structures is The Temple of Inscriptions. Inside are hieroglyphic inscriptions detailing the history of Palenque’s rulers. Make sure also to check out the Palace and the Temple of the Cross Group.
One of the things that makes this archeological site so special is that the entire thing is engulfed in the jungle. At any given time, you will hear monkeys shouting (we even heard them from our hotel in the center of town). It was also the first place in my life that I saw toucans.
If you close your eyes, you can only imagine has stunning this place was when it was at the peak of its civilization.
Where to Stay in Palenque
This hotel is located in the center of Palenque. It’s about a 15-minute drive to the ruins, but when you aren’t at the ruins, you’ll be able to enjoy the swimming pool and discover the little town of Palenque.
If you want to stay close to the ruins, check out this boutique hotel. It’s located in the jungle outside of the ruins. It’s been decorated to incorporate the Mayan culture, giving you the full cultural experience.
Copainalá is one of the newest additions to the list of Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas, and if I’m being honest, I’m not sure I would recommend making a special trip just to visit this town.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s a charming little place with traditional houses, cobblestone streets, and friendly people. But no more so than other Pueblos Mágicos in Chiapas and other places that have been left off of the list like Tapachula (Finca Argovia is one of the most magical places in all of Chiapas!).
It’s located in the mountains in Chiapas, and you can find some pretty cool waterfalls if you’re up for an adventure and it’s not too far from Tuxtla Guttierez. If you are driving and want to check this one out, it’s an easy day trip from there.
6. Comitán de Dominguez
Comitán de Dominguez is sadly often overshadowed by its neighbor San Cristobal, but it’s actually the third largest city in Chiapas and definitely deserves a stop on the list of Pueblos Mágicos of Chiapas.
It’s located right near the border of Guatemala, making it an easy stop for those who are going backpacking into Central America. The colorful town offers a little bit of everything that makes towns magical. It has gorgeous nature, a rich history, and delicious food.
The town is lined with colorful buildings, and the local markets throughout the city are some of my favorite in all of Chiapas.
The street food is perhaps one of the best reasons to come all in itself.
But one of my top recommendations is to check out the Comitan Archaeological Museum. The exhibits hold some of the most well-preserved artifacts from Southern Mexico. The museum’s display is in chronological order, making it easy to learn about Palenque’s history up until now.
If you want to get out and see the stunning nature of Chiapas, you have to take a day trip to El Chiflon Falls. You’ll be able to see 5 different waterfalls, and they’re some of the most beautiful in Mexico, with crystal-clear water that you can even swim in!
If you aren’t planning on staying in Comitán, you can take this day trip from Tuxtla to see the falls.
Where to Stay in Comitán
Right near the plaza, this colorful hotel is perfect for a traditional-style stay. The rooms are comfortable, and the garden is overflowing with greenery.