Guest post by Josh Cantor
1 of Mexico’s new trendy travel locales is the South East state of Chiapas. It is littered with archaeological web pages, wonderful landscapes, waterfalls and a quite prominent indigenous culture as properly. The issue is that these web pages are separated by a handful of hundred km, producing it challenging to get amongst one particular and a further. As my wife and I have been preparing for our trip, we mulled more than a handful of transportation selections. We decided to rent a vehicle and I can confidently say that this is each a secure and expense-successful route. I have outlined under the particulars of driving in Chiapas and even integrated our itinerary.
The key concern for us was security. A speedy google search will usually outcome in horror stories from fellow travelers who have been robbed and/or harassed. 1 of the 1st factors that I noticed when driving was the police presence along the way. Cops have been posted at a number of intervals to assist deter crime. My wife constantly ensured that the doors have been locked, but that was under no circumstances an problem. A good surprise was that the gas stations have been not self-pump. All of the gas stations have an attendant that will pump the as for you (do not ever use your card even though, constantly spend in money as cards usually get duplicated)
A great deal to our delight, the roads have been all properly paved. More than the 1000 km round trip there have been only handful of loose gravel and rock portions. This is not mentioning the occasional pot hole, but they can be popular in the states as properly. The roads had posted indicators advising of speed limit, blind curves, and a “no passing” rule (which was hardly observed).
The Chiapas location has 3 key roadways. The 190 connects Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas de Corzo and San Cristobal de las Casas. This highway is in the most effective situation and is easiest to travel due to the fact the other two are in the mountains and have switchbacks and quite a few sharp curves. The 199 will take you from San Cristobal up to Palenque and 307 connects Palenque to Frontera Corozal. Collectively these will take you to the key points of interest along the way.
The one particular issue that was troublesome was all of the speed bumps or “topes.” As opposed to the states, the speed bumps have been not painted yellow. This produced them really hard to locate and usually resulted in either braking sharply or a quite short but uncomfortable moment of turbulence. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some have been wide and smooth, narrow and pointy, and then the occasional lengthy hump. They actually can be a discomfort when driving 70+ km/h and then getting to break down to 20 nearly out of nowhere. With what seemed like hundreds of them littered along the path, they can get actually annoying. We went by way of these troubles and have outlined a handful of essential points that can assist you keep away from any unnecessary discomfort.
1. Anytime you see a town or a congregation of individuals, BE Prepared to slow down. The topes generally coincide with towns to encourage the drivers to slow down and let the locals to promote snacks and other goods.
two. They will under no circumstances be alone. There is generally one particular getting into town and one particular leaving town. Attempt not to accelerate till you are positive that you have passed them all.
three. Appear at the driver ahead of you. The locals in this location are quite courteous drivers. They will advise you of the bumps by flashing their hazard lights. It is excellent practice to advise the driver behind you as properly.
four. It appears clear, but appear for the posted indicators. A “tope 250 mts” will nearly constantly be posted you just have to appear for them. Some are handwritten.
We did run into a handful of tolls along the way. To my count there was only four.five tolls (clarification to stick to). The 1st toll we encountered was amongst Tuxtla Gutierrez and San Cristobal de las Casas. A regular highway toll that expense us 50 Mexican pesos. The second toll (and by far most suspect aspect of complete trip) came in Oxchuc. The town is about an hour outdoors of San Cristobal de las Casas. We had to spend 50 pesos to a handful of guys ahead of they raised the wooden stick with nails (not joking). I actually believe it was a lot more of a show but the town was not a location I wanted to quit and argue more than a handful of pesos. The final toll was on our way to Frontera Corazol to see the ruins at Yaxitchan. We encountered four gentleman “working” on the road who asked for a handful of pesos. We didn’t have to spend it on the way back so I do not count that as a genuine toll, just terrible timing. In total we spent 210 mexican pesos which amounts to about $10 USD on tolls. That is not out of the ordinary for four days of driving on American highways.
Beneath is a copy of our itinerary.
Day 1 Arrive at evening in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Choose up rental vehicle from airport.
Day two Tour Canon Sumidero, Drive to Agua Azul (208 km four.five hours)
Day three Wake up and tour Agua Azul, Drive to Frontera Corozal, tour Yaxchilan ruins, drive back to Palenque, (377 km five.five hours)
Day four Tour Palenque, Drive to Miso Ha Waterfalls, drive back to San Cristobal de las Casas (213 km four.five hours)
Chiapas genuinely was a superb location to discover and we have been quite pleasantly shocked. Make positive to add it to your subsequent Mexico itinerary if you have adequate time!