The vegetation that dresses its corners creates an atmosphere of relaxation and comfort. Its white walls contrast with the curious face-shaped pots that were made by the Amatenango del Valle community.
If you are traveling with someone, the deluxe king size room is your best option. A wide bed to rest with views to the gardens of the place. Without a doubt, Sombra del Agua is a great rest alternative in San Cristóbal de las Casas.
Tarumba: a feast of fragrance, flavors, and traditions
This restaurant is part of the gastronomic offer of Sombra del Agua. It offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner service, under a proposal of original cuisine by Chef Jorge Gordillo.
For breakfast, you must try the omelet stuffed with chicken tinga, bathed in chipotle sauce, ground beans and pumpkins on the comal: pure morning hug. There is also a variety of tamales (saffron, chipilín or mole coleto). The motul eggs are other must-eat, they are bathed in tatemada sauce, on tortillas stuffed with ham, beans and quesillo accompanied by peas, avocado and molote stuffed with Ocosingo cheese.
Cafeología, a sanctuary for coffee
Cafeología is more than a cafeteria, it is an entire enclosure for coffee. The project was founded by Jesús Salazar, Coffeeologist, promoter and coffee expert, who has dedicated his career to supporting Chiapas coffee growers, improving cultivation processes together with them, in search of producing the best coffees. And the proof is in each of the drinks on its menu.
If you are a coffee lover by heart and want to learn more about the bean culture, try the tasting; It is a very enriching experience and is guided by an expert barista. Four drinks that will introduce you to the three virtues of the coffee plant: an infusion of the flower, another of the shell, and one of the beans.
Church of Saint John the Baptist
Just 25 minutes from San Cristóbal de las Casas, San Juan Chamula is one of the most magical places that could exist in the state of Chiapas. For the Chamula people, the Catholic religion has a strong presence in their lives, however, the inhabitants are also deeply believers in the ancient Mayan deities. This resulted in a very characteristic mix in their faith.
The church of San Juan Bautista is the redoubt of this syncretism. With its impeccable white façade, embellished with emerald details. The temple stands as one of the most representative symbols of the state.
There are no words (not the most exact) to describe what is experienced when entering the temple. To begin with, photographs inside are strictly prohibited, we recommend you keep your camera or cell phone to avoid inconvenience by the guards. There are fines for those who do not respect this rule. This gives you a closer idea of what you can experience.
Once inside, the first thing that will catch your attention is the brightness of hundreds of lighted candles throughout the church. There are no benches. The villagers pray on the floor, which is covered with pine or sedge leaves, as they call it locally. From the ceiling, black with smoke from the candles, hang curtains and chandeliers. The main altar, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, stands out in the background, while on the sides are several saints adorned with colored ribbons.
As a couple, alone or as a family, people come to San Juan Bautista to pray for different purposes. The prayers are accompanied by offerings of candles, all attached to the floor and arranged in different positions, depending on the purpose. Also, black chickens, eggs, cokes, and pox bottles are part of these rites.
Going to San Cristóbal de las Casas and not visiting Zinacantán is like not having gone. This Tzotzil town, dedicated to the textile tradition, is the most colorful and full of history that you will be able to visit. Family workshops are always willing to receive tourists to teach them the value and work of the waist loom.
In the town of Zinacantán there is also the church of San Lorenzo, the Museum of Las Mujeres Tejedoras (Weavers Women), where they share some of the most common symbols and meanings in local embroidery. If this passage is already beautiful, add the greenhouses of roses, chrysanthemums, and carnations. Spoiler, you are not going to stop taking photos, much less are you going to resist buying some textile: tablecloths, shawls, scarves, dresses, and bags of all colors.
Walk, museums and markets
Walking through the streets of San Cris is also essential. Go through the main walkways (Avenida 20 de noviembre and Real de Guadalupe), where the smell of coffee and roasted corn will lead you to the Old Market of San Cristóbal; an obligatory stop to discover the gastronomic diversity of the region. You will be surprised with the postcards of ingredients that each tenant offers you: fruits, vegetables, meats, and prepared food.
If you want to explore regional flavors, give cinnamon water or sour atole a try, you can find them at any market stall. With your eyes full, you can head towards the Sweets and Crafts Market, located next to the Church of San Francisco, in case you need to buy souvenirs for your family or friends.
A few steps from the square, you will also find the Cathedral of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Its façade exhibits the baroque art of the area in harmony with the yellow and red color of its walls. The ideal place to make the Instagram postcard, since the sunset is worth sharing with your friends.
San Juan Bar
The weekend would not be complete without the experience of Barra San Juan, or memory bar, as chef Jorge Gordillo calls it. An experience that will fill all your senses. And the heart too. Dinner takes place in front of the diner. You can see how the chef prepares a variety of starters, salads, soups and main dishes made with the freshest and most seasonal ingredients, brought from the local market.
The staging of the ingredients begins with a clay griddle, where tomatoes, chili peppers and tortillas made by hand by Doña Irma are grilled. Chef Jorge will use a molcajete to make the sauce that will accompany the first half, while Cristy, the mixologist, will bring you Tarumba’s signature cocktail.
The evening continues with a collection of poems of flavors: esquites and baby corn with coffee mayonnaise, an apple salad with strawberry and guava vinaigrette, a rustic pumpkin soup and fish in a banana leaf. The cecina toast with cocoa ashes, and the corn ice cream with fresh fruits close the evening in Barra San Juan. An experience between candles, chiapas sounds, pottery and incense, which tastes of home cooking and tradition. We recommend you book in advance.
Other points of interest
H.A.M: Fan of bacon? Here you will find the best, we assure you. The family-owned shop produces handmade artisan charcuterie, from ham and sausages to fuet. Don’t leave without trying their tasting table. Instagram: @h.a.m.charcuteria
La Espirituosa: a store and tasting table where you can try pox and comiteco, as well as local craft beer, good food to accompany it, cool drinks and house mixology. Instagram: @la.espirituosa
Cacao Nativa: the Chiapas artisan chocolate boutique. Try its different varieties of cocoa combined with nuts, coffee or ginger. Instagram: @caconativa
Club de Lechones: to eat some tacos or some gringas de lechón. Instagram: @clubdelechones
Source: Food and Wine