Comitán is a cute pueblo magico located in Chiapas, Mexico, and is truly one of the most underrated towns waiting to be discovered in the country’s south. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural beauty, Comitan offers a unique travel experience that will captivate your senses.
It may be one of the lesser visited towns in one of the lesser visited states of Mexico but we have put together 10 compelling reasons to visit Comitan. From its pretty town square to its surrounding natural wonders, Comitan has something for everyone.
Where is Comitan?
1. The Enchanting Natural Wonders Around Comitan
Of all the many reasons to visit Comitan, the standout for us is that it is surrounded by an abundance of natural wonders that will leave you in awe of the Earth’s beauty. From breathtaking lakes to mesmerizing waterfalls, the region offers a diverse range of natural landscapes that beckon adventurers and nature enthusiasts.
One of the most enchanting natural wonders near Comitan is the Montebello Lakes. Nestled amidst lush green forests, these crystal-clear lakes captivate with their vibrant turquoise hues. As you explore the area, you’ll encounter a series of interconnected lakes, each with its own unique charm.
From the tranquil Lagunas de Montebello to the larger and more dramatic Lagunas de Colon, every corner offers a picturesque setting for hiking, picnicking, and immersing yourself in nature’s splendour.
For those seeking the awesome power of cascading waters, El Chiflon Waterfalls are a must-visit. Located just outside Comitan, these cascades create a captivating spectacle as the water plunges down from great heights, creating a refreshing mist and a symphony of sounds.
Take a sometimes challenging stroll along the paths that lead to the different tiers of the waterfall, and you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas at every turn. Don’t forget to bring your swimsuit, as there are natural pools where you can take a refreshing dip surrounded by the lush jungle.
Comitan is also blessed with impressive underground wonders. The Cave of Rancho Nuevo beckons explorers with its mystical allure. Venture into the depths of this underground marvel and be prepared to be amazed by the intricate stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over thousands of years. As you navigate through the caverns, you’ll feel a sense of wonder and admiration for the forces of nature that have shaped this hidden gem.
In addition to these natural wonders, Comitan offers opportunities for hiking, birdwatching, and exploring its diverse ecosystems. The El Arcotete Natural Park is a haven for nature lovers, with its dense forests, limestone formations, and hidden caves waiting to be discovered. Embark on a guided tour or venture out on your own to uncover the secrets of this natural wonderland.
2. The Rich History of Comitan
Comitan is a destination steeped in history and brimming with architectural marvels that will transport you to a bygone era! You’ll be delighted by the vibrant past and cultural heritage that permeate the city’s charming streets.
Comitan’s history dates back centuries to pre-Columbian times when the Mayan civilization thrived and cultural exchange flourished. With the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century, the city became an important colonial outpost, leaving behind a legacy of breathtaking architecture.
One of the standout gems is the Cathedral of San Caralampio, an iconic structure boasting ornate facades and majestic bell towers. Step inside to immerse yourself in stunning artwork and religious artifacts that reflect the city’s deep-rooted faith and rich history.
As you wander through the historic centre, you’ll encounter buildings that whisper stories of the past. The Casa del Marques de Comillas, once a grand mansion, now a fascinating museum, offers a glimpse into the lavish lifestyle of Comitan’s elite during the colonial era. Prepare to be enchanted by its elegant courtyards, intricate woodwork, and antique furnishings.
Not to be outshone, the Palacio Municipal, the city’s town hall, stands proudly with its neoclassical facade adorned with intricate details. Venture inside to admire its grand interior, complete with elegant staircases, ornate ceilings, and historical murals depicting important events in Comitan’s history.
But the city’s architectural allure isn’t confined to grand buildings alone. Picture yourself amidst colourful colonial houses, each radiating its unique charm. The wrought iron balconies, vibrant facades, and quaint courtyards create a picturesque setting perfect for leisurely strolls.
Comitan’s historical buildings are more than just relics of the past; they’re living cultural landmarks that connect the present with a proud heritage. As you explore, you’ll feel the spirit of the city and be enticed to uncover the captivating stories embedded within its walls.
In Comitan, history comes alive through its remarkable architecture, inviting you to delve into its vibrant past and embrace the fusion of cultural influences that make it truly one-of-a-kind. Get ready for an inspiring journey back in time as you traverse the enchanting streets and discover the captivating charm of Comitan!
3. Experience the Cultural Festivals of Comitan
Comitan is a city that knows how to celebrate its vibrant culture and rich traditions through captivating festivals. Throughout the year, the city comes alive with joyous events that showcase the unique heritage of its people and provide an immersive cultural experience.
One of the most exciting festivals in Comitan is the Feria de Comitan, a lively carnival-like celebration that takes place annually. During this event, the streets are transformed into a bustling hub of activity, filled with music, dance, colourful parades, and vibrant costumes.
Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere as the rhythmic beats of traditional music fill the air and performers showcase their talent through captivating dance performances. Indulge in delicious traditional cuisine, savouring flavours that are unique to the region.
The Feria de Comitan is a true feast for the senses, offering a delightful blend of entertainment, cultural immersion, and gastronomic delights.
Another remarkable cultural festival in Comitan is the Day of the Dead celebrations. This traditional Mexican holiday is a time when families gather to honour and remember their departed loved ones. The streets of Comitan come alive with vibrant altars adorned with marigolds, candles, and photographs, creating a striking visual spectacle.
Intricate sugar skulls, colourful papel picado (paper banners), and the aroma of copal incense add to the ambience. Witness the heartfelt traditions as locals pay their respects through music, dance, and offerings. The Day of the Dead celebrations in Comitan offer a unique opportunity to witness the profound connection between life, death, and the enduring spirit of loved ones.
In addition to these prominent festivals, Comitan hosts a variety of cultural events throughout the year. Music festivals showcasing traditional and contemporary performances, art exhibitions featuring local artists, and theatre productions highlighting regional stories and legends are just a few examples of the diverse cultural offerings in the city.
These events provide a platform for local talent to shine and offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the artistic and cultural richness of Comitan.
Attending the cultural festivals in Comitan is not only an opportunity to witness the city’s vibrant traditions but also a chance to engage with the warm and welcoming locals. The festivals create a sense of unity and community, inviting visitors to partake in the celebrations and forge connections that transcend cultural boundaries.
4. Devour the Culinary Delights of Comitan
When it comes to exciting food, Comitan is a treasure trove of gastronomic wonders. It is known for its deep culinary heritage and diverse flavours that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.
When it comes to unique culinary experiences in Comitan, our favourite had to be the delightful “pan compuesto.” This local specialty is a delicious combination of bread, beans, cheese, avocado, and salsa, creating a mouthwatering explosion of flavours and textures.
The warm, freshly baked bread serves as the base, while the creamy beans, melted cheese, and fresh toppings elevate each bite to a new level of foodie bliss. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a hearty meal, pan compuesto is a must-try delicacy that showcases the creative and delicious fusion of ingredients in Comitan’s culinary scene.
Another of the must-try dishes in Comitan is the famous “cochito.” This succulent roasted pork dish is a local specialty that will leave you speechless. Imagine tender, juicy pork with a perfectly crispy skin, seasoned with aromatic spices.
The flavours are simply irresistible, and each bite is a delightful explosion of taste. Whether you enjoy it on its own or in a taco, cochito is a culinary experience that should not be missed.
Thirsty yet? Quench that thirst with the traditional drink called “tascalate.” This unique beverage is made from a blend of corn, cocoa, and a hint of cinnamon. With its creamy texture and rich flavours, tascalate is the perfect drink to enjoy as you explore the city.
It provides a delightful balance of sweetness and warmth, and its distinctive taste will transport you to the heart of Comitan’s culinary traditions.
As you wander through the streets of Comitan, you’ll discover a plethora of street food stalls offering a variety of mouthwatering treats. Indulge in “empanadas,” delicious turnovers filled with savoury fillings like cheese, meat, or vegetables.
Crispy on the outside and bursting with flavours on the inside, these little pockets of goodness are perfect for a quick snack or a satisfying meal.
Comitan is also known for its fresh and flavorful fruits. Explore the local markets and enjoy the abundance of tropical fruits like mangoes, papayas, and pineapples. The vibrant colours, fragrant aromas, and juicy sweetness will leave you refreshed and invigorated.
Comitan also offers a range of delightful desserts for those with a sweet tooth. Try the “marquesote,” a traditional cake made with cornflour and topped with a dusting of powdered sugar. Its dense yet tender texture, combined with a subtle sweetness, makes it an irresistible treat.
And if you’re craving something cool and refreshing, indulge in a scoop of artisanal ice cream made from locally sourced ingredients. There are some great places to try in the town square.
5. Shop for Handicrafts and Artisanal Goods in Comitan
Comitan is a haven for lovers of handicrafts and artisanal goods. The city is renowned for its rich artistic heritage and the skilful craftsmanship of its local artisans. Exploring the handicraft markets of Comitan is a fun experience that allows you to discover unique treasures and take home one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
One of the highlights of Comitan’s handicraft scene is its beautifully crafted textiles. The region is known for its intricate weaving techniques and vibrant designs. From elaborately embroidered blouses to intricately woven rugs and blankets, the textiles of Comitan are a true reflection of the city’s artistic traditions.
Each piece tells a story, showcasing the talent and creativity of the local artisans who have honed their craft for generations.
In addition to textiles, Comitan is also famous for its exquisite ceramics. Step into the workshops and studios, and you’ll witness the skilled hands of artisans shaping clay into stunning pottery.
The pieces range from functional bowls and vases to decorative figurines and tiles adorned with intricate patterns and vibrant glazes. These handmade ceramics are not only beautiful but also a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Comitan.
Handmade jewellery is another highlight of Comitan’s artisanal offerings. Local artisans create stunning pieces using techniques passed down through generations. From intricate silverwork to beaded designs, the jewellery showcases the artistry and attention to detail that makes each piece truly unique.
Spoil yourself with a handcrafted necklace, bracelet, or pair of earrings, and carry a piece of Comitan’s artistic spirit wherever you go.
Exploring the handicraft markets of Comitan provides an opportunity to engage directly with the artisans and learn about their craft. You can observe them at work, witness their techniques, and even commission custom-made pieces.
This direct interaction adds an extra layer of authenticity to your shopping experience and creates a deeper appreciation for the skill and dedication behind each creation.
When you purchase handicrafts and artisanal goods in Comitan, you not only acquire a beautiful piece but also support the local artisans and their communities. By valuing their craftsmanship and traditions, you contribute to the preservation and continuation of Comitan’s vibrant artistic heritage.
6. Discover Comitan’s Ecotourism Adventures
Comitan is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts, offering a plethora of ecotourism adventures that will leave you in awe of the natural wonders that surround the city. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply seeking an escape into the great outdoors, Comitan has something for everyone.
One of the must-visit destinations for ecotourism in Comitan is El Arcotete Natural Park. This lush natural reserve is a haven of biodiversity, featuring dense forests, towering rock formations, and hidden caves waiting to be explored.
Embark on a hiking trail that winds through the park, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the surroundings. Marvel at the unique flora and fauna, listen to the songs of birds and breathe in the fresh air as you navigate through this captivating landscape.
If you’re up for an adrenaline rush, Rancho Nuevo is the place to be. This ecotourism adventure takes you deep into the heart of the earth as you explore the intricate network of caves. Equipped with a helmet and a sense of adventure, venture into the underground realm where stalactites and stalagmites create a surreal environment.
As you navigate through the labyrinth of passages, you’ll be in awe of the natural formations that have been sculpted over thousands of years. The experience is both thrilling and humbling, allowing you to witness the wonders of nature hidden beneath the surface.
As mentioned earlier, Comitan is also a gateway to breathtaking natural landscapes, such as the majestic Montebello Lakes. Surrounded by lush green forests, these pristine lakes boast vibrant turquoise waters that beckon you to explore their beauty.
Hike along the trails that lead to different viewpoints, where you can marvel at the stunning vistas and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. Take a boat ride on the lakes to fully immerse yourself in their enchanting allure. The Montebello Lakes offer a serene escape into nature, where you can connect with the natural world and appreciate its splendour.
Comitan’s ecotourism adventures are an invitation to explore and embrace the beauty of the natural world. Whether you’re hiking through dense forests, venturing into underground caves, or immersing yourself in the serenity of lakes and waterfalls, these experiences will leave a lasting impression and create memories of a lifetime.
7. Get to Know the Friendly Locals of Comitan
One of the most delightful aspects of visiting Comitan is the warm hospitality of its residents. The locals of Comitan are known for their friendly nature and welcoming demeanour, making visitors feel right at home.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted with genuine smiles and a sense of genuine warmth that instantly puts you at ease.
The people of Comitan take pride in sharing their city’s treasures with visitors. They are eager to showcase the rich cultural heritage and natural beauty that surrounds them. As you explore the city’s attractions, don’t be surprised if you encounter friendly locals who are more than happy to provide insider tips, recommendations, and fascinating stories about the history and traditions of Comitan.
Their passion for their city is contagious, and their enthusiasm will ignite your own sense of curiosity and appreciation for the place.
Engaging in conversations with the locals is a wonderful way to learn more about Comitan’s customs and way of life. Whether you strike up a conversation in a market, café, or during a festival, you’ll find that the locals are open, approachable, and eager to connect.
Their genuine interest in sharing their experiences and hearing about yours creates a sense of camaraderie and leaves a lasting impression on visitors.
Visiting Comitan provides an opportunity to forge connections with friendly locals that go beyond the typical tourist experience. Their warm hospitality extends beyond simple interactions, and you may find yourself making unexpected friendships that add a special touch to your visit.
Whether it’s sharing a meal together, participating in a local celebration, or simply engaging in lively conversations, the friendly locals of Comitan will make you feel like a welcomed part of the community.
8. Delight in Comitan’s Colourful Architecture
Comitan is a city that delights the senses with its colourful architecture. As you wander through its streets, you’ll be captivated by the vibrant facades that adorn the buildings, creating a kaleidoscope of colours that bring the city to life.
The facades are often painted in vivid hues, ranging from deep blues and vibrant yellows to striking reds and calming pastels. The colours not only add to the aesthetic appeal but also reflect the vibrant culture and spirit of the city.
Strolling through the historic centre of Comitan is like stepping into a living museum of architectural wonders. Each building tells a story, preserving the heritage and history of the city.
The colourful facades create a picturesque backdrop for the bustling streets, inviting you to explore and discover the hidden gems that lie behind the vibrant exteriors.
The colours are not just limited to the grand buildings. Even the humble houses and small shops contribute to the vibrant palette of the city. As you walk along the streets, you’ll notice the charming details and unique touches that make each building stand out.
From quaint cafes with colourful awnings to lively marketplaces with vibrant stalls, the architectural diversity of Comitan creates a lively and inviting atmosphere.
Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply someone who appreciates beauty, the colourful streets of Comitan will leave an indelible mark on your memory and remind you of the city’s vibrant spirit.
9. Comitan is a Pueblo Magico
Comitan has earned its well-deserved title as a “Pueblo Magico” or “Magical Town” due to its enchanting qualities that set it apart from other destinations. This recognition is given to towns in Mexico that possess exceptional cultural, historical, and natural attributes, creating a captivating and magical atmosphere for visitors.
Comitan’s historical significance is one of the reasons it holds the Pueblo Magico distinction. The city is steeped in centuries of history, from its ancient Mayan roots to its colonial past. Walking through the streets, you’ll encounter stunning colonial architecture, well-preserved buildings, and landmarks that tell stories of the city’s past.
The natural beauty surrounding Comitan adds to its allure as a Pueblo Magico. The region is blessed with breathtaking landscapes, including picturesque lakes, cascading waterfalls, and dense forests. The harmony between the natural environment and the city’s architecture creates a magical ambience that captivates the senses.
Furthermore, Comitan’s vibrant culture and warm hospitality contribute to its magical charm. The friendly locals, known for their welcoming nature, invite visitors to immerse themselves in the city’s traditions and celebrations.
Cultural events, festivals, and artistic expressions are woven into the fabric of Comitan, providing opportunities for visitors to witness the unique and vibrant spirit of the community. The city’s ability to transport visitors to a different time and place, evoking a sense of wonder and enchantment, is what makes it a truly magical destination.
10. Comitan is not on the Main Tourist Route
One of the unique advantages of Comitan being off the main tourist route is the opportunity for an authentic and immersive experience. As you explore the city and interact with the locals, you’ll have a chance to witness everyday life and engage with the genuine culture of Comitan.
The absence of large crowds and tourist-oriented establishments allows for a more intimate connection with the city and its people, providing a deeper understanding of its traditions, customs, and way of life.
Being off the beaten path also means that Comitan offers a more relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. Instead of jostling with hordes of tourists, you can explore the city at your own pace, taking the time to appreciate the hidden gems and lesser-known attractions.
Whether you’re strolling through the streets, visiting local markets, or enjoying a meal at a neighbourhood restaurant, you’ll have the space to truly immerse yourself in the beauty of Comitan.
Another advantage of Comitan being off the main tourist route is the affordability. Prices for accommodations, dining, and activities tend to be more reasonable compared to popular tourist destinations. This means that you can experience the charm and attractions of Comitan without breaking the bank.
You’ll have the opportunity to support local businesses and contribute directly to the community’s economy, making your visit to Comitan not only enriching but also sustainable.
Embracing the path less traveled allows you to discover the true essence of Comitan, creating memories that will stay with you long after your visit.
Common questions about Comitan
How do I get to Comitan?
There are several convenient ways to reach Comitan and immerse yourself in the magical atmosphere of this beautiful city. Here are the main transportation options to consider:
By Air: The closest major airport to Comitan is the Angel Albino Corzo International Airport (TGZ) in Tuxtla Gutierrez, located approximately 87 kilometres away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a shuttle to reach Comitan. Several domestic airlines offer flights to Tuxtla Gutierrez from major cities in Mexico.
By Bus: Comitan is well-connected by bus services from various cities in Mexico. The city has a central bus station where you can find both first-class and second-class buses. Companies such as ADO, OCC, and Cristobal Colon offer comfortable and reliable bus services to Comitan from destinations including Mexico City, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, and more.
By Car: If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can reach Comitan by car. Major highways, such as Highway 190 and Highway 199, connect Comitan to neighbouring cities and tourist destinations. Renting a car gives you the freedom to explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.
Shared Taxis or Vans: Shared taxis or vans, known as “colectivos,” are a common mode of transportation in the region. They operate on fixed routes and can be a more affordable option for traveling shorter distances. Shared taxis can be found at designated pickup points or near bus terminals.
Once you arrive in Comitan, the city is relatively compact and easy to navigate on foot. Taxis and local buses are also available for getting around within the city and exploring nearby attractions.
What is the best time to visit Comitan?
The best time to visit Comitan depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you are seeking. Comitan enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year, with mild temperatures and relatively low humidity. Here are some considerations for each season:
Dry Season (November to April): This is generally considered the best time to visit Comitan. The weather is mild and comfortable, with cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings. It’s a great time for outdoor activities, exploring the natural wonders, and immersing yourself in the city’s cultural offerings.
However, keep in mind that this is also the peak tourist season, so there may be more crowds and higher prices for accommodations.
Rainy Season (May to October): The rainy season in Comitan brings occasional showers and lush green landscapes. While the rainfall may deter some visitors, it also offers a unique experience of seeing the region’s natural beauty at its peak.
The countryside comes alive with colour, and the waterfalls and lakes are at their fullest. This is a quieter time in terms of tourism, allowing you to enjoy the attractions with fewer crowds and potentially lower prices.
Ultimately, the best time to visit Comitan depends on your personal preferences. If you prefer milder weather and are comfortable with more crowds, the dry season is ideal.
Where should I stay in Comitan?
Comitan offers a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and preferences. Here are a few popular areas to consider for your stay:
Historic Centre: Staying in the heart of Comitan’s historic centre allows you to be close to the city’s main attractions, shops, and restaurants. You’ll have easy access to landmarks like Parque Central and the Cathedral, as well as the bustling markets and charming streets. This area offers a mix of boutique hotels, guesthouses, and budget-friendly options.
Surrounding Natural Areas: If you’re seeking a more secluded and nature-oriented experience, consider accommodations near the natural attractions surrounding Comitan. For example, there are charming eco-lodges and cabins nestled near the Montebello Lakes or in the vicinity of the Chiflon Waterfalls. These options provide a tranquil setting and direct access to the stunning natural landscapes.
Residential Neighborhoods: Comitan has several residential neighbourhoods where you can find guesthouses, bed and breakfasts, and vacation rentals. Staying in these areas offers a glimpse into local life and allows you to experience the city from a more residential perspective. It’s an opportunity to interact with friendly locals and discover hidden gems within the neighbourhood.
When choosing accommodations in Comitan, consider factors such as your budget, preferred amenities, proximity to attractions, and the type of experience you’re seeking. It’s advisable to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure your desired accommodation.
What should I eat in Comitan?
When it comes to culinary delights, Comitan offers a mouthwatering array of traditional dishes and local flavours. Here are some must-try culinary delights to discover in Comitan:
Cochito: Indulge in the succulent roasted pork dish known as “cochito.” This traditional specialty features tender and juicy pork with a perfectly crispy skin, seasoned with aromatic spices. Whether enjoyed on its own or in a taco, cochito is a true culinary delight that shouldn’t be missed.
Tascalate: Cool off with a refreshing drink called “tascalate.” This unique beverage is made from a blend of corn, cocoa, and a hint of cinnamon. With its creamy texture and rich flavours, tascalate is the perfect thirst-quencher on a warm day in Comitan.
Empanadas: Treat yourself to delicious empanadas, savoury turnovers filled with a variety of fillings such as cheese, meat, or vegetables. These crispy delights are perfect for a quick snack or a satisfying meal on the go.
Marquesote: Indulge your sweet tooth with a slice of marquesote, a traditional cake made with cornflour. This dense yet tender cake is topped with a dusting of powdered sugar and offers a delightful balance of subtle sweetness.
Regional Soups: Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the regional soups of Comitan. Sopa de Pan, a hearty bread soup, and Sopa de Chipilin, a flavorful soup made with aromatic chipilin leaves, are local favourites that showcase the rich culinary heritage of the region.
Local Cheese: Comitan is famous for its delicious cheese varieties. Whether it’s queso de bola, a ball-shaped cheese with a semi-soft texture, or queso fresco, a fresh and crumbly cheese, be sure to sample the local cheese offerings.
Street Food Delights: Take a culinary adventure through the streets of Comitan and indulge in street food delights. Try antojitos like tacos, tamales, and quesadillas prepared with authentic flavours and served with various salsas and toppings. And don’t forget to try some pan compuesto before you leave!
Is it necessary to know Spanish to visit Comitan?
While knowing Spanish can enhance your experience in Comitan, it is not necessary to speak the language in order to visit and enjoy the city. Many locals in Comitan are accustomed to interacting with tourists and can communicate in basic English or using simple gestures.
Additionally, some establishments, such as hotels, restaurants, and tourist information centres, may have staff members who speak English.
However, having a basic understanding of Spanish or carrying a translation app or phrasebook can be helpful, especially when venturing off the main tourist areas. Learning a few common phrases and greetings can go a long way in making connections with the locals and showing respect for their culture.
If you’re planning to visit attractions outside the city or engage in more immersive experiences, such as interacting with local artisans or exploring rural areas, knowing some Spanish can certainly enhance your interactions and make your experience more enjoyable.
It allows you to communicate more effectively, understand directions, and engage in conversations with the locals.
Nevertheless, the warm and friendly nature of the people of Comitan often transcends language barriers. Even with limited Spanish skills, a genuine smile and a respectful attitude can go a long way in forging connections and creating memorable experiences in this welcoming city.
Is Comitan safe for tourists?
Comitan is generally considered a safe destination for tourists. Like any other city, it is always important to exercise caution and follow common-sense safety practices to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.
Comitan is known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly locals who prioritize the well-being of visitors. The city has a relatively low crime rate compared to larger urban areas, and violent incidents are rare. However, it’s still advisable to take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety:
- Stay in well-lit and populated areas, especially at night.
- Keep your belongings secure and be mindful of your surroundings.
- Use reliable transportation options and be cautious when using public transportation, especially at night.
- Carry a photocopy of your important documents and keep the originals in a safe place.
- Follow any local advisories or guidelines provided by authorities or your accommodation.
It’s also a good idea to research and understand the local customs, traditions, and cultural norms. Respecting the local culture and customs can help you navigate the city more smoothly and avoid any misunderstandings.
As with any travel destination, it’s recommended to stay informed about the current situation through reliable sources, such as official travel advisories or local tourism authorities. These sources can provide up-to-date information on any specific safety concerns or precautions that may be relevant during your visit.
Can I visit Comitan on a day trip?
Yes, it is possible to visit Comitan on a day trip, depending on your starting point and the amount of time you have available. Comitan offers a variety of attractions and experiences that can be enjoyed within a day.
If you are already in a nearby city, such as San Cristobal de las Casas or Tuxtla Gutierrez, it is relatively easy to travel to Comitan and back in a day. The journey takes around two hours by bus or car, allowing you ample time to explore the city and its main attractions.
Once in Comitan, you can visit the historic centre and its charming colonial buildings, stroll through Parque Central, and visit the impressive Cathedral. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the markets, such as the Mercado de Artesanias, where you can find unique handicrafts and souvenirs.
If time permits, consider visiting nearby natural attractions, such as the Montebello Lakes or the Chiflon Waterfalls, both of which offer breathtaking scenery and memorable experiences. Keep in mind that visiting these attractions may require additional travel time, so plan accordingly.
Remember to factor in transportation time to and from Comitan when planning your day trip. It’s recommended to check bus schedules or arrange for transportation in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient journey.
While a day trip allows you to get a taste of Comitan’s charm, if you have more time available, consider extending your stay to fully immerse yourself in the city’s magic and explore its surrounding areas at a more leisurely pace.
Are there any good day trips from Comitan?
Yes, there are several fantastic day trip options from Comitan that allow you to explore the surrounding areas and discover even more of the region’s natural and cultural wonders. Here are a few recommended day trips:
Lagos de Montebello National Park: Located approximately 60 kilometres southeast of Comitan, Lagos de Montebello is a stunning natural park renowned for its beautiful lakes. Take a day trip to explore the park’s turquoise-coloured lakes, each with its own unique charm. Enjoy boat rides, hike along the scenic trails, and soak in the breathtaking views of the surrounding forested landscapes.
El Chiflon Waterfalls: Situated around 50 kilometres northeast of Comitan, the Chiflon Waterfalls are a must-visit destination for nature lovers. These cascades offer a spectacular sight as the water plunges down a series of cascades amidst lush greenery. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear pools, hike along the trails, and enjoy the serene ambience of this natural paradise.
Mayan city of Tonina: Tonina is an intriguing archaeological site situated about 120 kilometres north of Comitan, making it an excellent choice for a day trip. Travelers can marvel at the impressive pyramids and intricate stone carvings of this ancient Mayan city, including the towering Templo de las Inscripciones and the intricately decorated Palacio del Rey. Exploring Tonina offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich history and architectural splendour of the Mayan civilization.
Palenque: Palenque is a captivating archaeological site located approximately 200 kilometres north of Comitan, making it a long but viable day trip option. Exploring the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque allows travelers to immerse themselves in the fascinating history and architectural grandeur of this UNESCO World Heritage site, with highlights including the iconic Temple of the Inscriptions and the Palace.
San Cristobal de las Casas: Just a short distance from Comitan, San Cristobal de las Casas is a charming colonial city that offers a rich cultural experience. Explore its cobblestone streets, visit its historical sites, and discover its vibrant markets filled with traditional handicrafts and local delicacies. Immerse yourself in the indigenous heritage and artistic atmosphere of this captivating town.
These day trips from Comitan provide opportunities to witness the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and diverse landscapes of the region. Whether you’re seeking waterfalls, lakes, canyons, colonial charm, or incredible ruins like Palenque, these destinations offer memorable experiences just a short distance from Comitan.
Road Trip Possibilities
Comitan is ideally situated to be a major attraction on a road trip through the state of Chiapas. It is unlikely to be your starting point but it should definitely be included in the list of must-see places.
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, the capital of Chiapas, has an International Airport making it the ideal location to be the starting point of an amazing road trip through this beautiful state. A road trip that takes in some of Mexico’s most stunning scenery, incredible historic ruins, and a few of the prettiest pueblos mágicos.
Take a couple of easy driving weeks and discover ancient cities like Palenque and Tonina, get swept up in the natural beauty of Sumidero Canyon, Cascadas Roberto Barrios, and the imposing El Chiflon waterfalls, and experience a simpler way of life in the enchanting towns of Comitan and San Cristobal de las Casas.
We did the majority of this itinerary as part of our 5000 km epic Mexico road trip that began in Queretaro. Before arriving in Tuxtla we had been in Oaxaca, and then after Palenque we headed east to the coast to see Bacalar and more of the Yucatan.
This suggested plan heads to the nearest airport after Palenque for those of you who wish to experience the best of Chiapas but have time constraints. I wouldn’t use Villahermosa as anything but a departure point as, from what I have read, it offers very little to appeal to travelers.
This entire road trip is only 550 km / 350 miles and it is possible to squeeze the highlights into a 7-day vacation, but to do justice to this magnificent state you should allow two weeks. And even then there are places you will wish you could have spent more time.
Our opinion of Comitan
Comitan was initially added to our itinerary because it was another Pueblo Magico that happened to be close to San Cristobal de las Casas, which was our main port of call on the Chiapas leg of our epic Mexico road trip. It wasn’t until we did some further research that we discovered that it was a town that offered much more than simple beauty.
We have always been waterfall fans and love to hunt them down wherever we may go around the world. And to find out that Comitan was smack in the middle of some of the best waterfalls in Mexico sealed its spot on our adventure.
It took a while to find our hotel when we first arrived in town, mainly due to the configuration of one-way streets everywhere, but made more difficult by some shonky directions from our GPS! When we did arrive we found a stunning hotel that was totally unexpected based purely on the cheap price we were paying.
What we were to discover was that the accommodation was not the only thing cheaper than expected. Because Comitan flies almost completely under the tourist radar everything in town seemed to be cheaper than expected, even by Mexican standards.
The town itself has a beautiful, laid-back central park area that is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and shops which all operate from colourful or historic buildings. However, if you start to explore a few blocks from the town centre you will quickly realise it’s all downhill.
Not in respect to quality, but Comitan Centro is on top of a hill so you will have to do a bit of climbing as you wander around the town.
We found the food options in Comitan to be plentiful and varied, and spread our meals between a few different restaurants near the town centre and from some of the food carts that start to appear early each evening. The standout food memory for me is devouring a pan compuesto for the first time.
I am extremely partial to a good torta and this sounded like a local version of that very thing. It’s basically a Mexican version of a Vietnamese Banh Mi, and usually comes with refried beans, mayo, pulled pork, dry cheese, pickles, sweet and sour sauce, and cabbage. It’s REALLY good!
When it came to accommodation in Comitan we decided to split our time between two very different places. I have already mentioned the centrally located La Alborada Hotel and, as nice as that hotel was, our other accommodation has to go close to being the most impressive of our entire six-month adventure.
The Canto del Agua is a very special place. Located about 15 kilometres from town it sits overlooking the river that eventually becomes the mighty El Chiflon waterfalls. The complex only has a handful of cabins but one of them, the one we stayed in, was something of a dream stay.
Our cabin was sitting right beside a small waterfall, with an uninterrupted view from the beds. It is quite an experience to try to get to sleep with the roar of a waterfall just metres from where you are laying. The fact that we were several hundred metres from any other people was the icing on the cake.
If Comitan sounds pretty good so far then let me assure you, I am keeping the best until last! While the two small waterfalls surrounding our cabin were special, they can not compare to the incredible power and beauty of the El Chiflon waterfall and the others that cascade down the nearby mountain.
Along a sometimes challenging 1.2 kilometre hike up a fairly steep hill, you will experience about half a dozen breathtaking waterfalls of various shapes and sizes. It is worth every deep breath the hike will pull from you, especially to stand on the viewing platform staring into El Chiflon itself.
In summary, for a place that was originally on our list just to let us visit another pueblo magico, Comitan ended up being a winner in every sense of the word. We loved every minute of our time there and the trip would definitely have been less without our stay in Comitan.