Chiapa de Corzo is a lovely little village in Chiapas located only 15 kilometers away from the state’s capital Tuxtla Gutierrez and 55 kilometers from the highly-visited town San Cristobal de Las Casas, making it a perfect day trip destination.
Most visitors head to Chiapa de Corzo as it is the gateway to taking the ferry through the Sumidero Canyon, its warm climate as well as the village’s parisian-style architecture around the historic center and its folklore. Other things to do and see here are the ex convent of Santo Domingo’s ruins, Cahuaré Island and the nearby waterfall and cave known as Chorreadero. Another site worth noting is Cumbujuyú (Wild Pig’s Bath), which are thermal waters near Chiapa de Corzo built after a Spanish aristocrat’s son was cured of paralisis after bathing in the water.
Near the village, the archeological site Soctón Nandalumí can be found as well. It was one of the oldest human settlements and objects and architecture from 1500 B.C. This site is rarely visited by tourists due to it only being open to public a few years ago in 2009.
Chiapa de Corzo is also known for its traditions such as los Parachicos, a group of dancers who perform at Fiesta Grande de enero, held there between January 15th and 23rd every year and were proclaimed by UNESCO an Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009. Other famous festivities are La Feria de San Miguel and the Encuentro de Cultura de la Región (Encounter With The Region’s Culture) and The Marimba Festival, which was suggested and started by Carlos Nandayapa, a marimba builder from the village.
If you’d like to learn more about marimbas and their influence on the village, head to Casa Museo de la Marimba and Museo de la Marimba, two museums dedicated to it. Another interesting museum worth visiting is Museo Franco Lázaro Gómez, dedicated to a painter, writer, sculptor and illustrator of the same name who was born and bred in Chiapa de Corzo.
Another thing worth taking note of are the handcrafts from the village, which show the cultural richness of the village. In and around Chiapa de Corzo, numerous artisans work on textiles, embroideries, traditional clothes, marimbas, flutes, traditional games, jewelry and wooden objects.
As every place in Mexico does, there are a myriad of legends behind Chiapa de Corzo such as The Bad Woman, San Sebastian’s Tiger, the Secret Jews, The Elf and the Hammock, The Water Bell, the Cumbujuyú Wizard, the Underground Tunnels of The Church, The Voices of the Hanged Rock among many others, but the most recognized one is the one that tells the story of the locals who collectively killed themselves by jumping from the highest cliff of the Sumidero Canyon in order to escape the Spanish.