Chiapa de Corzo is the oldest colonial town in the state of Chiapas. Situated on the north bank of the Rio Grijalva, along the route from Tuxtla Gutierrez to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapa de Corzo serves as the jumping off point for exploring the magnificent Cañon del Sumidero (Sumidero Canyon).
Marvel at the colonial mudejar-style La Pila Fountain in the town’s main plaza. This monumental red-orange brick fountain with its octagonal design, arches, flying buttresses and domed roof dates back to the 16th century and is thought to have been built to resemble the Spanish crown.
One block south of the main plaza is the 16th century Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman (Santo Domingo Church). Inside you’ll find the original bell that dates back to 1576. Cast from copper, silver and bits of gold, the bell weighs more than 10,000 pounds and can be heard for miles. The adjoining former convent building houses a cultural center and museum.
Chiapa de Corzo is famous for its lively Fiesta Grande de Enero (Great January Festival) that takes place each year in early January. Colorful costumed dancers called parachicos take to the streets during the festival, which is one of the most important cultural events in the state of Chiapas and has been declared an intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
Chiapa de Corzo cooks up a variety of local cuisine unique to the state of Chiapas including several types of tamales (corn based dough with sweet or savory fillings), pepito con tasajo (thin cut beef with pumpkin seed sauce) and cochinito horneado (roasted suckling pig flavored with adobo sauce).
Don’t leave town without touring the Sumidero Canyon. The canyon can be viewed from several lookout points and is best visited on Chiapas tours. Hire a lancha (motorboat) for close up views of the canyon walls that tower an impressive 800 m (2,625 feet) overhead. You may even spot a crocodile or two.