The central plaza in San Cristobal Chiapas goes by several names. You may hear it referred to as Plaza 31 de Marzo (March 31 Plaza), Vicente Espinoza Park, the zocalo (main square) or simply the parque central (central park). It’s the heart of San Cristobal de las Casas, one of the must-see Chiapas attractions and an important central gathering place.
Wide pathways leading throughout the central plaza are lined with wrought iron benches. Grab a seat in the shade and spend a few hours taking in the sights and scenery while enjoying a cup of locally produced organic Chiapas coffee from one of the cafes nearby.
In the evenings musicians entertain the crowds that gather around the kiosk that’s located in the center of the zocalo. During local festivals and religious holidays this central plaza also plays an important role.
Several important Chiapas attractions line the main plaza. San Cristobal’s Palacio Municipal (City Hall) sits on the west side. Built in 1885, it’s an impressive historical building with a series of arches supported by classical style columns. At the north end you’ll find the town’s mustard yellow Cathedral, a blend of Baroque, Moorish and indigenous influences. Return just before sunset to admire the Cathedral’s facade illuminated in the glow of the late afternoon sun.
You will likely encounter Indigenous women and children selling their handmade crafts in the central plaza. You can also find these crafts, including intricately embroidered blouses, in the local artisans’ markets in San Cristobal. If you’re interested in making a purchase, a little bargaining may help to get you the best price; if not, a simple “no, gracias” should be enough to send them on their way.