We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“dont miss to go there by horse!”
Review of San Juan Chamula

San Juan Chamula
Experience for Yourself
More Info
and up
Chamula and Zinacantan Indigenous Villages Tour
Ranked #51 of 397 things to do in Pacific Coast
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This Del Pueblo Temple embodies a blend of prehistoric, Mayan and Catholic traditions and influences
Groningen, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
120 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“dont miss to go there by horse!”
Reviewed 9 June 2013

You can easily catch up with locals in the bar in san cristobal de las casas or ask some agency to give u contact for the horse ride to San Juan Chamula. You will pass through amazing wood (seeing incredible blue birds) by nice streams etc. Village itself was definetly strange experiance itself. Funny thing is they call themselves catholics but they are practising their own pagan tradition sacrifying chicken in the church, or u can see shamans getting seriously drink inside within the ceremony. Due to their belief that taking a photo takes their soul u cant take it (allthough IMHO its just a tourist trick since they are selling postcards with their photos but let them be). Honestly we have enjoyed more travel by horses to the village than village itself, its very small and people especialy during crazy ceremony running on horses from one cross to another are not friendly and want u to get away. Food is quite delicious and some nice drinks as well (on the street market) . Just be careful not interupting their ceremonies and then have a pleasent stay.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank _Matea_2411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

247 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Ghent, Belgium
Level Contributor
169 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Worth visiting when you have time in san cristobal”
Reviewed 23 May 2013

This is a typical half day trip when you are in San Cristobal. Yo can perfectly do it on your own ( collectivos are frequent, safe and cost 12 pesos one way for half an hour). The church is unique and the market on Sunday cool ( but you jave one in San Cristobal too)' Dont go n Wed,esday as the church will be empty. There is also a graveyard and the typical clothing of the people there. But an hour is more than enough in my opinion, the town is not that incredible...

Still, due to the special church and the fact that it is very easy to travel too, you should give it a try. Lots of tourists there, so bars, souvenirs and restaurants enough...

Visited May 2013
2 Thank D_vid13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Don't miss it!”
Reviewed 18 April 2013

A wonderful experience of sights and sounds. To see the people and their traditions that do not die is something you rarely see. Visit the church, don't take photos, be gracious and visit the market. Try to see if any of the elders are in the municipal building taking business. It is such a rich experience that you will never forget, and I dare say, increasingly alone in it's authenticity.

Visited April 2013
Thank hnya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Not to be missed”
Reviewed 22 March 2013

If you want to begin to understand the complexities of Mexican culture you must visit this semi autonomous village a few miles from San Cristobal de Las Casas. (You are stopped at a checkpoint before you are allowed to enter) where the people speak their own language, organise their own education and health care, believe photos will steal their spirit and have their own unique brand of religion.

Try to get a local guide who has the confidence of the people of the village. We were privileged to be taken to meet the local religious leader (elected by the people each year) and to see the shrine inside his house. We then visited the church which has now been taken over completely by the local shamans and their eclectic mix of Mayan and Christian ceremonies and witnessed a procession of shamans accompanied by their own special music and women preparing to sacrifice chickens to ward away evil spirits.

The whole experience had a great impact on our small group, was a highlight of our trip and a wonderful insight into the lives of the indigenous people of the area

Visited February 2013
2 Thank chesterbuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
193 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
“Not for the faint of heart”
Reviewed 12 March 2013

Visiting San juan Chamula, and the Church, is very much like stepping back in time several centuries. San Juan Chamula is very close to San Cristobal de las Casas, and it is considered an Autonomous Region. the majority of it´s inhabitants are descendants of the Mayas, Tzotziles and speak their own language also known as Tzotzil. They are weary of outsiders and their church is a blend of Catholicism and their ancient Maya Taditions and rituals.
You can not take any photos inside the Church.
The sun dial and the local market are in the same plaza.

Visited December 2012
Thank pedidocTx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed San Juan Chamula also viewed

Zinacantan, Chiapas
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas

Been to San Juan Chamula? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing