Ride to Chiapas
If you ever want to take a spectacular ride on a motorcycle, the route from the coastal city of Coatzacoalcos to San Cristobal De Las Casas is a good one to try.
Once we got out of the hustle of Coatzacoalcos, we stopped at a Pemex where Omar lubricated his chain. While there, the two ladies who worked in the adjacent convenience store wanted to meet us and get their pictures taken with our bikes. They also couldn’t believe we were riding all the way to the tip of South América.
Shortly after the stop at the Pemex the landscape began to change as we gained altitude towards our final destination. It also started to rain, but we were well prepared having put on our rain gear that morning.
For the ride to San Cristobal De Las Casas we went from sea level through several different climate zones to reach our destination at 7,200 feet in the Chiapas region of southern Mexico. As we rolled along the hills turned into mountains with steep cliffs and waterfalls. After riding for several hours through this lush landscape, we arrived at the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez right at sunset. Neither of us had ever heard of the town, but it looked impressive from the bypass road high on the hillside above the city. From the bypass we could see the entire city of Tuxtla and the surrounding valley. This was one of the few cities that had a bypass allowing us to avoid the heavy and often chaotic traffic in the center of town.
The last leg of our route to San Cristobal De Las Casas was an excellent winding mountain road that was good fun on our bikes even though it was dark.
Arriving in San Cristobal De Las Casas we quickly recognized it is an old city. It was founded in 1528 by the Spaniards who were the first Europeans to come to the region. Today the city has 190,000 residents, is modern in many ways, but still retains its old-world colonial charm. The charm is most evidenced by very narrow streets that make for great pedestrian walking, but are difficult to navigate by car. It was a little better for our motorcycles, but we still had to be very careful.
Although the city is at a higher elevation with cooler temperatures, it has an almost tropical feel. Around the town are mountains with lush green forests where just about anything grows.
The center of the town is heavily used by the locals and tourists. During the two nights we were there, we experienced the many pedestrians walking the narrow streets and a “Dia De Los Muertos” parade.
Tomorrow we are off to Tacachula where we will cross the border the following morning into Guatemala.