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Tabasco & Chiapas

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Tabasco & Chiapas
Mismatched siblings, the neighboring states of Tabasco and Chiapas are almost a study in
opposites. Smaller Tabasco – between central Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula – is less
diverse than Chiapas, and prone to flooding, as demonstrated by the catastrophic flood of
October 2007 (see boxed text, p228). A largely flat, steamy, well-watered lowland, it has fewer
visitors, but those who do drop in discover a place with fascinating pre-Hispanic heritage
from the Olmec and Maya civilizations, a relaxed tropical lifestyle, an entertaining capital
city in Villahermosa, and a unique environment of enormous rivers, endless wetlands and
good Gulf of Mexico beaches.

HIGHLIGHTS
Scaling the jungly hills and soaring Maya
temples of Palenque (p240)
Strolling the high-altitude cobblestone
streets of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (p231)
Cruising through the waterway and sheer
high rock cliffs of the spectacular Cañón del
Sumidero (see boxed text, p245)
Hiking in and lazing away a few splendid days
at the mountain-ringed Laguna Miramar
(see boxed text, p245)

La Venta
Villahermosa
Palenque
Cañón del
Sumidero
San Cristóbal
de Las Casas

Laguna
Miramar

Admiring the mysterious art of the ancient
Olmecs at Villahermosa (p228) and
La Venta (p228)

POPULATION: TABASCO 2 MILLION;
CHIAPAS 4.3 MILLION

AREA: TABASCO 25,267 SQ KM;
CHIAPAS 74,211 SQ KM

TABASCO & CHIAPAS

TOBASCO & CHIAPAS

In Chiapas, pine-forest highlands, wildlife-rich rainforest jungles and well-preserved colonial cities highlight a region of incredible variety. Palenque and Yaxchilán are evocative
vestiges of powerful Maya kingdoms, and the presence of modern Maya a constant reminder
of the region’s rich and uninterrupted history. The colonial architecture of San Cristóbal de
Las Casas and Chiapa de Corzo gives way to fertile plots of coffee and cacao in the southwestern region known as the Soconusco, and for outdoor adventurers, excursions to Laguna
Miramar and the Cañón del Sumidero are unmissable.

228 TA B A S C O • • V i l l a h e r m o s a

Few travelers linger in Tabasco longer than
it takes to see the outstanding Olmec stone
sculpture in Villahermosa’s Parque-Museo
La Venta. But staying a little longer will
reveal a very rewarding slice of the real
Mexico, with few other tourists, some intriguing pre-Hispanic sites (both the Olmecs
and the Maya flourished here), and a large
and lively capital city.
In late October and early November
2007, prolonged heavy rainfall led to major
f...
TABASCO & CHIAPAS
TOBASCO & CHIAPAS
Mismatched siblings, the neighboring states of Tabasco and Chiapas are almost a study in
opposites. Smaller Tabasco – between central Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula – is less
diverse than Chiapas, and prone to flooding, as demonstrated by the catastrophic flood of
October 2007 (see boxed text, p228 ). A largely flat, steamy, well-watered lowland, it has fewer
visitors, but those who do drop in discover a place with fascinating pre-Hispanic heritage
from the Olmec and Maya civilizations, a relaxed tropical lifestyle, an entertaining capital
city in Villahermosa, and a unique environment of enormous rivers, endless wetlands and
good Gulf of Mexico beaches.
In Chiapas, pine-forest highlands, wildlife-rich rainforest jungles and well-preserved co-
lonial cities highlight a region of incredible variety. Palenque and Yaxchilán are evocative
vestiges of powerful Maya kingdoms, and the presence of modern Maya a constant reminder
of the region’s rich and uninterrupted history. The colonial architecture of San Cristóbal de
Las Casas and Chiapa de Corzo gives way to fertile plots of coffee and cacao in the south-
western region known as the Soconusco, and for outdoor adventurers, excursions to Laguna
Miramar and the Cañón del Sumidero are unmissable.
Tabasco & Chiapas
HIGHLIGHTS
Scaling the jungly hills and soaring Maya
temples of Palenque ( p240 )
Strolling the high-altitude cobblestone
streets of San Cristóbal de Las Casas ( p231 )
Cruising through the waterway and sheer
high rock cliffs of the spectacular Cañón del
Sumidero (see boxed text, p245 )
Hiking in and lazing away a few splendid days
at the mountain-ringed Laguna Miramar
(see boxed text, p245 )
Admiring the mysterious art of the ancient
Olmecs at Villahermosa ( p228 ) and
La Venta ( p228 )
Miramar
Laguna
Sumidero
Cañón del
La Venta
Palenque
Villahermosa
San Cristóbal
de Las Casas
POPULATION: TABASCO 2 MILLION;
CHIAPAS 4.3 MILLION
AREA : TABASCO 25,267 SQ KM;
CHIAPAS 74,211 SQ KM
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