Dubbed as the most developed, most populated, and most important in the state of Chiapas of Mexico, Tuxtla Gutierrez is the capital and largest city of the aforementioned state. Tuxtla is a commercial and services-oriented city with a busy government. Colorful and rich history is evident in its architecture that is constantly maintained, highlighting its cultural relevance to the city. If it is your first time to visit this Mexican city, here are some suggestions on what you can do and see during your trip.
1. Spend time at the city square
One of the most basic things to do when visiting a place like Tuxtla Gutierrez is to explore its history. As a city in a dominantly Catholic country, the city is centered on a large square known as a plaza, or Plaza Civica. It is surrounded by government buildings such as a municipal hall and government offices. One of the most iconic structures in any plaza is the presence of a church or cathedral. Hence, the city square is a good starting point for exploring the city even on your own.
One of Tuxtla’s most important landmarks in the plaza is the Cathedral de San Marcos or Saint Mark’s Cathedral – named after the city’s patron saint, Saint Mark the Evangelist. This whitewashed neoclassical structure is a must see, with a beautiful facade modeled after colonial lines. Cathedral de San Marco’s best-known feature is the magnificent ‘48 bells’ that rings every hour.
Tuxtla Gutierrez Main Square
Address: Col. Tuxtla Gutiérrez Centro, C.P. 29000, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Website: Tuxtla Gutierrez Main Square
2. See the view from Miradores Cañon del Sumidero
One of the most breathtaking views in Tuxtla Gutierrez is Miradores Cañon del Sumidero. It is a deep and narrow canyon located north of the city of Chiapa de Corzo and is surrounded by a national park, the Sumidero Canyon National Park – a rain forest. The canyon’s creation coincides with the creation of Arizona’s Grand Canyon in the United States. Revel in Mexico’s grandest tourist destination filled with breathtaking views and scenery.
Sumidero Canyon National Park
Website: Sumidero Canyon National Park
3. Visit the city's local museums
As a city famed for its rich history and heritage, it goes without saying that its heritage is best preserved in its various museums. A nice way not just to know about its past but a relaxing activity for visitors of all ages, is to pick one or two of Tuxtla’s museums. The largest museum is the Museo Regional de Anthropologia e Historia or the Regional Museum of Anthropology and History. The museum exhibits more than 200 fossils from Chiapas, ranging from 10,000 to 300 million years old!
Aside from the area solely dedicated to anthropology, there is also an area for history starting from the Spanish Conquest. Other notable museums include Museo del Cafe, Museo del la Marimba, and Museo Regional de Chiapas. The Museo Regional de Chiapas is one of the most important museums in Tuxtla. The museum is dedicated to archaeology, anthropology, and history.
Museo del Cafe de Chiapas
Address: 2a. Oriente Norte No. 236, 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, Mexico
Facebook: Museo del Cafe de Chiapas
Museums in Tuxtla
Website: Museums in Tuxtla (in Spanish)
4. Bring the kids to Miguel Alvarez del Toro Zoo
Located in a nature reserve known as El Zapotal, Zoologico Miguel Alvarez del Toro or Miguel Alvarez Zoo or ZOOMAT is one of the few zoos that exhibits endemic fauna. Perfect for visitors traveling in Tuxtla Gutierrez with the little ones, this zoo is also a local favorite. A zoo serving since 1942, this zoo might be relatively small but the kind of animals found have surely never been seen by most tourists.
What to see at Miguel Alvarez de Toro Zoo? Kids will be thrilled to see the likes of boars, deer, goats, curassows, ocellated turkeys, jaguars, peacocks, raptors, coyotes, monkeys, a variety of birds and reptiles as well as a museum of crocodiles. Self-guided materials are available both in English and Spanish. This zoo also has a gift shop and a cafeteria to cater to the basic needs of its visitors.
Miguel Alvarez del Toro Zoo
Address: Calzada Cerro Hueco Colonia Zapotal S / N, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
5. See the neighboring city of Chiapa de Corzo
To better explore the historical places of Tuxtla, Chiapa de Corso is a must visit. It is the first city established in the state and is the very first capital. It is located in the center of the state of Chiapas, in its west-central area. The highlight of this city is its Mesoamerican archeological heritage with the Moorish-style La Pila Fountain in its main square as its main landmark.
Visit its heritage church of Santo Domingo, local museums, and other sites. See traditional dance or shop for traditional Mayan clothes and textiles during your side trip to Chiapa de Corzo.
Chiapa de Corzo
Website: Chiapa de Corzo
6. Relax at Dr. Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden
Dr. Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden is a sight to see given the rich fauna system of Chiapas. This botanical garden showcases a variety of plants, medicinal plants, Chiapas wood, and Chiapas flowers. The garden also features a library that showcases a literature about botany. You will be amazed to find a peaceful piece of land right in the middle of the city center of Tuxtla. After a day or two of exploring the outdoors and historical sites of Tuxtla Gutierrez, immerse yourself in nature surrounded by a plethora of different plants with some endemic to Chiapas and Mexico.
Dr. Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden
Address: Calzada de los Hombres Ilustres S/N, A.P. 6, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas 29000, Mexico
7. Taste Chiapas food
Of course, who would forget about food? Get to know more about this southern Mexican food through your palate. Like the rest of Latin America, the basic diet is based on corn. Chiapas cuisine retains its distinct indigenous influence. Common ingredients include chipilin and hoja santa. Chipilin is an herb with a distinct and strong flavor and hoja santa is a large anise-scented herb. One interesting fact about Chiapas food is that, chili peppers are used sparingly. Rather, it is commonly found in their condiments.
Must-eats when in Tuxtla Gutierrez are tamales, ningüijute (seed-based pork mole), cochito horned (roasted suckling pig), and chispola (a stew of beef and vegetable). Notable restaurants in terms of Chiapas cuisine include La Pichanchas, Gugo Restaurant, and Cafe de Chiapas. Not only will you enjoy local food, but bathe in the local interiors and architectural designs of these top local restaurants.
Restaurante Las Pichanchas
Address: Av. Central Oriente 837, Centro, 29000 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chis., Mexico
Facebook: Restaurante Las Pichanchas
Address: Avenida Primavera 100, 29010 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Facebook: GUGO Restaurant
A historically rich city in southern Mexico
Why most visitors typically visit the beaches of Mexico, destinations like Tuxtle Gutierrez make Mexico a good place to visit for those who love to know about the heritage and history of Mexico. Engulf yourself with the natural beauty of Mexico with a visit to Tuxtle Gutierrez with family, friends or alone.