Comitan is located in the
east-central part of Chiapas, near the border with Guatemala, 85 km from San
Cristobal via federal highway 190. A popular tourist destination, we were
unprepared for how fresh and pleasant this city of 85,000 was.
After a challenging
beginning to our morning, we left our hotel room in captivating
San Cristobal at
about 9:30 am and caught a 20 Peso taxi to take us to the OCC bus station.
We were all set to catch the 10:15 bus to Comitan, as was marked on the posted
schedule. However, when we arrived, the man behind the ticket counter informed
us that there WAS no 10:15 bus, so we bought 38 Peso tickets for the 11:30 bus
instead. This meant we'd be waiting for 2 hours at the bus
station to catch the first transport to our destination for the day.
Not to be left as victims
of circumstance, we kept our eyes open for other buses that may be going in our
direction. Lo and behold, a bus coming from Mexico City arrives and the boys
jump up to check to see if we can hop on to reach Comitan. In a flurry of
activity, our tickets are exchanged and we ride the 85 kilometers to this fair little city.
drop the boys off here at the Main Plaza while my
girlfriend and I go searching for rooms. This is the
working routine we had developed over the weeks that we have
been on the road for our
105 Day Adventure.
Finding suitable rooms turned out to be a bit more
difficult than we had expected, because most Mexican
towns have a selection of hotels surrounding their
Plaza. Here, we had to do some walking around, only to
find some places closed, and others were too pricey or
too dumpy for our tastes.
Beautiful stone work
showcases the Iglesia de Santo Domingo and the Cultural
the middle of our dissatisfaction, we are approached by
a Tourist Police-sort-of-man who claims he has spoken to
both of our husbands and wants to help us find a worthy
Huh? Could this be so?
was either true or one of the best come-on lines either
of us had heard in a while. After some hesitation, we
decided to have this man show us around.
and well-maintained, the Plaza had manicured gardens and
artistically clipped foliage.
This poor man!
Finding a hotel room that pleases 2 different women in
the price range they are looking for and with a
convenient location, firm beds, and glistening bathrooms has
to be placed right up there with shopping for shoes.
What pleases one doesn't please the other and we each
have different requirements.
Patience is a virtue, and this man was a saint.
6 hotels later we agree on a location and the Tourist
Policeman was no worse for the wear. He even walked us
back to the Plaza to meet our husbands!
these men look a bit intimidating to us at first, their #1 job is to
help tourists find what they need.
Arriving back to the location where we left our husbands
over an hour earlier, the boys are smiling and so is our
Policeman. Billy takes a photo of two of them...
in turn, they take a photo of us!
church in town
city's full name is Comitan de Dominguez in recognition
of the local doctor Belisario Dominguez, a national
senator during the Mexican Revolution. Senator Dominguez
vigorously protested political murders at the time, and
became a victim himself.
waiting for a customer
tourist destination must offer a selection of
restaurants with delicious food. Comitan is no
different, with various restaurants lining the Main
Mexicans have a great sense of humor, so making
delicious pastries in the shape of this annoying rodent
doesn't turn anyone away. In fact, we bought several of
these chocolate covered, cream-filled sweets for a
breakfast treat. They were outstanding!
found out that the
entire Plaza is Wifi'ed. Here I am checking our mail
and getting information on other future destinations.
a minute! What are these Chinese guys doing in Comitan?
was a real surprise for us. While walking around the
Main Plaza later that afternoon, we come upon these two
young men from
China, selling jewelry, silks, Buddhas,
bags, lanterns and incense. Most Chinese tourists we
have met in our travels speak English as their second
language, but for these men, we communicated in Spanish!
out that the man who is seated in the photo is a martial
arts teacher - something highly prized in Mexico - and
had recently injured his back. Selling these items was
funding his stay until he recovered.
setting sun makes La Iglesia de Santo Domingo come
small tent structures serve as movable business
locations, each with attractive items or music for sale.
miss an opportunity to taste the local cuisine!
a food stall is busy with smiling customers chomping
their meal, you know that you have come across a good
dinner choice. If this woman sold tasteless, unsanitary
foodstuffs, she would have no repeat business. It's in
everyone's interest to serve and purchase quality.
cornhusk-wrapped tamales with salsa!
can't get much better than this.
have mentioned before, tamales are a multi-step,
hours-long process to make, with soaking, boiling,
draining, mashing, shredding, wrapping, and steaming.
All to get this tasty, centuries old dish made by the
Aztecs and served to the Spanish Conquistadores.
region of Mexico has their own special version and
recipe - a culinary must to try!
time in Comitan was far too short. Already we prepare to
leave in the morning for.... Guatemala!!
next stop is Huehuetenango, Guatemala, a mountainous
Comitan we did not exchange Pesos into Quetzales, the
currency of Guatemala and figured we'd use Pesos or
Dollars when we arrived until we found a bank. In these
times of currency changes it can be confusing in many
ways. Generally we utilize ATM's to get local currency
when we arrive. If you plan on returning to Mexico after
your Guatemalan trip, save the cash you have so you
don't lose in the exchange.
more information or to view different stories of places
Traveling south down the Pacific coast of Mexico is a must
adventure for any traveler. Our style is to go slow and if we
like a place, we stay longer, ‘getting local’ as soon as
possible. This means we scout out where the neighbors shop, the
restaurants they frequent and we make friends along the way with
store owners, the maids, and anyone who lives in town. These
people know where the best prices and value can be found – it’s
certainly not where the tourists shop.
Adventurer's Guide to the Pacific Coast of Mexico
details our route, the places we stayed, prices we paid along
this adventure and history and culture of these locations. We
also give you names of hotels in each area, the transportation
available, useful information and the pros and cons of each
place as we viewed it. To learn more,