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Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

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Washington, DC
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Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

I plan to be in Oaxaca this Thanksgiving Holiday. Would like to know how long it will take from Oxaca to San Christobal de las Casas. Heard about the new highway. I plan to rent a car. Is it advisable to make the booking from USA or in Oaxaca? Any hotel recommendations in San Christobal? What it will a nice stop on route to San Christobal???

Clearwater, Florida
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1. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

I don't recommend driving. Instead, I think traveling by bus is better, all around.

However, it's your money, and safety. I haven't driven the distance in an auto, so can't say exactly. The trips I've made on this route by bus have been approx. 12 hours. So, traveling by car might be an hour less, maybe not (because you'll be unfamiliar with the areas you're traveling in, signage, etc.).

En route to las Casas you could first stop at Puerto Arista on the Pacific Coast - a very nice, quiet, beach town with services for tourists. The state capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez can be interesting. Canyon Suimidero is between Tuxtla Gutierrez and las Casas and many people make it a point to visit.

Most of your questions will be answered in a good guidebook. For Mexico, and specifically for Chiapas, I like the Lonely Planet Mexico guide. The books are free for the looking at public libraries, or for sale at a bookstore.

About advance reservations: U.S. Thanksgiving is not a particularly busy time for travel in Oaxaca and Chiapas. However, Oaxaca is so full of foreign tourists trampling around that you better make a room reservation as far in advance as you can; now isn't too soon to do it. Las Casas is another story. If you feel more comfortable making an advance reservation, do it. But, I don't think it'll be necessary - there are lots of places to stay.

Again, I don't recommend renting a car. But, if you do . . . make certain to accept all of the extra insurance coverages offered. Your credit card from home covers very little, so don't rely on it to provide coverage for you. Rental cars can be expensive in Mexico, often more than US$50 per day when you add-in the insurance. The legal system in Mexico is very different than what we have in the USA, and the insurance coverage will protect you from experiences you'll not want to encounter.

Enjoy the trip!

Washington, DC
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2. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

Go Mexico. Thank you for your response. Appreciate your taking the time to respond to my query. We have driven in Mexico several times in the past. We are quite familiar with the road condition what we are unsure of in this case is the security especially driving in the Chiapas state. Do you know if there are many road stops by the military/police state?

Boston ,MA
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3. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

Hi how are u? How was your trip? I am thinking in doing the same trip for christmas . Can you make me some recomendations? where did you rent your car?

How was the driving? where did you stop?

I will really apreciate any advise.

Thank you.

Kentucky
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4. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

Hi......I'm writing from Ky....but I own a house in San Cristobal....and just got back from two weeks, there. The "new" highway from Tuxtla to San C. is NOT operational yet. A large bridge collapsed (!) and is being rebuilt....but not finished yet. Hopefully the new one will fare better than the prev. one! So....the "old" highway is still the one......a little less than an hour and a half drive....Tuxtla to San C.

If you can afford the approx. 50 dollars a night.....Na Balom is the ONLY place to stay! And ten dollars buys you the big, evening meal.....communal seating around the enorrrrrrmous dining table.....all very eye-opening, usually.

Even I....who have a house there...still try to get to one of those meals each visit......simply unforgettable, and often one meets friends-to-be...esp. now that emails are so easy for keeping in touch.

Hope this helps. Nicholas Miller

washington state
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5. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

So 2bchef? Are you going to Oaxaca to indulge in the cuisine or perhaps take a cooking class? This last sunday's NY Times travel section proclaims Oaxaca now the capital of culture, art and food in all of mexico!

washington state
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6. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

So 2bchef? Are you going to Oaxaca to indulge in the cuisine or perhaps take a cooking class? This last sunday's NY Times travel section proclaims Oaxaca now the capital of culture, art and food in all of mexico!

Budapest
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7. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

Hello! We're planning the same trip, from Palenque to Oaxaca by car. We thought that 3 days will be ok for this trip. Fisrt night we would sleep in San Cristobal (so we will have some time to see the city).

We are hesitating about the next stop to Oaxaca, maybe we would have a sleep in Salina Cruz. What do you think about it? Is this a reasonable stop, or would anybody have a better idea? And can somebody report me about the road conditions? What is the comfortable way by car for one day (without driving in the dark).

Thanks in advance

Viktor from Hungary

Annapolis, Maryland
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8. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

I don't recommend driving in Mexico either, and I'm from Los Angeles, (the capital of world driving I should think). The laws are different, your risk is greater -- the first cause of death of foreigners in Mexico is road accidents. If you do drive, know that on the highways a left had signal means "pass me" . If you want to turn left you MUST pull over to the right and wait until there is no traffic and then turn. DO NOT put on your signal for a left hand turn on the highways. And, don't trust the truck driver who is telling you "pass me" on a curve. He might pass on a blind curve, but we wouldn't. Cars are expensive to rent, gas is high, insurance is a must -- you go to jail if someone is injured or, god forbid, killed, in an accident. Insurance gives you a $35,000 US bail bond. Take buses and taxis. Turns out to be cheaper than driving without the tension and risk. Anyway, that's the way I do it. Have fun.

9. Re: Oaxaca-San Christobal de las Casas-Palenque

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