San Cristóbal de las Casas, a guide for vegan nomads
SAN CRIS, A TOWN OF TRAVELERS
I returned to Chiapas after 30 years. It’s so beautiful and, of course, different now.
San Cristóbal is full of travelers, small cafes, music, bookstores, craft shops and even so, it keeps its original aura: the cold air of the mountains, the original inhabitants, the markets, culture, the pace of slow life.
A HUB FOR DIGITAL NOMADS
San Cristóbal de las Casas -SanCris 🤍- has the perfect balance for work and travel.
I met a community of digital nomads from different ages, cultures and points of the planet.
SanCris can is a place where you can work quietly, meet travelers, network, practice yoga and breath work, make new friends.You can work during the day and go out at night, you may climb a hill at dawn to watch the sunrise and then continue your day, you can write all day and then go for a walk at Real de Guadalupe main street or just get lost around town, walking at cobbled streets.
In SanCris nomads stay for days, weeks, months. I met people that have been traveling for years and come back every year to this town.
MY EXPERIENCE AS A SOLO TRAVELER
I really enjoyed San Cristóbal as a solo traveler. I found a balance between being alone and spending time with other people. Connecting with other digital nomads and sharing meals, walks, sunsets: the sacred time of traveling.
SO VEGAN FRIENDLY
SanCris is so vegan friendly nowadays. There are vegan alternatives throughout the town. Small restaurants, taquerias, wonderful cafes with vegan friendly options. Even during my last days in town, I kept finding new spots, all vegan, just walking around. I hope to be back soon to try them all.
VEGAN RESTAURANTS I LOVED
House-made food, served in small tables in front of the market. My favorites here: ramen, bibimbap and green cheesecake. Also, the kimchi to take away. Very friendly, good prices, always full of travelers.
Vegan burgers, tacos and fruit water in a small space, at the center of town. Try their Tuesday tacos.
Burgers, soups, spaghetti and juices. There is a small patio in the back if you want to sit outside.
Tacos and more tacos.
Special prices from 7 to 8 pm.
VEGAN FRIENDLY CAFÉS
A beautiful garden cafe, live music almost everyday. Offers vegan pancakes for breakfast and some vegan dishes that vary with the daily menu. A super relaxed atmosphere to write and read.
Located in a garden shared by different cafes, restaurants and an art gallery; it’s an international and creative space. Offers fair trade – sustainable coffee and some vegan options to eat.
Natural vegan cosmetics, essential oils, seeds and grains by bulk.
Tip for Argentineans: here you can find yerba mate (Piporé and Rosamonte) + bombillas.
Dried fruits by bulk, spices. Bamboo toothbrushes.
FRUITS & VEGETABLES
The food market is good for buying fruits and vegetables: mangoes, avocados, lemons, which are sold in stalls by measure (in small plastic buckets). Note that the market it’s not organized by sections and stalls that sell chickens can be sometimes harsh to pass by.
ARTS & CRAFTS
The craft market is the place to buy colorful dresses, blouses and cotton bags directly from the local population. You will find it entering through November 20 street.
NATURAL PRODUCTS & FAIR TRADE
Cacao store. You can drink the natural cacao in different % -you can ask it to be prepared with water or vegetable milks- and also buy it in tablets in beautiful cardboard wraps.
Coffee in Chiapas is locally produced and very tasty. You can find it organic and fair trade, to have it at coffee stores or buy it to prepare at your place. Read the labels to know the origins.
There are many second-hand clothing stores in town. If you are traveling light or arriving from warm places, you will be able to find everything you need for the cool weather. Also, you can find interesting designers’ clothes in perfect condition.
Just walk through the center and take a look. You can try the tiny Vintage Clan, close to Guadalupe Church.
DESIGNERS & GALLERIES
Espacio Anónimo has a collection of vintage clothing and Mexican designers’ outfits.
Casa Boho has its own collection of dresses and pants made of linen and cotton. You can order them made for your size.
Rosa Caolin crafts cups and small objects in ceramics. She also gives pottery workshops in a bohemian space.
San Cristóbal has interesting bookstores that combine international books with publications on local culture and travel. There are also quite a few second hand bookstores where you can find books in English, Spanish, German.
La Cosecha is a beatiful space where you can find texts from independent publishers, notebooks and publications on feminism and social history.
COWORKING IN SANCRIS
Coworking and coliving for some weeks with a community of digital nomads in San Cristóbal was a great experience for me.
A big house with a communal kitchen, a shared coworking space with reliable wifi and a quiet garden to relax and network. You can stay in your own big private room or at the shared dorms. An ongoing community of nomads -different ages and backgrounds- that share cooking, fires and even treks to watch the sunrise in the mountains.
There is an open air café at the terrace that opens during weekdays where you can order vegan bowls for breakfast and soups for lunch.
For groceries, you can shop locally in small stores. Market is good for fruits and vegetables, tortillerías for tortillas and natural stores for grains and seeds.
For long stays, if you are looking for some vegan items such as plant-based milks, proteins, tofu or nuts, you may want to go once to a big supermarket like Walmart or Chedraui… Yes, there are supermarkets now in San Cristobal and they are located further away from the center but reachable with taxis, which are inexpensive.
Food at vegan restaurants in SanCris is rich and simple to find, that -in spite I love cooking- many times I chose to go for a walk and eat on the go in town.
TIPS to stay healthy
Remember to clean all fruits and vegetables and drink only bottled water or mineral water. Use also use bottled or purified water for cooking and brushing your teeth.
WHAT NOMADS SAY ABOUT SAN CRISTÓBAL
“I’ve been living in San Cris for a month and a half. San Cris is the must-go Mexican city for all beautiful vegetarian and vegan souls. I was cooking for the guests at CO404 and it was the first time I had to adapt and cook vegan breakfast and lunch. I was so nervous but at the end I was so happy to make everyone happy with all my recipes. Cooking with local food and making vegan dishes was such an amazing experience and it will be definitely part of all my future menus!” Marie, a world traveler from Belgium, she was running Co.404 café while I stayed in SanCris.
“I have been a nomad and a traveler for 12 years and because of those magical things of destiny in 2013 I knew San Cristóbal de las Casas. My idea was to stay for 2 weeks, but I ended up staying for 3 months, it was love at first sight. Since then, every year I come to this place and use it as my base, I spend a few months here and then I keep traveling. Every time I need to «go home» I go back to San Cristóbal. If you ask me the reason for my constant visits I have several answers. You find art, a wide vegan gastronomic offer (I highly recommend Loving Hut and Te Quiero Verde), cultural movement everywhere, many travelers and local people and Mexican culture is everywhere. San Cristobal makes you fall in love with its cobblestone streets, its colors, its bougainvillea peeking out from the houses, its food, its market, its energy, its sounds, and the people who live there”. Maya, world traveler from Argentina.
Canyon del Sumidero
65 km away from San Cristóbal, a dreamy landscape, different from any other place I’ve been to: super high stone walls, deep waters and even crocodiles.
You can rent the whole day transportation in town: a van takes you first to the viewpoints and then the boat to go all through the river to Chiapa de Corzo town where the same van will be waiting to take the group back to San Cristóbal.
Take a snack (I usually do almonds / bananas / nopal tostadas) and water. It’s not that easy to find vegan options outside SanCris and to go to Cañón del Sumidero it’s a whole day out.
SUNSETS & SUNRISES
I liked so much to watch both at SanCris. To go to the mountains to watch the sunrise, I did it in a group (that you Co.404 coworking nomads): you go out when it’s still dark and the climb can be quite challenging. San Cristóbal is located 2.200 meters above the sea level and I felt it going up.
For sunsets it’s easier; you can enjoy it from the terraces of some cafés at the center while having a Mexican beer or tea and some guacamole.
SanCris has an interesting night life.
Wine bars, restaurants, cafés and also places where you can dance cumbia or reggaeton, it depends what you like. Downtown streets are lighted with small lamps and are quite crowded with music, street vendors and travelers.
La Viña de Bacco is centrally located and has a variety of wines and tapas -you can order vegan quesadillas with vegetables -ask for no cheese- or guacamole.
A UNIQUE PLACE
SAN CRIS is definitely a unique place to enjoy as a nomad and vegan traveler. I will be back soon, still so much to explore!
IN THE MAP
Bek, Semilla de Vida, Belisario Domínguez 7A, Centro.
Cacao Nativa, Real de Guadalupe 1, Centro.
Casa Granel, Belisario Domínguez 8A, Centro.
Espacio Anónimo, Real de Guadalupe 103, Barrio de Guadalupe.
Frontera Café, Belisario Domínguez 35, Barrio del Cerrillo.
Pitaya, Belisario Domínguez 11, Centro.
Sarajevo Café Jardín, Flavio Paniagua 32, Barrio de Guadalupe.
La Viña del Bacco, Real de Guadalupe 7, Centro.
Te Quiero Verde, Niños Héroes 5, Centro.
The Loving Hut,, Av 20 de Noviembre, Barrio de Mexicanos.
Veganos la taquería, Belisaro Domínguez 3, Centro.
Vintage Clan, Real de Guadalupe 105, Barrio de Guadalupe.