Backpacking San Cristobal de las Casas
San Cristobal de las Casas is a colonial city located in the gorgeous Mexican state of Chiapas.
Snuggled in a stunning highland valley San Cristobal’s historic cobblestone streets, cathedrals, and colorful buildings beg to be explored. San Cristobal is said to be the cultural capital of the Chiapasregion in Mexico, and is the epicenter of the indigenous Tzotzils and Tzeltals cultures. While fairly remote the town has become a popular tourist destination over the last few decades, and does a good job at accommodating all of its guests.
We spent a total of seven days in San Cristobal Mexico roaming around town, checking out the markets, soaking in the ambiance, hanging out with newly made friends, and enjoying deliciously diverse food. During our all too brief time there we grew quite fond of the city, and found its mix of indigenous customs and Spanish colonial to be completely fascinating.
The vibrant city might not be the least expensive place you will visit in Mexico, but it is certainly possible to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas on a budget.
You can find a break down of some of the prices in and around San Cristobal del las Casas below.
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San Cristobal on a Backpacking Budget
Our budgeting goal for San Cristobal was was $35 USD per day per person.
Our hostel included a light meal in the mornings (fruit, bread, jam and coffee) so on most days we didn’t spend money on breakfast, had cheap (but delicious) $4.00 tacos for lunch, and then spent around $10.00 for dinner and a couple of drinks. That kept our expenses down to $27.00 per day, which allowed us to spend money on some awesome activities, such as a boat tour of the Sumidero Canyon. There is plenty of yummy street food to be found in San Cristobal so you can cut down costs even more if you forgo restaurants.
Want to book accommodations in San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico? We recommend using the following sites:
To give you an idea of what sort of costs to expected in San Cristobal we put together a very basic price guide.
Exchange Rate February 2014 – $1.00 USD = 12.50 Mexican Pesos
- Hostel – private room with two double beds accommodating 4 people: 460 pesos ($36.80 USD)
- Dorm room – 150 pesos ($12.00 USD)
- 5 Cactus, Beef, Chicken, or Mushroom Tacos – 50 pesos ($4.00 USD)
- Vegan Burger and Fries – 56 pesos ($4.48 USD)
- Bottle of Spanish Wine from the Grocery Store – 55 pesos ($4.40)
- Glass of Spanish Wine from Wine Bar – 28 pesos ($2.24)
- Beer at a Bar – craft 46 pesos ($3.68), local beer 25 ($2.00 USD) ($4.00 USD)
- Beer from the Oxxo/Minimart – 15 pesos ($1.20)
- Organic Cup of Coffee – 17 pesos ($1.36 USD)
- Bean Tamale from Mercado Municipal – 1 peso ($0.08 USD)
- Three Pastries from Mercado Municipal – 13 pesos ($1.00 USD)
- Groceries for Dinner – 57 pesos ($4.56 USD) for four people
- Sweet Roll from Street Stall – 1.25 pesos ($0.10 USD)
- Cañón del Sumidero Boat Tour – 350 pesos ($28.00 USD)
- Yoga Class – 50 pesos ($4.00 USD)
- Bus Ticket to Playa del Carmen – 600 pesos ($48.00) for a basic bus to 1200 pesos ($98.00) for a deluxe. We recommend you splurge for the better bus if making this trip.
- Taxi From Bus Station to Town Center – 20 pesos ($1.60 USD)
Expenses for day trips or any other activity you might want to partake in should not be factored into your daily budget. This becomes overly complicated. An easier way of going about things is to calculate your minimum daily cost and then set aside all left over daily funds into a “activities” pool. Thus on a day when we took a boat trip and had a few extra beers with dinner we did not consider ourselves over budget even though we spent more than $40, we just subtracted it out of the pool.
You need to remember to set aside some money for things like bus and border crossings if you plan on being on the move often. That aside the above formula should be a great place to start when budgeting the trip of your dreams.
Disclaimer – We have included a few handy little affiliate links in case any of our readers want to book accommodations. We receive a small commission for any sales made, without any additional cost to you, our dear reader.