San Cristobal de las Casas is a beautiful, magic town located in the mountains of the Southern Mexico state, Chiapas. The Pueblo Magico (magic town) is known for its colorful buildings, rich cultural history and cobblestone streets. It’s important to plan your trip to this colonial town well and figuring out where to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas is a great place to start.
We stayed in San Cristobal de las Casas for 2.5 months and enjoyed it so much – even more so thanks to our Airbnb location. While San Cristobal is pretty walkable, you don’t want to be walking for 30 minutes just to get to the gym, coworking space or restaurant right?
I’ve listed the 5 best areas to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas for digital nomads who are staying longer than a week and need to get some work down in between. The town is continuously evolving and we are finding digital nomads flocking there (us included) to get a more authentic Mexican experience (something we were missing while living in Playa del Carmen). San Cristobal de las Casas itself isn’t very big and it’s super walkable which makes it easy to see and do everything you want!
QUICK ANSWER – Where To Stay In San Cristobal de las Casas:
- Best Overall Neighborhood: El Cerillo
- Closest To Coworking Spaces: El Cerillo & Barrio de los Mexicanos
- Closest To Restaurants: Zona Centro & Guadalupe
5 Best Areas for Digital Nomads – Where To Stay In San Cristobal de las Casas
Founded in the 16th century, this colonial city has beautiful artisan markets, street art and a vibrant community for you to be a part of. Choosing where to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas is an important step in ensuring you have the best trip to the unofficial cultural capital of Chiapas, Mexico! While you could probably eyeball it and get away with it – but after traveling full-time for the last 3 years, we have found that location matters A LOT. We wanted to make sure we were within walking distance to restaurants, the main walking street and any coworking San Cristobal de las Casas has to offer.
The best time to visit San Cristobal de las Casas is February to May. During this time, you will get the most sunshine and the least amount of rainy days! The worst time to visit San Cristobal de las Casas is June – it’s the worst month because it rains 28/30 days of the year and you are stuck at home!
If you are on a budget, the best area to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas is further out from the Centro area. The best neighborhoods are Barrio de los Mexicanos and Santa Lucia. While these are a further walk to the city center, you will get better value for your money.
If you have a little more room in your budget, you could get a nice place in neighborhoods like El Cerillo and Guadalupe. There’s a neighborhood for every budget and it can depend all on one thing – where you stay in San Cristobal de las Casas.
That’s why I’ve written this blog post to help you get the best value for money, making sure you are within 15-20 minutes walking distance to everything and stay safe. I’ve ranked these 5 neighborhoods in San Cristobal de las Casas based on how well they suit any digital nomad’s needs for a coworking space, finding a community and being close enough to all the action!
1. Barrio de El Cerrillo
The best area to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas is El Cerrillo – hands down. This is the area we wish we stayed in and if we were given the chance to stay again – we would choose this area.
If you appreciate art and local craft culture, you will love the El Cerrillo neighborhood in San Cristobal de las Casas. The cobbled streets are filled with beautiful artwork, you’re close to the plethora of restaurants San Cristobal de las Casas has to offer and the coworking spaces are only a 5-8 minute walk from this neighborhood.
Located close to the artisan and craft market, it’s nice to spend the afternoon walking through seeing all the colorful works by the indigenous people and picking up a couple of souvenirs. You’ll also pass the majestic Santo Domingo church which is intricately designed – it’s hard not to stare at this beauty. The best thing about the El Cerrillo neighborhood is that you get the bustling of a town from the market but once you head into the residential streets – it’s very quiet! You can say hello to a good night’s sleep if you stay in this area.
Are you about to be/are a San Cristobal de las Casas digital nomad? You’re in luck – the El Cerrillo neighborhood has its own coworking space, Centralita Cowork El Cerrillo location. If you get an Airbnb here, it’s an easy 5-minute walk to the coworking space that will have one of the fastest wifi networks in San Cristobal de las Casas.
2. Barrio de Guadalupe
Guadalupe is located on the east side of the town center, just a few blocks above the main walking street in San Cristobal de las Casas – Real de Guadalupe. If you’re a foodie and want to be close to most of the best restaurants San Cristobal de las Casas has to offer – this is the closest you can get (without staying in the center of town). There is a broad range of restaurants for any cuisine you could want and you can find ones to suit your budget.
While we were there, we found there to be more hills to walk through in this neighborhood which could be a struggle for some. However, you were still only a 5-10 minute walk to most things in the center – so if you can walk uphill for a bit this is still a great area to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas.
In this area, you will be close to the Guadalupe church and it’s a stunning place to watch the sunset. You can sit on the steps or get a drink at La Maldita for the beautiful mountain views over the city center.
If you’re a digital nomad living in San Cristobal de las Casas, there’s a coworking space near the Guadalupe neighborhood you can work from. Centralita Cowork Centro location is actually pretty close to the Guadalupe area than Centro and it’s a shorter walk to work every day!
3. Barrio de los Mexicanos
Finally, the San Cristobal neighborhood we stayed in! When we first chose to move to San Cris, we had ZERO clue which are would be best. After watching a Youtube video by Tangerine Travels, we decided to stay in the same area as they did. While it was still a very good area, we found ourselves a bit too far from the action – may be an extra 5-10 minute walk every time. We got used to this but again if, given the chance, we would stay in El Cerrillo or Guadalupe.
Located on the north side of the center of town is Barrio de los Mexicanos. This neighborhood is much more low-key, quiet and just an overall chill area to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas. We felt very safe in this area and we slept very well because there were barely any cars coming through our street.
This area is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Cristobal de las Casas and the houses you’ll stay in can sometimes reflect this. You are close to 2 popular areas: El Cerrillo and Centro which take around 15-20 minutes depending on where you want to go. We found we walked a lot (more than we would like) but if this doesn’t bother you then this is one of the best neighborhoods for value for money.
If you’re on a budget and want to get away from the crowds then Barrio de los Mexicanos is where to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas. We paid around $614 USD for a 1 bedroom apartment complete with a kitchen, patio, fireplace, living room and dining room. I’ve included an apartment tour at the bottom of this blog so keep reading if you’re interested!
Want to try coliving? There’s a great space called Co.404 Coliving & Coworking in this exact neighborhood that offers private bedrooms, a coworking space and a vibrant community. DM them on Instagram to book your spot!
4. Zona Centro
If you’ve read our Airbnb Playa del Carmen Mexico blog post, you will already know how we feel about staying in the dead center of town. We avoided 5th Avenue in PDC because of the swarm of tourists and stayed a couple of blocks away to steer clear of the noise.
The same goes for the Zona Centro in San Cristobal de las Casas. If you value your sleep – stay away from living in the center of town. Our friend, Andrea, stayed in a hostel in Zona Centro and he regularly complained about the noise outside his window. He could hear people partying and the noise from the bars.
The center of town isn’t a budget-friendly area to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas (obviously). It’s always more expensive to stay in the center and while you’re right in the middle of the action – you lost out on your value for money. The apartments you get here aren’t very nice and you’ll be paying a premium for it. Simply not worth it!
Staying in the center of town does have its positives though – you are literally 5-10 minutes within walking distance to everything like restaurants, coworking spaces and all the main tourist attractions like the stunning San Cristobal Cathedral. We wouldn’t choose this area because we slow travel (1-3 months in each location) as digital nomads but this would be a great area to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas if you’re only there for a holiday or long weekend!
5. Barrio de la Merced
Merced is located in the western part of town and it’s close to the main San Cristobalito Church and the Amber Museum. This area of town has a tall forestry hill perched on top so you can have spectacular views of the beautiful city.
If you are a big museum buff, this is the best place for you to stay. You have 3 different museums in the Merced neighborhood: Amber Museum, Museum of Popular Culture of Chiapas and Museum of History and Curiosities of San Cristobal. Wherever you walk through this neighborhood, you will be met with local arts, crafts and culture everywhere.
San Cristobal Tip: If you want to buy amber, make sure you visit the museum first so you can learn tips on how to recognize fake amber.
As for digital nomads, this area might be a little far out of town – it’s the furthest from any of the 3 coworking San Cristobal de las Casas has to offer. Most coworking spaces are located in the north/northeast part of town. You might also have to walk through a couple of hills to get to the center of town.
Barrio de la Merced is a quieter part of town, further from the historic center and a more budget-friendly location to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas.
The Bottom Line: Where To Stay In San Cristobal de las Casas
The El Cerrillo neighborhood is the best area to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas.
For one, you’ll get value for your money. Most places on Airbnb are decent and you won’t have to pay a huge hefty price for it. Second, you’re a close 10-15 minute walk to most restaurants in the center or the main walking street, Real de Guadalupe. Third, you are close to 3 of the coworking spaces in San Cristobal de las Casas!
If you can’t get a place in this neighborhood, any of the 4 listed above are still great options! Carefully decide what’s important for you and your visit to San Cristobal de las Casas then it’s easier to decide from there. Each neighborhood has its charm and it’s worth exploring all 5 areas when you visit!
Curious to see our place in San Cristobal de las Casas? Keep reading…
A Tour Of Our Los Mexicanos Airbnb in San Cristobal de las Casas
While we were living in Playa del Carmen, I researched where to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas and found a Youtube video by Tangerine Travels. I clicked on the Airbnb link and there was space for us to book and that’s what we did! The place looked great because got value for money.
If you’re wondering what it’s like to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas, here’s a tour of our own Airbnb apartment in the neighborhood of Barrio de los Mexicanos.
We stayed here because of the following:
We had the main bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The king-sized bed was very comfortable, honestly one of the most comfortable Airbnb ones we’ve stayed at (and we’ve stayed at least 19 Airbnbs).
However, the pillows were basically pillowless! They hurt our necks and we had to buy new ones at Walmart. There was a small TV which we could hook up our HDMI cord and stream things (when the wifi worked).
Beautiful Garden Area/Patio
This was probably the best part about the whole apartment. We loved hanging outside, hearing the birds cheap with all the mountain views. It was incredibly peaceful and quiet (something you won’t get if you stay in Centro).
The kitchen had everything we needed to make our food – pots, pans, cutlery, plates, bowls, etc. Again the place was very old colonial style and it had tiles for the kitchen bench which made it very hard to cut things and
Safe and Secure Neighborhood
We felt very safe walking home around 10pm in this neighborhood. There were barely any people around and it’s a straight shot from the central park to our apartment.
The main problem we had was the wifi. It was horrible (3 Mbps), we even had to buy a booster and we still weren’t getting adequate speeds to stream Netflix seamlessly.
Once we arrived, we realized it was very old-style and thought we bit off more than we could chew. The bed was extremely comfortable and it was just a huge apartment. We spent many afternoons hanging out on the patio overlooking the beautiful garden. Overall, we wouldn’t stay again because we’d rather stay in the first two neighborhoods: El Cerillo and Guadalupe.
Where To Stay In San Cristobal de las Casas – Frequently Asked Questions
Where to stay in San Cristobal de las Casas?
Try to stay in the El Cerrillo neighborhood if you’re a digital nomad. If you’re traveling for the weekend or holidays, get a place in the Zona Centro.
How much is an apartment in San Cristobal de las Casas for 1 month?
We paid around $600 USD for our Airbnb apartment in Barrio de los Mexicanos neighborhood. Depending on the kind of place you want and your budget, you can get a decent place from anywhere between $300 USD to $800 USD.
How to get around San Cristobal de las Casas?
Walk. Walk. Walk. It’s the easiest way to get around this small colonial town. However, if you need to go to Chedraui or Walmart, simply flag down a taxi. We found them to be VERY fair and honest in San Cristobal. It was super refreshing. Never pay more than $50 pesos for a taxi ride anywhere around San Cristobal de las Casas.
Is there an airport in San Cristobal de las Casas?
Sadly, no. If you are flying from where to get to San Cristobal, the closest airport is in Tuxtla Gutierrez called Ángel Albino Corzo International Airport.
How to get from Tuxtla Gutierrez to San Cristobal de las Casas?
There are 3 ways to get to San Cristobal de las Casas from the Ángel Albino Corzo International Airport:
Are there vegetarian/vegan food options in San Cristobal de las Casas?
There are many! You can enjoy any type of cuisine in San Cristobal and plenty of them are happy to make things vegetarian for you without a problem. Arirang Coreana, Bangcook, Tok Tok Wok, and Coocliche are just some of the many vegetarian options for you.