Tuxtla Gutierrez

Travel Guide North America Mexico Chiapas Tuxtla Gutierrez

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Introduction

Tuxtla Gutierrez is the capital and the largest city of the Mexican southeast state of Chiapas. It is the most developed, populated and therefore the state's most important municipality. A busy government, commercial and services-oriented city, Tuxtla (as it is commonly known) had one of the fastest growing rates in Mexico in the last 40 years. Unlike many other areas in Chiapas, it is not a tourist attraction, but a transportation hub for tourists coming into the state, with a major airport and a bus terminal.

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Sights and Activities

  • Regional Museum of Anthropology and History of Chiapas is the largest museum in Tuxtla Gutierrez and in Chiapas and one of the most important of its kind in Mexico. It primarily consists of two main halls with one dedicated to the state’s Mesoamerican archaeology and the other to the history of the state starting from the Spanish conquest. The archaeological display focus on the native Zoque and Mayan cities, and the historical displays extend in time until the early 20th century. In addition to its permanent collection, this museum also has a temporary exhibit hall and auditorium to host events such as book signings, summer classes, conferences and more.
  • Zoológico Miguél Álvarez del Toro s a zoo located southeast of the city proper. It was founded in 1942 as Zoológico de Tuxtla Gutiérrez. It was renamed after its director Miguel Alvarez del Toro and relocated in 1981. Currently, it is located in a nature reserve known as El Zapotal. The altitude is 630 metres and the annual mean temperature is 24.7 Cº. The main characteristic of this zoo is that it only exhibits endemic fauna.
  • Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden is located next to the Sabinal River, just northeast of the heart of downtown Tuxtla Gutiérrez. This botanical garden was founded in 1951 under the trusteeship of Dr. Faustino Miranda, who dedicated the greater part of his life to studying the flora of the state of Chiapas. The Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden features exhibits on the wood of Chiapas, medicinal plants, the flowers of this state, and many more. There is also a library on-site specializing in botany.
  • Plaza Cívica is surrounded by government buildings such as the municipal and state government offices, called palaces. On one side of this plaza is the city's most important landmark, the Catedral de San Marcos (Saint Mark's Cathedral), named after the patron saint of the city, Mark the Evangelist. The church was founded in the second half of the 16th century as a Dominican parish and has had significant changes to the structure since it was built. Its apse is the only one conserved in Chiapas from the colonial era, on which can be seen remnants of frescoes.
  • Parque Jardin de la Marimba is located is eight blocks from the First Square on Avenida Central Poniente and Calle Poniente Norte. This park is named after the most characteristic musical instrument of the state, the marimba. Parque Jardin de la Marimba was established in 1993 to be a meeting place for families with numerous trees, colonial style benches and an elaborate central kiosk. Here, marimba bands play which very often attracts older couples who come to dance. It also hosts larger musical and other events, usually related to the marimba instrument and the genre of marimba music.
  • The Chiapas Museum of Science and Technology is an interactive museum for children and adults demonstrating advances in modern times in three halls: Earth and Universe, Life and Humans, and Communications and Tools.
  • Mercado de los Ancianos is a large traditional market southeast of the center of the city near the zoo. It offers fresh flowers, meat, seafood, clothes, household goods and more. It has an outdoor cafe under a big red tent and serves dishes prepared from the items available in the market. These include shrimp dishes, chicken, fried whole fish, carne asada (grilled beef) and plenty of tacos.
  • The Instituto de las Artesanias y Productos de Chiapas is a large purple building on the main boulevard of the city, run by the government to promote the state's traditional products. These include the best of Chiapas handcrafts including textiles, clothing, toys, ceramics and wood sculptures as well as genuine amber jewelry. It also contains an Ethnographic Museum which shows scenes representing the lifestyles of the various indigenous groups of Chiapas with dioramas of rural villages and how crafts are made. There are also mannequins displaying indigenous dress. It also sells coffee and regional candies from the state.

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Events and Festivals

The two most important local celebrations are the Feria de Saint Mark and the Feria Chiapas. The Feria de San Marcos (Saint Mark's Fair) occurs each April in the center of the city, honoring the patron saint of Mark the Evangelist. It includes offerings, fireworks in frames called castillos, or castles, and pilgrimages for four days starting on the 25th.

The Feria Chiapas includes bullfights, horse racing, cockfights and exhibitions of the many products of the state, including crafts, manufactured goods and agricultural products. It is held on the next to last Sunday of November through the first Sunday of December.

Reflecting upon the area's Zoque heritage is the Zoque Carnival and a ritual called the "lowering of the virgins" which occurs in Copoya. Other important celebrations in the municipality include the San Roque, San Jacinto, San Pascualito, San Francisco, Santo Domingo and the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Day of the Dead

Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexico where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.

Other Events and Festivals

Grito de la Independencia - September 15th is Mexican Independence Day! A massive celebration involving plenty of singing, dancing and fireworks takes place in the Zócalo. Everyone here awaits an appearance from Mexico's president who rings a bell from a central balcony of the Palacio Nacional overlooking the Zócalo. The president then shouts out the Grito de Dolores, or the Cry of Dolores which was Father Hidalgo's famous call to arms against Spanish rule in 1810.

  • Dia de la Candelaria. Candlemas is held February 2nd and commemorates Jesus being introduced into the temple 40 days after his birth. This nationwide celebration sees many different ways of celebrating and many towns hold processions, bullfights and dances. Of course, plenty of delicious, traditional foods are served during Dia de la Candelaria as well.
  • Carnaval is held in late February or early March throughout all of Mexico. This big party is meant to celebrate the 40 day penance of Lent. Carnaval always takes place during the week or so prior to Ash Wednesday, 46 days before Easter Sunday. Mexicans celebrate this holiday with fireworks, food, dancing, parades, dancing and drinking.
  • Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a huge celebration which starts on Palm Sunday. This is a very popular time for Mexicans to take a short break; as a result, it seems most of the country is on the move, with buses and hotels often booked out. As for the celebration of Semana Santa, expect colorful processions and many masses at churches everywhere.
  • Día de Nuestra Seňora de Guadalupe, or Day of our Lady of Guadalupe, is held December 12th. There is a week-long build up to this religious celebration in honour of the Virgin who appeared to the indigenous Juan Diego in the year 1531. Since then, the Lady of Guadalupe has been Mexico's religious patron and her veneration is very significant. It is traditional for young boys to be dressed as a Juan Diego and for young girls to be dressed in indigenous garb and brought to a special mass, held at many churches throughout the country.
  • New Year's Eve. Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve or locally known as Año Nuevo, by downing a grape with each of the twelve chimes of the bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties, during New Year's, with colors such as red, to encourage an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow to encourage blessings of improved employment conditions, green to improve financial circumstances and white to improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient whose slice contains the coin or charm is believed to be blessed with good luck in the new year. One can expect a lot of firecrackers, fireworks and sparklers being fired. At midnight there is a lot of noise and everyone shouts: "Feliz año nuevo!" People embrace, make noise, set off firecrackers, and sing Auld Lang Syne.

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Weather

Tuxtla Gutierrez features a tropical wet and dry climate under the Köppen climate classification. With its relatively low altitude, the area has a hot and relatively humid climate with most rain falling in the summer. Except for a rainy and dry season (summer-fall and winter-spring respectively) there is little variation in the climate during the year. Even the distinction between the rainy and dry season features a quantity of rain.

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Getting There

By Plane

Since opening in 2006, Ángel Albino Corzo International Airport, with IATA code TGZ, has become one of the more important airports in the country and the busiest in Southwestern Mexico, with 1,388,706 passengers traveling in 2018. It is also one of the most modern facilities in the country, covering 740 hectares. It's cost was about one billion pesos to build and was funded by government and private investors. There is taxi service from the airport to Chiapa de Corzo and the city and bus service to the First Class station and to San Cristobal de las Casas. The new facility can receive direct flights from the United States. Central America and South America. As of January 2019, there are direct flights to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Cancun, Puebla, Tijuana and Mérida.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafe's are widely available and you generally can find one in the direct vicinity. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044 if the cell phone is registered in the same state where you are calling from or 045 if the cell phone in registered in another state. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52. For a landline you would have to dial 0052 + (area code) + (8 digit local landline number) for a cell phone you would have to call 0052 (1) followed by the 10 digit cell phone number.

Post

The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 22:36 on Apr 26, 20 by road to roam. 1 article links to this page.

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