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Sections of Comitan de Dominguez

To walk the streets of Comitan is to return to an old era full of colors and to feeling the fragrances of its flourished gardens, because this is a city full of testimonies of many centuries of history. An obligatory point of visit is the famous district of the seven corners, a neighborhood with its own personality and where many samples of the traditional Comitecan culture are conserved.

This is a beautiful city built on a rocky hillside and surrounded by a lush country side located 163 km (100 miles) from Tuxtla Gutierrez. It was founded in 1556 by Pedro Portocarrero. Its unique colonial architectural style catches the visitor’s attention. A proof of it is the Church of Santo Domingo, the Church of San Caralampio, the Church of San Jose, the Church of San Sebastian, the Doctor Belisario Dominguez Museum and the Cultural Centre “Rosario Castellanos”. Comitan was first a Mayan city called “Balun Canan” which means “nine stars or guardians”. It was renamed “Comitlan” that means “place of potters in Nahuatl” when it was under the Aztec control. Nowadays, it is called Comitan de Dominguez as honor to Belisario Dominguez Palencia, doctor and politician who was assassinated in 1913 for his outspoken opposition to Huerta's usurpation of the presidency.

In 1813, in answer to petitions brought to the courts of Cádiz by the Chiapas representative don Mariano Robles, Comitan took the title of city, the second in the province. On the August 28, Fray Matias de Córdova convened a solemn mass at 8 in the morning in Santo Domingo to consider the subject of Chiapas independence. In this mass fray Matías delivered a speech to the people of Comitan, calling upon them to declare their city free from Spain. This memorable evening ended at the municipal council with the signing of the Independence Act of Comitan, the first in Central America. On March 24, 1824 all parties expressed their desire to join México or, as it was called then, the recently created United Provinces of Central America.

Comitan, where the Tzeltal, Cavil, Coxoh, and Tojolabal languages were spoken, came under the patronage of Diego Holguin, while matters related to the Indigenous Republic were in charge of a council, whose first governor was don Luis de Velasco. The presence of the Dominican order was fundamental, having been in the area since the middle of the 16th century and having established in Comitan one of their main convents which was dependent upon the towns of Zapaluta, Coapa, Coneta, Aquespala, Esquintenango, Comalapa, Chicomuselo y Yayagüita. The friars also established the first haciendas on the plains, which is why it became known as La Frailesca de Comitan.

In the mid 19th century, two events occurred that are worth noting because of the influence they have had upon history: the beginning of a popular cult of San Caralampio, and the expulsion of the Dominican order as a consequence of the Reform Laws.

Among all the tourist attractions around Comitan are the National Park “Lagunas de Montebello”, the archaeological zones of “Tenam Puente and Chinkultik”, the waterfalls of “El Chiflon”, the “Santa Maria” museum of Sacred Art and hotel and the “Lagos de Colon”. Comitan is 80 kilometers from the Guatemalan border.

Comitan has developed high quality tourism services, making it an ideal destination to spend some pleasant days exploring this edge of the State of Chiapas. Comitan's main plaza (also known as the “Parque Central”) is an attractive, multi-level mix of benches, trees and art sculptures; there is also a fountain on the west side of it. Immediately off the main square you’ll find the Church of Santo Domingo, the Cultural Centre “Rosario Castellanos”, the Doctor Belisario Dominguez Museum, the Junchavin Theatre, the Municipal building and the “Portales” around the main plaza with their unique style and brown color.

It is worth to walk around Comitan discovering and enjoying the restaurants, churches, small shops selling locally crafted items and all the important tourist places that all together represent the exceptional architectonic style of this city.

Hotel Hacienda de los Angeles
A new hotel with colonial charm and 25 rooms
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Parador – Museo Santa Maria
A beautiful Parador with eight deluxe rooms and a Museum consecrated to Sacred Art -
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From the Tojolabal Mayan language, "jun" one, "chabi" guardian and "Ine" site. Junchavin is, therefore, the Number One Guardian, or First Guardian. Today it is an archaeological site located atop a peak at the limits of the urban limits, visible from the central area. Its occupation could date from the late pre-classical (600 - 100 B.C.) to the early post classic (900 - 1250 A.D.) There are other ruins named Nehuestic, Chabin II, Lagartijero, Cash, Cerro de Goc, Juznajab, Punta de lanza and Tenam Puente.

NOTE: There is presently no public access due to a disposition from INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History)

This archeological site is located ten minutes drive from Comitan in a series of hills moderately elevated above the Valley of Comitan at a height ranging between 1600 and 1700 m. above sea level, reaching a breadth of approximately two km square. Tenam Puente is derived from the Nauhua meaning "fort" or "fortified place" and was an ancient civic ceremonial center. The maximum population during the pre-Hispanic settlement occurred the late classic period (600 - 900A.D.) and it was probably a western outpost during the height of the Maya civilization. The nucleus of the settlement is composed by more than 60 structures distributed on an expanse of 30 hectares (66 acres). The majority and most important of these buildings are located in what is called the Acropolis. In order to build the Acropolis, it was necessary to level the hills using long, high terraces built at different levels, which, as they rise they become less wide and tall. Above these various platforms were built open and closed plazas, small squares and patios, delimited by various constructions. It will take about two hours to see the buildings and enjoy the sights from the highest buildings in Tenam Puente.

Located 56 kilometers away from Comitan, in the heart of a pinewood forest and next to small lakes, the marvelous Mayan city of Chincultik emerges. The earliest structures have been dated as early classic (100 B.C. to 200 A. D.) and its maximum development happened during the late classic (600 - 900 A.D.) and continued during the early post classic. The constructions at the site were built against the hills that run alongside the first lakes of the Montebello lake system. Through leveling, filling and recovering, these structures were adapted to the natural topography of the land. The placement of the structures combines the lower open spaces with those above, these last stages to be viewed from a great distance. The most outstanding structure from Group A is the Acropolis, which was reached by ascending a great staircase, leading to the topmost of the group. Here is located the structure built at the edge of the holy blue water hole (the Blue Cenote, a Ritual Well). Also prominent among the groups within the Acropolis are Group B, constituted by a great plaza that functioned as a stage, a sunken space with its small central structure, three pyramids and on the opposite side a series of steps on three of its sides; group C containing the ball court; and group D from which the prominent Building 20, known as "The Flat Stones Platform," whose rectangular limestone blocks are the largest known in Mayan archeology. A beautiful view of the surrounded area including lakes and fields dedicated to the agriculture can be seen at the top of the main building, giving the visitor the chance to capture a wonderful sight of the valley.


  • January 1, New Year's Festivities, celebration of Masses, parades and fireworks.

  • The San Sebastian Festivity, celebrated from January 10 to 20 in Comitan.

  • The festivities of the Candelaria the first and second of February in Socoltenango.

  • The festivity of San Caralampio celebrated from February 10 to 20 in Comitan.

  • In February, the Niño de Atocha festivities in Comalapa.

  • The contest of indigenous music and dance celebrated the March 19 in Nuevo Huixtán.

  • March – April the Easter activities in Comitan. Processions, celebration of masses throughout the state. In some towns, the Burning of Judas ritual takes place - represented by paper-maché figures and cartoons of historical or contemporary personalities.

  • May – June the Holy Trinity's Festivity in La Trinitaria.

  • The Internacional Festival Rosario Castellanos, celebrated from July 10 to 20 in Comitan.

  • The International Expo celebrated in Comitan from July 26 to August 8

  • August 1 - 10, Santo Domingo Fair (the town's patron saint): masses are celebrated, parades and other popular events.

  • September 16 is National Independence Day, celebrated with the Mayor presiding over the traditional ceremony of "El Grito" (the Shout for Independence).      

  • November 1 and 2 are All Saints Day and Day of the Dead. Offerings are placed at the graves of the deceased to welcome and summon their souls, which are believed to return during these days. The offerings include traditional meals placed on altars inside the houses along with candles and flowers, or at the graves where families spend the day praying.

  • December 12 is the festival of the Patron Saint of all Mexico, the Virgin of Guadalupe celebrated with Mass, serenades and pilgrimages.


  • Chanfaina de Borrego: Cooked lamb tripe and other entrails with tomatoes, spices and chile poblano

  • Tamales pitaúl: Tamales made with fresh beans mixed with corn meal and chopped coriander

  • Tortillas con asiento: Tortillas smeared with pork lard

  • Pickles: Vegetables in vinaigrette

  • Chinculguajes: Tortillas filled with beans, coriander and hot peppers

  • Salpicón de Res: Chopped and cooked beef with lemon, onions and parsley

  • Pan de salvadillo con temperante: A comitecan with bread with colored sugar syrup

  • Africanos: A typical baked candy made from egg yolks and sugar

  • Maíz de guineo: Cane molasses mixed with dried pumpkin seeds

  • Chimbos: Bread with a special syrup and eggs

  • Temperante: A red and sweet beverage made from sugar syrup with vegetable colorant

  • Comiteco: strong liquor from Comitan, aguardiente (firewater) distilled from the maguey plant

  • Agua de tzilacayote: Drink made with a special regional fruit

  • Jucuatol: A hot drink made with fermented corn mixed with water and sweetened with cane molasses

The Museum of Sacred Art: Located at The Parador - Museum Santa Maria, which is located along the Mayan Route in the border region of Chiapas. The distance from the Parador to the archaeological zone of Chinkultic is only ten kilometers, whereas the distance to the multicolored Lakes of Montebello is 13 kilometers. The building dates from the 19th century and has through extensive renovation been brought back to its former splendor. Its interiors are decorated throughout with period furniture and works of art covering many centuries, creating an evocative and exclusive atmosphere. The museum features a magnificent collection of art from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Here is a spectacular setting, filled with important paintings, sculptures and objects of gold. The museum is a showcase of European and Mexican artists and painters, bearing testimony to colonial Chiapanecan plastic arts. Furthermore, the museum features beautiful pieces carved in ivory from the 17th and 18th centuries, sculptures that seem to come alive, evoking the Naos of China that during centuries arrived at Veracruz, bringing treasures that are a part of Mexico’s great cultural heritage. The Museum of Sacred Art of the Parador - Museum Santa Maria, welcomes visitors in order to spread knowledge of the cultural history so unique to Chiapas and Mexico.

Rosario Castellanos Cultural Center: Constructed in the 1930s, on the site that the Dominican Convent occupied, something of the monarchal hush is maintained in the interior. In the patio filled with orange trees that arch over the bust of Rosario Castellanos are two workshops - one for marimba (xylophone) and one for traditional textiles. In counterpoint to the wooden portals on the south and west of the plaza, is the brilliant stone architecture of the building which previously was a barracks and a school, today housing the Cultural Center. The most notable works of art are: A mural depicting the history of Comitan and the most outstanding personalities of the city, by Rafael Muñoz López and the other a large toy sculpture in homage to traditional Mexican toys. This beautiful building also houses the Archaeological Museum of Comitan that exhibits pieces of the Mayan Culture. The Cultural Center is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 17:00.

Doctor Belisario Domínguez House Museum: The Dominguez family house is a fine example of Comitan's 19th century mansions. Its balconies and garden give a special aspect to this traditional architecture. On its façade the entrance is most notable with its large summoning beadle in the shape of Fatima's hand. The house used to be larger, but the remaining part, through its six different rooms; the museum describes the life and work of Doctor Belisario Dominguez, martyr of the “free word”. His daughter, Doña Hermila Dominguez de Castellanos, donated most of the objects for the museum, which was inaugurated in1985, having as curator Ms. Hilda Castañon Morell. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00 and Sunday from 09:00 to 12:00.

The Hermila Dominguez Art Museum: This museum was opened in 1988 by the painters Francisco Toledo and Gunther Gerzso, whose work is exhibited there. It has a permanent exhibition of Rufino Tamayo. This museum houses the artwork of the regional painting school. It is open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 19:00.

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Amatenango del Valle Chiapa de Corzo
Comitan de Dominguez Palenque
San Cristobal de las Casas San Juan Chamula
Selva Lacandona Tapachula
Tenejapa Tonala
Tuxtla Gutierrez Zinacantan
Ç Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Hotel Hacienda de los Angeles - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 0406
  Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Hotel Hacienda de los Angeles
Ç Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Statue of Belisario Dominguez - Photo by SECTUR Comitan
  Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Statue of Belisario Dominguez
Ç Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Hotel Hacienda de los Angeles, Patio - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 0406
  Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Hotel Hacienda de los Angeles, Patio
Ç Chiapas, La Trinitaria, Parador-Museo Santa Maria, Corredor principal - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 0406
  Chiapas, La Trinitaria, Parador-Museo Santa Maria, Main Terrace
Ç Chiapas, La Trinitaria, Parador-Museo Santa Maria, Habitacion Imperio - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 0406
  Chiapas, La Trinitaria, Parador-Museo Santa Maria,
Suite Imperial
Ç Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Tenam Puente Archeological Zone, Acropolis, Stairs - Photo by SECTUR Comitan
  Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Tenam Puente Archeological Zone, Acropolis, Stairs
Ç Chiapas, Chinkultic Archeological Zone, Aerial - Photo by Secretaria de Turismo de Chiapas
  Chiapas, Chinkultic Archeological Zone, Aerial view
Ç Chiapas, La Trinitaria, Parador-Museo Santa Maria, Museo de Arte Sacro, Altar - Photo by German Murillo-Echavarria 0406
  Chiapas, La Trinitaria, Parador-Museo Santa Maria,
Museum of Sacred Art, Altar
Ç Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Doctor Belisario Dominguez House Museum, Patio - Photo by SECTUR Comitan
  Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Doctor Belisario Dominguez
House Museum, Patio
Ç Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Rosario Castellanos Cultural Center, Terrace - Photo by SECTUR Comitan
  Chiapas, Comitan de Dominguez, Rosario Castellanos Cultural Center