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Sections of Tuxtla Gutiérrez

Tuxtla Gutierrez, the state capital of Chiapas, is located in southern Mexico, 85 km east of San Cristobal de las Casas. The city has a pleasant semi-humid climate, with an average year-round temperature of 23º C.

In the civic plaza you can marvel at some of the city’s most important historic buildings, such as the Cathedral de San Marcos and the Antiguo Palacio de Gobierno, both of which are a blend of various architectural styles. You’ll also see edifices that are a mix of neocolonial and contemporary styles, such as the Centro de Convenciones and the Polyforum Chiapas, which are among the region’s most important cultural and live-entertainment venues.

Other cultural attractions include the Chiapas Regional Museum and the Eliseo Palacios Aguilera Paleontology Museum, where you can learn about Chiapas’ past and the rich natural resources in the city’s surrounding areas.

In Tuxtla Gutierrez’s environs you can visit the Reserva de El Ecote (El Ecote Reserve), the Faustino Miranda Botanical Garden and the Miguel Alvarez del Toro Zoo, where you can observe a wide variety of species from Chiapas’ jungle region.

Near the city you’ll find the town of Chiapa de Corzo, where you can visit the ruins of an ancient Mayan ceremonial center. There you also can set out to explore the impressive Cañón del Sumidero (Sumidero Canyon), one of the nation’s most important natural attractions. In addition, you can visit the magnificent El Chorreadero waterfall, which has gorgeous calcareous caverns and underground rivers. This spot is ideal for outdoor recreational activities, such as cave diving, climbing and rappelling.

Tuxtla Gutierrez is at present a city characterized by its fast demographic growth; very hot seasons and strong winds, and its neighborhoods festivities. Although it is a modern city, many traditions survive as cuisine, legends, rites, vernacular architecture, and its rich and varied vegetation.

Called Coyatoc by its original Zoque inhabitants, it means "Place, House or Land of Rabbits" -- this name was translated to náhuatl (the Aztec language) as Tuchtlan. Tuxtla was elevated to city status in 1829 and the suffix Gutierrez was added in 1848 in honor of Joaquin Miguel Gutiérrez, a distinguished federalist. In 1486 and 1505 the Aztecs invaded the area, destroyed Coyatoc and named it Tuchtlan; later the Spaniards adapted the name as Tuxtla. In 1748 it was called San Marcos Tuxtla and in 1768 was the seat of the second mayor township of Chiapas. In October 29, 1813 the Court of Cadis in Spain elevated the town of Tuxtla to the level of Villa. On August 11, 1892 Tuxtla Gutierrez was declared as the seat of the government of Chiapas and in 1892, then-governor Emilio Rabasa made it the state capital by decree.

Its territorial extension is 412.4 sq. km and it is located in the central part of the state at 550 meters (1,833 ft) above sea level. The land is relatively flat due to the slight decline towards the Sabinal River. On the north, it is adjacent to the municipalities of San Fernando and Usumacinta, on the east with the municipality of Chiapa de Corzo, on the south with the municipality of Suchiapa and on the west with the municipalities of Berriozabal and Ocozocuautla. Its climate is hot and semi-humid with rains in summer and at the beginning of autumn. This state capital has 567,787 inhabitants, and lies 1080 km (648 miles) from Mexico City. It is the center of commerce, finance and politics of Chiapas.

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Near Tuxtla Gutierrez you can visit one of the most important archaeological zones in Chiapas’ central region.

Located 17 km (10 mi) east of Tuxtla Gutierrez, off Highway 190. At this place you can explore the ruins of an ancient Mayan ceremonial center that consists of a group of stone platforms and terraced pyramids with dual temples at the top of the structures that indicate their high level in the administrative regime of the region. Open daily from 10:00 to 18:00.

Chiapas owns a great diversity of handcrafts techniques. In La casa de las artesanias different handcrafts made in Chiapas, like amber items wood carving, fabrics, jarcieria, lapidary, iron forged, pottery, crushed paper, lacquers, baskets can be found.

In Tuxtla Gutierrez you’ll find all kinds of crafts from various regions in the state. Among the most notable items are hammocks, hand-woven wool textiles, beautiful cotton embroidery made in San Juan Chamula and Tila, ceramics made in Suchiapa, toys and wood sculptures from Venustiano Carrranza and San Cristobal de las Casas, and the famous lacquered objects from Chiapa de Corzo. You also find a wide offering of jewelry decorated with filigree and amber. You can buy these products at the traditional marketplaces or at Casa de las Artesanias on Blvd. Belisario Dominguez.

Casa de las Artesanias (Craftsmen's House): Located on the west side of Tuxtla Gutiérrez, on the Belisario Domínguez Boulevard, Chiapas local crafts are sold here and there is also an ethnographic museum with scenes of the different ethnic groups within the state.

Chiapas is tradition, folklore, dance and overall the marimba music, in the many fairs and festivities throughout the year, on behalf of Patron Saint on April, the San Marcos Fair and sports and cultural events, night processions, cutting twigs to adorned leaves for sweets and fruits.

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

  • Holy Week (March or April), processions and 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.

  • Among the most traditional and important celebrations that take place in Tuxtla Gutierrez is the Fiesta de San Marcos, during which the saint’s followers participate in pilgrimages, make offerings and light fireworks over a four-day period, beginning on April 25.

  • August 16 to 25, the Saint Roque religious festivities for the patron saint in the parish of the same name, with mechanical rides, crafts and candy stands.

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

  • In October the Pan-American Race that starts in Tuxtla Gutierrez. The automobile exhibition takes place in the fair’s facilities, and an automobile parade. The race ends in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas.

  • 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.

  • The Chiapas fair takes place at the beginning of December, with bullfights, horse races, motocross, cocks fights, artists’ performances, mechanical games, dogs’ exhibition, cattle exhibitions, handcrafts market, industrial and commercial expos.

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

It is impossible to talk about Chiapas gastronomy in a general way, since it varies from place to place. Most establishments offer traditional dishes, a mix of two cultures, Indian and Spanish.

In Tuxtla Gutierrez you can try delicious dishes prepared with various ingredients and seasonings, such as sopa de pan (bread soup) and pasta with olives, raisins, prunes, hard-boiled egg and almonds. Other local favorites include cochito (marinated pork), chanfaina estilo soconusco (lamb organs served with rice), chicharrones con patashete (pork rinds with tepary beans), and the traditional tamales with chipilin leaves. To wash it down we recommend you try the pozol (a fermented corn beverage often prepared with cocoa) or a refreshing tascalate (a chocolate drink). As for dessert, you can indulge in coyol con dulce (coyol sweets), wafers made with egg whites, amaranth puxinu, and caramel, guava, bottle gourd, pumpkin seed and peanut sweets

In Tuxtla Gutierrez you can visit interesting museums where you can learn about the cultural and historical development of Chiapas, as well as natural history in the Mayan region.

Museo Regional de Chiapas (Chiapas Regional Museum): Located on the north-east side of Tuxtla Gutiérrez. It was built by architect Abraham Zabludovski and inaugurated in1984. It is part of a cultural and recreation center that includes the Botanical Garden, The City's Theatre, a Children's Center and Family Recreation Center. Inside the museum there are exhibits of the archaeological pieces found exclusively in the state of Chiapas. It has two permanent exhibition halls: the first dedicated to the Pre-Hispanic towns of Chiapas, containing a very valuable collection of archaeological pieces, the second dedicated to the history, art and ethnography of the 15th century with an important collection of colonial art. A third hall is devoted to temporary exhibitions of different types. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 09:00 to 16:00.

Eliseo Palacios Aguilera Paleontology Museum: Located in the Parque Madero, on Calzada de los Hombres Ilustres. This museum has some 8,000 pre-historic fossils on display as well as reproductions of plant and animal species that flourished during the Mayan era. This museum helps to understand the present natural richness of Chiapas, showing the patterns of plants and animals evolution during the different geological stage through exhibition places. Open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 to 17:00 and weekends from 11:00 to 16:00.

Tuxtla Gutierrez has several shopping centers such as Galerías Boulevard, Plaza Crystal and Plaza Santa Elena, which are located on Blvd. Belisario Dominguez. There you’ll find numerous stores selling clothes, shoes, souvenirs and much more. During your stay you can also visit the Casa de las Artesanias, on Blvd. Belisario Dominguez, where you can purchase all kinds of crafts, textiles, toys and amber pieces.

In Tuxtla Gutierrez you’ll find numerous places to enjoy the folklore and joy that characterizes the inhabitants of Chiapas.

Parque de la Marimba (La Marimba Garden and Park): Located on Av. Central Poniente and 8a Calle Poniente Norte 126. The park is named after the characteristic musical instrument of the state of Chiapas. At the central kiosk every night, there are serenades with marimbas from different municipalities. The joyful music will make you want to dance.

Miguel Alvarez del Toro Regional Zoo: The zoo is located inside a natural reserve zone called El Zapotal 5 km (3 miles) from Tuxtla's city center. Species of local fauna are exhibited, preserved, protected and studied in an ambiance similar to their natural habitat. This zoo is considered one of the best in the world of its kind. Its facilities are within a small jungle, crossed by small rivers. There is also a multimedia auditorium, library, an ecology-orientation area, coffee shop, dining room and picnic area. It covers 109 hectares (240 acres) and derives its name from the man who was its director from 1942 to1996, the year in which he died. Alvarez de Toro also was responsible for important studies on the flora and fauna of Chiapas. . The zoo also has special areas where you can observe nocturnal species. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 08:00 to 16:00.

Parque Joyyo Mayu: Located on Prolongacion Libramiento Poniente Norte. This is one of Tuxtla Gutierrez’s most beautiful parks. It has lush vegetation and several manmade lakes. Open daily from 08:00 to 18:00.

In Tuxtla Gutierrez you can enjoy the exciting experience of witnessing the city’s most traditional sporting and cultural events.

Feria de Chiapas (Chiapas Fair): Held in December, this fair draws the state’s main agricultural producers, farmers, artisans and industry leaders. Among the events you can see here are bullfights, horse races, cockfights and diverse cultural performances.

Maraton de Natacion (Swimming Marathon): This sporting event takes place in March. It draws national and international competitors who swim a 21-km (13 mi) marathon in the Sumidero Canyon.

Teatro de la Ciudad Emilio Rabasa (City Theater): Located on Calzada de los Hombres Ilustres and 5a Avenida Norte Oriente. This magnificent theater holds 1,185 spectators. It offers excellent services for visitors and performers alike, such as dressing rooms and various rehearsal spaces. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 to 4:00.

Centro de Convenciones y Polyforum Chiapas: Located between Calzada Andres Serra Rojas and Libramiento Norte. This is the only place in Mexico’s southeastern region that combines a large live-entertainment venue with a convention center. The convention center can accommodate up to 1,500 visitors, while the venue, which has top-notch lighting and sound systems, holds 3,875 spectators

Amusement is not only limited to visit the city attractions, but also enjoy this magic city famous environment; here the visitor can drink a glass of wine in a trova environment, or a sophisticated discos music or salsa, Reggae or techno music; all of these can be found in the city center. There are a different kind of bars and discos. For a pleasant night out we recommend that you visit the traditional parks where you can listen to the sounds of the marimba while you dance the night away. If you’re looking for more contemporary music or prefer to grab some drinks with friends, you can visit the bars in the city center.

Chiapas Polyforum and Convention Center: It is a group of areas and halls that function for the realization of different civic, tourist or commercial events. It has the modern infrastructure to host conventions, symposiums and events that companies or organizations may plan. It is located between two main avenues on the eastern side of town. Its main objective is to host national or international events and through these publicize its image and presence for further development.

Polyforum Auditorium: The Polyforum Auditorium has been designed to host spectacles with high technical complexity, with a seating capacity of 3,875 spectators. The architectural structure is designed on three different levels. The first and second level are preferred seating. In each spectacle, the seating capacity may vary based on the characteristics of the event. There are comfortable and functional backstage quarters to help the artists perform under the best conditions. The forum has all the necessary equipment for the realization of complex and sophisticated events: A covered foyer that is a continuation of the access plaza, where the public accesses the hall via ramps and stairs. It has garden areas, stands for food concessions, or souvenirs, and washrooms.

Convention Center: Considered one of the best facilities in the state, the Convention Center offers one auditorium for a hundred people, two large meeting rooms, an ample area for exhibitions and a multiple-uses hall, with a capacity for 1500 conventioneers. All these facilities come with services to carry out national or international events. This complex is of the best in its type to help conventions to be successful on all levels.

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