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Comitan Chiapas, Mexico: A Southern Magical Town

  • Joel CZ 
  • 7 min read
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Comitan Chiapas (Comitán de Domínguez) is another Magical Town in Mexico and is the second most important in Chiapas, after San Cristóbal de las Casas.

It is located on a plateau at 1500 meters above sea level, making it one of the most pleasant climates in the southeast part of the country.

Besides being extremely charming, it was the birthplace of two of the greatest characters in the country’s history. I’ll tell you all about it, but for now…

First things first: Breakfast

You must try the quesadillas at the Central de Abastos, located just a few minutes from downtown.

These quesadillas (the ones with cheese) are huge, with many different types of stews, from shredded meat to sausages.

One quesadilla is enough to start the day right, accompanied by a delicious cafe de olla.

comitan chiapas
A quesadilla in Comitan

The sauces and sides are second to none, and one can be generous with onions, radishes, cabbage, chiles, and salsas.

This place is very popular with locals and people passing through the largest market in Comitan Chiapas, where you can appreciate all the good things consumed in the area.

The quesadilla stand is in the background. Once inside the Central de abastos (central market), anyone can give you information.

If you go for breakfast at the downtown market, you should not miss the chipilín tamales and the atole de Granillo.

It is a “light” version of breakfast, and you can enjoy it one block from Central Park, in what was once the first market in Comitán.

One of the typical dishes in the area is the pan compuesto (I’ll talk about it later when we get to the antojitos).

Also, they have a variant with octopus bathed in Comiteco, a local liquor, which is a delight.

Walking the streets of Comitan Chiapas

comitan chiapas
Main church in Comitan – Source: Viktoria Prusakova /

Comitán is divided into many neighborhoods, representing the town’s history.

Churches are scattered everywhere; each has a unique beauty and is dedicated to a particular saint.

The first stop is the Barrio de La Pila, where San Caralampio is venerated, who – without being the city’s patron saint – is the most important saint and to whom great devotion is professed.

It is said that the city was founded here. The church, the facade of the houses, and the water fountain create a magical scenery and atmosphere.

The House Museum of Doctor Belisario Domínguez Palencia is in the downtown area.

Although it lost its original charm when remodeled, it is still an important place to visit.

This is where Dr. Belisario Domínguez, an important and beloved character in the town, was born and where you can find his personal belongings.

He graduated in Paris and helped many people with scarce resources upon his return from France.

He slowly won the population’s affection until he became municipal president and senator of the Republic.

He was a great orator who defended expression freedom.

If you visit the Casa Museo Rosario Castellanos, you will learn all about the life and work of one of Mexico’s great writers, perhaps the most important after Sor Juana.

Recently created, this museum is located a few blocks from Central Park.

Although she was born by accident in Mexico City, her family was originally from Comitán, and her childhood was spent on her parent’s farm and around the streets of this magical town.

Where to eat

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El Camino Secreto Restaurant

El Camino Secreto is one of the most typical restaurants in town. Its menu is based on the typical botanas (snacks), and it is a must to order the Comiteco bone with pellizcadas.

It is nothing more than a pork shank bathed in a sweet sauce with cooked carrots, and the pellizcadas are tortillas bathed in chicharron fat, but making tacos with the meat and tortillas is really the glory.

These dishes are served at the table with many sides, such as tostadas, salsas, cream, beans, and cheeses, a real local culinary experience.

Explore the surroundings of Comitan, Chiapas

comitan chiapas
Montebello lagoons – Source: AnaP181280 /

The Montebello Lagoons are great nature jewels located very close to Comitan Chiapas, one of the points from which to visit the National Park.

They are a group of lakes of different colors ranging from greenish blue to turquoise. You can swim in some of the lakes, tour them in small rafts, or camp.

It is perfect to be in contact with nature and marvel at the scenery.

A lake borders Guatemala, and it is quite an experience to be practically halfway between two countries.

Take a dip in San Francisco Uninajab, one of the great resorts of the Comitecos. Local families gather there on the weekends. A hot spring forms a series of natural pools where you can swim, relax and rest.

Cenote Chukumaltic (yes, in Chiapas, there are also cenotes, one of which is in Comitán) is 200 meters long, with an approximate depth of 70 meters.

It is ideal for diving enthusiasts, as there are different formations inside. From the heights, the crystal-clear water is unbelievable.

Tenam Puente and Chinkultic are two archaeological sites of the Mayan culture that you cannot miss. 

The first was the city that served as a link between Chiapas and Guatemala.

In addition to its pyramid, one of the great attractions is the ball court, where they played a game of great importance, for which three areas were used for such activities.

Chinkultic, a few kilometers from Tenam Puente, also has a lagoon system.

The Agua Azul Cenote stands out, close to the Acropolis, which served as a site for offerings.

The San Vicente river comes from the mountains of Tzimol, a municipality adjacent to Comitán Chiapas, which forms a series of waterfalls of indescribable beauty (the Cascadas El Chiflón).

Culminating with the Velo de Novia waterfall (whose name refers to a waterfall that forms a kind of impressive white veil).

Back to the food…

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Pan compuesto

A good adventure must end with good food: Pan compuesto, Comiteco, and butifarra. Compound bread (pan compuesto) is a small cake with pork and vegetables such as carrots and beets.

It’s a snack that is usually eaten mainly in the afternoon or at dinner. Every traveler mustn’t leave Comitán without trying it.

Comiteco was considered one of the finest beverages in America when the Spaniards arrived, according to some writings.

To accompany the afternoon or as a digestive, there is an alcoholic beverage of great pride called Comiteco.

It is made from a local species of agave plant, fermented with piloncillo and another type of plant called “timbre.”

The butifarra is the sausage par excellence.

Although it is originally from Spain, the Comiteco sausage has gained fame in Chiapas as one of the best sausages in the state.

It is usually seasoned with hot sauce and lime juice; enjoy it with a cold beer and finish your day in Comitan style.

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