A popular day trip from the state capital of Tuxtla, the small colonial town of Chiapa de Corzo lies on the Rio Grijalva and is the starting point for boat rides through the Sumidero Canyon National Park. Although inhabited since prehistoric times, Chiapa de Corzo is best known as the region’s oldest Spanish settlement, founded in 1528, and traces of its past can be seen in its exquisitely preserved colonial architecture. The red-brick mudejar-style La Pila Fountain (Fuente Colonial) is the grand centerpiece of the central Plaza Ángel Albino Corzo, dating back to the 16th century and shaped like the Spanish crown, while one block south, the Santo Domingo Church (Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman) is famous for its original copper and silver bell and now houses a traditional handicraft museum.
The town is also renowned for its annual Feria de Enero festival, a colorful carnival held each January in honor of the feast of San Sebastian, when marching bands and dancing troops take to the streets for a vibrant procession and the city hosts an enormous street party. The highlight of the festival is the performance of the Dance of the Parachicos, a cultural tradition so important it’s been added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
Chiapa de Corzo lies on the north bank of the Rio Grijalva about 12 kilometers east of Tuxtla.