Cloud forests. Mayan ruins. Dazzling biodiversity—the Chiapas region is steeped in history and mystery. In the language of the Aztecs, Chiapas means “place where the chia sage grows.” Home to both the Mayan ruins of Bonampak, where intricate murals are preserved, and Palenque, which is located in a national park, Chiapas shows evidence of human occupation as early as 1400 B.C.. Mayan, Aztec, Spanish cultures have all made their contributions, yet Chiapas’ ethnic groups have maintained much of their ancient cultures, traditions, and customs. In fact, the state has one of the largest and most diverse indigenous populations in Mexico, with approximately one quarter of the state’s population speaking their native language.
The Chiapas region produces 60% of Mexico’s total coffee output, is second in cacao production, grows sugarcane, bananas, and other fruit, as well as producing approximately 4.7 million gallons of milk annually.