San Cristobal de las Casas is a stunning city about 8 hours away from where I’m renting a house in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Normally I would go for the chicken buses and save money, but I took a shuttle bus there because I wanted to take a brain break. You can arrange to get to Mexico through a travel agency like Liberty Travel or a tour company.
I left Xela on Easter and ended up staying for a week. People who are traveling through this region compare it to Antigua, Guatemala for the colonial buildings and the mountains peeking above the city on all sides. However, I think that the vibe of this city was completely different. There’s something really vibrant and cutting edge about this place. I could definitely see myself settling down here for a minute if I met a few cool people. There are a few huge central plaza areas and lots of cool cafes to hang out in.
I was planning to leave on Saturday to come back to Xela. However, on Friday night I got super sick and started throwing up (amongst other unpleasant things). After about four hours, I decided that it was time to go to the hospital. I woke up the staff member at the hostel I was staying at, and he called an emergency number. It was crazy ordeal, what with not speaking great Spanish in general, and even worse when I’m sick. We sat in the ambulance for awhile and then they finally took me to the “hospital” which was more like a community center.
When I got there at about 4 a.m., they hooked me up to an IV to calm down my nausea and let me sleep for a couple hours. After awhile, they told me I had to leave because other people were waiting and they needed the bed that I was in. I wasn’t ready to leave, but I did my best to gather up all the strength I had to walk to a taxi to go home. The visit was free, and when I bought my antibiotics, I spent under $7. Can’t find that at home!