Colectivo to San Cristóbal
Rather than catch a bus from Palenque to San Cristóbal, Alan and I decided to make the journey via colectivo (shared taxi / minibus). This was the first time I've undertaken a major intercity journey by colectivo, and all up, it was a great experience at a great price. Colectivos may be a little slower, and a little less comfortable (than buses), but they're also way more fun, and they get you where you're going, same as a bus does.
The only really annoying thing about colectivos is that they don't leave until they're full. This generally means waiting around for about half an hour, until more people come. They also stop and pick up anyone on the side of the road who hails them along the way, but that's not such a big deal.
Colectivos have numerous advantages over long-distance buses:
- They have openable windows, instead of insanely cold air-conditioning.
- They have blaring loud Mexican music playing, instead of z-grade movies.
- The other passengers are friendly and actually talk to you.
- The whole thing feels like a road trip.
- The price is at least half that of a bus doing the same route, if not less.
The ride from Palenque to San Cristóbal was a great afternoon trip. The mountainous, jungle-covered scenery of the Chiapas countryside was gorgeous. We had to change colectivos at Ocosingo; but in a way, that was good, because it gave us time to have a light, late lunch. We got to San Cristóbal just as night was setting in, with plenty of time to find food and board for the night.