Tapachula de Córdova y Ordóñez or simply Tapachula is a city of 320,000 people (2010) in Chiapas. Tapachula is Mexico's main border city with Guatemala on the Pacific coast area although it is some kilometers away from the border.


City's Old City Hall building in the main plaza

It is one of the most important cities of Chiapas economically as the capital of the agriculturally rich Soconusco region, and a port for trade between Mexico and Central America.



The first human settlements of the peoples that later developed into the Mayan civilization have been found on the northern Pacific coast of what is now Guatemala. However, southern Chiapas state in Mexico and Guatemala were a unified region prior to colonization.

One archaeological site of note, Izapa, is 10 km from Tapachula. In addition, the Museo Archaeologico del Soconusco is located in the center of Tapachula in the same building that houses the tourist information center and the Casa de Cultura.



The climate of the city area is hot and humid most of the year. The area is one of the rainiest in the world with annual rainfall in the mountains of about 3,900 millimetres (150 inches).

Get in


By plane

Map of Tapachula

1 Tapachula International Airport (TAP  IATA) (along Fed Hwy 225 (La Carretera Puerto Madero-Chiapas) at the Ciudad Hidalgo exit, 19 km (12 mi) south of Tapachula.). Tapachula International Airport (Q2233085) on Wikidata Tapachula International Airport on Wikipedia The following airlines offer year-round service:

It is the nearest airport to Tapachula, Puerto Chiapas and the Guatemalan frontier towns of Cd Hidalgo/Cd Tecun Uman; and Talisman/El Carmen. It is also another transit point for onward travel to Guatemala from Mexico as it may be less expensive to fly to Tapachula from Mexico City (or elsewhere in Mexico) and continue by bus or shuttle to Guatemala then flying into Guatemala City from Mexico or the U.S.

By car


From Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, it is about 130 km to Tapachula and will take about 2 hours driving plus whatever time is needed at the border for immigration and customs formalities.

From Salina Cruz, it is 470 kilometers, or about a 6-hour drive to Tapachula via federal highway MEX-200.

From Tuxtla Gutierrez, it is about 370 kilometers, or about a 5-hour drive to Tapachula via the autopista MEX-190D and then highway MEX-200.

By bus

Monument with painted gourds

There are plenty of buses arrivining from Huixtla, Tuxtla Gutierrez, San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico City, Oaxaca, among others. Also, Tapachula is a good connection point between Guatemala and Mexico with plenty of buses going to Guatemala City. Unlike other Mexican cities, bus companies in Chiapas have their own separate bus stations with the following:

  • 2 Autobuses Expreso Azul (AEXA), 16a Ave Nte #13, Los Naranjos, Centro (SE corner of intersection of 16a Av Nte & 3a Calle Pte west of town.), +52 962 625-6237.
  • 3 FYPSA, 3a Ave Nte #88, Los Naranjos, Centro (along 3a Ave between 15a y 13a Calle Nte), +52 962 626-15-80.
  • 4 Omnibus de Cristobal Colon (OCC) (Subsidiary of Grupo ADO, first & platinum class bus station), La Terminal 17a Calle Ote #45, (along Calle 17a Ote between 1a Ave Nte y 3a Ave Nte). Grupo ADO is the main bus company serving the Yucatan Peninsula and the southeastern part of the country on multiple routes. OCC, Rapidos del Sur (RS), AU and Cristobal Colon are their subsidiary brands operating bus services in Chiapas state. International buses from Guatemala are at the OCC bus station and cross through Talisman/El Carmen.
  • 5 Autobus Unidos (AU), Cristobal Colon y Rapidos del Sur (RS) (Second class bus station), 9a Calle Pte #63. Second class brands of OCC/Grupo ADO with frequent departures to Arriga, Cintalapa, Esquintla, Huixtla, Tonala, San Cristobal Colon, Tuxtla Gutierrez, etc but with more stops en-route thus taking longer to get there than first class services.
  • Ticabus, La Terminal OCC 17a Calle Ote #45 (along Calle 17a Ote between 1a Ave Nte y 3a Ave Nte), +52 962 625-2435. (Ticket office) M-Sa 06:00-14:00. International bus company going across the Central American isthmus between Panama City and Managua. From Managua one route goes to Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula in Honduras while another continues along the Pan American Hwy to San Salvador, Guatemala City and Tapachula in Mexico. They also have another north-south route connecting El Salvador to Honduras. Passengers can transfer to Hedman Alas (another unaffiliated company) in Guatemala City if going to Honduras.
  • Linea Dorada, +502 2415-8900. Goes east towards Guatemala City via Huehuetenango and/or Quetzaltenango. Passengers transfer in Guatemala City to go to Flores (nearest city to Tikal). Phone number is the Guatemala number.
  • Trans Galgos Inter., +502 2220-6018. departs 13:00, check schedules. International services to Tapachula from Guatemala City via El Carmen, Retalhuleau and Coatepeque on one route and twice daily to San Salvador on another. They also operate a third domestic route to Quetzaltenango from Guatemala City. They also book onward travel all the way to the U.S. border through Mexico. US$17.

By train


A new daily intercity train from Salina Cruz is planned to launch in 2024.

Get around



  • Most of the city's monumental structures in the historic center were built in the first decades of the 20th century, although there are large homes near this same area built in the 1960s in Art Deco style, such as the La Portaviandas building. Outside the city downtown, the structures just about all date from the latter 20th century on due to recent growth.
  • The historic center is marked by a large, tree-lined plaza called Parque Miguel Hidalgo. The center of this plaza contains an octagon kiosk with Baroque ironwork with some Moorish influence. Parque Miguel Hidalgo is the center of the city. It surrounded by the old and new municipal palaces, the Perez Porta and the Teatro al Aire Libre (Open Air Theater), which often has marimba concerts.
  • The San Agustín parish church dates from the 18th century, established to honor the patron saint of the city, Augustine. It is a simple construction with a red Spanish tile roof, supported by wood beams. The facade is a simple Neoclassical with six Ionic order columns, three on each side of the entrance, joined by false arches. The top of the facade has two bell towers. This design is based on the Teopisca church. The church became a cathedral in 1958, shortly after the Tapachula diocese was established but that status has since been ceded to the San José Cathedral, consecrated in 2009.
  • The Casa de Cultura was built in 1929 as the municipal palace when the city was prosperous because of the surrounding coffee plantations. Although the style is Art Deco, the facade is decorated with Oaxacan style fretwork, images of Aztec warriors and stylized serpents along with the Mexican and state coats of arms. Today, the building functions as a cultural center for the city.
  • 1 Museo Arqueológico del Soconusco, 8a Av Nte #24, Zona Centro (housed in the old city hall (antiguo palacio municipal) building next to the Parque Central de Miguel Hidalgo in downtown.), +52 962 626-4173. Tu-Su 09:00-18:00. A small museum that has a collection of Mayan & Olmec artifacts from the region. This building houses a number of pieces from the various archeological sites of the region, especially Izapa and several coastal sites. One special piece is a skull covered in gold and incrusted with turquoise. Another is a stele called Number 25, because of the quality of its engravings.
  • 2 Zona Arqueologica de Izapa, Km 304 La Ruta de la Costa y Soconusco (Carretera 200) (10 km NE of town on Ruta de la Costa y Soconusco (Carretera 200).), +52 961 612-83-60. Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. The settlement at Izapa extended over 2 km, making it the largest site in Chiapas. The site reached its apogee between 850 BC and 100 BC; several archaeologists have theorized that Izapa may have been settled as early as 1500 BC, making it as old as the Olmec sites of San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán and La Venta. M$85. Izapa (Q2334607) on Wikidata Izapa on Wikipedia
  • The municipal cemetery is notable as a testament to the immigrant past of the area, with gravestones with German names and Chinese characters. The best examples of both date from the late 19th to early 20th century.
  • Head out of town a little to Calle Miguel Hidalgo (the one out near Calle Semanarista) and check out the crocodile zoo. A quirky little backyard business that houses something like 50 crocodiles and alligators of various species and sizes. the family that runs it is friendly and as much as seeing the crocs themselves it's funny to watch small children chase an even smaller puppy around a backyard literally packed with ferocious reptiles in various cement and chainlink enclosures. Cost is M$25 per person, and a taxi should cost about M$25 each way.


  • A tour of Mayan archaeological sites in western Guatemala and southwest Chiapas is available. These sites include: Izapa, Iximche, Zacalueu, Tenam Puente, and Chinkultic.
  • The Cafetaleros de Tapachula represent the city in the Ascenso MX, the second division of Mexican football.


  • 1 Mercado Escobar, Calle Décima, Norte, Centro. Daily 05:00 - 20:00. If it exists or can be imagined, it is for sale at the Mercado Escobar, Tapachula's oldest and largest traditional marketplace. Aisles of fresh produce and just-butchered meats have their sections as do electronics vendors, clothing vendors, candies, mezcals, and all the other necessities of life. The place is a gloriously chaotic jumble of humanity. Don't worry if you can't speak Spanish, most vendors understand Mayan too!






  • 1 Papablita, MEX-200, Los Naranjos, +52 962 626 6388. Daily 10:00 - 01:00. Long-time Tapachula institution serving up thick grilled steaks and big baked potatoes. If you're not sure what to get, order the picaña. M$300.
  • 2 La Monalica, 11a. Avenida Nte. 81, Los Naranjos, Centro, +52 962 626 0275. Tu-Sa 08:00 - 23:00; Su 08:00 - 20:30, M 08:00 - 17:00. Modern contemporary restaurant serving traditional Mexican cuisine. M$200.
  • 3 El Mito-T, 4a. Avenida Sur 133, Los Naranjos, Centro, +52 962 184 4446. Tu-Sa 13:00 - 01:00, Su-M 13:00 - 22:00. Casual fun restaurant serving regional Mexican cuisine. Huge menu with a wide range of burgers, steaks, chicken, seafood, salads and house specialities. M$200.
  • 4 Guanábanas, Calle 11a Ote, +52 962 223 1221. Daily 12:30 - 20:00. Typical botanero serving cold beer and light Mexican food.


  • 5 Sr Tango, Carr. a Puerto Madero, +52 962 118-4023. Daily 13:00-19:00. Sr. Tango is an Argentinian steak house that also has bland tasting pizzas and carries a real old-school mafia air to the place. Salads are pretty good and the air conditioning is top notch if you need to escape the heat.


  • 1 Mi Casa es tu Casa, 9ā Avenida Sur 81-83, Los Naranjos, 16 de Septiembre. Daily 13:00 - 22:00. Botanero serving beer and cocktails with snacks. Family friendly with soft drinks and kids area.





If you´re on a budget, Tapachula has very affordable lodgings. One example is Hotel Tacana (8a Norte at 13a Poniente). The rooms go for as little as M$100 per night and many have been newly renovated.

Located a block and a half from the main plaza in town (Miguel Hidalgo), on 5a calle pointe, one of the cheaper places to stay is Hotel Quinta instantly recognizable by its astonishingly large sign that says "hotel" in black and white vertical letters.

The lowest budget rooms go for M$200 with no television and no air conditioning. Rooms are a little dirty and toilets have no toilet seats but you can't beat the price in this part of town.

  • 1 Hotel Fenix, 4a. Av. Nte. 19, Los Naranjos, Centro, +52 9626263680. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Traditional hotel with fancy public areas. Rooms are a bit dated. Off-street parking available. M$700.
  • 2 Hotel Cervantino, Primera Ote. 6, Los Naranjos, Centro, +52 9626200008. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Clean spacious rooms. Extra charge for AC. M$500.
  • 3 Hotel San Francisco, Calle Central Sur Oriente 94, Los Naranjos, +52 962 620 1000. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Traditional downtown hotel with clean rooms with good air conditioning. Swimming pool available. M$1000.


  • 4 Hotel Loma Real, KM 244 Carretera Costera 200, +52 9626261440. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Upscale hotel, clean, comfortable, safe. On-site bar and restaurant. M$1350.
  • 5 Nah Sam Chak, Segunda Avenida Sur 22, Los Naranjos, Centro, +52 962 625 2100. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Small boutique hotel with a beautiful garden courtyard restaurant. Rooms are comfortable, spacious and clean.
  • 6 Plaza Inn Express, 4a. Avenida Sur 157, Los Naranjos, +52 962 628 6330. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Modern hotel with spacious, clean rooms. Furnishings are basic and the room is functional rather than inviting. Next to a VIP restaurant (good breakfast choice). M$2000.
  • 7 Hotel Tapachula, 9a. Poniente 17 entre 4a. y, 6a. Avenida Sur, Norte, +52 962 626 3099. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Large hotel with clean spacious rooms. On-site garage parking. On-site swimming pool. On-site restaurant with extensive weekend buffet breakfast. M$1200.



Tapachula has extensive cellular network coverage but only the downtown area has reliable 5G. Outlying areas are typically 4G. Broadband internet is ubiquitous and most hotels and restaurants offer WiFi connectivity.

Go next

This city travel guide to Tapachula is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.