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Leaving San Cristobal to Coast of Mexico

Travel to coast from San Cristobal de las Casas When I leave San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, on Saturday, I would have stayed for around three months. After three months of highland living, I am ready to return to the coast. We are going to the beaches of Chiapas and then Oaxaca, we are [...]

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Travel to coast from San Cristobal de las Casas

When I leave San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico, on Saturday, I would have stayed for around three months. After three months of highland living, I am ready to return to the coast. We are going to the beaches of Chiapas and then Oaxaca, we are going out for a month of fast travel — like old times.

San Cristobal de las Casas, 2010, has been one of the longer stays that I have ever made. Though I must say that I needed this stop. After working for a couple of months at a jungle lodge in Guatemala, this website — my independent travel business — was in shambles. I needed to sit in a place with good WIFI and re-erect and polish the towers of this website. I am looking down now from these towers, and I realized that I have accomplished what I wanted to in this stint of web development: I’ve revamped Vagabondjourney.com, doubling my income.

I needed to stay put for a few months to ensure that I would have the resources to travel on.

Perhaps the great irony of traveling is that in order to come up with the money to travel you sometimes need to stay put. I was able to double my income in a couple of months because I stayed in one location working regular hours. I can now go off to travel fast for a stretch with money in my pocket and blogging as my only daily task.

I know that if I changed locations every few days, like a standard backpacker, I would not be able to make the money to continue traveling — I would have to go home, like a standard backpacker. Few people on this planet can travel perpetually without working, and I am not one of them. Travelers often needs to make various two or three month stops to reprovision their travel funds through working a job or refining their micro-business. Occasional three month stays should be at the heart of any long term travel strategy, as this parameter is often needed to gain the resources to travel on.


I have grown accustom to waking up in the morning to my daughter worming around in bed. I get up quick, grasp for my computer bag under the bed, throw on a shirt, some pants and make for the door — for another day of work has begun. I have grown accustom to saying good morning to the waitress at the hotel restaurant, to the reception boy, too, and I grew a secret love for running upstairs to MY seat in a common room of this hotel. I made myself an office here, and I worked a regular day for three months. At 2PM I take a break and go for a walk outside. I visit friends who work at a coffee shop, we discuss what is going on that night, I stop by the Traveler’s Home, I do my round.

I have grown accustom to life here in San Cristobal, and the people here have grown accustom to me. I have friends, more friends than I have had in any one place in a number of years. I fear that I am becoming part of the landscape.

It is time to leave.

Since attempting to make a full time living on Vagabondjourney.com, I have a pattern of mixing up long term stays — where I develop portions of the site — with fast travel or work. Perhaps, in two months from now, I will enter into another intense period of web development? Maybe in six months I will try to land an external job to restock my travel funds further. But, for now, I am content on just traveling — I am excited to fast forward my way through a vast swoop of Mexico.

Mexico Pacific coast travel loop

The plan is to ride out of San Cristobal de las Casas Monday morning, go to Tuxtla, the capital of Chiapas state, then transfer to another bus for the coast. From there, I will check out the situation on the ground and try to connect a few good beaches up the coast through Oaxaca. From there, we should break rank with the Pacific coast and cut across the thin part of Mexico to Veracruz, which sits calling us from the opposite coast.

Timeline for this route of travel: two months.

Travel through Chiapas and Oaxaca to Vera Cruz

My wife is worried about traveling with Petra — who is now a year and nearly four months old. A major development happened during our stay in San Cristobal: Petra learned to walk.

The long bus rides are not going to be any easier.

We have no idea how we are going to convince this kid to sit in her seat for hours on end when she just wants to run around, get into shit, play. My wife just returned from the store with a giant bag of suckers and candy — ammunition in the struggle to side track a curious toddler on a long bus ride. This, combined with a few new Chanakuh toys, is all we got.

A major turn in the path of our family travels has occurred: our daughter has become her own traveler. I have no idea how this is going to work out, the road ahead is opaque with the glean of nervous anticipation. Let’s see what happens.

Looking for hubs on the coast of Chiapas and Oaxaca

I am currently making a list of places to stop on this route of travel along the coast of Chiapas and Oaxaca in the south of Mexico. Currently, this list contains Boca del Cielo, Salina Cruz, Pochutla, Mazunte. If anyone here has traveled this route before, please offer your suggestions below in the comments.


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Filed under: Mexico, North America, Travel Preparation

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3719 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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  • Darren December 2, 2010, 6:10 pm

    Well done on doubling your income Wade. It’s not easy, it takes time, and it’s great to hear you’re getting there.
    Just like traveling, making money online via travel requires sitting still some time.
    Looking forward to your updates.


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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com December 2, 2010, 6:37 pm

      Thanks Darren,

      Still far from being THERE yet, but the path is looking a little more wide open and promising. Trying to make a living off of a travel website proved to truly be a very difficult thing to do. I have been at this full time for nearly four years now, and just now am I starting to be able to see the horizon — far, far up ahead.

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  • Caitlin December 3, 2010, 2:32 pm

    I’ve heard Zipolite on the coast is really nice.

    I don’t know much about that part of Mexico, but I have to say Juchitan is about the ugliest town I have ever seen (stayed there for the night on the way to Mexico).

    I don’t know Veracruz City, but we stopped in Orizaba, Veracruz for an afternoon and I just loved it. Got a super good vibe, really friendly, nice weather, nice size. Good coffee!

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com December 3, 2010, 5:17 pm

      Thanks Caitlin,

      We will surely check it out as we slowly make our way towards you in Mexico City.

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  • G December 3, 2010, 6:14 pm

    Wade, I can’t comment on the chiapas coast as I only breezed thu there. But oaxaca coast is really nice. Mazunte/zipolite is about as hippie, bohemian as it gets. I liked huatulco and p. escondido better; especially huatulco. but mazunte is certainly cheaper. oaxaca city is really worth checking out too, since you can’t avoid it you might as well stay for a few days. I like veracruz a lot too. Veracruz city is friendly and fun, really good seafood and coffee shops, dancing at night down on the malecon. Las Tuxtlas and Xalapa also in veracruz are good places to visit. Xalapa is a smart college town up in the hills not far from orizaba that caitlin mentions. Las Tuxtlas is on the southern coast, lush rainforest growing up old volcanic hills pretty much overlooked by travelers. the only caveat about veracruz is the weather, I enjoyed nice weather during my stay but its hit or miss and can be cold and dreary this time of year. Oaxaca can pretty much guarantee you perfect weather. congratulations on doubling your income, quite an accomplishment you’re on your way. g.

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    • Wade | VagabondJourney.com December 3, 2010, 8:57 pm

      Thanks G,

      Your suggestions will definitely come in handy. We will surely be stopping in Huatulco after checking out Zipolite and Mazunte on our turn back inland towards Oaxaca City and then Vera Cruz. Your description of Las Tuxlas sounds pretty good to.

      This entry asking for travel suggestions was a much overdue experiment that really worked out. I will probably be soliciting yours and Caitlin’s advice some more as the Mexican travels continues. Thanks!

      Now, does anybody have any recommendations on where to find the cheapest buses to the coast out of Tuxtla? Haha, after asking around at the stations in San Cristobal it seems as if bus travel in Mexico is a rather pricey endeavor.

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