It might not be an easy climb, but getting to the Guadalupe Church is certainly worth the effort. Rising from Real de Guadalupe, 79 steps climb to the church’s entrance atop a small hill. Make your way to the top to explore the pleasant little church and be rewarded with incredible panoramic views of San Cristóbal de las Casas.
The Guadalupe Church is visible from all around the city as it stands on its striking hilltop location. It features twin bell towers and is painted in white with orange trim. Trees line the staircase. During festivals and holy days, flags and buntings flutter from the main door. The church stands on a delightful wooded plaza. Walk around the little plaza to appreciate the views of the rooftops, leafy squares and colonial buildings of the city. On clear days, try to see as far as the wild landscapes of Chiapas.
The church was built in 1834 on top of Cerro (Hill) de Guadalupe and consists of a single nave with a side chapel. Enter the church to find a canvas painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the main altar.
Those who are lucky enough to be in San Cristóbal de las Casas on December 12should be sure to celebrate the church’s feast day, Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Join the throngs of worshippers as they clamber up the steps to pray, enjoy services, lay flowers and celebrate the Virgin on her special day. The church is a popular pilgrimage site, as the Virgin of Guadalupe is beloved across Mexico. Learn the story of how the Virgin Mary appeared multiple times in Guadalupe outside Mexico City. You may see pilgrims approaching the church on their knees.
Find Guadalupe Church quite easily. Look above the rooftops and follow the maze of streets until you get to the base of the steps. Locate this spot by walking east along Real de Guadalupe from the main square. Alternatively, taxis can drop you at the bottom of the steps. The church is open during the day with closures at midday.