This was my favourite city of Mexico. The sweetest fruits you could imagine (orange juice everywhere), with the cheapest food and drink, in the most charming local market. The highest population of indigenous people live in this area of Chiapas, and half an hour away there are 2 towns ( Chamula, Zinacantan) by collectivo bus that are truly authentic. Shop in this town for local goods, as towards Cancun things get more expensive.
The collectivos only go from San Christobal mercado to either town, and do not serve the route between Chamula and Zinacantan. Be sure to visit the half catholic- half indigenous church at Chamula and see the locals pray with coca-cola, eggs and rituals.
There are a number of tours that can be booked from hostels, and they are mostly covered here. The downside to beautiful Montebello and Chiflon is the punishing 4 hour bus ride. Sumidero Canyon was teeming with wildlife and we saw 3 basking crocs on the riverbed- highly recommended, but beware the heat of the midday sun once the boat stops moving.
For the traveller with more time, there is plenty to do- Dance classes, Aerial silks, Yoga, Hiking, Birdwatching, at a very reasonable price. We missed out on the hike up from the botanic gardens due to renovations (March 2016). The mayan medicinal museum had good english translations, but the garded herbs were shrivelled and dehydrated. There are also comforts catered for tourists in the middle of town, and to us it was a good balance to have after spending the day out. Dada club, a jazz hideaway, served the best spaghetti bolognaise in my life, and music was top notch.
We stayed in the reputedly best hostel in mexico, Hostal Abuelito, sadly the receptionist was not up to date with buses or the closure of the botanical gardens during our stay. Wifi only worked in the backyard, but it had a great breakfast.
The recommendation is to take a few days to recharge and relax in this atmospheric city well situated in the middle of the tourist route. Do not miss out on the coconut popsicles in the afternoon heat. Cook a meal or two with the freshest local ingredients once done with huaraches and tacos.