The cities spectacular location, nestled in a valley encircled by forested mountains, ensures that nature-lovers, ornithologists have a wealth of opportunities to experience the diverse ecosystems close to the city. The most well-known reserve is the Huitepec Ecological Reserve, located on the forested flanks of the Huitepec mountain that towers to the west of the city. It is an extinct volcano that last saw activity over 100 years ago.
This privately owned reserve is one of the few remaining areas where you can still experience the original pine-oak vegetation of the zone.
This beautiful forest, often enshrouded in mist, stretches up to the summit of the Huitepec mountain, finally reaching Cloud Forest, a biodiverse but rare and threatened ecosystem. During your walk through the forest, you will observe huge trees clad with moss, lichens and epiphytic species such as orchids and bromeliads. The reserve is well-known for its bird diversity with many migrant rarities and endemic species.
Other reserves near to San Cristobal include the El Arcotete, a stunning natural rock arch over a river with a labyrinth of small caves in its roof, Los Humedales, a beautiful area of wetland and marshes only 15 minutes from the centre of the city and the Rancho Nuevo Cave, a large and long illuminated cavern within a tranquil pine forest.