El Tajin, The Thunder City and Papantla
I want to show you El Tajin Ruins, a pre-Columbian archaeological site that was declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.
It is believed that it was the capital of the Totonac Empire, which has survived to show the greatness and importance of pre-Hispanic cultures in Mexico.
How to visit El Tajin and Papantla
El Tajin and Papantla are located in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It will only take you a few minutes to get from Tajin ruins to Papantla.
For me, the best way to explore those beautiful places is to stay in Poza Rica or Veracruz city; not far and easy to explore.
Poza Rica is a bigger city where you can find a greater variety of hotels with different prices and all the amenities. The journey from Poza Rica or Veracruz City can be done by hiring a tour that takes you to El Tajin and Papantla or doing it in your own way.
Either option is good, it just depends on what you prefer. Sometimes is great to have a Guide that helps us with history, legends, facts and important information about the site.
If you decide to take a tour of Tajin ruins and Papantla, there are many options in Veracruz. Most of them are similar, but my advice is to ask about the schedules, the things that include and the language. And if you decide to do it on your own, it’s so easy. You can take a bus from Poza Rica to Tajin or a taxi, it’s cheap and you be there in a few minutes.
And the same thing from Tajin to Papantla, it’s simple and you can enjoy all day taking your time for the journey.
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El Tajin Ruins, Archaeological Site, and Museum
The entrance to El Tajin costs around 75 pesos and this includes the entrance to the museum. The place opens 9 to 5, and as always, my advice is that you arrive as early as possible, to avoid the heat and the excess of tourists!
The museum of Tajin helps to understand Tajin City, as well as its rituals, the ball game and all around this marvelous place in Mexico.
Do not forget sunblock, mosquito repellent, a hat, and comfortable shoes!
History About El Tajin
El Tajin is also known as The Thunder City because Tajin means Thunder in Toltec language. The City started around AD 100, flourished from AD 600 to 1200 and later it was abandoned.
The first thing we can appreciate at the entrance is the Papantla Flyers, a mix between ritual, dance and a pole 23 meters high.
It calculates 150 buildings of which they have been restored around 20, the rest remains buried between the mountains.
The Pyramid of the Niches
It is the most important construction in El Tajin, with its 25 meters high and 365 niches that remind us of the importance of the calendar for these cultures. The niches imitate caves, which have been considered passages to the underworld.
For me, it’s one of the most impressive pyramids in Mexico.
The Ancient Ball Game
At Tajin there are two impressive ball courts of the Ancient Ball Game.
The walls of the court have decorations that make think that the winners killed one of the members of the losing team with an obsidian knife, who considered it an honorable way to die.
Cumbre Tajin Event, Mexico
Cumbre Tajin is a cultural festival made to preserve and spread the cultural and archaeological wealth of the Sacred City of El Tajin.
You can appreciate ceremonies, rituals, concerts, dances, conferences, exhibitions and more.
It is an annual event for the whole family, which takes place during the spring equinox.
Since it is an event that attracts worldwide tourists, it is very important that you make reservations in advance.
It is with pride one of the Magic Towns that you can find in Mexico.
In this small city, you can enjoy museums, the beautiful chapel, the parish, the murals and of course delicious Mexican food.
Something you can’t miss is to try the famous and aromatic Papantla Vanilla, which you can taste at ice cream, desserts or even meals.
If you love Archaeological sites, history, traditions, beautiful small cities, folklore and of course delicious Mexican food, you should visit El Tajin Ruins and Papantla.