ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN CHIAPAS

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Archaeology and Culture in Chiapas

In Chiapas the forests and the jungle are a beauty, spectacular settings for archaeological sites. The incredible nature that accompanies many of these areas is a plus. Visits to archaeological sites are part of nature tourism, due to the opportunity to walk around diverse natural environments. In several of these places you can see animals, or hear them. They are places that also give us the opportunity to connect with nature, and that hand in hand with culture is an excellent combination.

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Palenque
The Palace
Palenque

It is remarkable because of its beautiful sculptural art, built by the Mayans in the late classic period (600-900 A.D.) Outstanding for its architecture is the complex known as the Palace and the Pyramid of the Inscriptions, where a funerary crypt was found in which the most important ruler of Palenque, King Pacal, was buried, accompanied by rich offerings.

Also notable for its architecture are the Temple of the Red Queen, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Cross, the North Group, and the Temple of the Foliated Cross. This site is located in the magnificent backdrop of the verdant jungle hills and considered by UNESCO as a site that represents the heritage of all humanity. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 to 16:45 hrs.

There is a museum, with a small but exquisite collection of stone, ceramic, and stucco artifacts accompanied by well-written explanations. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 to 16:45 hrs.

El Lagartero

This paradise that combines the natural beauty of Lagos de Colón, with archaeological remains scattered among a number of clear ponds and small waterfalls. Most of the ruins are on small islands and peninsulas that project into the lakes. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 to 17:00.

Chiapa de Corzo
Chiapa de Corzo
Chiapa de Corzo Archeological Site

It is one of the most important archaeological sites in the central region of Chiapas. At its peak, it counted about 200 structures, but was abandoned around 500 AD. Today the site has near 100 mounds. Recent excavations link this site with Olmec centers such as La Venta and the highlands of Guatemala. Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 to 16:00.

Chinkultik

It is located 56 Km (34 miles) away from Comitan, in the heart of a pinewood forest and next to the Cenote Azul (Blue Sinkhole), considered an entrance to the Underworld by the Ancient Maya, and other small lakes. The constructions at the site were built against the hills that run alongside the first lakes of the Montebello lake system.

The most outstanding structure from Group A is the Acropolis, here is located the structure built at the edge of the Blue Cenote (Ritual Well). The Group B, has a great plaza. The group C has a ball court. And group D has the prominent Building 20, known as “The Flat Stones Platform”. Opening hours: Daily: 8:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Tenám Puente

The nucleus of the settlement is composed of more than 60 structures. The majority and most important of these buildings are located in what is called the Acropolis. It was built in a strategic position that allows access to important commercial networks. This archaeological site represents the transition from classical to post-classical period. Opening hours: Daily: 8:00 to 17:00.

Bonampak

It is best known for its amazing murals. In the Great Plaza by the stairway that leads to the Acropolis there are several steles with richly dressed dignitaries (probably its rulers). Among the buildings of this ancient city, is the prominent building “I”, its walls are adorned with the mural paintings, the best-preserved and most important of the classic Maya.

Bonampak
Bonampak

Calendar inscriptions date the painted scenes between the years 790 and 792 CE. The city was abandoned shortly after, and the murals were never completed. Opening hours: Daily: 9:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Yaxchilán

Located in the left bank of the Usumacinta River surrounded by jungle vegetation. It is notable for the large quantity of sculptures in stone including steles and lintels. The most important structures are the Great Plaza, the Acropolis, the Small Acropolis and the South Acropolis. The lintels in Yaxchilán illustrate the dynastic history of the city. Opening hours: Daily: 9:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Iglesia Vieja (Old Church)

There are seven architectonic groups distributed on a hillside with at least 80 structures and 30 carved monuments. It is located about 4 km. (2.4 miles) north of the town of Tonalá.

The settlement is distributed in five architectural groups, each one consisting of large and medium-sized platforms, temples, sculptures, carved stele and pedestal bases with a construction system based in megalithic blocks plazas and their accesses. There are also about 30 sculptural monuments. It is located about 3 miles north from Tonalá. Opening hours: Daily: 9:00 to 16:00 hrs.

Toniná
Toniná
Toniná

It was a ceremonial center with a great military might. The principal architecture is located in the acropolis. Outstanding is the third platform where the Underworld Palace is located and the fourth platform with the Palace of the Great Fretworks and The War Palace.

The Palace of Frets is located on the fourth terrace of the Acropolis, one of the rooms of the palace contains a stucco decoration representing feathered serpents and crossed bones. The site museum has 2 exhibition rooms and exhibits sculptures of the city’s rulers. Opening hours: Daily: 9:00 to 17:00 hrs.

Izapa

It was settled as early as 1500 B.C., which would have made it a contemporary of the Olmecs, Mesoamerica’s first complex society. It was occupied for nearly 3,000 years before being abandoned in A.D. 1200. Izapa had more than 160 buildings including pyramids and platforms of up to 20 meters (65 ft.) high. The ruins are made up of about 80 structures, divided into three groups.

The ruins are made up of about 80 structures, divided into three groups. Themain one, Group F, consists mostly of low-lying structures, a ball court, and a handful of weathered stele and sculptures. Group A and B, are made up of a number of uncovered mounds, stone sculptures, and stele. Opening hours: Daily: 9:00 to 17:00 hrs.

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