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“Incredible”
Review of El Tajin

El Tajin
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USD 86.25*
and up
Tajin Ruins Day Trip and Vanilla Factory...
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Papantla
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: These extensive ruins give a glimpse into Totonac society at its height.
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

This was the first time I've ever seen such a wonderfully preserved city. It was worth the four hours from Veracruz. Will definitely say this is a must see. There are also great restaurants on-site with good local food.

Thank SarahSook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"voladores de papantla"
in 6 reviews
"poza rica"
in 5 reviews
"mexico city"
in 8 reviews
"beautiful site"
in 4 reviews
"four hours"
in 3 reviews
"small museum"
in 4 reviews
"other places"
in 3 reviews
"archaeological site"
in 6 reviews
"pre columbian"
in 2 reviews
"de los"
in 2 reviews
"bring water"
in 3 reviews
"high pole"
in 3 reviews
"long weekend"
in 2 reviews
"ball game"
in 2 reviews
"important cities"
in 2 reviews
"pure vanilla"
in 2 reviews
"free entrance"
in 2 reviews
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7 - 11 of 565 reviews

Reviewed 2 April 2018

El Tajin is definitely worth a look. Before you go in, there is a glut of stalls selling novelties and food. So if you like the "mercado" vibe, you are in luck. Right in front of the entrance, there is an area for the Voladores presentation (that seems to happen every hour, on a loose schedule. There are also some more established gift stores here. At both these and the stalls in front, we saw women actually sewing the embroidery on the blouses. So make sure that if that is of interest to you, that you look for a merchant sewing on site. There is a small but nice museum that you can visit before or after. Only one way in and out. Also, use the restroom before you head in. When you enter, you pass a lush pathway and then you are in and ready to explore. Yes, I would suggest a guide, but if you want to forgo that, there are a couplr (not many) docents inside that you can ask questions of. We were lucky and found one in the upper level who spoke to us for about 30 minutes and even taught us the native language. But you can't depend on that, and our visit wouldn't have been as nice without it. It is true that the architecture here is unique. The structures are unlike those at Teotihuacan or Palenque. And the site is very well maintained. But... You literally cannot touch any of it. No climbing. No siting on. No touching.. There are many sites now, where you can no longer climb things. But here you cannot get near them. It WAS a lovely experience, but it lacked the immersive quality of the sites where you can still feel history.

Thank Javier V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 March 2018

We are sacred sites fans. We enjoyed the energy of this site very much. Very calm. The buildings have been excavated and maintained well. This is a unique site.

1  Thank Purple_Primrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2018

20°26'33.39"N 97°22'40.39"W

This is one of the most spectacular sites in Mexico.
It is composed of many areas:
1-The restaurant area: there are many to choose from
2-The market area: there are many with many different prices. One good suggestion is: bargain. If you buy many things, bargain even more.
3-The Voladore show: The Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers), or Palo Volador (flying pole), is an ancient Mesoamerican ceremony/ritual still performed today, albeit in modified form, in isolated pockets in Mexico. It is believed to have originated with the Nahua, Huastec and Otomi peoples in central Mexico, and then spread throughout most of Mesoamerica. The ritual consists of dance and the climbing of a 30-meter pole from which four of the five participants then launch themselves tied with ropes to descend to the ground. The fifth remains on top of the pole, dancing and playing a flute and drum. According to one myth, the ritual was created to ask the gods to end a severe drought. Although the ritual did not originate with the Totonac people, today it is strongly associated with them, especially those in and around Papantla in the Mexican state of Veracruz.[1] The ceremony was named an Intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in order to help the ritual survive and thrive in the modern world. (Wikipedia)
4-The site itself.
The site itself is huge. But only 25% has been uncovered. The first pyramid to be discovered (and one of the best known in Mexico) is the pyramid of the Niches. To give an example of the importance of this site, let’s compare it to Chichen Itza.
Chichen Itza was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya people of the Terminal Classic period. The archaeological site is located in Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán State, Mexico.
Archaeologists have identified thirteen ball courts for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame in Chichen Itza, but the Great Ball Court about 150 metres (490 ft) to the north-west of the Castillo is by far the most impressive. It is the largest and best preserved ball court in ancient Mesoamerica. It measures 168 by 70 metres (551 by 230 ft). (Wikipedia)

Compared to Chichen Itza that has 13 ball courts, El Tajin has 20 ball courts.

When you enter the site, you will see guias (guides) Use one. There is information printed in English but a guide can answer questions. The price (more or less 350.00 pesos) is really worth it to make your visit a much richer experience.

To make it even better, read all that you can on El Tajin, the Totonaca culture and it’s people.

There are day tours from Veracruz but a better way of seing El Tajin is to stay in Papantla and take a taxi to the site. The cost to get there is approximately 40-60 pesos. The cost to enter the site is 70 pesos plus 45 pesos if you want to take videos with a video camera.

Thank Yves D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 March 2018 via mobile

If you’re traveling far to see ruins, pay for a guide. If it’s too much money or too much information, ask if someone will give you a condensed version. Beautiful ruins rich in history. Easy to tour, sweet little museum, clean bathrooms, friendly staff, nice cafe and tons of shopping and eateries just outside if you just want to hang all day.

1  Thank Ian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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