Experience Ancient Tulum with This New App

Have you ever seen some ancient ruins and thought they were just too, well, ruined to really appreciate? Fear not if you’re planning on visiting Tulum, one of Mexico’s most famous archaeological sites, because a soon-to-be-released app aims to help recreate what the ruins looked like in their heyday…

Tulum Ruins

Ancient Destinations - Explore Tulum

Click Image to Read Full Story! Photo: LonelyPlanet.com

Massive Ancient Palace Found in Mexico

The remains of an ancient palace complex dating back 2,300 years have been unearthed Mexico’s Valley of Oaxaca. It is the oldest royal building excavated to date in the area, providing some of the earliest evidence of early states’ emergence in Mesoamerica…

El Palenque Royal Palace

Ancient Destinations - 2,300 Year Old Palace Discovered in Mexico

Click Image to Read Full Story! Photo: Elsa M. Redmond and Charles Spencer

Celebrating Spring Equinox at Ancient Sites

Twice each year, as the sun marches across the sky, its center crosses Earth’s equator. This celestial alignment results in the equinox—a day with light and dark of (nearly) equal length, with the sun rising precisely in the east and setting precisely in the west. This year…

Spring Equinox at Chichen Itza

Ancient Destinations - Spring Equinox at Ancient Sites

Click Image to Read Full Story! Photo: Israel Leal AP

Top 10 Mayan Sites To Visit

The members and editors of online travel consultants VirtualTourist (www.virtualtourist.com) have compiled a list of the “Top Ten Under Rated (and less crowded) Mayan Ruins” to help you explore the Mayan culture at its best on your next trip to the Yucatan…

Quirigua Monolith
Ancient Destinations - Quiriguá Monolith in Guatemala

Click Image to Read Full Story! Photo by wmf.org

My Childhood Memories Visiting Tajin Mexico

Tajin is a fascinating pre-Columbian archaeological site located in the southern state of Veracruz, Mexico. It is recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site and its name means “City of Thunder”. The site is littered with ancient structures but the most remarkable monument at El Tajin is the Piramide de los Nichos (Pyramid of Niches). It stands 60 feet high and has seven levels to it. It is believed to have been built sometime between the 4th and 9th century. The purpose on why this pyramid was built remains a mystery. I have personally been to Tajin several times during my childhood back in the 90’s. I loved going there because to me it was an adventure. My whole family and I would make the four hour drive (from Tamaulipas, Mexico) during the spring break season.

Pyramid Structures – Tajin
Ancient Destinations - Tajin Pyramids

Copyright Photo: Paola Parissi

The best attractions to see for me were always the pyramids and “los voladores de Papantla” (aka Dance of the Flyers). These were highly skilled acrobatic performers who did amazing stunts in the sky. They would climb a pole 150 feet high and then slowly descend by circling down the pole with no safety harnesses attached to them! It was a spectacular sight to see.

Climbing some of the nearby pyramids was another adventurous and fun thing to do. Have you ever climbed a pyramid? The experience is surreal and it provided us with a breathtaking view of the entire ancient complex. Sadly, climbing the pyramids today are now strictly prohibited. During lunch time my family and I would then head on over to one of the nearby local restaurants to indulge in some delicious Mexican food. Once our appetites were satiated, I would then purchase little souvenirs for memories such as little handmade drums and flutes.

After a whole day of family fun exploring Tajin we would then make the long journey back home in the evening time. Although we were tired we were always very happy about the adventure we experienced together as a family.  The memories of Tajin is something I hold very close to my heart and it was an experience that I will forever cherish. Today, Tajin is a very popular place to visit. It receives thousands of tourists each year and especially during the Cumbre Tajin Festival – a celebration of Pre- Hispanic identity and heritage that showcases both national and international musicians and entertainers.

I highly recommend that everyone visits this incredible ancient site and discover the history of my ancient Mexican culture because you won’t regret it!

~ Paola Parissi is a member of the ancient destinations team.

The Giant Aztec Statue at Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology

The monolith from Coatlinchan (aka Statue of Tlatoc) is a giant statue depicting the Aztec god of Rain. It weighs an estimated 200 tons and stands at a height of approximately 23 ft. As to how the ancients were planning to move this monolithic stone in the past remains a mystery to this day.

If any of you have been to Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology, you may have noticed this statue standing at the entrance. Have you ever wondered how did it get to its present location? It was originally discovered in a quarry near Coatlinchan before it was moved to Mexico City in 1964. Below are some rare pictures that show the statue in its original location before it made its great journey to the Museo Nacional de Antropología.

Tlatoc Statue in Quarry

Photo: Mexicolore.co.uk

Tlatoc Statue in Quarry

Photo: Robert F. Heizer, Howell Williams, Stones used for colossal sculpture at or near Teotihuacan, Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility

The Journey of Tlatoc in 1964

Operacion Coatlinchan Transportation of the Monolith of Coatlinchan to Mexico City. Photo: Archivo del INAH/Arqueología Mexicana/Raíces, 1964

The Journey of Tlatoc into Mexico City 1964

Operacion Coatlinchan Transportation of the Monolith of Coatlinchan to Mexico City. Photo: Archivo del INAH/Arqueología Mexicana/Raíces, 1964

Tlatoc Statue at Mexico's Museum of Anthropology

Copyright Photo: Jorge Arana – All rights reserved.