Perhaps the most well-preserved pre-Hispanic ruins in the state of Veracruz, El Tajin is rich with Mexican history and mythology from the infamous Totonac people.
Archeologists believe this once thriving town was occupied as early as the year 800. Its fertile grounds are divided into three distinct areas that include open plazas, natural greenery and iconic pyramids, including the famous Pyramid of the Niches. This popular landmark was built at approximately the same time as the well-known Chichen Itza in the Mayan Region. Its rocky steps lead to a peak that’s home to incredible views and a holy temple where Totonacs once worshiped.
El Tajin Ruins are numerous, and while the World Heritage Site is interesting to wander alone, expert guides are available for travelers looking to learn even more about the history, culture and traditions of the Totonac from a resident expert.
El Tajin is located northwest of Veracruz City. It’s possible to catch a bus from the central bus station on Salvador Diaz Miron, between Marcelino Tuero Molina and Orizaba Streets. Buses leave from Papantla a few times daily and the 270-kilometer ride takes about four hours. Travelers can usually find a taxi from the Papantla station to El Tajin.