Mexico is a country of traditions and ancient cultures that we discover today in its many archaeological sites. On this occasion, we are going to what was the capital of the Totonac culture. We tell you how to get to El Tajín, a sacred city famous for its pyramid.
El Tajin, a historical gem
Although today only its ruins remain, this city had enormous relevance as the capital of the Totonac world. Between five and twenty thousand people would have lived in it and extends over an area of one thousand hectares.
Its name means ‘the city of thunder‘. In fact, it is said that all its pyramids and many constructions evoke the gods of rain and lightning. For the Totonacs, controlling the weather was a vital part of their rhythm of life, because thanks to this they could continue to cultivate their land and feed themselves.
It is believed that the origin of El Tajín dates back to the 1st century, although its period of greatest splendor would live between the 9th and 12th centuries. But throughout its history it would go through different stages, which are reflected in its buildings. But when the Spanish arrived in the area, in the 16th century, the city was abandoned.
as you can imagine, this jewel is a UNESCO World Heritage Siteand since 1992 also a Cultural Asset.
What to see in El Tajin
This city is strategically located, which is why it became an important enclave on the trade routes between the Gulf of Mexico and the heart of the Central American country. In fact, its ruins show that this was a prosperous city, as there are still remains of what were imposing temples and palaces.
It is believed that each social class was placed in its corresponding space. It is estimated that the ‘caciques’ were in what was known as the Tajín Chico, away from the rest of the inhabitants and in their own little paradise.
The great jewel of El Tajín is the Pyramid of the Niches. It is an imposing structure made up of seven staggered platforms. On its four faces there are niches, 365 specifically. Therefore, it is believed that they could represent the days of the year and give shape to a kind of agricultural calendar.
But there are other structures and constructions of interest in El Tajín. In the archaeological site you can see several more pyramids, as well as different temples and palaces. The ball games, very common in the cities of the ancient civilizations in the area, cannot be missed either.
Still today hidden structures continue to be discovered for centuries. Constructions that reaffirm the idea of the enormous importance that this city had, despite the fact that it fell into oblivion after its abandonment.
How to get to El Tajin
Once you have discovered why you have to visit this impressive archaeological zone, it is time to see how to get to El Tajín. The first thing you should know is that is located in the state of Veracruz, east of Mexico. It is located nine kilometers from the town of Papantla and eighteen from Poza Rica, which has an airport.
Getting to El Tajín by road is not complicated. From the capital, Mexico City, you must take the highway to Pachuca and head towards the highway to Tuxpan (132D). Then you have to follow direction Poza Rica and turn off towards El Tajín. They are about 300 kilometers.
To get to El Tajín from Veracruz you have to take the coast road and turn towards Papantla. From there you just have to follow the signs to get to the archaeological site.
It is also possible to arrive by public transport. Buses depart from Mexico City, both to Papantla and to Poza Rica. There you can take a taxi to go to El Tajín or use the minibus service that reaches the old Totonac capital.
El Tajín, in Mexico, is a historical treasure waiting to be discovered by you. One more jewel of the heritage of humanity that is worth visiting once in a lifetime. Are you going to miss it?