5 Must-Visit Archeological Sites in Chiapas

In Chiapas by Christina Silvestri

Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas is endlessly rich in ancient Mayan archaeological sites and charming Spanish colonial towns that are all set within a lush rainforest. Here are five incredible archaeological sites in Chiapas that are not to be missed.

1. Palenque

Surrounded by a tropical jungle, the Palenque archeological site is one of the most important tourist attractions in Chiapas. Palenque is particularly famous for its ruins, including the Templo de las Inscripciones, the Gran Palacio, the Templo XI and the temples of la Cruz Foliada, de Sol and del Conde, as well as a ball court. These structures were all built by the Mayans between 600-900 A.D. and were only discovered in the 18th century.

2. Yaxchilán

Located on the bank of the sparkling Usumacinta River, the arcahological site of Yaxchilán was once one of the most powerful cities in ancient Maya civilization. Spot some extremely well-preserved sculptured stone lintels as well as hieroglyphic texts carved into stelae that describe the city’s rich dynastic history.

3. Toniná

This amazing pre-Columbian archaeological site is home to one of the largest pyramids in Mexico that stands at 243 feet tall. Toniná is also known for its towering temple-pyramids, large ball court, and over 100 in-the-round carved monuments and stucco sculptures.

4. Chinkultic

Set within the middle of the forest, the Chinkultic ruins are a hidden gem to discover intricate stelae carvings, a classic Maya ball court, as well as a serene natural well where the ancient Maya used to throw offerings.

5. Izapa

Explore 80-some ancient structures at this massive pre-Columbian archaeological site that’s situated near the base of the volcano Tacaná, the sixth tallest mountain in Mexico, along the Izapa River.

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