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El Tajin (El Tajín) is in the state of Veracruz in Mexico. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

El Tajin, Totonac for 'thunder' or 'lightning', is a group of sacred buildings where ceremonies and religious sporting events were held. First begun around AD 100, it was occupied and developed mainly around AD 600 to 900, and later abandoned. El Tajin was rediscovered by the Spanish in 1785.

Get in[edit]

The 10 km square site is located near the small cities of Poza Rica and Papantla, located on the Atlantic coast of Mexico, directly east of Mexico City. There is a direct road and the site can be reached by car or by frequent buses. Note: Near the entrance at the end of the road, there are unauthorized persons directing people to turn right at the fork and park on the grass. These people are not actually sanctioned and have no right to charge money; rather, they are a kind of self-organized group of local citizens (not quite outright frauds), but will still ask for foreigners for 50 Peso as the parking fee. The going rate is 20 Pesos 'donation', so don't get overcharged.



There are a large number of remaining edifices to be seen, some include multilingual information stands. Voladores (flyers), who ascend a tall pole and spin slowly to the ground while attached to ropes while meditating, can be seen outside the complex.

Also the region is quite humid and parts of the site have lots of greenery and mosquitoes are rife, so consider having insect repellents. The distance from ticket office to the furthest building ('edifice' Gran Xicalcoliuhqui) is about 800m so keep in mind the amount of walking you will do.


Cheesy souvenir stands surround the complex, along with a few restaurants. There are no hotels but the site is near Poza Rica, Papantla, or the small beach resort of Tecolutla. The site is popular with tourists and can be crowded on some weekends.

Carvings on the wall of the ball-court


There is a small charge for entering the grounds. Voladores performances are free but it's always good to aid the performers with a donation.

Go next[edit]

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