Villahermosa is the capital city of the state of Tabasco. This city is both a modern city and one of the oldest in Mexico, with a rich history dating back to the early 1500s.
Villahermosa is an important city because of its cultural history, natural resources, commercial development, and modern industrialization. It became rich because oil has been found in the area. The search for oil resulted also in the finding of artifacts of the Olmec culture.
Its natural resources like cacao, sugarcane, bananas, tobacco, rice, and hardwoods has made Villahermosa attractive to domestic investors. The city has become a hub for oil and gas operations in Southern Mexico and is referred to as the “Energy City of Mexico.”
- 1 Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport (VSA IATA) (10 km from the eastern edge of town (Rio Grijalva) along Fed Hwy 186 (Carreterra Villahermosa-Macuspana) at Km 13 in La Colonia Dos Montes). A small airport the following airlines:
The city lies at the intersection of highways 180, 186 and 195.
Inter-city bus service is available to surrounding cities including Ciudad del Carmen.
There are two main streets in Villahermosa, Av. Gregorio Mendez and Av. 27 de Febrero, these are the two main routes for public transportation. Mini-buses and especially combis (refurbished small VW vans) are widely used by locals at a price of M$9.5. Stops are fixed as well as routes. Feel free to ask (in Spanish) the driver if they are going close to your destination. You will see destinations written on the windshields.
People also rely on a network of collective taxis. As a tourist, you should ask the driver if they are going by your destination. Prices vary by distance but a 10-15 minute ride should be around M$30 in a yellow taxi and M$45 in a white taxi.
Taxis are collective but in no way have pre-established routes. You tell the driver where you want to go and if the taxi is empty the driver should take you. If during the way to your destination someone else happens to go somewhere close to where you are going that person will hop in the taxi and continue. It is advisable then to always try and sit in the front seat. About prices, anywhere in the city is M$30 in a yellow taxi, M$45 in a white taxi. It doesn't matter where in the city you are going. Many taxis will stop even if they have a passenger, and ask you where you are going. If you are headed in the same direction or near the same direction as the original passenger, the driver will take you as well. You do not get a discount if the driver has a passenger, the price is the same.
- 1 La Venta Museum-Park (Parque-Museo La Venta), Av. Adolfo Ruiz Cortines, ☏ . Daily 08:00-16:00. The museum, situated in a park, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Villahermosa. La Venta is a swamp area north of the city. Scientists found pieces of the culture whilst drilling for oil. A lot of exhibits connected to the Oltec culture can be seen there. For example one of four really big stone heads. They also have some animals in the park, and a natural history museum. Make sure you wear long clothes and use a mosquito repellent. M$48 foreigners, M$42 Mexican nationals, M$12 students.
- 2 Planetarium (Planetario Tabasco 2000), Av. Paseo Tabasco (next to Galerias Tabasco and convention center), ☏ . Tu-F 18:30, Sa Su 17:00 and 18:30, bus hours 09ː00-21ː00 daily. The planetarium is part of a cultural center. Omnimax screen shows films about the evolution of aeronautics, marine ecosystems, atmospheric studies, formation of the earth and ecosystems. M$30, seniors M$15.
- 3 Regional Museum of Anthropology, Perif. Carlos Pellicer Cámara 511, ☏ . 09:00-17:00 Tu-F, 09:00-18:30 Sa-Su. Exhibits, mostly from La Venta mentioned above, and a codice (i.e. ancient text).
- 4 Casa de los Azulejos, Av. 27 de Febrero, ☏ . Historical museum pertaining to the state of Tabasco and Mexico. Pretty small.
- 5 Casa Museo Carlos Pellicer, Narciso Sáenz 203. House museum about a local poet.
- 6 Catedral del Señor de Tabasco (Catedral de Villahermosa). The iconic church of Villahermosa. Sits on site of original 1776 church, though present structure was constructed between 1945 and 1970.
- Galería de Arte El Jaguar Despertado, Narciso Sáenz 117, ☏ . 09:00-21:00 M-Sa, 10:00-17:00 Su. Just an art gallery and center. free.
- 7 Museo De Cultura Popular "Angel E. Gil Hermida", Calle Gral Ignacio Zaragoza 810. 09:00-17:00 Tu-Su. Museum about indigenous people. free.
- 1 Tomás Garrido Park, ☏ . The park is located at the corner of Paseo Tabasco and Av. Ruiz Cortines. The La Venta Museum is in this park. It's a very watery place with a lagoon framed by walkways and Aztec-like architectural forms like the observation platform Mirador de las Aguilas, other statuary, an orchid house, and wildlife-friends like coatimundi.
- 2 Yumká (spelled tshumka), Las Barrancas S/N (connected to the airport), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-16:00 (closes at 17:00). Yumká is a ecologic reservation covering 101 hectares. You can find there three ecosystems which are also present in Tabasco. Savanna, a lagoon and forest with all the animals normally living there. Every tour takes about 30 minutes. Afterwards, you can relax in a recreational area. Apparently only Spanish is spoken.
- 1 Galerías Tabasco, Paseo Tabasco 1405, ☏ . The main shopping mall for Villahermosa, hosts Liverpool and other small shops.
You can find big malls located at Paseo Usumacinta and Periferico Carlos Pellicer Camara (Plaza Villahermosa), at Periferico and Sandino (Plaza Altabrisa), and another one at Avenida Ruiz Cortinez and Periferico Carlos Pellicer Camara (near Cinepolis).
Also there are many stores which sell small souvenirs from the Olmec culture.
If you go directly into the city center, west of Avenida Jose Maria Pino Suarez and north of the city's palacio, you will find a rather big pedestrian-only shopping area with lots of stores, restaurants and a few hotels. This area is called Zona Luz - Centro Historico y Commercial.
The area features a distinctive cuisine, particularly featuring seafood, and the prices are typically affordable.
Aguas frescas are refreshing in the hot weather and you should try the well-known Horchata la Catedral, on Paseo Tabasco across from the Cathedral, for Esquimos or Horchata.
A lot of cheap, good Mexican restaurants can be found downtown at the Avenida Pino Suarez. Also, if you are in the ADO central bus station and want to eat well-prepared food, next to it a small restaurant called Los Comales can be found.
VH, Buddah Khan, Bfore, Underground
If you are, by any chance, near the bus stop and you need a bed for the night, think twice if you want to go to the Hotel Palomino Palace nearby. It is really expensive, loud and the rooms are not very clean. Take rather a taxi into the center.
Interestingly, those budget hotels are located in the center. There are more hotels located downtown. If you don't like those ones listed here, you can find surely one which is not too expensive.
- Hotel Palma de Mallorca, Francesco I. Madero (Near to the downtown shopping district). This hotel is located at one of the busier streets in the city. Nonetheless the prices are very reasonable. Single M$160, double M$250, with a/c M$300.
- Hotel Provincia Express, Lerdo de Tejada (Miguel Lerdo de Tejada 303), ☏ . This hotel is located right in the city center. But not at an loud street but right in the shopping district. Offer a little cheaper accommodation if you ask kindly. Double M$520.
- Hotel Plaza Independencia, Independencia 123, ☏ , email@example.com. This place, located close to the river and downtown, offers very good service, clean rooms and a friendly staff. In the rooms is a mini-bar, wireless internet and a safe. M$401.
- Suites D'Castilla, Allende 212, corner Peredo (Near the palacio), ☏ . The suites have besides the normal stuff like a bed, a TV and a bathroom a small kitchen with a refrigerator, cooker and a microwave. All the rooms have a/c. Internet and laundry service is available. This one is a bit scary looking so take courage. Single or double M$468, offer discounts for stays longer than 7 or 15 days.
- 1 Courtyard by Marriott Villahermosa, Av. Paseo La Choca 107, ☏ . This is a good one if you like your hotel to look like a slate concrete block with an outside treeless pool. Here you can have a nice breakfast buffet if you annie up about M$200 for it. M$861.
- 2 Sleep Inn Villahermosa, Av Pino Suárez 216, ☏ . This chain property is quite generous for the price paid with free hot breakfast along with a restaurant and fitness center, although the views of the surrounding city from the hotel rooms aren't the best. M$561.
- Hyatt Regency Villahermosa, Ave. Juárez 106, Col. Lindavista (near Tomás Garrido Park and La Venta Park Museum), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 207 rooms and suites featuring garden, swimming pool or city views, sitting area, work area with high-speed internet access and granite bath. Regency Club lounge for private check-in / checkout, dedicated concierge, free continental breakfast, evening cocktails and canapés. M$921.
- 3 Holiday Inn Express Villahermosa Tabasco 2000, Parque Turistico Recreativo, Ave, Perif. Carlos Pellicer Cámara No. 4000, La Choca, ☏ . A pretty standard delivery of accommodations typical of Holiday Inn Express is what you can expect here, although the dark-blue tiled outdoor pool with adjoining hot tub looks pretty inviting and you might get some chorizo at the daily breakfast buffet. M$947.
- 4 Quinta Real Villahermosa, Av Paseo Usumacinta 1402, ☏ . Very polished-looking, like a wedding cake, or an old-time country club. Ambience is a plus with all the archways and gardens and such. Has a pool and restaurant and tranquil feel. M$1061.
- 5 Staybridge Suites Villahermosa, Paseo Usumacinta 1504 Col, ☏ . This all-suite hotel is quite practical, not too much fuss with pretense or fluff. The pool area might blind you with its bright white tones. Here you get a buffet breakfast too. M$961.
You can find a lot of internet cafes in the city. If you need it, there is one located close to the ADO bus station under the Hotel Palomino Palace.
- Campeche - Campeche, part of UNESCO world heritage, has a refurbished city center. But still, around you can find the typical Mexican city parts.
- Palenque - It is famous for Mayan ruins.
- Guatemala - Located not too far away, another country is waiting to be explored.