Immersive look at the ancient history & culture of Veracruz
Visit to the pre-Columbian archeological site of El Tajin
Pyramids, temples & palaces unlike any others in Mexico
Performance of the ancient Dance of the Flyers ritual
Insight into Papantla's age-old vanilla production process
About this activity
What's included, what's not
Guided tour of El Tajin and Papantla
Roundtrip transportation to and from your Veracruz hotel
Live tour commentary provided in English and Spanish
What you can expect
Immerse yourself in the history of Veracruz on this guided tour to the ancient cities of El Tajin and Papantla. Roam around the pre-Columbian architecture at one of the Classic period's most important sites, watch a live performance of the Dance of the Flyers, and visit the place where vanilla is said to have been born.
Following convenient pickup from your Veracruz hotel, head north along the glistening coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Your first stop of the day is El Tajin, a pre-Columbian archaeological site that flourished between the 7th and 13th centuries. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city consists of temples, pyramids, and ballcourts. Meander the grounds to uncover structures unlike any others in Mesoamerica, particularly the 7-story pyramid marked with decorative niches.
From here, travel to nearby Papantla, a 13th-century city founded by the Totonacs. View large-scale murals that honor the Totonac culture and watch a performance of the Dance of the Flyers. The ancient ritual, which consists of men swinging upside-down from a 98-foot (30-m) pole, dates back at least 450 years.
Conclude your tour with a visit to a vanilla factory, where you learn about the city's ancient tie to the bean. It's said that production of vanilla began in Papantla as far back as the 1200s, and the city remained the world's primary producer until the 19th century. Stroll through the plantation filled with beautiful vanilla orchids before heading back to your hotel.