Villahermosa Tourist Attractions
How to get thereFrom Mexico City by air about 11/4 hours; by bus about 15 hours; by car 863km/536mi.Villahermosa, the capital of the state of Tabasco, was until a few years ago a sleepy town on the Río Grijalva surrounded by tropical countryside.
New roads as well as the rich oil finds in Tabasco and Chiapas have turned Villahermosa into a fast-growing, modern city. This important commercial and trading centre is situated in a low-lying area intersected by waterways and has a hot humid climate with heavy rainfall.Whether the history of the settlement goes back to Old Indian times is not known with any certainty. The modern town was founded by the Spanish in 1598 under the name Villa Felipe II and later renamed Villahermosa (Spanish: "beautiful village"). In the course of time it developed into the largest town in the state of Tabasco.SightsThere are only a few historic buildings in Villahermosa apart from the cathedral which dates from 1614. On the other hand it has two of the most interesting museums in Mexico.
Regional Museum of Anthropology
The CICOM (Centro de Investigaciones de las Culturas Maya y Olmeca) was opened in 1980 on the west bank of the Río Grijalva and is home to the Regional Museum of Anthropology (Museo Regional de Antropología Carlos Pellicer Cámara), named after the famous poet, collector and museum founder Carlos Pellicer (1897-1977).The circular tour of the museum begins on the second floor with an overview of the civilisations of the pre-Columbian period, illustrated by individual pieces, including stone masks and ceramics from Teotihuacán, ceramic urns and heads made by the Zapotecs and Totonacs, and Aztec stone sculptures. The first floor is concerned with the Olmecs and Mayas and has on display extraordinary clay sculptures made by the Maya in Jaina and Olmec jade from La Venta. On the raised ground floor selected finds belonging to both these civilisations can be seen. Objects on show include the "Teyapa Urn" with the figure of a seated Maya priest, a delicately painted Maya drinking vessel and a jade dagger from La Venta with the engraving of a jaguar warrior.The CICOM complex also includes an auditorium, the state theatre "Esperanza Iris", a library, exhibition and sales rooms for craft products, restaurants, shops and an arts hall with a garden situated inside the building.
Address: Avenida Carlos Pellicer, #511, Mexico
Opening hours: 9am-7:30pm
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee: FREE
Adjoining the centre to the west is the new complex known as "Tabasco 2000", which includes a planetarium, a conference centre, department stores and the city hall.
Parque-Museo de La Venta is an open-air museum, displaying the finds from excavations of an Olmec civilization. The original site is inaccessible.
Tabasco Historical Museum
In the "Casa de los Azulejos", the Tabasco Historical Museum exhibits documents, cards and photographs illustrating the history of the state. Regional costumes and dress can be seen in the Museum of Folk Culture.
Museo de Cultura Popular
This museum features three rooms, the first exhibits women's clothing, the second exhibits musical instruments and the third displays Chontal artifacts.
Near the town of Comalcalco is the archeological site of the same name. This Mayan site is thought to have flourished during the 8th C.
Going southwards from Villahermosa on the MEX 195, the town of Teapa (72 m (236 ft); population 50,000) which has the heaviest rainfall of any in Mexico, is reached; there is also a small Museum of Anthropology and History. The town is a starting-point for a visit to the remarkable caves Grutas de Coconá (Maya: "water which falls from the sky"), which are situated nearby and were once used as a pirates' hiding-place. The sulphur springs of El Azufre are also worth seeing.