Parque-Museo La Venta
Museo de Historia Natural
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Regional Anthropology Museum
Still being reconstructed following the 2007 flood, the regional anthropology museum holds some interesting exhibits on Olmec and Maya...
Museo de Historia
Housed in a striking 19th-century building known as La Casa de los Azulejos (House of Tiles), the Museo de Historia has sparse exhibits...
Tabasco’s Culture Department
To find out what’s on in town, check the website of Tabasco’s culture department.
Café Punta del Cielo
A respite from the raging heat and humidity, this small air-conditioned glass box next to Parque-Museo La Venta is a dream come true....
Lonely Planet review
This fascinating outdoor park and museum was created in 1958, when petroleum exploration threatened the highly important ancient Olmec settlement of La Venta in western Tabasco. Archaeologists moved the site’s most significant finds, including three colossal stone heads, to Villahermosa.
Plan two to three hours for your visit, and take mosquito repellent (the park is set in humid tropical woodland). Parque-Museo La Venta lies 2km northwest of the Zona Luz, beside Avenida Ruíz Cortines, the main east–west highway crossing the city. It’s M$20 via colectivo .
Inside, you first come to a zoo devoted to animals from Tabasco and nearby regions: cats include jaguars, ocelots and jaguarundi, and there are white-tailed deer, spider monkeys, crocodiles, boa constrictors, peccaries and plenty of colorful birds, including scarlet macaws and keel-billed toucans.
There’s an informative display in English and Spanish on Olmec archaeology as you pass through to the sculpture trail, the start of which is marked by a giant ceiba (the sacred tree of the Olmec and Maya). This 1km walk is lined with finds from La Venta. Among the most impressive, in the order you come to them, are Stele 3 , which depicts a bearded man with a headdress; Altar 5 , depicting a figure carrying a child; Monument 77 , ‘El Gobernante,’ a very sour-looking seated ruler; the monkey-faced Monument 56 ; Monument 1 , the colossal head of a helmet-wearing warrior; and Stele 1 , showing a young goddess (a rare Olmec representation of anything female). Animals that pose no danger (such as coatis, squirrels and black agoutis) roam freely around the park.