On a trade route between the Pacific and the Gulf, the sprawling Chiapa de Corzo settlement had close ties to neighboring Maya and Olmec cultures. At its peak, it counted about 200 structures, but was abandoned around AD 500. After years of excavation, three Zoque pyramid structures are now on view here, 1.5km east of the main plaza. These visible structures were built between 1600 and 1800 years ago, but sit on mounds dating back as far as 750 BC.
Though the guarded ruins receive few visitors, it’s worth an hour to climb around the deserted temples and marvel at the big-sky countryside. Recent excavation of one nearby mound (not open to the public) unearthed the oldest known pyramid tomb in Mesoamerica and new evidence linking it to Olmec centers such as La Venta.
The site entrance is near the Nestlé plant and the old highway (on the road that goes to La Topada de la Flor), but the site isn’t signed from the road. Taxis charge about M$150 round trip from the plaza with an hour of wait time, but you can walk there in 20 minutes.