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El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz

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Veracruz, Mexico
El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz

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Safety measures
icon12 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup from select hotels
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iconOffered in: English and 1 more


Knock out visits to two important sites of Mexico’s pre-Columbian Totanac culture—the archaeological ruins of El Tajín and the 13th-century city of Papantla—in one day on this guided trip from Veracruz. Wander through the pyramids and plazas of the UNESCO-listed El Tajín, learn about Mesoamerican history and discover the cultural treasures of Papantla, from its flying pole dancers to vanilla. Hassle-free hotel transport by van is included.
  • Day trip from Veracruz to El Tajín and Papantla
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage–listed archaeological ruins of El Tajín
  • See key structures like the Pyramid of the Niches and Plaza del Arroyo
  • Tour the Totanac city of Papantla
  • Learn about Papantla’s famous Dance of the Flyers, a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage-listed tradition
  • Round-trip transport from your Veracruz hotel included
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Hotel pickup and drop-off
Local guide
Transport by van
Food and drinks

Departure Point

Traveler pickup is offered
We pick up from all Veracruz hotels if your hotel is out of the pickup area, please contact us to
provide you with the nearest meeting point.

Departure Time

8:00 AM
One of the largest cities during the Mesoamerican classical era, El Tajín is located 150 miles (240 km) north of Veracruz and dates back to 600 AD. Rise early for a pickup from your Veracruz hotel and travel with your guide to El Tajín, coined the City of Thunder. The drive parallels the Gulf of Mexico coast, so soak up the scenery or catch some sleep en route.

Follow your informative guide around the UNESCO-listed archaeological site and walk around the ruins to check out the pyramids and plazas. Learn about an ancient game that was played on the ball courts by the Totanac people, and see the most significant structures: the Plaza del Arroyo, the palaces of Tajín Chico and the Pyramid of the Niches.

Next, drive to the city of Papantla. After refueling with lunch (own expense), start your tour and see the city sights including the Church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Our Lady of the Assumption), built in the late 1500s.

Papantla also is known for the Danza de los Voladores, or Dance of the Flyers, a spectacle that dates back to Mesoamerica. After ascending a tall pole, the ‘flying men’ release into the air headfirst with ropes wound tightly around their ankles, twirling for onlookers.

Learn about another icon of Papantla, vanilla, which has been grown here since the time of the Totanacs.

Your day trip ends with transport back to your hotel in Veracruz.
Stop At:  
El Tajin
Tajin is located in northern Veracruz, 14 km from Papantla and 16 km from Poza Rica. In an area of 12 acres, there are 168 buildings that constitute its religious and political center. On this tour, we will admire 41 buildings that are the most majestic of the area: “La Piramide de los Nichos”(The Pyramid of the Niches) and “Plaza del Arroyo.” This city is the one with the largest number of pre-Hispanic ball game courts with a total of 17. In addition, you can see the internationally known flight ceremony.
Duration: 1 hour 20 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Then we will travel to Papantla, a city known for the ritual of “The flying of Papantla” and the production of the aromatic vanilla. It is also named Magical Town of Mexico for keeping its ancient traditions, and colorful costumes of its communities.
Duration: 1 hour 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Los Voladores of Papantla
Enjoy the most emblematic ritual of Veracruz and one of the most famous worldwide "Los voladores de papantla" learn about its origin, meaning and more from your expert guide
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Amigo Tours Mexico

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz.
What is the policy on sanitization during El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz.
What is the social distancing policy during El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz.
What is the maximum group size during El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz?
A:This activity will have a maximum of 20 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by El Tajín Ruins and Papantla Day Trip from Veracruz.


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Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews
A long day well-spent
, Mar 2020
A long day trip from Heroica Veracruz lasting almost four hours each way but well worth it for us. Our guide Rafael Ortiz was excellent: very safe and skillful driver, so knowledgeable about the history of the period and culture of the Totonacos civilization, obviously proud of his heritage and a really good person. It would have been difficult to spend 10 hours with a guide we just met in the morning if he wasn't such a delight to be with. The ruins were different than others we have seen throughout Mexico so far. Although the pre-Hispanics were mostly trade oriented unlike the Aztecs, one can see the many cross-pollination of ideas and beliefs that were acquired through contact. Enjoyed a lovely lunch across from the Zocalo and a short tour of the town of Papantla before returning to Veracruz. Rafael was a relaxed and engaged guide throughout our entire time with him. His English is excellent. We recommend him without reservations.
Best time yet.
, Feb 2020
Absolutely loved it. This is my 1st trip to Mexico, I do not speak spanish and asked for a english guide. Both the driver/guide and the tour guide at El Tajin. Took the time to play translator for me. It was a absolute blast and would do it again.
Well planned. Excellent value...
Douglas F
, Apr 2018
Well planned. Excellent value. Everything was on time. The guide was very knowledgeable and made time to explain everything. He made sure we had time to see everything. Lunch after El Tajín was in a very good restaurant.
Mexico is truly a beautiful place...
, Jan 2018
Mexico is truly a beautiful place and is rich in history and tradition. Visit El Tajín Ruins! It is a must see if you are a history buff.
The ruins are spectacular. The...
Bart W
, Mar 2016
The ruins are spectacular. The driver/guide was excellent. The drive from Veracruz was 4 hours each way, but the drive was rewarded with a long and well preserved site.

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