Parque La Venta has the Olmec Artifacts
Of course, many of the larger Olmec heads were carted off to the Mexico City Museum, and another exellent collection is at the anthropological museum in Xalapa, Veracruz. Some cities, like Tijuana have reproductions of Olmec heads as a reminder that Mexico had the New World's first civilization. At La Venta, the largest Olmec city, some 18,000 citizens lived between 800 and 500 BC. When artifacts of this city were discovered by Pemex oil engineers, they were accumulated and moved to create Parque La Venta. As it's name implies, this is a landscaped park with heads, stellas, and patios artifacts arranged in a haphazard manner along a defined path for tourists. The Museum building includes smaller artifacts. There is a distinctive Mexican feel to these stone works, a motif that seems to continue even today. Also in the park are a couple of Jaguars, an important Mayan symbol, and a water reserve with Alligators and Turtles. Coatimundi, an animal similar to a raccon, will come to play with visitors, although park rules forbid feeding them. In the trees, Howler Monkeys hang around in large numbers. A pedestrian suspension bridge hangs across a waterway. We visited Parque La Venta during a two hour wait for the bus departure for Palenque. Thus, it's easy to grab a taxi at the main Villahermosa terminal and request a quick trip to the park. Taxis are easy to flag down along the expressway near the park entrance. Recommendations are to bring mosquito repellent, but they didn't bother me. Entrance fee: $3-
- National/State Park
- Museum Visits
Walk along the Rio Grijavla
Villa Hermosa's old downtown area has a cobblestone mall of sorts where numerous hotels and restaurants are located. This is probably the best place to find lodging for the night, given it's access to the river front. We arrived at night, booked a room, and then walked along the river front admiring the Christmas Lights. Given the urban setting, it's hard to believe that Cortez once sailed up this river destine for the gold of Mexico.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Yumka - Safari Park
This place was really cool. Dave and I, of course are animal lovers, so this was especially a treat!
When you first enter the park you can see Siberian Tigers, iguanas, regional flowers/plants, alligators, AND a manatee if you are patient and look hard in the swamp!
Your admission (40 pesos) gets you this and a guided tour. The guided tour starts on foot through the jungle where we spotted a spider monkey or two! Plus, lots of cool trees and plants.
Then the trail turned into a wobbly rope and wood tension bridge across the swamp where we spied gaters, turtles, and pretty flowers.
The next part of the tour is on a tractor pulled trolly through the huge property! We saw zebra, elephants, giraffes, hippos, monkeys, rhinos, and much more!
The tractor dropped us of at the far part of the park, where there was a pretty good sized bird enclosure you can walk through and get up close with the birds. The hippos are in this area, too, oh my they were HUGE! Peacocks just wandered past you as you walked the paths. There was food and drinks for a nice break.
Then, you hop back on the tractor trolly out past more animals to the entrance of the park.
We stopped by the area in which the manatee swims again on our way out, and we spotted him (possibly them). It had just been feeding time and he/she came up to grab the veggies close to the surface. What an amazing creature!
IT WAS FUN.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Zoo & Archeological Walk
At the Parque La Venta there is a zoo and an archeological walk in one. Not too many animals but I enjoyed it. There was a particularly friendly otter and a very vocal jaguar there. Other animals included: monkeys, turtles, alligators/crocs, small cats, jaguars, otters, toucans, parrots, and pelicans.
The Olmec archeological walk is very interesting. There are Olmec heads and other figures.
Admission is $3, or 30 pesos.
Right next door is a museum. Didn't get to visit there yet.
While I was walked two bats flew past, there are lots of mosquitos, AND giant, I mean giant ants.
Parque Museo La Venta
Probably the only thing worth seeing in Villahermosa, and not overly spectacular anyway.
This place is a large park divided into two sections; a zoo showcasing wildlife local to the area and an archaeological jungle trek. The highlight of the zoo section is probably the jaguars or the crocodile. There are a few cute little beaver looking things, and some weird little pigs and a whole bunch of deer, but none of these really caught my interest.
The archaeological half of the park is a pleasant little stroll through a jungle, dotted every few metres with a slab of carved rock or an Olmec head or an ants nest or something of equal interest. Its a nice walk, although many of the artifacts are moderately dull.
There were heaps of school girls wandering around when we were there, interviewing us for their English assignments and asking to pose in photos with us. Always happy for the attention, we took the time out to help them.
If you walk around La Venta Park you will sometimes be followed...BEWARE, by these cute little creatures called kinkajoos! They incredibly friendly and trusting. We had a blast watching them.
An article in a recent National Geographic Magazine, said that they are very social animals. Well, we believe that 100%.
A friend of ours that jogs in that park in the mornings says they follow her around as she runs.
Located on Paseo Tabasco, this pretty church towers over you! Other than the building that Dave works in here, this is the OTHER tall structure in town.
Services are so big here a tent is set up on the exterior of the church for additional seating, in front of the entrance.
Parque de la Venta
The Parque de la Venta is one big wonderful park-zoo-museum-archaeology trail. It’s all about the Olmec people who lived about 100 km from Villahermosa and created huge heads and other statues from basalt rocks. Something you look at and think, who on earth did they move these rocks!
You walk a trail through lush tropical plants and over 30 sculptures behind every turn of the path – heads, masks, animals figures, a stone mosaic etc, and every now and then there is a cage or fenced-off area with tropical birds, pumas, jaguars, ocelots, spider monkeys, crocodiles, turtles, snakes and and and.
The park is very popular with kids / families, but I enjoyed my visit on my own immensely!! This place alone made my stop at Villahermosa worthwhile.
Also the surroundings are nice, the park is located by the Lake of Illusions, with lots of kissing couples (I went there on a Sunday afternoon :-), vendors selling snacks and drinks, people in little rowing boats on the lake, benches to sit on and watch and read and sunbathe and enjoy life. Even more with a cup of coconut milk…
MUSEO LA VENTA
LOCATED NEAR TOMAS GARRIDO PARK.
AN OUTDOOR MUSEUM COVERED BY TREES WHICH ALSO HAS A ZOO INSIDE WITH SOME ANIMALS TO SEE. A SERIES OF TRAILS WILL TAKE YOU AROUND THE SITE TO DIFFERENT OLMEC HEADS AND SOME ANIMAL ENCLOSURES.
VERY WORTH THE VISIT.
TOMAS GARRIDO PARK
WELL, IT'S A PARK! HAHA
BUT FROM THE IMPRESSION I GOT, THE STAFF SEEM TO LOOK AFTER THIS WELL MAKING IT A NICE PARK YOU CAN CHILL IN.
THERE IS A TOWER ON ONE END OF THE PARK IN WHICH YOU CAN GO UP FOR A STUNNING VIEW OF VILLAHERMOSA.
La Venta park museum
Stupid mexican administration.
The museum is closed for four months!!! Event on the entrance door of the park it is not said "cerado'. Nothing in any web site of mexico!!
We came from france to visit the museum and the olmec sites; What a waist of money and time.
The same occurs two days ago for the museum of antropology of Merida. Closed; Even the lady of the tourist office in the gobiernor house tell us, the evening before, that the museum is open. In Merida it is not know :
-if it will reopen
-where are the collections
-what is inside the new museum of maya culture.
Don't loose your energy and money go to visit france or any 'developped country.
- Museum Visits
Museo Elevado de Villahermosa (Elevated Museum)
The Elevated Museum, given the name since it is elevated above Paseo Tabasco which passes underneath it, is a rather small but free museum. The structure is protected from the elements, but is still an open air display, giving a bit of shade and cool breeze on the hot days.
The corridor of the museum, or more like a gallery, has photographs and sculptures on display of varying themes. There is a small coffee shop situated directly above Paseo Tabasco with an good view of the waterways.
- Budget Travel
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Cathedral de Villahermosa
The Cathedral de Villahermosa is arguably the second tallest structure in town. Its towers can be seen from almost any part of the city. The church is relatively modern and has a small seating area, particularly considering the size of the congregation. The seating area has been extended out the main door into the plaza under a white tent.
- Arts and Culture
- Religious Travel
Jaguars at the Zoo
There were three enclosures with two jags in each enclosure. They were very important in the Mayan culture.
Olmec Heads at the Zoo
In a path that skirts the zoo is an archeological trail with many pieces from the Olmecs.
This is one of the best preserved Olmec Heads, according to the information given by the zoo.
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