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La Venta Olmec Archaeological Park

Visit La Venta to see the Colossal Heads distributed throughout a museum in situ inhabited by coatis and alligators.


Everyone knows that the Aztecs established in what is now Mexico City a long time ago; however, very few people know that throughout its territory Mexico harbored many other interesting civilizations. Therefore, if you want to visit the remains of the Olmec culture, DINKtravelers invites you to travel to La Venta, Villahermosa, in the state of Tabasco.


Some years ago it was thought that the Olmec culture was the mother of all the native Mesoamerican civilizations, yet, this theory has not been confirmed; what we know for sure is that its influence was so great throughout the territory, that its heritage reached what is now Costa Rica.

La Venta is an archaeological site that has become famous because it harbors the peculiar Colossal Heads that weigh around 25 tons and measure 2.7 meters in height. According to researchers, most of them were sculpted between the years 1,500-1000 BC, but even if they coincide in the dates, they have not yet agreed in deciding whether they represent the ancient governors or symbolize warriors or gods. What we know for sure is that it’s impressive to stand next to them and notice how well they are preserved despite being exposed to weather changes in one of the rainiest states in Mexico.


The greatest feature of La Venta is that it’s a museum in situ; that means that instead of having the pieces safeguarded in a building, they are spread all throughout the archaeological site. Therefore, as you follow the two-hour-long route on foot, apart from the Colossal Heads you’ll find other stone structures such as altars and steles. Also, you’ll be able to enjoy the jungle environment with its tall trees, alligators, iguanas, herons, coatis and even raccoons. In sum, this site is so whole that you’ll even find the botanic classification of many of the flowers and plants present.

To complement your tour, DINKtravelers invites you to visit La Venta’s Main Pyramid. It was built in clay and it measures approximately 34m tall and 140m wide. Its importance relies on the fact that it’s been defined as the most ancient pyramid in Mesoamerica.


The trails that surround the natural lagoon found in the complex are ideal to go on a promenade or photograph alligators. Nevertheless, we invite you to go at night, because from Tuesday to Sunday, at 20:00, 21:00 and 22:00 there’s a light and sound show right in the middle of the water.

Take into account that the jungle vegetation and the weather create a stuffy environment, so we suggest wearing light dri-fit clothes and comfortable shoes, preferably water repellent, as well as insect repellent. Otherwise, mosquitoes will become your unwanted traveling companions.