Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

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Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Archaeology & History Sites in Colima

El Chanal

Unusually, El Chanal takes its name from supernatural beings who, in Mexican folklore, dwell in streams and rivers. The settlement at El Chancel was inhabited largely in the 14th century, during the Postclassic Period. Among the visible structures are the foundations of ceremonial buildings, altars, a ball game square, and several houses. Some of these structures have been decorated with carved petroglyphs, in some cases depicting pre-Christian divinities such as Tlaloc and Ehécatl. Artefacts recovered from the site suggest a link with the community at Tula.

La Campana

A settlement covering 132 hectares, La Campana still boasts evidence for a wide range of buildings both ceremonial and domestic, as well as street plans, a ballgame court, and a drainage system. Many petroglyphs can be found carved onto the stone patios and squares. The site reached its apogee in the Early Classic Period, between 100 and 600 AD. By the time Spanish colonists discovered it in the 16th century, it was known as ‘Almoloya.’ Archaeologists excavated parts of the site during the 1990s, exposing some of the structures for visitors to explore.

Archaeology & History Sites in Guerrero

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Archaeology & History Sites in Jalisco

El Grillo

The settlement of El Grillo gives its name to the ‘El Grillo Phase,’ a term archaeologists use to describe a chronological period in the Atemajac Valley, which is where the site is located. Although there have been debates over the accurate dating of the site, it appears to have reached its apogee between around 500 and 900 AD, during the Classic Period. The site is known for housing a number of distinctive rectangular box tombs. The site’s name comes from its location on the former Rancho El Grillo.

Guachimontones (Teuchitlán)

Arising in the Late Preclassic Period, Guachimontones, also known as Teuchitlán, survived through to the following Classic Period. Although it declined after that point, it continued to see habitation into the Postclassic Period. Its inhabitants were linked to what archaeologists term the Teuchitlán culture. Several noted pyramid structures exist at the site, built largely from basalt; these are distinctive for their circular bases and were dedicated to Ehécatl, the wind god. Other features include a ball court and an amphitheatre. Artefacts are displayed at the site museum.


Located in the valley of Atemaj, the site at Ixtépete has a name which may derive from a term for “obsidian hill.” The settlement developed in the early part of the Mesoamerican Classic Period, at which point a number of burials were established here, although it only reached its apogee in the Late Classic Period. Archaeological excavation suggests a highly hierarchical society existed at Ixtépete, with different neighbourhoods specialising in specific activities, such as ceramic or lithic production. Folk celebrations to welcome in the spring still take place here to this day.

Archaeology & History Sites in Michoacan

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Archaeology & History Sites in Nayarit

Ixtlán del Río (Los Toriles)

The settlement of Ixtlán del Río, which is also known locally as Los Toriles (‘The Bullpens’), was key to the ‘Copper Route’ during the Epiclassic and Postclassic periods. At least 14 groups of buildings can be found here, encompassing 93 mounds scattered over an area a little over 80 hectares. Among the noted architectural features is one of the few historic circular buildings in Mesoamerica and a range of petroglyphs carved into the rock. Also present are several shaft tombs that have been investigated by archaeologists.

La Pila del Rey Petroglyphs (Altavista)

Also known as Altavista, this petroglyph site is still an important ceremonial site for members of the Huicholes, an indigenous people who live along the Sierra Madre Occidental range. It is thought that these rock engravings were made by Tecoxquin people who lived here around 4,000 years ago, although their precise function remains elusive. Over 2,000 engraved rocks have been found here, scattered over an area of some 80 hectares. A set of signs in both Spanish and English guide the visitors along the path, providing information and historical context.

Archaeology & History Sites in Oaxaca

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