The enigmatic archaeological zone of Potosi that you can visit


SAN LUIS POTOSÍ, SLP.- During these Christmas holidays, the inhabitants of San Luis Potosí (SLP) and tourists can enjoy many alternatives to meet and enjoy in the company of the family. A little known option, a very attractive center is the archaeological zone of Tamtoc. This place is very different from the tourism that goes to places like Xilitla, Ciudad Valles or other destinations in the Huasteca Potosina region.

What can you do in Tamtoc during the year-end holidays?

The pre-Hispanic site is located just half an hour from Ciudad Valles, in the municipality of Tamuín.

It opens its doors to visitors from Monday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

How is the archaeological zone constituted?

Its name means “place of the water clouds”. In it are remains of the pre-Hispanic architecture of the Huasteca Tenek culture. More than 70 structures that have circular plans or rounded corners, which can be appreciated with a short walk.

One of the main constructions of Tamtoc is a central square that is surrounded by buildings such as El Cubilete and El Tantoque, which measure 36 and 21 meters high respectively. As part of the experience there is a museum.

It was discovered or found in the forties of the last century; however, it was not until 1993 that it was officially named Tamtoc. But to register the site, the archaeologist Patricio Dávila Cabrera ended the bibliographic and photo-interpretation work until August 10, 1995.

Who inhabited Tamtoc?

The Tenek culture developed during the Late Preclassic to Late Postclassic Mesoamerican epoch and had its heyday between 900 AD and 1000. In this town, women played a very important role, and they stand out for the special treatment that individuals with some deformity received after death. This site was considered the capital of the Huasteca Potosina during its flourishing between 600 and 1100 AD.

The ancient city of Tamtoc is considered the most important monumental center of the Mexican northwest. The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) points out that the society that inhabited was organized with a complex social and religious structure, as well as a diversified economy.

Even though their economy was based on agriculture, hunting and fishing, the Tenek had a considerable increase in the use of prestigious goods, such as sculptures and stone and shell ornaments. Its geographical location contributed to the subsistence of the inhabitants of the region, not only because of the variety of flora and fauna, but also because of the access to drinking water and the possibility of exchanging goods and interacting with other regions.

The most valuable and famous archaeological piece in Tamtoc is the “Scarified Woman”, also known as the “Venus of Tamtoc”.

How to get there and how much is the access price?

Access costs 65 pesos, but admission is free for children under 13, students, teachers and the elderly. On Sundays the entrance is free for all Mexicans. To visit Tamtoc, you can get there from Ciudad Valles on the road to Tampico. The archaeological site is located about 10 km southwest of the head of the municipality of Tamuín, San Luis Potosí. It is possible to get there by public transport.