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Tonina archeological mayan site | Chiapas Mx

Tonina is possibly the oldest city of the Classic period. Inscriptions to the corresponding date of the year 909 AD were found in an uncovered tomb. and agrees with the abandonment of the city shortly after.

For years this city whose old name is “Popo” held military battles with the city of Palenque and Copán, disputing the territory between the Grijalva river and Jataté.

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How to get

How to get to Tonina by public transport:

From Tuxtla Gtz:
Take a bus to the city “San Cristóbal de las Casas” in the bus terminal you prefer, when you arrive in San Cristóbal, walk to the Juan Sabines boulevard between Insurgentes and Benito Juárez streets where you will find several truck stations that take you to different towns .

Locate the vans that lead to the town of Ocosingo ($ 50 aprox), when you arrive to this town, walk about 12 blocks from the base of the trucks to the Dr. Belizario Dominguez municipal market, around which are the other vans that take you to Tonina ($ 15 aprox) where you will start your walk through the archaeological zone.


How to get to Tonina by car:

From Tuxtla Gutiérrez
Drive to the city “San Cristóbal de las Casas” by highway and then the federal highway 199 towards Ocosingo. This trip takes approximately 3 to 4 hours.

The San Cristóbal – Ocosingo section is abundant in dangerous curves, we recommend a lot of caution when driving.

Upon arriving in Ocosingo, drive to the Technological University of La Selva where you will find the detour to Tonina, accompanied by several tourist signs along a 13-kilometer road to the archaeological zone.



Price: $55.00

Schedule: Monday - Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Free students, and citizens with free Mexican nationality on Sunday. INAPAM and free teachers, ALL with valid credentials.

About of

Destination | Attraction
Ancient city “Popo” (Tonina)


Meaning of the name
The first reference of this Mayan city is made by Fray Jacinto Garrido during the 17th century mentioning the existence of great old buildings, which he named “Aharicab” six leagues from the city.

With the passage of time in 1787 Vicente José Solórzano described four of these buildings calling the place “Tonina” interpreted as “stone house” in the Tzeltal language, long after they found inscriptions that revealed the original name of the city “Popo” that in Tzeltal language it means “fog or smoke”.


Tonina (Popo) is a Mayan city discovered in ruins, now it is an archaeological area where studies and discoveries are made about this culture, the restored construction consists of an Acropolis that measures 74 meters high (10 more than the Temple of the Sun in Teotihuâcan ).

The Acropolis is built on artificially made ground plinths with stucco structures and buildings, 7 levels are displayed to the top and in each one there are different temples or residential buildings such as: the palace, the palace of the underworld, the frieze or mural of the four eras, temple of the smoking mirror on the top and the temple of the captives on the middle level.

Around the acropolis were discovered other structures such as the “ball game 1” and small buildings that possibly had political / religious character.


The flowering of the Mayan city “Popo” was between the year 600 and 900d.C. and one of the main characteristics was the military performance they had, an example of which are the sculptures and statues found in the temple of the captives located in the great Acropolis. Several representations of torture, headless prisoners and two sculptures found in the “ball game 1” were found representing captives of war, identified as possible warriors of the Copán city.


For some it can be a heavy journey to climb 260 steps, since the Acropolis is 74 meters high; It is advisable to take water because the parking lot is 400 meters from the archaeological zone.

Prices for tickets, activities and transportation may vary over time.