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“Visit the museum first” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Tonina

Tonina
East of Ocosingo | Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico, Chiapa de Corzo, Mexico
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Type: Ancient Ruins
Attraction Details
Copan, Honduras
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
48 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Visit the museum first”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

I wish that I had visited the museum first before touring the site. This site is small and compact and it is easy to highlights without some perspective first.

There were also short signposts with yellow footprints on them. I was unsure of their meaning but I started following them and I was glad that I had. There were also stakes with little white flags that were everywhere that I climbed. I don't know for sure, but they kind of indicated the side of the stairs to climb in order to find the next footprint.

It seemed like I was climbing forever, not all at once, but up many levels of the site. Each level held another temple or set of temples. Things seemed to be done in sets of four at this site. I wish that there was more information available in English in the museum to explain some of this. Maybe I should have had an English speaking guide with me.

Enjoy this site as I know that I did.

Visited June 2013
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60 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“It is worth the climb!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

This is a lovely ruin with gorgeous views of the mountains from atop the highest building! So many steep stairs to climb! We were lucky to have free admission the day we went. Cool off in the air conditioned museum afterwards.

Visited May 2013
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Ruins of Tonina”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

Actually Tonina is nowhere near Chiapa de Corzo which is near Tuxtla Gutierrez the capitol. It is fairly close to the pueblo of Ocosingo however. While not as Spectacular as Palenque, it is definitely worth a visit. There is a new museum there with some very fine Mayan objects and they are still digging and discovering there. It is quite hot in the summer time so later in the day is better to visit or early in the morning. The main feature in the ruins is a pretty spooky relief mural illustrating "Cuatro Eras".

Visited June 2012
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Merida, Yucatan
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
52 attraction reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
197 helpful votes 197 helpful votes
“Great site that few visitors visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2013

We stopped off at Toniná en route from San Cristóbal to Palenque, Chiapas’ two main tourist attractions. Judging by the limited number of visitors that we saw at Toniná, not many people do the same thing. We (my teen daughter and I) spent 2 ½ hours there and felt we got great insight into life at this Mayan city that at one time dominated Palenque.

Toniná offers a number of advantages over other pyramid sites in the area. First you can pick up a guide for a fraction of the price at Chichen, etc. We paid $200 for a 90-minute tour led by a man, Victor Manuel, who was involved in the original excavations. These only began in 1980, so you are looking at relatively ‘new’ history. Having a guide really helped bring the site alive for us.

Second, you can climb all over the site and there are NO vendors, which was a GREAT plus. Just to make the experience more relaxing, you can go from the car park to the site entrance on horseback for $25 MXP. We were there during Easter week and there were perhaps 50 other visitors, so you are not getting in each other’s way.

The site also has a very well preserved ball court. We had our photo taken sitting on the King’s throne and saw the circular stones from where the ball was bounced to (re)start the game. In all my years in Mexico I have never seen such impressive details. Our guide also showed us original paintwork and interpreted the many stucco and reliefs for us.

If climbing to the top of the 70-metre acropolis that forms the pyramid doesn't leave you too exhausted, you can stop off at the museum. We were very impressed with the design of the buildings – very fresh and pleasantly rustic- and with the exhibits. All pieces are original and you can see statues of their gods, plenty of beheaded prisoners, as well as a scaled replica of the acropolis.

Toniná is only a 20 minute drive from the main roundabout at Ocosingo. We are very glad we took the time to see this site. I fully recommend it.

Visited March 2013
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New York
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Fabulous; practically deserted”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We were urged to go to Tonina although it was not in our plans. We drove south from Palenque, stopping at Misol-Ha and Agua Azul, and booked into Hotel Margarita in Ocosingo. Next morning we drove the 10 miles or so through beautiful pastureland and into the Tonina site. There were a few guys with horses offering to take us to the actual entrance of the site; it's about a half mile walk. The pyramids and other structures of Tonina rise up abruptly and very high. Our wonderful guide, Roger (who tamed us by illuminating the inside of a dark maze for us), told us that this site is only 30% excavated. We encountered maybe 6 other tourists, most of whom climbed the fully-restored pyramid to look over what was the whole Mayan Tonina realm. The feeling of this site is completely different from Palenque's, so it is well worth visiting both of them. We hadn't wanted to have a guide, but the remaining stucco carvings are not obvious to find, and the meanings of them really enhanced our visit. Plus stopping to view a carving every once in a while breaks up the 20-storey climb so that it seems almost effortless. There is also a small museum where most of the rescued carvings reside, protecting them from vandalism and theft.

Visited March 2013
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