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 Villahermosa City Guide and Directory

Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico
Villahermosa (beautiful village), the state capital of Tabasco, is located in the southeastern portion of Mexico at the confluence of the Grijalva and Carrizal Rivers. The city is an important Gulf port. Thick jungle, lagoons, rivers and marshes compose the landscape. Founded by Hernan Cortes in 1519, the city's history far precedes this event.

This land's original inhabitants were the Olmec, Mexico's oldest culture. Archaeologists date this civilization's history back as early as 1700 B.C. While visiting Villahermosa, a must-see is La Venta Museum, which is both an outdoor park and open-air museum. The museum has a wonderful zoo that features animals from the area, including jaguars, crocodiles, spider monkeys and toucans. Sculptures and artifacts from the Olmec civilization are on display. The famous Olmec giant stone heads whose features contain both human and jaguar characteristics can also be seen here.

Olmec Wrestler
Olmec Wrestler
After the Olmec, the Maya civilization flourished in this region. One of their most mysterious sites, the Comalcalco Ruins, is located just outside Villahermosa. What makes these pyramids so unique is a type of fired-brick that was employed in their construction. The bricks are nearly identical to those made by the Romans, which has led some to conjecture that Europeans came to these lands far before the Spanish conquistadors.

The Regional Anthropology Museum in Villahermosa is definitely worth a visit. A variety of cultures are represented here including the Aztec, the Mixtec, the Totonac and the Zapotec, however, the emphasis is on the Olmec and the Mayan civilizations. Objects made of gold and jade figurines are on display as well as informative maps and photographs of the region.

The land of Villahermosa is rich and fertile. Coffee and cacao grow in abundance here as do banana and rubber trees. As you drive along the roads in the region, you'll notice large cacao pods drying in the sun, their seeds destined to become the cocoa and chocolate we all love.

Villahermos, Tabasco, Mexico
Cacao in its different forms
As you might imagine, the weather in Villahermosa is sultry, hot and humid. Sunscreen, plenty of water, a protective hat and insect repellent are requirements. Because of the heat, it is important to plan your sightseeing activities early in the day, if at all possible. During the evening hours, when the weather cools a bit, a nice place to enjoy the city is the Zona Luz, located downtown. A pedestrian walkway borders the the river and there are a number of open-air cafes, ice-cream shops and restaurants to choose from.

In the 1970's and 1980's huge oil fields were discovered off the Gulf of Mexico and Villahermosa transformed almost over-night from an insignificant city to a prosperous port of commerce.

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