Villahermosa has splendid attractions for tourism, including wonderful parks and museums, and a culinary art that has cocoa as its star product.
There are many entertaining and fun things to do in Villahermosa and in this article we will tell you 15 of them. Join us and find out what they are and how fascinating it is to take a trip to this charming city located in the state of Tabasco.
Here is the list of the best things to do in Villahermosa:
1. Get to know the Yumká Ecological Reserve
It is an ecological reserve in the modality Center of Interpretation and Coexistence with Nature, of 101 hectares. It is located in Ranchería Las Barrancas, 17 km from Villahermosa, near the Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport.
Its main objective is to promote environmental education and encourage conservationist conduct and protection of species in Tabasco and Mexico.
The word “yumká” means “elf that takes care of the jungle and the animals” in the Mayan language. And that is what the promoters of this beautiful environmental initiative do.
In Yumká you can admire nearly 1,000 specimens of more than 80 species of fauna. These species live in spaces such as the Aviary, Mini Aviary, Herpetarium, Monkey Island, Jungle, African Savannah and Asian Savannah.
Among the animals housed at Yumká are elephants, giraffes, zebras, white rhinos, cockatoos, manatees, peacocks, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, pumas and jaguars.
The park’s rich and varied flora is made up of some 250 species, including huapaques, ferns, orchids, and bromeliads. The orchid garden has some 43 varieties of this beautiful and exotic family of plants.
The tours of Yumká are guided by expert personnel to ensure the entertainment and safety of visitors.
2. Visit La Venta Museum Park
Among the things to do in Villahermosa, you should not miss a visit to this open-air museum. It houses one of the most valuable collections of pieces from the Olmec culture, rescued from the pre-Columbian city of La Venta.
La Venta is an archaeological site located in the northwest corner of Tabasco, 15 km from the Gulf of Mexico. It was the main ceremonial center of the Olmec civilization, during its 500-year heyday, in the 1st century BC.
In the museum there are more than 60 large-format artistic pieces, including colossal heads and other sculptures, stelae and altars, distributed over an area of 6.8 hectares.
The jewels of Olmec art coexist with some 400 animals and species belonging to Tabasco’s biodiversity. This makes this walk an artistic and environmental experience.
Among the most representative pieces of the Parque Museo La Venta are the Altar of the Mother and the stone sculptures La Abuelita, Baby Jaguar and Monkey Looking at the Sky.
At night there is a light and sound show, with a tour of the Olmec culture.
3. Enjoy the gastronomy of La Cuna del Pozol
Villahermosa is called La Cuna del Pozol. It is a delicious, powerful and thick pre-Hispanic drink made from cocoa and corn.
The Mayans called it “pochotl”. This was his main energy drink to travel long distances and perform the most physically demanding jobs.
In Villahermosa, pozol is a whole ceremonial tradition from its preparation to its consumption and is essential in Tabasco celebrations.
One of the typical dishes of the city is the alligator gar roasted on a wood fire and seasoned with amashito chili and lemon.
The chirmol is a kind of mole. It is prepared with mulatto chili peppers, corn tortillas and pumpkin seeds as main ingredients. It is used to sauce meat, fish and poultry.
Another local delicacy is the zucchini with pork and sweet corn, a delicious stew that is quick to prepare.
A tour of the festival of flavors in Villahermoso cannot end without going through the chipilín tamales, a local plant that gives the dough a special flavor and appearance.
You can also try stuffed plantains. This dish is a delicacy made from ripe plantain croquettes with a filling of spiced pork mincemeat.
4. Have fun in its clubs, bars and festivals
Villahermosa offers an interesting night life. It has several places to have a relaxed drink and have a fun time after a busy day getting to know the natural and urban attractions of the city.
At 1206 Adolfo Ruiz Cortínez Boulevard on Paseo Tabasco is Escaparate Karaoke Bar. If you dare, here you can take the microphone and perform whatever you want in front of the public. The musical atmosphere is in charge of a renowned DJ from the city.
At Escaparate Karaoke Bar they prepare any drink you fancy and the attention of the barman and the rest of the staff is first class.
Another cozy place is Barezzito, located in the 27 de Febrero extension, on the corner of Paseo Tabasco. You can also have an excellent time at Bar La Doña, located at Ernesto Malda 726.
In Villahermosa, four days a week, there are some evenings for the entertainment of locals and visitors. They are festivals and shows that take place on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and include:
- Romantic Wednesdays in the Plaza de los Tríos
- Zapateados in La Corregidora Park
- Danzón in the Plaza Bicentenario
- Mariachis in the J. Claro García Park
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5. Tour the Carlos Pellicer Cámara Regional Museum of Anthropology
The writer and museographer Carlos Pellicer Cámara was born in Villahermosa in 1897, when the city was still called San Juan Bautista. This artist dedicated a good part of his life to collecting ignored and abandoned pre-Hispanic objects in the country.
The museum that bears his name and is located on the banks of the Grijalva River, in Villahermosa. It contains more than 10,000 pieces of pre-Hispanic art and culture. In fact, it is the second most important collection in the country, after the one housed in the National Museum of Anthropology.
The sample includes objects from the Olmec, Mayan, Nahua and Zoque cultures.
The most famous piece of the enclosure, exhibited in the Mayan Room, is the Estela del Tiempo or Estela de Tortuguero. This piece is the one that indicates the date 126.96.36.199.0 -4 ahau 3 kankin, which is equivalent to 12/21/2012 in the Gregorian calendar.
This date recently became famous by being interpreted as the one that marks the end of the world, according to the Mayan calendar.
In the Olmec Room you can see the colossal head Carita Sonriente (taken from La Venta Park Museum to protect it from the elements), the basalt sculpture Monster Jaguar, as well as axes made of basalt and serpentine.
6. Visit the Papagayo Interactive Museum
In this museum children have fun while they learn important things to strengthen their education.
It has the rooms Care, Imagine, Think, Live and Play, each one focused on reinforcing the best behaviors. These rooms have the following purposes:
- Take Care: Learning about the importance of the natural environment and its preservation
- Imagine: Expression of feelings through music and the arts
- Think: Understanding the world through science and technology
- Live: Understanding how the body works and the importance of health and nutrition
- Play: Brings babies and children (up to 5 years old) closer to science, technology and art.
Among the learning that children will obtain is writing in braille. The challenge is to perceive with your fingers (with your eyes closed) the origin of electricity, the forms of matter, chemical reactions and the functioning of the heart.
The Papagayo Interactive Museum is located at Avenida Paseo Usumacinta 2005, Parque Tabasco. It opens from Tuesday to Sunday, between 9 am and 5 pm The cost is 69 MXN per adult and 57 per child over 2 years old.
7. Stroll through the Tomás Garrido Canabal Park
Visiting this park is one of the most relaxing things to do in Villahermosa. It was built in 1929 in front of the Laguna de las Ilusiones, by Governor Tomás Garrido Canabal, to host the annual livestock and commercial fair of the state.
In 1982 the fair was moved to Parque La Choca and Parque Garrido Canabal underwent a remodeling project. Since then it has become a beautiful space to stroll and develop various entertainment activities in Villahermosa.
The main attraction of the park is the lagoon, a body of water inside Villahermosa and one of the emblems of the city. Although its area has been shrinking, it still has an area of 229 hectares.
The name of the lagoon was given by Governor Garrido himself, a Don Juan who had it as a favorite place to make conquests.
Nearby are attractions such as the Parque Museo La Venta, the José N. Rovirosa Museum of Natural History, and the Museo Elevado de Villahermosa.
The park has a pedestrian boardwalk and the Mirador de las Águilas, a space 50 meters high with beautiful views of Villahermosa and its surroundings.
8. Admire the House of Tiles
This beautiful 19th century mansion is located in the historic center, on Avenida 27 de Febrero and Calle Benito Juárez. It is the headquarters of the Tabasco History Museum.
It was built in the 1880s and was successively the residence of millionaire José María Graham McGregor, a business, a government house and a hotel. In 1985 it became the museum.
Among its commercial uses, it should be noted that it was the seat of the Manuel Ponz y Adrill pharmacy, the first in Villahermosa.
The House of Tiles is a varied mix of artistic styles. It has Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Mozarabic and Mudejar details. It gets its name from the magnificent ornamentation of its facades with Catalan ceramics.
The Tabasco History Museum operates on both floors of the house and has nine rooms. These exhibit a collection of some 400 pieces, including antique furniture and objects, weapons, paintings, engravings, altarpieces, coins, medals and documents. It also includes pre-Hispanic pieces and pieces from the beginning of the colonial era.
A document that stands out in the collection contains the order of Cortés for the execution of Cuauhtémoc and the Lord of Tacuba.
9. Take a tour of the Villa Luz Ecological Reserve
This reserve is located in the community of Tapijulapa, a short distance from Villahermosa and is one of the most splendid corners of the state of Tabasco.
It is crossed by the Oxolotán River, which forms beautiful waterfalls and natural pools in its course where you can enjoy a refreshing swim. There are also sulphurous waters, excellent for relaxing the body and toning the skin.
At Villa Luz you can be in intimate contact with nature. Also practice adventure entertainment such as hiking, hiking and caving in the Villa Luz Cavern.
In the place there is a museum that exhibits pieces of the Zoque culture, a people descended from the Olmecs who emigrated to Chiapas, Oaxaca and Tabasco.
The Villa Luz Ecological Reserve is open between 8 am and 5 pm daily and charges a modest access fee.
10. Captain Beuló II boards
In the past, a boat crossed the Grijalva River, which was the first means of transportation for the governor of Tabasco. Later it became a floating dispensary with the name of The Messenger of Health.
Now out of service, El Mensajero de la Salud was installed in the Papagayo Interactive Museum to teach children from Villahermoso and Tabasco about the past of their city and state and to make them aware of health and hygiene issues.
A replica was built for the boat, called Captain Beuló II, which makes two-hour tours of the river in two routes: gastronomic and tourist.
The tourist route leads to visit the most beautiful places along the banks of the Grijalva, including the Pantanos de la Majahua and the bridges (1 and 2), a tour in which it is possible to admire representative species of fauna and flora regional.
The gastronomic route stops at several picturesque restaurants located on the banks of the river, to enjoy the best of local cuisine. They are ideal places to taste a roasted alligator gar, surely freshly caught in the Grijalva.
11. Get to know the Comalcalco site
Comalcalco is located 56 km northwest of Villahermosa, the third largest city in Tabasco. On the outskirts of Comalcalco there is a Mayan archaeological site. Some admirable ruins from the 1st century AD, belonging to the classical age of that civilization, are preserved from this.
One of the most important things in the construction of Comalcalco was the use of bricks and stucco made with oyster shells, a resource that the Mayan builders resorted to due to the lack of stones in the area.
Many bricks have engravings and decorations, evidencing the talent of the Mayan artists.
In 2011, the so-called “Brick of Comalcalco” was rescued from this site, a second inscription with the famous Mayan “date of the end of the world”, whose first source was the Stele of Time preserved in the Carlos Pellicer Cámara Regional Museum of Anthropology.
The 7 km 2 site is made up of the North Plaza Complex, the Great Acropolis, the Southwest Plaza, the East Acropolis and the Cemetery.
The North Plaza Complex is made up of four temples and in The Great Acropolis, El Palacio, El Popol Naah, several temples and other structures can be distinguished.
12. Enjoy Playa Paraíso and Miramar
The city does not have sea beaches, but there are some nearby, so a visit to Villahermosa could also take advantage of it to have a good time on a sandbank.
71 km to the north is Playa Paraíso, in an area that is considered the best tropical environment in the state of Tabasco.
The beach has warm waters, with spectacular sunsets. Nearby there are lagoons and mangroves inhabited by an interesting fauna made up of herons, crocodiles, crustaceans and other species.
The El Paraíso Tourist Center operates in this sandbank, with lodging, restaurant, swimming pool, palapas and other services.
70 km from Villahermosa is Miramar Beach, a place of calm and welcoming waters, with warm and bright days.
The atmosphere in Miramar is relaxed and cheerful and there you can enjoy the simple and delicious Tabasco cuisine of the sea, accompanied by good cocktails or an ice cold beer.
Other beaches near the capital of Tabasco are Pico de Oro and Playa Azul, with clean and calm waters and sands shaded by coconut palms.
13. Learn more about the delicious treat at the Interactive Chocolate Museum
Tabasco is the main cocoa producing state in Mexico and this is one of the fundamental ingredients of pozol, the typical regional drink.
Among the things to do in Villahermosa, few are more delicious and charming than a visit to the DRUPA Interactive Chocolate Museum.
It is located in the middle of a cocoa and banana plantation of the DRUPA group, in Cunduacán, 33 km from Villahermosa.
The museum offers tours of the cocoa plantations and visitors can participate in the harvest of the fruit with which the exquisite chocolate is made.
Likewise, you will learn a historical portrait of cocoa in Tabasco, as well as the process to which the cocoa drupe is subjected until it reaches chocolate.
The tours of the hacienda and the Interactive Chocolate Museum end with a tasting of products made with cocoa.
The museum is located in the Ranchería Plátano y Cacao, First Section, Cunduacán. It is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, between 9:30 am and 4 pm, by reservation.
Other cocoa farms near Villahermosa that serve tourist visits are Hacienda La Luz, Finca Cholula and Hacienda Jesús María.
14. Admire the Cathedral of the Lord of Tabasco
The current cathedral is a reconstruction carried out between 1945 and 1970 of an old temple from the 18th century in which the Lord of Esquipulas was venerated, which in turn had been remodeled in the 1880s and looted during the Cristero War at the end of the 1970s. 1930.
The church has two imposing twin towers over 80 meters high, which constitute a topographic reference in Villahermosa. The facade of three bodies and cupular top is of non-ornate Baroque style.
The interior consists of a central nave and two side naves and is distinguished by its sobriety, with the image of the Lord of Tabasco standing out, a Christ on a bronze cross that presides over the main altar, some altarpieces and other images of saints.
In the atrium of the temple located in the historic center of Villahermosa, there are statues of Pope John Paul II and Bishop José de Jesús del Valle y Navarro, promoter of the reconstruction of the cathedral.
15. Attend an incredible movie performance at the Planetarium Tabasco 2000
This attraction was opened in 1981 in a building with a design inspired by pre-Hispanic architecture. Even so, it was materialized in a contemporary construction that harmoniously combines aluminum, glass and concrete on its façade.
Its main activity is the projection of films with the Omnimax system, a format that shows larger images and much better resolution than conventional media.
The projections are of varied content, including topics such as the origin of the Earth, the planet’s ecosystems and the atmosphere and outer space.
In the main lobby is the mural Magic and History of the Pre-Columbian Mayan Universe , the work of Tabasco artist Daniel Ponce Montuy.
The auditorium for 300 spectators is also used for workshops and courses related to the Mayan sciences, mainly mathematics and astronomy, and other cultural facets of this brilliant pre-Hispanic civilization.
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Why visit Villahermosa?
The capital of Tabasco brings together a set of natural, historical, urban, architectural and cultural attributes that make it a charming destination for tourism.
Its historic center dates from the 16th century and the testimonies of this colonial past are preserved in the Plaza de Armas, the Light Zone and the Cathedral of the Lord of Tabasco.
The 19th century was one of architectural flourishing in Villahermosa. From that period you can see beautiful buildings such as the Church of the Conception, the imposing Casa de los Azulejos, the Juárez Institute Building and the Government Palace of Tabasco.
Villahermosa is also a modern city, supported by the oil industry, and in its most recent urban planning the Municipal Palace, the campus of the Autonomous University of Guadalajara and the Pemex Pyramid stand out.
Villahermosa is home to museums, urban and ecological parks, civil and religious monuments, and other attractions, which it complements with a powerful hotel capacity, excellent communications, exquisite cuisine, and the simplicity and friendliness of the people of Villahermosa.
Have you never been to the capital of Tabasco and would you like to get to know it? Keep in mind this list with the best things to do in Villahermosa.
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