Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

The Bajío
Art, History & Archaeology Sites & Museums

Archaeology & History Sites in Aguascalientes

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Archaeology & History Sites in Guanajuato

Cañada de la Virgen

Located in the central basin of the Laja River, Cañada de la Virgen (‘Glen of the Virgin’) was home to a significant settlement between the 6th and 11th centuries AD, in the Epiclassic and Early Postclassic Periods of Mesoamerican history. It was subsequently abandoned and fell into a state of ruin. Its inhabitants were probably members of the Otomí ethnic group, and many archaeologists believe that they had advanced astronomical knowledge that influenced their choice of architecture. Excavation only began comparatively recently – in the 1990s – and has revealed seven large structures.

El Cóporo

Taking its name from a Tarasco word meaning ‘the great way’ or ‘the great road’, El Cóporo comprises a series of villages scattered around a central hill, the Cerro del Cóporo. The inhabitants of these communities lived from crops they grew, among them chili, beans, corn, pumpkin, amaranth, and tomatillo. Having established that the main period of occupation at El Cóporo was in the Late Classic and Early Postclassic Periods, archaeologists attribute its creators to what they call the Tunal Grande Tradition. Over 150 structures have thus far been identified.


Peralta was a settlement inhabited between 300 and 750 AD, during the Early Classic Period of Mesoamerican history. Archaeologists continue to debate what the ethnicity of its inhabitants might have been. Architecturally, it is deemed one of the greatest urban areas in the El Bajío region, housing six of the eight known examples of mound and sunken patio layouts in this part of Mexico. Peralta’s inhabitants probably grew crops on some of the terraces and on the slopes of the adjacent hills. Various artefacts are displayed at the site museum.


Plazuelas is a ruined city that was inhabited between 600 and 900 AD, during the Classic Period of Mesoamerican history. Located in the southern foothills of the Sierra de Pénjamo, the settlement’s structures are scattered along three slopes which separate two ravines. Among the greatest buildings are several pyramid structures, a large ball court, and a number of platforms around a rectangular plaza. Plazuelas is also known for the thousands of rock carvings that are located along the banks of ravines and rock outcrops around the settlement. A museum displays finds from the site.

Archaeology & History Sites in Querétaro

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Archaeology & History Sites in San Luis Potosí

Tamohi (El Consuelo)

The Tamohi Archaeological Zone, which is also known as El Consuelo, stands on the right bank of the Tampaón River. Established during the final centuries of the pre-Hispanic era, El Consuelo was one of the most important settlements linked to what archaeologists call the Huastec culture. The riverine connections provided a key transport route and likely facilitated trade with other communities in the area. To avoid river flooding, the buildings were built atop large platforms. The site was abandoned in the 16th century, amid the Spanish colonisation of Mexico.


Also known as ‘the Place of Water Clouds’, Tamtoc is a settlement built by members of what archaeologists call the Huasteca culture. Around 70 structures remain here, noted for their distinctive rounded corners. Several buildings, such as El Cubilete and El Tantoque, still stand tall. Tamtoc reached the apogee of its development between 900 and 1100 AD, during the Postclassic Period. Among the finds from the site are a number of unusual female figurines. The site remains an important place in the traditional religions and culture of local communities like the Huastec.

Archaeology & History Sites in Zacatecas

Altavista (Chalchihuites)

Altavista was a ritual and astronomical center for a community whom archaeologists refer to as members of the Chalchihuites culture. The site reached its apogee during the Classic Period of Mesoamerican history. Altavista’s architecture features specific alignments with the surrounding landscape, thus revealing more about its builders’ knowledge of astronomy, which they in turn used to assist their agricultural activities. There is also evidence of considerable mining in the area. The ruins of several stone structures survive at the site, while a site museum showcases artefacts recovered during excavation.

La Quemada

Sometimes deemed the most important pre-Hispanic settlement in the northern half of central Mexico, La Quemada (‘the burned’) began to develop around 350 AD, in the Early Classic Period. It reached its apogee between 600 and 850 AD, before being largely abandoned around 1150 AD. A capital that exerted control over a wide number of settlements around it, it included a range of impressive architectural structures – including city walls, temples, a votive pyramid, and a palace – the ruins of which remain visible today.

Las Ventanas

Located within the Juchipila Canyon, Las Ventanas combines residential housing with a civic ceremonial center. Excavation has revealed evidence of habitation as early as the first century AD although the settlement only reached its most developed form in the Epiclassic and into the Postclassic Periods, declining amid the Spanish Conquest. The site takes its name, which means ‘The Windows’, from some of the windows of the cliff house here. Focused archaeological investigation began in the late 20th century, revealing a range of structures as well as various graves.