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Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins
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Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico.
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Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.

George & Eve DeLange

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Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico.


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Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
South Facing Side Of Tonina Looking Due North

Toniná, a Mayan ruin just outside of Ocosingo, a couple of hours' drive from San Cristóbal in the state of Chiapas.

The center of Tonina is built on the side of a large hill in seven terraces producing the overall effect of a stepped pyramid. Numerous chambers and passageways exist and there are several buildings located in front of the main complex which may have been used in conjunction with structures on the main buildings.

A map of Tonina is on the next page.

Tonina is nestled at a 2,950 feet elevation and one can often see the clouds roll in and stand above them at this lofty site. Tonina is thought to have been built by an astronomical society, the area belongs to the lowland tradition.

It is believed that Toniná formed into an organized settlement around 300 A.D, and the the height of its development occurred between 600 and 900 A.D. The site is dominated by a terraced Acropolis with a number of temple platforms surrounded by plazas, ball courts and several other smaller structures. Within the Acropolis is the Frieze of the Dream Lords, a large 16 x 4 meter stucco wall on which are depicted many other-worldly creatures corresponding to the rulers of Toniná, the Palace of the Flowered Throne and the stone relief at the Temple of the Earth Monster. At the foot of the Acropolis lies a structure riddled with small rooms and passageways called the Palace of the Underworld.

The following description is translated from a sign at the Site Of Tonina.

Named by indigenous people in Tzeltal, Toniná means the House of Stone. Metaphorically, the name refers to the home of celestial lights and deities of time: Toniná was a site of calendars and rituals.

Iconography of this site is representative of two eras, which are clearly identified by references to particular deities: the first and oldest period, from 300 to 700 AD, was responsible for portrayals of birds belonging to the underworld and was governed by deceased and flayed suns. The second epoch, from 700 to 900 AD, is marked by celestial lights and felines, as well as the morning and evening stars.

In the height of its glory, around 900 AD, Toniná's pyramidal structure was composed of seven platforms and was crowned by thirteen temples; a central stairway, leading to the Temple of Smoking Mirror, reaches a total of 260 steps.

Palaces inhabited by Toniná's dynastic families (including military heads, architects, priests and astronomers) were constructed in the eastern portion of the acropolis. This area was lavishly decorated, in contrast with the acropolis' western section, where construction workers and warriors lived in austere dwellings. From the four temples of the seventh platform, priests and nobles managed the four regions of the sky, fought battles against darkness and maintained order regarding celestial phenomena.

At first we thought we could photograph all of Tonina. Bad idea, it is just too large and interesting! There are many plazas, temples, courts, and other nooks and crannies. Our photos were taken on January 31, 2004 between 2-5 PM.

We have links on this page that will connect you with several of the best hotels in San Cristóbal de las Casas or Tuxtla Gutierrez.

We suggest getting a hotel and then letting them arrange either a car or a tour of Toniná, San Cristóbal de las Casas, or Tuxtla Gutierrez. If you call their Concierge Services ahead of your arrival, all of this can be pre-arranged for you.

We do this all the time, when traveling in Mexico. It is safe and it works!!! We have never experienced a problem, doing it this way!

The San Cristóbal de las Casas National Airport (Spanish: Aeropuerto Nacional de San Cristóbal de las Casas) (IATA: SZT, ICAO: MMSC) is the airport located 11 miles from the city of San Cristóbal de las Casas in the state of Chiapas, Mexico. It is operated by Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares (English: Airports and Auxiliary Services), a corporation of the federal government. It is also known as the Corazón de María Airport.

This airport is little used because the Angel Albino Corzo International Airport (serving Tuxtla Gutierrez) is located only 50 minutes away.

The Angel Albino Corzo International Airport (IATA: TGZ, ICAO: MMTG) is the new international airport located at the Mexican municipality of Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas. It currently only operates as a Domestic airport (it does not have a Customs or Immigration office). It handles air traffic for the city of Tuxtla Gutiérrez and central Chiapas.

Therefore, we have placed links to Priceline.com on this page so you can arrange your flights into and out of either of these cities; as well as your hotel, when visiting this area.

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Cattle Ranches. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Cattle Ranches And Macadamia Plantations Surround Tonina

Temple Of Cosmic War. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Tonina Looking North From South Plaza Area

Celestial Lights. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Painting Of Tonina's Second Epoch, The "Era Of Celestial Lights"

Stream Bridge. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.Plaza. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
After Walking About
A Half Mile
We Step Into
This Area
To Walk
On The Ruins
We Then Step
OntoThe Grand Plaza
And Into
Ballcourt One
Ball Court. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.Stone Pillar. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
B’aaknal Chaak
Who Conquered
Palenque’s King
Dedicated The
Ballcourt In A.D. 699
Stone Pillar
At Ball Court
Ball Court. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.Terraced Hillside Ruins Of Tonina. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Looking Back Toward
Ball Court
From Which We
Had Just Left
Looking North Toward
The Terraced Hillside
Ruins Of Tonina
Altar Of Sacrifices. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.First Level Terrace. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
To The West Is
Altar Of Sacrifices
In Front Of The
Terraced Ruins
First Level Terrace
North Part Of
Grand Acropolis
First Level Terrace. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.Palace Of The Underworld. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Looking East On
First Level Terrace
Passage Labyrinth Entrances
Are On Right
Also Called "Palace
Of The Underworld"
Passage Labyrinth Entrances. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.Passage Labyrinth Map. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Entrance To Labyrinth
Of Passages
Located On
Right Side
Of The First
Level Structure
Of The Hillside Terrace
Passage Labyrinth Map
Audrey DeLange Inside The Passage Labyrinth. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.George DeLange Inside The Passage Labyrinth. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Audrey DeLange
Inside The
Passage Labyrinth
Looking West
Several Areas
Are Not Shown
George DeLange
Inside The
Passage Labyrinth
Looking South At
Cross Shaped Window
These Passages Are Quite Extensive
Inside Passage Labyrinth. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.Palace Of The Underworld. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Inside The
Passage Labyrinth
Looking South
Inside The
Passage Labyrinth
Looking East
Quetzalcoatl. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.Throne. Tonina Mayan Archaeological Ruins. Near Ocosingo, Chiapas, Mexico. Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, Images, & Reviews.
Located On The
Face Of The
Third Terrace
Of The Palace Of Grecas
And War
Is The Zig Zaged
Cross Design Said
To Represent Quetzalcoatl
To the Right Up A
Stair Is A Throne
With Jaguar Paw Legs
And A Stucco
Mural Said To
Represent Venus

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