National Museum of Anthropology Tour: A Guided Crash Course

Discover ancient Mesoamerican civilizations in Mexico’s #1 museum
From US$302 privately
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • National Museum of Anthropology
  • Aztec Sun Stone (Calendar Stone)
Photos & Highlights
  • Learn about Aztecs, Maya, and other ancient Mexican civilizations with a history or anthropology expert
  • See the famous Sun Stone (Calendar Stone) and learn its backstory
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Tour Description
El Museo Nacional de Antropología, or the National Museum of Anthropology, is known as an essential safeguard of the legacy of indigenous Mexico. It contains some of the country’s most vital artifacts, such as the magnificent Stone of the Sun (perhaps better known as the Aztec calendar stone). 

National Museum of Anthropology Tour in Mexico City

On this 3-hour National Museum of Anthropology Tour, we will be accompanied by a historian or anthropologist as we examine a vast collection of pre-Hispanic relics. We will discover not only the traditions and cultures that define Mexico historically but also how these various elements have influenced modern-day Mexican culture.

From Teotihuacan to the Aztecs

After a brief introduction to the history of the building and Pre-Classic civilizations such as the Olmec culture, we’ll dive into the fascinating world of Teotihuacan. An early Classic site rich in pyramids, burial tombs, and mural paintings, we’ll discuss why it had such influence over other regions, and how its unique artistic style and iconography of main deities were echoed throughout Mesoamerica for hundreds of years before its mysterious collapse. 

Then we’ll enter the museum’s main exhibit hall, the Aztecs. Here our expert guide will select pieces to exemplify the culture’s focus on war practices, territory expansion, and multicultural trade throughout Mesoamerica. We’ll marvel at the Sun Stone and learn its suspect history since its rediscovery in 1790 and what it has to do with US/Mexican relations and Mexican identity today. Our expert will continue with a discussion on the Spanish conquest, its forced religious practices on native populations, and the syncretism that resulted.

The Maya and Indigenous Mexico Today

The latter part of our visit will focus on the Maya—a people who have persisted through the ages and are now at the forefront of cultural resistance in Mexico. After an introduction to the Mayan codices and ancient political structure, we may step outside to examine Mayan architecture at full scale. Our guide will then take us on a journey to the underworld to one of the most celebrated (and lucky) archaeological finds in the country. Finally, we’ll conclude with a discussion of the decline of this civilization and the endurance of the Maya even today.

Take Aways

At the end of our tour, we'll emerge from our time together with a better understanding of pre-Hispanic history in relation to the archaeological pieces that we’ve discussed. We’ll also have a greater ethnographic awareness of indigenous populations in Mexico today as a result of our focused examination of the Anthropology Museum. 
What is included in the tour?  
Your purchase of the 3-hour tour of the National Museum of Anthropology includes the guide’s time and tickets to the museum (that will be charged per person during checkout). The guide will purchase these tickets for you before the start of your tour so you need not wait in line.

Why isn't the tour offered on Sundays and Mondays?  
The tour is not available on Sundays primarily due to the substantial crowds that frequent the museum on that day, creating an environment less conducive to an enjoyable tour experience. Additionally, the museum is closed to the general public on Mondays.

Is this tour suitable for visitors with mobility issues?
Yes. The museum is wheelchair accessible and it has manual wheelchairs available to loan.
Where You'll Start
(4.91) 139 Reviews

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Jens was great! Our whole family learned so much and he made the experience really fun!
Our tour of the fabulous National Museum of Anthropology provided a three-hours-plus comprehensive overview of the major cultural groups and their associated archaeological remains that comprise Mexico's prehistory. We were fortunate enough to be guided by an articulate, engaging and enthusiastic archaeologist and subject-matter expert, Jazmin Caraveo-Tunon. It was easy to comprehend that our experience was in enhanced in every way by her carefully orchestrated process and explanations—a tour through time--that told a systematic story of cultural process, adaptation, and evolution in Mexico. We highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants a more in-depth look and understanding of the museum’s offerings. It was intense and fabulous! Thank you, Jazmin, for sharing your enthusiasm and expertise with us!
Jens was an amazing guide. He had deep knowledge in the field and kept our kids (and us) engrossed throughout the entire tour. He is the best!