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Tenosique is a town located in the southeastern region of Mexico, in the state of Tabasco. Positioned near the border with Guatemala, this small town serves as an important gateway to and from Central America.

The official and full name is Tenosique de Pino Suárez.

Tenosique de Pino Suárez offers a unique mix of culture and natural beauty. The town’s geography is characterized by its proximity to the Usumacinta River, one of the largest rivers in Mexico.

Usumacinta River plays a crucial role in the area’s ecosystem and serves as a source of water for both Tenosique and the surrounding region. The fertile plains along the riverbanks support agriculture.

The surrounding environment features lush rainforests, which are part of the larger Selva Zoque. The local fauna includes various species of birds, reptiles, and mammals, making it an attractive destination for nature lovers.

Weather & Climate

Tenosique de Pino Suárez experiences a tropical monsoon climate, which has distinct wet and dry seasons.

The wet season typically spans from May to October.

During this period, the town receives the majority of its annual rainfall. Showers and thunderstorms are common, and the humidity levels can be quite high. The lush vegetation in the region thrives during this time.

The dry season occurs from November to April. This period is characterized by significantly lower rainfall, with sunny and warm days being the norm. Humidity levels drop during this time, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities.

Best time to visit Tenosique de Pino Suárez

The best time to visit this region largely depends on your preferences and the type of experience you’re seeking:

Dry Season (November to April)

This is considered the peak tourist season in Tenosique. The weather is pleasant, with warm days and cooler nights. The lower humidity levels make outdoor exploration, hiking, and sightseeing more comfortable.

It’s an ideal time for birdwatching and exploring the rainforests without the worry of heavy rainfall.

Wet Season (May to October)

If you’re interested in experiencing the lush greenery and vibrant wildlife of the rainforest, visiting during the wet season can be rewarding. However, be prepared for frequent rain showers and the possibility of flooding in some areas.

It’s crucial to plan outdoor activities carefully and pack appropriate rain gear.

Origin of the name

The name “Tenosique” has its roots in the indigenous Nahuatl language.

According to one theory, this name comes from the Maya words “Tana” or house and “tsiic” weaving or counting threads. This means “Casa de los Hilanderos” (“House of Weavers or thread counters”).

According to another version, the name Tenosique is believed to be a combination of two Nahuatl words, “tenochtli” and “xique,” which roughly translates to “place of the wall” or “place of the stones.”

This name might reference the rocky terrain or geological formations in the area.

The “de Pino Suárez” part of the town’s name is in honor of Venustiano Carranza’s Vice President, José María Pino Suárez, who played a significant role in Mexican politics during the early 20th century.

History & Timeline

Pre-Hispanic Period

Tenosique is considered to have been founded c. 1000 B.C. in the Preclassic Maya Period.

Since then Tenosique has been occupied uninterruptedly.

Tenosique and its surrounding region were originally inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the Chontal Maya. These communities engaged in agriculture and trade, leaving behind archaeological sites and evidence of their rich culture.

16th Century

Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area, led by Hernán Cortés. The region was gradually incorporated into the Spanish colonial empire. The town of Tenosique was founded as a Spanish settlement, likely on or near an existing indigenous settlement.

17th Century

Tenosique became part of the larger Tabasco region and played a role in the ongoing Spanish colonization efforts in Mexico. The Spanish established missions in the area to convert indigenous peoples to Christianity.

19th Century

During the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1821) and later, the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), Tenosique was affected by the political and social changes of the time. It witnessed battles and shifting allegiances.

20th Century

In 1911, during the Mexican Revolution, Tenosique played a significant role in the fight against Porfirio Díaz’s regime. The town was named “Tenosique de Pino Suárez” in honor of José María Pino Suárez, who served as Vice President under President Venustiano Carranza.

Late 20th Century

Tenosique continued to develop as an agricultural center, known for its production of crops like maize, beans, and sugarcane. The town’s strategic location near the Guatemalan border also made it important for trade and transportation.

21st Century

In recent years, Tenosique has faced challenges related to migration, with many Central American migrants passing through the town on their way to the United States. This has brought attention to humanitarian and immigration issues in the region.

Cultural festivals

Consider timing your visit to coincide with local festivals and events.

Tenosique hosts various festivals throughout the year, celebrating its cultural heritage and traditions.

  • Festival de la Raza in October
  • Feria de Tenosique in December

Carnival of Tenosique

The Carnival of Tenosique takes place between the months of January and February.

The carnival takes place each year and is classified as the “rarest of the world”. It is a carnival of prehispanic roots. The inhabitants congregate in the streets to flour and then witness the traditional “Pochó dance”.

This celebration attracts many visitors not only from the neighboring states.

How to get there

  • From San Cristobal de las Casas by bus (almost 7 hours)
  • From Villahermosa by bus (almost 7 hours)
  • From Escarcega by daily bus (2:30 hours)
  • From Palenque by bus (1 hour)
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