The museum is divided in two levels. The downstairs is devoted
to archaeology and the upstairs puts the spotlight on anthropology
and features exhibits depicting contemporary indigenous cultures.
It's important to note that some of the most popular galleries are
closed for renovation.
Please note that the official brochure and guidebook are several
years old and do not correspond with the current design. For an
interesting take on the design of the museum, read this essay
by anthropologist Melissa Biggs.
It's easy to wander the museum yourself or you can take a guided
tour. Licensed guides wait outside the museum and can be hired for
small group tours. The museum itself provides free tours -- just
ask when you buy your ticket. The museum is wheelchair-friendly.
There is a café on the lower level, where you can boost your
caffeine and blood sugar.
Papalote (The Kite), is one of the best children's museums in
the world. Floor-to-ceiling displays include a rain forest tree,
a five-story maze, and interactive games. All of these exhibits
are labeled in Spanish. There's an IMAX movie theater, a patio court
and gift store.
The museum is located at Avenida Consitituyentes #268 in the second
section of Chapultepec Park. Unless you know your way around the
park, Papalote is fairly well hidden. It's not within easy walking
distance of a metro, so if you don't have your own car, taking a
taxi is advisable. The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays and is
open in shifts from 10am to 2pm and from 3pm to 7pm. Tickets are
good for the specific time period, not the entire day.
Near the museum are several water-inspired sculptures, including
a beautiful fountain of the Aztec rain god Tlaloc
designed by Diego Rivera. The Cárcamo
was Inaugurated in 1951 as a water distribution system. What remains
are the murals and the Moorish looking towers that provided ventilation
for the giant water tanks. The serpentine sculptures are amazing.
Other places to visit include the Modern Art Museum, Rufino Tamayo
Museum, Natural History Museum and Chapultepec Castle.