Having now held a huge tarantula in my hand and on my shoulder, I felt compelled to visit her home, the Museo de los Bichos – no, not what you think – it means museum of bugs or small animals! So off I went, empowered as a spider handler. I paid the 25 peso entrance fee (< $2 US), and then I entered. They had a nice little garden courtyard with 3-4 rooms around it with cases of pinned insects, spiders, and scorpions and posters explaining fascinating facts for children. Some rooms had aquariums housing tarantulas or Madagascar hissing cockroaches or other interesting “bichos.” It’s a great place to introduce someone to the great variety of creepy-crawlies on our blue planet.
One case had several shed exoskeletons of tarantulas, and that intrigued me, so I found this fascinating little video about what you’re seeing inside a tarantula:
The Museo del Jade is located just down the street from the bug museum, so after seeing some beautiful shiny green beetles, Jade was the logical next stop. The fee here was higher, 30 pesos (~ $2.35 US), but it was well worth it. Just the entryway was very informing and colorfully well done. The lady handed me a little notebook of all the exhibit case explanations in English, and I was off. The exhibit went in order from the early Olmecs to the Toltecs and on through time to the Maya and the Aztecs, each with their unique carvings and fabulous jewelry of the rulers. One exhibit had three hanging rectangular plates, and the back of the middle one has my birthday, Sept. 13, 320 B.C., on it, so of course I had to take the pictures.
The last exhibit was a mock-up of the tomb of a great ruler at Palenque, Pakal. For protection of the tomb, the original is no longer open to the public. See the picture of the explanation page for more details of that exhibit.
Here are all of the pictures from the Museo de los Bichos:
Here are all of the pictures from the Jade Museum: