Top 10 China tours 2024/2025 for first visits and returns: embark on a lifetime experience. Learn more
Chengjiang Fossil Site

Chengjiang Fossil Site

Written by Sunny XieUpdated Feb. 1, 2021

Chengjiang Fossil Site records the early establishment of a complex marine ecosystem in the Cambrian Period of 530 million years ago, systematically displaying over 200 fossil species of 16 phyla. It not only provides precious evidence for the origin and evolution of early forms of life, but it also challenges Darwin's biological evolutionary theory. Chengjiang Fossil Site was listed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO on July 1, 2012.


Chengjiang Fossil Site, 20 kilometers long, 4.5 kilometers wide, and 50 meters deep, is situated on Mt. Maotian, Chengjiang County, Yuxi, Yunnan. Chengjiang Fossil Museum is built on Chengjiang Fossil Excavation Site, and Maotianshan has become one of China's National Geo-Parks (帽天山国家地质公园).


The museum displays the anatomies of hard and soft tissues of various organisms, invertebrate and vertebrate, and it boasts the best-preserved ancient fossils of its kind in the world. More remarkably, the major remote ancestors of today's animals are found in Chengjiang Fossil Site, and some fossil species are found nowhere else in the world, which is of great benefit to research on the bio-physiological structures and ecological environment during the Cambrian Period.

As a “fossil treasure house” of China, Chengjiang Fossil Site features over 120 fossil species, including sponges, coelenterates, nematomorphs, priapulans, kinorhynches, branchiopods, arthropods and chordates, and a variety of enigmatic groups and algae are also displayed.

The discovery of Chengjiang Fossil Site enables us to see the original appearances of the oldest creatures on the earth, from which we know the earth has been swarming with various creatures since the Cambrian Period. It's among the most important discoveries of the 21st century.

Travel Essentials:

Transport: a taxi will take you there from Chengjiang County

Open: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m

Popular tours
Make the most of your time
Choose the best time to visit
Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

The China Highlights Experience

1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

Your tour will be tailor-made by your personal travel advisor — a destination expert. Every reply will be within 24 hours.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy your personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have unparalleled flexibility, which is impossible on a group tour.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Discover the hidden gems. Experience local culture by practicing it. Try new and exciting activities, and unveil the stories behind the sights and people.

Well-Selected Local Guides

Well-Selected Local Guides

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and attentive — your personal local guides will share interesting stories, insider information, and even create unexpected highlights!

China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
China Highlights International Travel Service Co., LTD
Corporate Number: 914503003486045699
Featured on