In many ways, 1980's The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan is not unlike the more in/famous Tomb of Horrors -- a dungeon with lots of traps, few monsters, and little treasure explicitly designed as a test of "the skill and common sense of players," as states in its prefatory "Notes for the Dungeon Master." Consequently, I suspect, much like module S1, it's often dismissed out of hand as a "killer module." That's a pity, because, in many ways, it's actually a much more interesting adventure than Tomb of Horrors and its challenges, while certainly deadly, have a greater degree of naturalism to them, which is to say, they feel more less like explicit challenges to players of a game and ingenuity and more like the kinds of things you might find in an ancient ruin.
Of course, like most early D&D adventures, this one began its life as a tournament module, so there's still a certain amount of artificiality to some of what it describes. However, The Hidden Shrine transcends its origins on two fronts. First, the published module is extensive, providing lots of detail to enable the referee to present it effectively to the players. (There's even an illustration booklet included to show significant portions of the shrine) Thus, it feels as if it's more than a gauntlet intended to put players through the wringer for a 4-hour convention time slot. Second, the Mesoamerican flavor gives the whole thing an ambiance quite unlike other D&D modules. The whole thing has an "alien," exotic quality to it, which I think adds greatly to its appeal. There's a H. Rider Haggard-esque vibe to the module that sets it apart from The Tomb of Horrors and provides a much-needed hook to its challenges.
On the other hand, the detail and exotic flavor of module C1 also hampers its accessibility. This is not an easy module to run, as its "Notes for the Dungeon Master" makes clear: "It is recommended that the DM read the module thoroughly before play starts, making notes in the margins where useful." That's no idle warning and reading through the module recently I often found myself confused and forgetting details as I went along, even though I was already familiar with the basic structure of the dungeon complex and its challenges. The Hidden Shrine of the Tamoachan could thus be quite rightly called an "advanced" adventure, demanding much preparation by the referee beforehand in order to use it to its full potential.
That said, in the hands of a well-prepared and experienced referee, I have little doubt that this module is an excellent one. As a younger man, I ran it for my friends and the results were mediocre. We appreciated the cleverness of the environment and its unusual flavor, but I don't think I was up to the task of making the whole thing hang together the way it could have. I'm honestly not sure I'm even up to it nowadays, as I so rarely work directly from someone else's adventures, preferring to do my own thing instead. Still, there's a part of me that's seriously considering running The Hidden Shrine of the Tamoachan sometime in the near future, perhaps as a one-off disconnected to my current campaign. It's too intriguing a module not to use properly.