I was beyond stoked to finally visit Tepoztlan after having lived nearby for a few years but never making it out there for whatever reasons. After having read, heard, and dreamt about the magical place with the pyramid at the top of the mountain, I was eager to experience its magnificence.
Tepoz, as we say in Mexico, is not only surrounded by the undeniable natural beauty of the area, but also by mysticism and legends. It is located in the second most spiritual mountain range in the world with the number one being where Machu Pichu is located in Peru. From witch sightings to UFO stories, Tepoz is believed to be an “energetic center” that attracts the supernatural. Many come here to practice religious ceremonies and rituals. Others, for spiritual wellness retreats. The area holds a culture seeking goodness for the soul and body that materializes in yoga centers and alternative medicine offerings. Tepoztlan might be the most popular Pueblo Magico in all of Mexico with colorful houses and buildings, cobblestone streets, and a local market that tease the senses. Filled with a holistic spiritual community and breathtaking views of the mountain gives the town its name: El Tepozteco.
On our trip, we spent a half day which allowed us enough time to hike up to the ancient temple, visit the market and have a delicious lunch. Although we skipped the world famous Tepoznieves ice-cream that offers over 100 flavors to choose from, you shouldn’t. Admittedly, our mini trip gave me a great taste of the town that left me longing to return to spend a few more days in the future.
If you’re considering visiting this area, here are a few things we did while there + a few other tips on how you can enjoy the magical town of Tepoztlan.
This hike is about 1.2 miles/2 km round trip depending on where you begin your walk from in town to an elevation of 1200ft/2,300m above sea level.
Approaching the mountain’s base through Avenida Del Tepozteco, you’ll find yourself in the middle of countless colorful vendors and restaurants. Follow the stone steps as a guide all the way to the top of the mountain. Be prepared to feel your lower body muscles work. What’s great, is that amidst working hard all the way up, the tall trees will provide for most of the hike. Plan to go early and you just may find a chill breeze by your side most of your trip up. As you approach the top, you’ll encounter a set of iron staircases leading to the official entrance to the ancient site.
Tips for the hike:
*Get there by 7:30 AM because this will reward you with the opportunity toskip the crowds going up – even if you cross them on your way down, there’s no better way around it than arriving early. The archeological site opens at 9, which means you’ll have the summit to yourself so above all, be smart.
*Hiking El Tepozteco for free, but there is an entrance fee to see the ruins of 50 Pesos or $3.
*Don’t leave home without water, organic sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes.
It may feel redundant to hear about how picturesque this town is. The streets sing folkloric tunes with colors, textures, kitsch decorations, and plenty of chacharas for sale with authentic Mexican crafts as well. Grab a micheladas or piña coladas to take on the go in a reusable souvenir cup from any street bar.
Walking around you’ll discover bookstores and cozy cafes. Meditation rooms to museums. Make sure to stop by the newly reopened Museo Ex Convento de Tepoztlan, and learn more about the Spanish colonizers’ role in this town and admire the incredible architecture of that time.
Caught by surprise walking through the market, my heart was warmed and demanded that we stop to check out a display interesting tortitas or patties. Further investivation revealed a specialized vegan-friendly place serving foods inspired by ancient Aztec cusine. The patties are made out of hibiscus flower, rose petals, cauliflower, jicama, kale, and other delicious ingredient combinations that will explode on one’s palate and are beyond imagination. Served with rice, tortillas, and a variety of moles. From omnivores to vegan, this is a must try.
Gabaccia + Stranded on Land