Tepoztlán, in the state of Morelos, is one of the 111 magical towns of the Mexican Republic, with a rich climate accompanied by a great archaeological and festive attraction, the Tepozteco hill. We invite you to meet him.
What is the Cerro del Tepozteco?
It is a mountain and protected area with an archaeological site and a pyramid, where a ceremonial activity is carried out that ends in the Tepozteco Festival.
Where is the Cerro del Tepozteco?
The Tepozteco hill is next to Tepoztlán and dominates the valley of the same name. Although it is a protected area of 24,000 hectares that extends to the Yautepec municipality of Zaragoza, also belonging to Morelos, it includes an extension of 200 hectares of the Federal District.
What is the height of Cerro del Tepozteco?
The hill reaches a height of 600 meters and its summit is 2,300 meters above sea level (masl). The town of Tepoztlán is at 1700 meters above sea level.
How to get to Cerro del Tepozteco?
You first arrive in Tepoztlán and then walk to the hill, whose archaeological site is 2 km from the magical town. It is a 40-minute uphill journey.
How to get to Cerro del Tepozteco from Mexico City?
To get to the Tepozteco hill from the Federal District you will have to take the highway to Cuernavaca and then the detour to Tepoztlán, a journey that, depending on traffic, could last between one hour 30 minutes and 2 hours.
How to get to Cerro del Tepozteco by bus?
Depart on a Pullman bus from Morelos or another transportation line to Tepoztlán, from the South Central of Mexico City with a one-way ticket of 120 pesos.
How to climb the Cerro del Tepozteco?
Ideally, you should go up as early in the morning as possible to avoid direct sunlight. Leave your room with a good breakfast so you don’t have to stop to eat. Wear comfortable sportswear and bring water to stay hydrated.
What is in the Cerro del Tepozteco?
The main attraction of the hill is its 10 meter high pyramid, its temple and the archaeological site built on the top of the mountain between the 12th and 14th centuries. It worshiped the harvest, fertility and Ometochtli-Tepoztécatl, god of drunkards.
Several of the animals that inhabit the hill are in danger of extinction.
What to do in the Cerro del Tepozteco?
It is a tour of adventure and knowledge, because at the top you will admire the archaeological remains of the place and you will be fascinated by the views of the valley and the town of Tepoztlán.
Although you can climb all year round, try to go to the hill on one of the following three dates:
1. During the Fiesta del Tepozteco, from September 7 to 8.
2. During the Brinco de los Chinelos, beautiful and acrobatic pre-Hispanic choreography with music, masks and striking clothing, in Carnival.
3. Between March 21 and 22 when people go up to renew their energies in the seasonal change from winter to spring.
How is the Tepozteco Festival?
The Tepozteco Festival, also known as the Tepozteco Challenge, is celebrated on September 8, the day of the Nativity of the Virgin.
In Tepoztlán there is a great veneration for the Virgin Mary since the Dominicans built the convent and the church of Our Lady of the Nativity, in the 16th century, buildings of great religious, historical and artistic value.
During the Nativity festivities, Catholic traditions are mixed with pre-Hispanic ones, symbolized by the ascent to the Tepozteco ceremonial center.
The walkers go up in massive pilgrimage towards the pyramid with music, indigenous dances and alcohol, with which they pay tribute to the god of drunkards.
On the porch of the temple of Our Lady of the Nativity, a beautiful mural is displayed made with grains, mainly beans of different types and corn.
How is the weather in Cerro del Tepozteco?
The weather in the magical town and on the hill is very pleasant. It averages a temperature of 20 °C. Mercury usually rises from 18 °C in winter to 22 °C in summer, with cold nights.
What plants and animals are found in the Cerro del Tepozteco?
About 60 species of animals live on the hill and in the protected area, including reptiles, birds and mammals.
Be very careful with the beaded lizard, also known as the Mexican spotted lizard, a relative of the Gila monster, because it is poisonous.
The owl, a nocturnal bird of prey that in Mexican indigenous cultures is associated with death, is one of the animals on the hill in danger of extinction.
As you climb the mountain you will see beautiful flowers such as May flower, dahlia and sweet potato flower. You will also come across peyote, a hallucinogenic mushroom.
What Is The Geological Composition Of Cerro Del Tepozteco?
The hill is of sedimentary origin with fragments of igneous origin. It originated during a long process of water drainage between the basin of Mexico and the valleys of Cuernavaca, Cuautla and Yautepec.
El Tepozteco is believed to have formed during the Lower Pliocene, after Oligocene and Miocene volcanism. Science estimates its age between 2.6 and 5.3 million years.
What characteristics does the Cerro del Tepozteco Archaeological Zone have?
The main building of the site is the pyramidal temple erected on a base of 2 bodies. Its 10-meter pyramid has 13 steps, the number of steps associated with the 13 heavens of the universe and the 13 days of the week in cosmogony and in the Aztec calendar.
Inside the temple you will find a bench with reliefs that constitute a form of communication through art. Graphics linked to the gods, power, government, the symbolism of water, blood and the firmament in pre-Hispanic cultures.
In one of its stones you will see engraved the name of Ahuizotl, Aztec emperor who reigned between 1486 and 1502.
What Hotels Are Near Cerro Del Tepozteco?
Casa Fernanda, a boutique hotel with beautiful lawns and gardens, is located at Niño Artillero 20, in the neighborhood of San José, Tepoztlán. Its pleasant decoration was designed for the absolute tranquility of its guests, so it does not accept children under 12 years of age.
The hotel has a swimming pool, sauna and a spa for massages and facials. His restaurant, La Veladora, specializes in Mexican fusion cuisine.
Casa Isabella is another boutique hotel located on Camino Real 2 in Santiago Tepetlapa, a town 4 km from Tepoztlán. It has spectacular views of the mountains that surround the valley and they rent bicycles to ride around.
Its outdoor pool, restaurant and spa, plus its spacious and luxuriously equipped rooms, make it the perfect accommodation.
Inside the huge tubes of the Tubohotel a “Queen” bed fits comfortably. It is an accommodation with cheap rates in the San Sebastián de Tepoztlán neighborhood, with two bathrooms for the whole.
Other housing complexes are Posada del Tepozteco, in the San Miguel neighborhood, La Buena Vibra Retreat & Spa, Hotel Boutique Xacallan, Posada Sarita, Hotel de la Luz, Villas Valle Místico and Sitio Sagrado.
Where to eat in Tepoztlan?
El Ciruelo, on Zaragoza street, is a simple and cozy restaurant with beautiful views of the Tepozteco landscape. They serve drinks and Mexican, Italian and Spanish food in a relaxed atmosphere. His garden sports a 150-year-old plum tree.
Los Colorines, at Tepozteco 13, is a Mexican and international food restaurant, praised for its tasty homemade flavor.
In both establishments you can order some of the specialties of Tepoztecan cuisine such as green mole, Yecapixtla cecina and itacates, triangular-shaped corn gorditas.
Do not leave the town without first eating its ice creams and snows with traditional and exotic flavors. The busiest ice cream parlor in town is Tepoznieves, on Tepozteco Avenue.
What Other Attractions Are There In Tepoztlán?
The ex-convent of the Nativity is a 16th-century building declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 1994. It is now home to the Museum and Historical Documentation Center of Tepoztlán.
The Municipal Palace is a neoclassical building with a clock in front of the base built during the Porfiriato. A quiet wooded space with wrought iron benches.
The Carlos Pellicer Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art operates in the building that was the granary of the convent and brings together a sample of pre-Columbian pieces such as a fragment of a figure of the god Ometochtli-Tepoztécatl, found in the archaeological site.
Is it possible to camp in the Cerro del Tepozteco?
No. You must do it at the Acampar Xopilco ecological camp, in the community of Amatlán de Quetzalcóatl, very close to the hill. There they teach novices how to pitch a tent, build fires and cook outdoors.
This camp of 80 pesos a day per person has water for showers and toilets for ladies and gentlemen. If you don’t have a tent, you will rent one for 100 pesos.
You can take walks and horseback rides in the surroundings, rent a hammock, eat and carry firewood.
Are there tours to Cerro del Tepozteco?
Yes. Kekeb Travel has an excursion to Tepoztlán and Tlayacapan, another “Pueblo Mágico” of Morelia, 30 kilometers from Tepoztlán, from Mexico City.
The excursion includes a visit to the tourist attractions of the towns that include the ex-convent of the Nativity of Tepoztlán and the ex-convent of San Juan Bautista de Tlayacapan.
To these activities are added the climb to the Tepozteco hill to see its archaeological site and for an additional cost, taste the typical Tepoztecan cuisine.
The 499 pesos per person includes transportation to and from Mexico City, snacks, water, entrance fees to the archaeological site, to the museum in the ex-convent of the Nativity, and a certified guide.
Another company is Tepoztlán Tour, based in Cuernavaca. Organize tours to Tepoztlán and the Tepozteco hill. The tour begins with a visit to the ex-convent of La Natividad with explanations from the guide about its origin and that of the locality.
After climbing the pyramid on the Tepozteco hill, a stop is made on the way back to see and buy handicrafts.
What kind of handicrafts are there in Tepoztlán?
The artisans of Tepoztlán make miniature houses out of pochote wood, a regional tree. They also make tiny slippers, rain sticks, basketry, articles with amate paper, blanket clothing, and pieces of Huichol art.
Everything is exhibited in the Tepoztlán Artisan Market where you can taste the specialties of the regional pre-Hispanic food.
What is the legend of Cerro del Tepozteco?
Legend has it that an Indian princess became pregnant by a spirit that turned into a bird to seduce the maidens, when she bathed in one of the wells on the hill.
Their baby was named Tepoztécatl and was raised by a merciful old man after being disowned by his own family.
According to legend, Tepoztécatl saved the old man who took care of him by taking his place when he was going to be handed over to Mazacuatl, a monstrous snake that only satisfied its hunger with human flesh.
It is believed that after being swallowed by the animal and from its belly, Tepoztécatl killed the serpent by tearing it apart with a sharp flint he had brought with him. Still scared, he ran without stopping to the hill he took possession of: Tepozteco.
What is the history of Tepoztlan?
Tepoztlán is a Nahua word that means “place of the copper ax”, an instrument that is part of the clothing of the god Ometochtli-Tepoztécatl.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the current territory of Tepoztlán was already inhabited around 1500 years BC, before being occupied by the Xochimilca, Tolteca and Chichimeca civilizations.
The first known notable Tepoztecan was Ce Acatl, supreme chief of the Toltecs of Tula who lived between the 9th and 10th centuries. After his death he was venerated as a deity.
After the arrival of the Spanish, the evangelization of the area was entrusted to Fray Domingo de la Anunciación, who began to build the Dominican convent.
Tepoztlán became a stronghold of Emiliano Zapata’s forces after participating in the independence struggles during the Mexican Revolution.
The town came out of its semi-isolation in 1936 during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas, when a highway was built to connect Cuernavaca with Tepoztlán.
In 2002 it was declared a Mexican “Magic Town” by the National Secretary of Tourism.
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