This past Saturday, we made a day trip to Tepoztlan, one of the Pueblos Magicos (Magical Towns) of Mexico, with my stepsister, Alissa, and her husband, Peter, who are visiting. It was the biggest excursion we’ve done yet since we’ve been sticking pretty close to home with Theo and focusing our efforts on getting to know our neighborhood. The 1.5 hour trip south of the city was well worth it though. Tepoztlan is a very charming town, with lots of traditional Mexican culture, quaint cobblestone streets, and lively weekend markets. It is also situated at the base of the Tepozteco Pyramid. It is believed to have been built sometime around 1502 AD and some believe that it was built in commemoration of the Aztec emperor Ahuizotl.
We began our day with a hike to the top of the mountain where the Tepozteco Pyramid sits. It is a 2km hike straight up a rocky path/staircase through a pine forest and took us a little over an hour. Matt wore Theo in our baby carrier since we didn’t have our real hiking child backpack with us (and of course, he was still at the front of the pack while the rest of us huffed and puffed up the mountain behind him). Theo got cranky towards the end of the hike so I wore him the last few hundred feet and he fell asleep just as we reach the pyramid at the summit. The trail was pretty crowded, with a constant stream of hikers in all sorts of gear. Some were appropriately dressed in athletic wear, but many others had on normal street clothes and flip flops. There were people of all ages too – from babies (mostly being carried in the arms of their parents) to the elderly. It was amazing to see everyone on such a challenging hike.
The views from the top at Tepozteco are absolutely incredible. You can see across the whole valley over Tepoztlan and all the way to Cuernavaca. Once you reach the top you have to pay $50 pesos ($3USD) to actually walk around and climb up the pyramid. The descent was much easier, except I was wearing a sleeping baby. Matt guided me down most of the mountain to make sure I didn’t trip or fall forward from the weight of Theo.
After descending, we proceeded to consume enough calories to make up for the energy we had just expended. The bottom of the trail is lined with food stalls, restaurants, Michelada stalls (remember the beer with lime, chile powder and gummy bears we mentioned earlier?) and all sorts of other treats. We had tlaxcales (triangle shaped cornmeal stuffed with cheese), sliced fruit, quesadillas, coconut water, micheladas, nieves Tepoztecas (ice cream) and more.
We then wandered through the town for a few hours browsing the markets and people watching, and then finally settled down at a cuban restaurant for a full comida-style lunch. The restaurant was in a courtyard surrounding a beautiful fountain and the food was delicious. And, Alissa and I even got 15 minute massages while we waiting for our food (there are massage places all over town) for $5.
We Ubered home – it was the nicest Uber yet during which we learned a lot about how Uber works in Mexico – and all crashed after a long, hot day.