travel

Hike to Tepozteco pyramid in Tepoztlán

Friday morning we knew we had until maybe 4 pm to ourselves until other family would start arriving. The plan was to hike up the mountain to the Tepozteco pyramid, which is the main attraction in Tepoztlán.

Quick history lesson:

The pyramid of Tepozteco was built by the Aztecs between 1200 and 1300 AD to honor the god of pulque (an alcoholic drink derived from agave which was important for religious ceremonies). Apparently, during the Aztec time, pilgrims came from as far as modern day Guatemala to worship there.

It’s a very steep 2.6 km or 1.6 miles climb up to the pyramid.

That was our main plan for the morning! We were pretty sure the rest of our group who would be arriving later would not want to do the hike, so best to cover this one on our own. 😉

Fortunately, it was beautiful out when we woke up and headed up to the hotel terrace:

I could not get enough of those views!! Part of me wanted to just sit there for a long time…. But I also wanted to get hiking while the weather was good, and before more crowds would move in later in the day.

First stop was a nearby coffee shop for a light breakfast- just bread and tea/coffee. This was around 9 a.m.

(Side note- we pretty rarely go out for breakfast at home, but I really enjoy doing this on vacation! It’s so relaxing.)

After that, we walked all through town to the other side, where the trail to Tepozteco started.

The town was sleepy and quiet! As the weekend progressed, it became packed, so I am very happy we got to experience the more intimate, quiet side of Tepoztlán, too.
This dog!! I loved him. The boys lovingly nicknamed him “pulgas”, as he was a street dog 😆. But he followed us the whole way, just trotted along next to us cheerfully, wagging his tail, for over 20 minutes! Once we started the ascent he finally said goodbye. 🙂

Hike to Tepozteco

Once you get to the end of the street, it narrows and is lined with pop up shops selling Tepozteco related souvenirs and snacks/drinks. Most weren’t even really open yet, since it wasn’t even 10 am.

Finally we made it to the actual starting point:

Then, up we went.

Much of the trail was actual stairs…

But a lot of it also looked like this:

Some rocks were slippery due to the previous night’s rain. We took it pretty slow- mostly because we are apparently not in the world’s best shape and kept getting tired/out of breath. 😬

At the beginning
It was very green

The boys did well overall. Minimal, though some, complaints of being tired… haha. It’s definitely a moderate+ hike! The elevation doesn’t help.

It’s really beautiful.

It’s also a place of great spiritual significance. A local woman down below mentioned to us that “as you climb, you start to feel all the toxins just clearing out of you.” Tepotzlán is known for being a place people go to “clear the mind, body and spirit”- there are oodles of local holistic massage and wellness places where they do steam baths and other cleansing rituals, etc.

I mostly just felt out of breath and sweaty, but I guess maybe that was the ancient spirits at work cleansing my body. 🙂

Liked this cool old tree

It took us about an hour or so to reach the top. There, the actual gate to access the pyramid was CLOSED. 😦 (I knew this in advance – I had read online that some idiot on drugs accidentally started a wildfire up there some months back, so the pyramid area is closed temporarily for restoration.) This was a big bummer, but at least the rest of the trail was open for us.

Here is a pic of the pyramid (from online):

We got as far as the gates. 😦

We literally couldn’t even see the pyramid from here!! 😩
We hiked as far as we could, though!

They have a guard up there to make sure people stay out while the area’s flora and fauna recover. (This means this guy must hike up there everyday?!! Yikes.)

Then we hiked down. Definitely easier on the way down, but a bit hard on the old knees and slippery.

Finally we saw the tarps indicating we were back to the area with all the little stands:

I was famished after the hike… my little bolillo roll wasn’t holding me. So we found a cute rooftop restaurant for “brunch”.

Quesadillas for me with fresh squeezed OJ and freshly made tortillas.

After a pretty leisurely meal, we wandered our way back to the hotel.

With some stops to browse artesanías and other items along the way
I think I took the same picture 200 times. Hahahah. I just loved the view of the town with the mountains behind it!
Decided the hat would not fit in our suitcase 😉

We were all pretty tired from the steep hike, so a little rest on the hotel terrace and a shower sounded good to me. (I ended up writing a blog post until family started arriving later.)

Will stop here for now! Things got a bit more hectic once our group grew from the 4 of us to…. let’s see… 17?? Lol!

6 thoughts on “Hike to Tepozteco pyramid in Tepoztlán”

  1. Wow! That looks like an epic hike. Too bad about the pyramid being off limits (we had a few similar experiences on recent vacations and it is a bummer!), but the views are still incredible and there is something so satisfying about incorporating unique exercise while on vacation. I’m guessing climbing up mountains isn’t a regular occurrence in your household, so it makes the memory even richer.
    Well done to everyone for completing the hike!

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  2. That hike looks awesome! We love to hike so would do something like that, too. I’m always annoyed with Phil on hikes because he will barely be out of breath and I will be huffing and puffing. That was the case even pre-kids when I was in really good shape!

    Ahh, your comment at the end makes me think about gatherings with my family. We are rarely all together but when we are, it’s like 20 people in our immediate family. So we go from our small, fairly quiet family of 4 (well as quiet as 2 young kids especially a screaming toddler) to total chaos. Phil came from a very small family so it is very very overwhelming for him!

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    1. Haha, yes- overwhelm is a perfect describing word!! I am from a very small family too and did not spend lots of time with extended family growing up. Ivan’s family scene is soooo different! He is totally in his element and loves it. I follow along and do my best to adapt! Haha!

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  3. looks like a really fun hike although when I see those big rocks my first reaction is how easy is to trip and twist my ankle, thus will not be able to run. hahaha..

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