Xochicalco & Tepoztlan
Sunday tour at 9:30 hrs (full day)
A Unesco Heritage Site and one of central Mexico’s most important archeological sites, Xochicalco (so-chee-cal-co) is Náhuatl for “place of the hous of flowers”. Atop a desolate plateau with views for miles around, Xochicalco is an impressive and easy day trip from Cuernavaca that shouldn’t be missed. When Teotihuacán began to weaken around AD 650 to 700, Xochicalco began to rise importance, achieving its máximum splendor between AD 650 and 900, with far reaching cultural and comercial relations. Around AD 650, Zapotec, Mayan and Gulf coast spiritual leaders convenced here to correlate their respective calendars.
The site’s most famous monument is the Pirámide de Quetzalcoatl. Archeologists have surmised from its well-preserved bas-reliefs that astronomer-priests met here at the beginning and end of each 52-year cycle of the pre-Hispanic calendar. Another sight not to be missed is the Observatory, which takes you Deep into an eerie and dark room through which beam of sunlight falls.
Tepoztlán, a wonderfully situated small town with a well-preserved historic center surrounded by soaringjagged cliffs just 80km south of Mexico City. As the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, the omnipotent serpent god of the Aztecs, over 1200 years ago according to Mesoamerican legend, Tepoztlán is a major Náhuatl center and the place has a creative energy.
This pueblo mágico boasts an impressive pyramid, a great crafts market and a host of charming restaurants and hotels. It also retains indigenous traditions, with some elders still speaking Náhuatl and younger generations learning it in school, making it quite unlike most of the other towns ringing the mexican capital.