Either if you are planning on traveling solo, or going on a family trip, Tepoztlán is one of the most entertaining destinations near Mexico City. People all over the world come here to have a nice time during the weekends and holidays, making it come alive.
If you like big town festivals, here’s a guide to enjoy the carnival on Easter weekend!
Tepoztlán was granted the title of “Pueblo Mágico” (Magic Town), a title given by the Mexican Tourist Department only to towns so charming that you are supposed to have a magical experience. No wonder why The Killers shoot their video “When You Were Young” in here, and people guarantee they’ve seen fairies, gnomes, witches and UFO’s over the hills.
To start your day, wake up early and go to any open coffee place around the main plaza. Order café de olla (pot coffee). A typical Mexican coffee, usually made in small towns sweetened with cinnamon and sugar cane syrup. It costs less than a dollar and helps to wake you up. If you are hungry, eat something light. You’ll be doing some exercise next.
Before 9 am, set on your way to hike up to the Tepozteco, the town’s sacred mountain. Go this early if you want to avoid big crowds. Hike up the mountain, which should take you between half an hour or 45 minutes, and you’ll find the ancient temple meant to the god of pulque, the alcoholic beverage from where tequila comes. Take some pictures at the top of the pyramid, enjoy the view to the valley, drink some soda with lemonade and play with the coatis, the raccoon’s Mexican cousins.
If you feel adventurous, you can follow the path that leads to the back of the mountain. It’s a steep pad but with a charming view to Tepoztlan and it’s surroundings.
Hike down the Tepozteco and get some lunch at the street market in the main plaza. You can’t go wrong with tacos or quesadillas made of Tepoztlán´s hand-crafted tortillas.
Walk around the flea market that sets there every weekend, and to the arts and crafts market beside it, that is just there for Easter week. On both of them, you will find organic and homemade food, just like bread, honey, and other natural products, as well as Mexican typical clothes. Also, don’t to visit the local stores, where you’ll find more exclusive products like designer’s clothes, crafts and furniture, beauty products, sweet and candy stores, etc.
Find one of the many ice cream stores named Tepoznieves. Original from this town, the ice cream flavors are unique and original, going with typical flavors like chocolate and vanilla, to uncommon ones like rose petals, mixed flowers, and different type of alcoholic beverages.
Go to the ex-convent museum. It’s tiny, but you can learn a lot of history about the region, not to mention it’s a World Heritage Site. You’ll find mostly pre-Hispanic figures and, if you are there at the right time, they’ll let you ring the bells for mass. If you find the entrance through the market, you’ll see the seed mural made by all sorts of grains!
If you are not too hot (which you probably will), go to a temazcal. It’s a typical Aztec sauna, where they perform ceremonies with flowers, chants, and drinks. They do all this inside a clay dome with steam.
Go to the central plaza again in the afternoon and watch the chinelos dancing. This tradition comes from the blending cultures of Spaniards and Mexican indigenous people. Dancers dress with thick fabric attires and big masks that are meant to mock the European colonizers on past centuries.
Go to Los Colorines, known as the best restaurant in town. They specialize in making high cousin Mexican food, which is an attraction for tourists that are only used to eat tacos. Watch the sunset from its terrace, that has a frontal view to the Tepozteco. The mountains look dyed in red at that time.
If you still have energy, stay in the main plaza for a while. There’s a big town party at night, and it’s allowed to drink on the streets. You can also find a nice bar. Most of them have balconies where you can see the street parties from above.