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This is the story of my experiences living as an ex-pat in Mexico since 2003. It's to culminate in a published book. With your help, I'll be editing, selecting a title, and cover art: a participatory project. Your comments encouraged!

Letters from Mexico


ExpatsBlog.com - Where Expats Blog

July 31, 2021

Hikes to Pyramids

Tilted tall structure of stones embedded in a binding matrix.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Part of a reconstructed pyramid. Photo by author

To continue the hiking theme from the last entry, this documents the two main pyramids in Tepoztlán, focusing on nearby back trails. First is a description of a lesser known reconstructed pyramid near the highway and the trail above it to a mountain view. Then a back woods trail to the Tepozteco pyramid, the most popular tourist attraction in Tepoztlán.

Reconstructed Pyramid

When the federal highway was under construction, they discovered a pyramid nearby. It was partly reconstructed. Now that same highway is undergoing a widening.

To get there, we walked along a stream and through a tunnel under the highway. On the pyramid, one gets a view of the highway.

We took a hike through the forest/jungle, passing an amate tree, through a lot of rainy season induced vegetation, and interesting boulders. After an hour we reached a viewing spot.

Hike Near the Tepozteco Pyramid

The most used trail in Tepoztlán is the one to its pyramid, Tepozteco. Parts of the trail are paved and there are stairs. It takes more than an hour to reach the summit. The pyramid is small. The view is good, but there are better ones on other trails with shorter climbs and far less people. When the pyramid reopens, there will be an article on it.

These are photos of the Tepozteco Trail from two previous articles, one on trails, and the other about tourists in Tepoztlán.

Stairs going up with walls on both sides. All constructed from stones and cement filler. Bushes and trees line the sides. A family near the top of the stairs--mom, dad, kid.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Trail to Tepozteco pyramid. This section is typical of the rest of the one hour climb, with cement and stairs. Photo by author

Top left: Several people sitting on the stone and cement wall next to the stairs of similar construction. Top right: the same devoid of people. Bottom left: Some people together at the bottom--the beginning of the trail. Bottom right: Car parked at wall on left of trail, blue canvas covered booth with signs on the right side to the trail across from parked car.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Other views of the Tepozteco trail. Photo by author

My friend discovered a trail in nature that goes to within a few hundred yards of the Tepozteco.

We started off in San Juan, a taxi ride high up from Teptozlán. We started at the main loop trail. This is comparable to trails in many state and national forests in the US, while most other trails are narrow, with some having steep drop offs. This loop trail is very civilized by comparison, even having some benches.

Left: a crude wooden bench behind a small crumbled stone structure (maybe a stove?). Right top: Close up of a crude wooden bench showing rough cut beam and plank. Bottom right: Four benches around a central campfire circle of stones. All of these in a wooded setting.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Benches on the San Juan trail loop. Photo by author

We met a rattlesnake near a spring on the loop trail. It was a foot and a half long and gave us a warning shake with his rattle. These are uncommon in our area.

From above and side, showing the typical brown and white patterning, with diamond shapes on the back. Photo shows the head and only a quarter of its length.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Rattlesnake on the San Juan loop trail. Photo by author

Jungle Trail Behind Tepozteco Pyramid

It took us some time to locate the small trail off of the San Juan loop leading to the narrow jungle trail. The search was worth it.

Here are photos of flowers and unusual rock shapes typical of this central Mexico volcanic region.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Flowers on the jungle trail. Upper left: yellow daisy-like. Upper right: red trumpet clusters. Lower left: larger single red trumpets. Lower right: a very delicate bush growing on top of a rock. Photo by author

Left: Cluster of tall spires with a main one in the center. Right: vegetation growing out of the rock, very dense in the lower photo. Spires only sparsely vegetated.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Rock forms. The left a cluster of spires. The two right ones show vegetation growing on the rock. Photo by author

The following two short videos take us on the narrow (steep in places) trail through the jungle to a view of the pyramid from above and only a few hundred yards away.

The first video shows how dense the vegetation is during the rainy season. The sound of the stream is soothing.

The second video displays both views of nature and of the town below. Incredible rock formations are featured.

It was a long day of hiking when we finally came close to the Tepozteco Pyramid.

Foreground--bushes and scrub.
Next above is three sides of wall made of ancient bricks atop the pyramid.
Distance: vegetation covered mountain.
After that in the left corner--a blurry appearing town.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Top of the Tepozteco Pyramid. Photo by author

This photo came from Wikopedia. The front of the pyramid up close. Four horizontal layers with slightly tapered side walls. Two more massive ones at the bottom with a space between them with stairs. Next two layers on top of that smaller and equal. Top layer smallest. These layers are stacked one upon the other.

If you'd like to see a blog documenting the tourist trail to El Tepozteco plus some views from the top, please let me know. I'll need to wait 'till the park reopens. Here is an article about it in Wikopedia. Their photo is below.

Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. El TEpozteco, from Wikopedia.

Volcano spewing fire.
Smiling boy in yellow "solar system" T-shirt, white pants, and sneakers (red and black). A little bit chubby, he has a bowl haircut. Behind him a huge rock with ferns growing out.