Central Mexico has some of the richest cultural diversity in the republic, but it also has amazing topography. Central Mexico lies amongst beautifully lush, cloud-covered mountains with year-round mild climates. Mexico City is at the center of the region, but just an hour or two in all directions will reveal quaint colonial-style cities and towns nestled into the highlands and valleys of the Mexican sierras. One such town is Tepoztlan, located in the beautiful state of Morelos. Tepoztlan is the very definition of a Pueblo Mágico and, in my opinion, is the most magical of them all. Tepoztlan is the perfect peaceful mountain retreat with an incredibly rich cultural offering that will satisfy every type of traveler. Here are a few recommendations for exploring the most magical pueblo mágico, Tepoztlan.
Tepoztlan is one of the most picturesque pueblos you will encounter in Mexico, and just wandering through the cobblestone streets is enough to keep you busily enchanted all day. The town is small enough to explore exclusively on foot, and you can witness a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding mountains from pretty much anywhere. Additionally, there are colorful murals painted on random buildings and houses throughout Tepoztlan for you to stumble upon and marvel at.
At the town´s center is the Church of Tepoztlan, a beautiful colonial structure open to tourists. The most unique aspect of the church is the wall that surrounds it upon which lies an impressive mural made from regional seeds. As seeds are organic matter, the mural changes annually.
If you are feeling parched as you walk through Tepoztlan, I highly recommend trying Tepoznieves, an ice cream and fruit water shop that has become a famous national chain. As you can tell by its name, Tepoznieves originated in Tepoztlan, and has the most unique variety of ice cream flavors including mil flores (1000 flowers), leche quemado (burnt milk), and pepino con chile (cucumber and chili).
The best attraction in Tepoztlan is the market. It is by far my favorite market in the entire republic with the freshest, most authentic, and best tasting prepared food. You must try the prepared food stall that specializes in Prehispanic food. Prehispanic food uses ancient grains and recipes from the region´s ancestral Aztec culture that are not only different from anything you have tasted, but delicious as well. There are many vegan options, and a lot of dishes are a mixture of grains and vegetables formed into small croquets served with a variety of salsas and garnishes.
I would also recommend buying a package of fresh blue corn tortillas as they are the best tortillas in Mexico. You will find that tortillas in Tepoztlan, whether from the market or served at a local restaurant, are always handmade to order. They say that corn is the food of the gods, and after one bite of Tepoztlan´s tortillas, you will see why.
In the streets that span the perimeter of the market, there are artisanal arts and crafts fairs on the weekend. The food market is in a semi-open building, open daily and year-round with the freshest produce, dairy, bread, and tortillas. You can literally eat here every day, sampling a different regional dish. For a more relaxing and upscale dining experience, there are plenty of nice restaurants with open-air seating to enjoy the wonderful views. Two such restaurants I recommend are El Ciruelo and Los Colorines.
For nature lovers and history buffs, the hike to the top of Tepozteco is a must. Offering stunning views of the town below, Tepozteco is a mountain with ancient Aztec ruins at its summit. The ruins are of a temple the Aztecs erected in honor of Tepoztecatl, the God of pulque, a fermented cactus drink you can sample in Tepoztlan or anywhere in central Mexico.
The hike is a 1.5-hour climb that you can access straight from the town itself. To enter the ruins, there is a 55 peso fee, which is well worth it for the history and the view.
Whether you are a cultural explorer, a nature lover, or just in search of a relaxing getaway, Tepoztlan is the perfect Pueblo Magico for an authentic, peaceful, and magical Mexican experience.
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