Photo and text by Miguel Omaña.
In the northwestern outskirts of Mexico City metro area is located this little place. Once a town by itself, nowadays it has been gnashed by the unyielding growth of the Mexican capital urban sprawl.
Tepotzotlan is a small town and municipality which houses many baroque treasures and ancient indigenous relics from its past. During weekends the stretched-street town enjoys (or sometimes suffers) the overwhelming tourist packs that either visit its local eateries or attend upscale pompous weddings (mainly from outsiders, people from other parts of the city). This tourist magnet can become a tourist trap if not properly knowledgeable of what to do or visit.
If you’re into culture.
Tepotzotlan has the Museum of the Viceroyalty or Museo del Virreinato. Before it was an independent (so they say) nation, it was the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Although the name conveys the idea of all-things colonial, don’t get fooled because inside the monastery turned museum you can also find ancient native pieces, art, statues and ceramics. Every now and then they house old Mexican music concert (no, not from the 1970’s, I mean really old and rare music).
Maybe your more of a sporty kind of person.
Nearby Tepotzotlan downtown area there’s a gorgeous botanical garden called Xochitla. It is a five minute drive from the town’s main streets. The place, once an old hacienda or Mexican plantation, has a wide variety of activities. You can to biking, rollerskating, running, outdoor photography, and much more. They also have activities for the wee ones.
Or perhaps you like going off the usual path.
The town is situated in the beginning of a mountain range. Access to climb or trek the mountain exist. For instance, there’s the Tepotzotli. Up in the mountain one can see river streams and large forest patches (I will post pictures of my trip up there).
Maybe you’re just into tourist traps.
If so, Tepotzotlan has restaurants, bars, street eateries, a local market with true Mexican food, crafts, art, and sometimes public events like shows, live music, and native dancers.
Tepotzotlan, Mexico. Copyright 2013 Miguel Omaña.