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Tepoztlán’s Festivals in Mexico

A Tepoztlán vendor prepares flavored ice.

Tepoztl├ín, a 1-hour bus ride from Mexico City, is known throughout Mexico for its many local festivals which attract people from throughout the surrounding community—as well as Mexican and foreign tourists—for a day of feasting and celebration.

Many of the festivals celebrate the saint’s days, but they also celebrate other religious and secular events. There are several festivals a week between Tepoztlán’s eight barrios and six pueblos, each with its own church and saint, so arranging a trip to coincide with one doesn’t take much planning.

On Wednesdays and Sundays, and to a lesser extent on Saturdays, one of the two main streets in Tepoztlán is lined with market stalls filled with crafts from all over the region. In the food market, a good, cheap meal can be found at one of the antojito stands. Local ice cream parlors offer flavors from tamarind to chili.

Near the market, an excellent museum informs visitors about the culture, economy, and history of the region, from before the conquest to the present. The nearby Museo Arqueológico Carlos Pellicer holds a small collection of Mexico’s indigenous art.

The 1-hour hike up to the Pirámide de Tepozteco affords spectacular views of the area. The pyramid was built by the Tlahuica, an Aztec group, as a monument to Tepoztécatl, the god of fertility. The archeological zone is open to visitors from 9:30 to 5:30 daily. To find the pyramid, follow the Avenida de Tepozteco out of town and into the mountains. Buses from Mexico City to Tepoztlán leave from the Terminal Sur every hour. The whole of the town is walkable, although hilly.

A schedule of Tepoztlán’s festivals can be found at www.tepoz.com.mx (in Spanish). For those who wish to stay a bit longer, Experiencia Tepoztlán (www.experienciatepoztlan.com) offers a Spanish language immersion program.

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