For years Tepoztlán, a bustling village 50 miles south of Mexico City, has been recognized as one of Mexico’s official pueblos mágicos, or magical towns, a designation aimed primarily at tourists. While it offers a splendid array of attractions, its real magic lies just below the surface, in the proud history and traditions of an indigenous village whose roots go back thousands of years.
As recently as half a century ago most tepoztecos, as its inhabitants are called, spoke Náhuatl, a gentle, sibilant language that survives today mainly in the abundance of x’s in local place names, although it is still spoken elsewhere in the state. Five-hundred years after their village was overrun by Cortes’s conquering army and their ancestors were forced convert to Catholicism on pain of death, tepoztecos still venerate the lord of the mountain that towers over them, which has one of only two pyramids in Mexico built atop a mountain.
Food & Dance
Village children learn from an early age that they are descended from the Tlahuica and Totonaca peoples and proudly celebrate the astonishing array of holidays that result from their allegiance to overlapping indigenous, Catholic and Mexican national traditions. The town is known for its fiestas and for the costumed dance of the chinelos, figures in elaborate beaded gowns and bearded masks said to represent Spaniards—their mesh faces are pink, like Europeans’, and their eyebrows and beards are mostly black, though redheaded versions are also popular.
The village is justly famous for its food, especially the quesadillas, sopes, tlacoyos and moles sold 365 days a year in the outdoor market on the zocalo, or square. On a typical weekend, dozens of families from Mexico City throng the food stalls, eager to experience the authentic Mexican food they can no longer find in the capital.
Our writers generally stay in one of several small hotels we reserve for the duration of the residency. One is just off the main square, and one is a short walk from the center, and one is slightly further away in an upscale residential neighborhood. Prices range from $35 USD/night including breakfast and taxes to $55. All rooms are private with a private bath and a desk. Most people appreciate the experience of living with fellow Volcanistas, but for the independence minded there are ample offers on AirBnB. Once you indicate your preference we will make your reservation for you. Payment arrangements are indicated below each option.
Price per night: $35/USD; $700 MXN
Located in Tepoztlán, Ma Petite Maison offers accommodations with a patio or a balcony, free WiFi and flat-screen TV, as well as a shared lounge and a garden.
There’s a private bathroom with shower in all units, along with a hairdryer and free toiletries. A continental breakfast is available daily at the bed and breakfast. A sun terrace is available on site and cycling can be enjoyed within close proximity of Ma Petite Maison.
The nearest airport is Benito Juarez International, 49.9 km from the accommodation, and the property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
Price per night: $42 USD; $850 MXN
An elegant mansion with 14 large rooms with private baths, vast open spaces, a tennis court and a modest swimming pool. A Mexican breakfast is included with your stay, and cooking facilities are also available. The casa is approximately a 20-minute walk from the town center.