Tepoztlán, Birthplace of Quetzalcoatl Feathered God

It is not that difficult to get into the Mexican Toltec paradigm 1,200 years ago, when mighty mountains scowled down on impenetrable forests, and fearsome monsters stood ready to devour small children. An unwise move could see you dragged up stone stairs to become the next human sacrifice in the inner sanctum of the El Tepozteco pyramid towering above the villagers far below.

Tepoztlan Mexico

Staircase to the Gods

Quetzalcoatl Feathered Serpent God, Tepoztlan Mexico: Parque Nacional El Tepozteco
Parque Nacional El Tepozteco – Staircase: Photo Christopher William Adach / CC 2.0

Nobody knows who arrived in the Tepoztlan Mexico jungle first, although pottery and ceramic utensils found there do date from 2,500 years ago. The Toltec culture predominated from the 10th Century onwards, after Lord Topiltzin Cē Ācatl Quetzalcōatl put his spear in the ground and founded it.

Spanish Conquistadore Hernán Cortés burned the town to the ground when the elders refused to meet him. The only thing tough enough to withstand the Spaniard was the El Tepozteco Pyramid standing proud at 12 meters / 40 foot high on the mountain.

Bastion of the Quetzalcoatl Feathered Serpent God

Quetzalcoatl Feathered Serpent God, Tepoztlan Mexico: Pyramid
Parque Nacional El Tepozteco – Pyramid: Christopher William AdachCC 2.0

There is so much to see besides, in this ancient settlement in the Mexican state of Morelos in the mountainous hinterland far from the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The Dominico de la Natividad Convent is a World Heritage Site, while the Dominico Siglo XVI y Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de la Natividad Cathedral is a high point in colonial religious architecture in Mexico.

Church of the Nativity

Quetzalcoatl Feathered Serpent God, Tepoztlan Mexico: Señora de la Natividad Cathedral
Señora de la Natividad Cathedral: Photo Enrique Lőpez-Tamayo / CC 2.0

Tepoztlán Magic for Foodies

The town of Tepoztlan Mexico in the valley is an eclectic mix of architecture, where pottery and handicraft makers, farmers and western backpackers rub shoulders with bemused tourists such as you and me.

I recommend you slide into an authentic cantina, where you can rubberneck with peasants over a shared dish of fresh homemade tortillas filled with refried beans, and topped with delicious shredded chicken cabbage slaw, and pickled onions. The spirit of Quetzalcoatl may smile on you as you do.

Quetzalcoatl Feathered Serpent God, Tepoztlan Mexico: Looking up to El Tepozteco Pyramid
Looking up to El Tepozteco Pyramid, Tepoztlán Randal Sheppard / CC 2.0

About Richard Farrell

Richard Farrell

I tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.

My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

Other posts by the Author

Leave a Reply