A coati atop the Pyramid of El Tepoztec. Photo by Zachary Senn
High up in the mountains of Morelos, a two-hour bus ride from Mexico City, lies an ancient pyramid at the end of a spectacular hike through the Mexican cloud forest.
Dedicated to Tepoztecatl, the Aztec god of Pulque, the shrine attracted pilgrims from as far away as Guatemala in its day.
Today, the pyramid overlooks the quaint mountain town of Tepoztlan, known throughout Mexico for its supposed mysticism, far flung community of European and American expats, and production of Mezcal.
The pyramid has two rooms inside, one opening out onto the monumental stairs and the other a smaller chamber in the interior.
Photo: Coatis are raccoon like animals with sharp teeth. Whilst females can be the size of a large house cat, it’s not uncommon for males to grow to twice their size. They are indigenous to the Americas.
The hike from the town up to the archeological site is filled with spectacular waterfalls, dense rainforest canopy, rock formations that would make Dr. Seuss jealous, and playful coatis.
The path leading up to the mountaintop temple tracks along beautiful ancient stairs before devolving into a trail of rough boulders. The final stretch before reaching the pyramid cuts right through a thin rock canyon that frames the edifice.
The gorgeous rainforest hike makes it easy to see why the devoted would travel from other countries just to worship at El Tepozteco.