Nestled in high altitude climates 80 miles from Mexico City, Malinalco is a tranquil getaway. The 500 year-old monuments high higher than the village certainly are a special reason to check out.
Malinalco, within the state of Mexico, is really a small colonial town which includes enjoyed mountainous isolation for years and years. This remote setting was suitable for construction of the Mexica warrior initiation site that was built on Cerro de los Idolos in 1501.
The early settlers of Malinalco were conquered in 1476 with the Mexica (Aztec) emperor Axayacatl. The village was vital that you the growing Mexica empire, and its isolated location was chosen for your complex of esoteric temples and monuments built into the rock above the city.
Today, this lovely colonial village of some 20, 000 inhabitants remains to be off the beaten path, but adventurous tourists will probably be rewarded for extra effort. The residents are friendly, accommodations are expanding and the town`s restaurants are varied and excellent. Malinalco has an increasing selection of shops and has attracted an increasing number of artists. The city itself is covered with the picturesque Augustinian monastery and church at the zocalo. At 5, 900 feet, Malinalco is surrounded by mountains and natural splendor.
The Archeological Museum in Malinalco
From your town square, walk west on Guerrero and continue with the signs toward the archeological site. A museum can be found on the corner prior to site`s entrance. El born area is especially attractive in winter, with blooming Bougainvillea and Jacaranda trees. Birds are abundant, as well, adding more color for the flowering trees. The museum is worthy of visiting, mainly because it has a reproduction from the interior in the main temple, El Cuauhcalli, as well as recovered artifacts. Visitors also can walk across an original glass-covered excavation replica, obtaining a perspective quite different from typical museum exhibits.
The Walk up Cerro de los Idolos to El Cuauhcalli
In the museum, continue following signed road to the doorway. The trail is paved and inclined toward the small office and fee station. You will find 64 stair steps along this path, and visitors should observe that when they are near the entrance, the switch backed and cobblestoned path to the top hill contains another 358 stair steps. From 5, 900 feet on the town square, the road climbs to more than 6, 200 feet in under a mile. Visitors should carry water, walk leisurely and make use of the limited shade on the way.
One of several nicest features for English speaking tourists is the trail’s many interpretive signs have been in English as well as Spanish. Practically these signs provide historical understanding of the monuments, additionally, they identify and describe the functionality of common trees, fruit trees, ornamentals, bushes and flowers found across the path. The original source of Malinalco’s name is called well–from malinalli , the Nahuatl (Aztec language) word for hay or herb.
The Aztec Monuments at the top of Malinalco`s Hill
Towards the top, a small pyramid (which is often climbed) stands out, but the most unique and intriguing buildings are the types that are that are part of and from the monolithic stone of the hill itself. Essentially the most extraordinary is likely to be El Cuauhcalli, which translates as House from the Eagles in Nahuatl. Within this ceremonial temple lies a semi-circular bench with three carved figures: a jaguar skin and head inside center, flanked by two eagles. Before the jaguar is another carved eagle as well as a depression which likely received sacrificial offerings of human hearts.
Birding San Pablo Etla Near Oaxaca, Mexico
This temple, isolated well over the village of Malinalco, is known to have served since the initiation site for your elite jaguar and eagle Mexica warriors, who had been honored for distinguished service in battle. Construction here had been in progress if it was interrupted with the Spanish conquest in 1521.
Visitors would want to take the time to explore these monuments, absorb a history and like the majestic views of colonial Malinalco below.
Getting to Malinalco From Mexico City and Toluca
Malinalco is found in the central Mexico mountains, about 40 miles in the Mexico state capital of Toluca. Toluca is reached from Mexico City on the road 15 autopista (toll road). From Toluca, take Highway 55 southwest, turning east onto Highway 4, which winds with the mountains to Malinalco. From Malinalco, one can possibly go on Highway 4 to the major Catholic pilgrimage site at Chalma after which on Cuernavaca.
Malinalco`s Archeological Site along with the Central Mexico Mountains
Visitors to Malinalco will quickly realize the Aztec archeological site and also the colonial city photogenic and memorable. From your surrounding central Mexico mountains towards the valley of Oaxaca similar treasures and attractions are very worth exploring.
Featured image: www.inah.gob.mx