20 Things to Do in Tepotzotlan
As well as the most valuable collection of Colonial-era art in all of Latin America, this Magical Town close to Mexico City has amazing stuffed chili peppers, as well as a breathtaking aqueduct which you can walk across.
1. For breakfast, we recommend some quesadillas with zucchini flowers and cheese from the Town Market.
2. Admire the spectacular facade of the Church of San Francisco Javier, a Mexican baroque masterpiece.
3. Just across from the magnificent church, visit the Museo Nacional Del Virreinato (National Museum of the Viceroyalty of New Spain). The museum can be found inside of the Convent of Tepotzotlan, with incredible collections of religious art, depictions of convent life and beautiful gardens.
4. Inside the same museum, you can’t miss the opportunity to admire the breathtaking convent chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Loreto, with an incredible wooden altarpiece covered in gold leaf.
5. At the back of the same chapel, look for the Niche of the Virgin and the reliquary of Saint Joseph, true architectural jewels which are recognized as outstanding exemplary pieces of colonial novohispano art thanks to their exquisite manufacturing.
6. On the second floor of the museum, don’t miss the view from the large balcony, from where you can see part of the Magical Town and its lush, green surroundings.
7. In the gardens of the convent, look for the original “Salto del Agua” (a famous waterfall statue), the more famous Salto del Agua in the center of Mexico City is actually a replica— something not many people know. Don’t forget to take a photo with this little piece of history!
8. Try a seasonal chile en nogada (a chili pepper stuffed with meat and fruits in a creamy walnut sauce) or a chile toluco (a dried ancho chili pepper stuffed with chorizo and beans) in the restaurant Hostería del Convento.
9. If you visit the Magical Town in December, don’t miss the traditional Pastorelas (a series of Nativity plays) which take place in the Hostería del Convento, situated in the same complex as the Church of San Francisco Javier and the Viceroyalty of New Spain museum (The convent of Tepotzotlan).
10. Buy typical handicrafts from Mexico and neighboring countries in the Mercado Municipal de Artesanías (municipal handicraft market).
11. Try the delicious sorbets which are sold from any of the stalls outside the Convent of Tepotzotlan.
12. In the afternoon, try some delicious esquites (grains of maize served in a cup with mayonnaise, cheese, chili and lime) or an elote (a corn cob with the same toppings) they are hot and delicious!
13. In the stores of the plaza, you can find all kinds of typical Mexican candy, as well as seasoned chicharrones (fried pork rinds) and the famous espiropapas (spiral chips).
14. On the weekends, just across from the Town Hall, you can take a photo dressed up as a Mexican revolutionary; you will feel like you have been transported back in time to revolution-era Mexico with your sombrero and mustache or period dress.
15. Take a photo on the bandstand situated just in front of the Town Hall.
16. If you love flowers, buy some colorful blooms to decorate your home in the Plaza de la Cruz.
17. For the little ones, you can freely skate and cycle in this same plaza.
18. If you are with your family, we recommend the restaurants El Rancho, Casa Mago or Los Virreyes, which offer the best regional and national dishes.
19. In the area surrounding Tepotzotlan, about 1 hour to the west, you can find the Arcos del Sitio Ecological Park, ideal for a day in the outdoors, horse-back riding and admiring the ruins of the impressive aqueduct which transported water to the neighboring populations during the Colonial era.
20. Also very close to Tepotzotlan (But along the México-Querétaro highway) you can find another ecological park, the Parque Ecológico Xochitla. A wonderful place for families, the park has magnificent gardens, cycle paths, a mini-train and a children’s playground.
Tepotzotlán is 1.5 hours from Mexico City center towards Querétaro, along highway 57D.
More info on Mexico: here.