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Monte TLALOC - the world's highest temple site

It is hard to believe that there are very few travelers, including Mexicans, that know Mount Tlaloc. The temple, situated at 4100 meters above sea level, is the highest place of worship in the world surpassing even Machu Picchu in Peru! The reason why the temple is not so much visited may lie in the difficuties getting there:

 

Mount Tlaloc (19.419326,-98.711586) lies in the west of Mexico City, near the town Texcoco at the border of the state of Tlaxcala. You get to the village of San Jeronimo Amanalco by car and from there you need a four wheel drive vehicle in order to drive on an adventurous mountain path toward the mountain.

Suddenly our guide stops the car and shows you three mystical stones on the wayside: one resembles a turtle, the other looks like a crocodile and when you see the toadlike third stone you realize that the shape of these stones is not a coincidence. They were created by man, centuries ago, when this place was an important center of worship for a pre-Hispanic culture.

 

Finally you get to the point where the 4X4 vehicle cannot continue and from where you have to walk. The air is slowly getting thin because you find yourself in an altitude of about 3700 meter. There are still another 400 meters to the summit and if you are fit it takes you less than an hour to get there.

From a distance you can already see the main temple, that was constructed between 600 and 800 AD. At the entrance avenue that was once over 7 meters wide you must make a small sacrifice to the rain god Tlaloc in order to be permitted access.

 

Your efforts are awarded with a wonderful view of the mountains of the Mexican Highlands: right in front of you you see the Iztaccihuatl, behind it the  Popocatepetl and further to the east the Pico de Orizaba, Mexico's highest summit.

 

In early February (from the  8th to the 12th) a breathtaking natural spectacle can be watched: Standing on the temple you can observe the sunrise exactly above the Pico de Orizaba. On the 6th day the sun rises again at the foot of the mountain as it usually does 360 days of the year. Coincidence? - definitely not. Mexico's high civilizations had one thing in common: a sophisticated calendar system, that doesn't lag behind a modern system as fas as accuracy is concerned. Temples were constructed deliberately so that phenomena like the one on Mount Tlaloc could be watched.

 

Every year an event for archaeologists, hobby archaeologists and interested visitors is organized by the leading archaeologist of the site (Victor Arribalzaga, who has been excavating on the mountain since 2005) for this special occasion. Whoever wants to camp there and feel like Indiana Jones is free to do so. Last year over 300 people took part in the celebration.  On the remaining days of the year  you will probably be the only visitor on the mountain.

 

How much does it cost?

  • Monte Tlaloc can only be reached by 4x4 vehicles
  • The excursion is directed by chief Archaeologist Victor Arribalzaga. 
  • The price for two people is around 200 USD per person. 
  • For 4 people and more, the cost will  drop to an amount between 100 and 150 USD

 

 

 

 

 

How much does it cost?

 

  • Monte Tlaloc can only be reached by 4x4 vehicles
  • Our excursion is directed by arqueologist Victor Arribalzaga
  • For 2 participants the price is about 200,00 USD per person 
  • For 4 participants the price will drop to 100 - 150 USD per person

 

 

 

 


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