28 August 2014

Xochicalco

On Saturday we did one last pyramid fest and went to Xochicalco and Teotenango.  We drove right by Malinalco, but didn't have time to stop there too.  From what we could tell, it's a smaller site than Teotenango, but it gets a lot more attention because Malinalco is a Pueblo Magico.  We visited some sites that get no press and were hard to find, but were still wonderful.  The ones that get attention and signs were amazing too, but there are major differences in advertising and that's not the way to figure out what's worth visiting.

Xochicalco is a World Heritage Site and about 2 hours from DF.  It doesn't quite have the same grandeur as Teotihuacan, but the site is much more compact which makes it easier to explore.  And there were still some very impressive things there.  We didn't see anything while were in DF this time that would displace Teotihuacan as the pyramid site to see if you visit DF, but that doesn't mean that all the rest are boring.  Far from it.

Anyway.  We did a big loop, heading south out of DF toward Cuernavaca.  DF is about 2250 meters in elevation, so we just rode down the road the entire way there.  I don't think I've ever gone downhill for so long and we ended up at Xochicalco and 1000 meters in elevation.  The climate was noticeably different with new flowers, iguanas, and so many butterflies.

The Temple of the Feathered Serpent was the most amazing part of the site.  There also is an observatory with a chimney that allows the sun to fall directly into the cave for a day or two in the middle of May and again at the end of July.  Sunlight shines in the cave from the end of April to the middle of August so we should have gone the first week we were there, but you can't do everything.

There's a good museum at the site.  Also, there's not much climbing allowed here, probably less than any other place we visited.














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