Tepotzlán is a magic town that is about a 1 hour drive from Cuernavaca and we decided to go and visit! My sister-in-law was actually having a wedding photo shoot there so we didn’t mind going with her. I went a few weeks ago with my parents on a Sunday, but it was a different experience that time! At the weekend the town comes alive with hundreds of stalls lining the roads with all sorts of handicrafts and souvenirs on sale.
This time around we went on a Monday and the place was much more quiet! They were going to do their photo shoot on the Monday and then on Tuesday morning we were going to walk up the big mountain that overlooks the town. At the top their is a small ruin of a small Aztec temple and it’s extremely popular to climb during the weekend! I hear that the walk up the mountain is full of people during the weekend, so when we went on Tuesday it was much better. We probably met about 10 people on our way!
Anyway, on Monday evening we organised with the hostel we were staying with to try out a traditional sweat room. It’s called a ‘Temazcal’ and it was a great experience! It originated with pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica and it’s still practiced today!
We started at 9pm and we had to do a ceremony with a shaman and he says all this stuff in Spanish (that I didn’t understand), then we entered into pitch blackness! We couldn’t see a thing! The man comes in, covers the entrance with a blanket and we are there sitting sweating like crazy as this shaman talks and tells us what to do. At one point we had to rub our bodies with aloe vera, and then honey. (All this in pitch blackness). Then we had to say things that we want to improve while he was banging a drum. We were shaking shakers and shouting and all sorts! There were 3 stages to the ritual and during all of them he would throw water into a big bowl in the middle and it would create even more heat! I have to say it was extremely hot by the end of the ritual.
At the end when we were leaving, we all had to kneel beside him and he poured cold water over us, then we went out and he gave us fruit and water. Little did we know the ritual lasted for 1 hour!
I really didn’t know what to expect but I have to say I really enjoyed it! All of us were absolutely wrecked after it though…. and at 7am we had to get up for our hike up the mountain!
As my body was still in shock from the experience from last night, it was really tough to get up for the hike! It was the last thing I wanted to do to be honest.
While we were walking through the town to the base of the mountain we met two friendly dogs and they walked up the whole mountain with us! We heard that the local dogs always do that; they find someone and go with them all the way to the top, then they’ll go back down, see another person and up they go again!
While we were waiting for them to open the gates to the entrance to the summit we met a couple and they ALSO had a dog with them. The dogs aren’t allowed up to the summit so they left us while we went up. We took some great photos and it was a lovely morning! The night before it was really really windy and up at the summit a lot of big branches fell on the walkway up.
Then when we started to walk back down, we met one of the dogs that came up with us and the other which walked up with the other couple! (However they left us halfway down the mountain….. I think we were too slow for them)
All of us really enjoyed our time, and my sister in law got some beautiful wedding photos too! If you want to visit here, I would recommend you to come on Sunday and spent the day in the town and looking at all the handicrafts, and then on Monday morning hike up the mountain! That way you get the best of the two!