Hidalgo State

14th August 2011

For a little slice of England in Mexico, head to Pachuca [21] (90 k northeast of México City) with its hills covered in colourful buildings. Miners from Cornwall came here in the 1800´s bringing with them the game of soccer and Cornish pasties. There is a variety of fillings. At Pastes Kikio´s, we went for the potatoes and mince (and chillies) fillings and tried the chicken with red mole (sauce), but there are shredded chicken with frijoles (refried beans), frijoles with Spanish sausage, rice pudding or pineapple jam fillings. Each one costs under $1. A short bus ride away is the old mining town of Real del Monte, another Pueblo Mágico, with cobbled streets and red roofed buildings.


To the south are the imposing Toltec ruins of Teotihuacán [22] – The City of the Gods – once the capital of Mexico´s largest empire with pyramids to the sun and moon. The city was built between 150 AD and 600 AD but around 900 AD it was abandoned. The Aztecs who later visited it believed it was here that the gods sacrificed themselves to set the sun and moon in motion.  Today it is visited by thousands on day trips from México City.  We stayed overnight at a hotel nearby so we could be there for the 7 am opening and avoided the crowds.


At the smaller archaeological site near Tula [23] (900 AD to 1150 AD) 4 large basalt warrior figures over 4 metres tall once held up the roof of the Quetzalcóatl Temple. Fine carvings remain around the outside. In the 11th century, Toltecs emigrated from Tula and settled at the former Mayan city of Chichén Itzá (500 kilometres away). We were constantly reminded of the similarities between the two sites – the ball courts, human sacrifices, the jaguar sculptures, the Chac Mools (reclining human figures with a tray over the stomach – meaning /use unknown) are virtually identical.


Puchuca has brightly coloured houses built up the hill

Many pastie choices in Pachuca

Jeff tries a couple of pasties

The old mining town of Real del Monte at 2600 meters

The huge Sun Pyramid at Teotihuacán has the same size base as the Great Pyramid in Egypt

Pyramid to the Moon

Puma mural

Jaguar head

Hot air balloon floating past La Ciudadela (The Citadel)

Temple of Quetzalcóatl

Feathered serpent

Stone funeral masks

Incense burner

Cactus flowers

Little bird feeding on a cactus

Cactus flower

Tula´s fortress like Cathedral, former Monastery (Franciscan, 1550)

4 warrior figures ...

... 4.5 meters high ...

... now facing towards the south ...

... once held up the roof of the Temple of Quetzalcóatl (Feathered Serpent)

Carvings of humans devoured by enormous rattlesnakes surrounded the Temple

Captive Jaguar eating a human heart (similar to Chichén Itzá)

Eagles ...

... eating sacrificed humans

Chac Mool (now in the site´s Museum)


Carved figure of a man carrying a bundle