Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Guachimontones Circular Pyramids.....In Jalisco, Mexico....

The Guachimontones pyramids are an unusual conglomeration of round pyramds located in the town of Teuchitlan.  Once again our day began with a taxi ride to the bus station where we'd pick up another bus line that would take us to the tiny town. It was another two hour bus ride before we reached the tiny little bus station.  Clyde asked the clerk sitting in the station where the pyramids were and she looked at us like we were nutty.  Then she went onto explain that they were far away, at least four kilometers or more as if discouraging us to even want to go see them.  We approached a nearby taxi driver and when we mentioned the pyramids he also made them sound too far away.  He said he would have to charge us 100 pesos  or $6 to get us there and we quickly agreed.  He drove through the dusty, cobblestoned roads of the tiny town that had nothing more than a few stores, restaurants and houses along the way. The road became narrow and steep as we climbed up an incline on the long trek to the site.  But within minutes we had arrived at the parking lot where many tourists had parked their cars. The drive was not long at all and probably was only four kilometers.

Village Of Teuchitlan

Busy Streets

Ride In The Taxi To Pyramids

After exiting the taxi we made our way to the entrance where we were asked for a $2 entrance fee, although Clyde was old enough to get in for free. We began the walk up the steep path not expecting much other than some old ruins and a round pyramid.  But what unfolded before our eyes was as astonishing array of platforms, pyramids, ball fields and more.  The well preserved ruins proved the existence of a civilization that lived here some 2000 years ago.

Visitor Center And Museum

Displays Inside

View From The Top

Discovered in 1970 by US archaeologist Phil Weigand.  the pyramids are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  At first there was little known information about the ruins but further investigation proved the existence of an ancient civilization.  Dating back to 300 B.C. to 900 A.D. the civilization was called Tradicion Teuchitlan. During its peak times there were thought to be around 40,000 people living there between 200 and 400 A.D.

Hot, Sweaty Couple

Pyramid From Afar

Impressive Sights

Striped Neon Lizard

According to Weigand the unique round design of the pyramids are a type of Mesoamerican architecture not found anywhere else in the world.  The massive pyramids have 52 steps leading up which represents the number of weeks in the year on the Mayan calendar. The main pyramid was built on a hilltop and used as a platform for worship. The site also features several other platforms used for homes and other buildings. Also there are several ball courts with a unique "I" shape design.  The game was played by moving the ball around using only their hips to move the ball from one end of the court to the other and sometimes through a hoop too.

"I" Shaped Ball Field

Benches On The Side Of Ball Court For Spectators

We expected to see maybe one pyramids amid some rubble of ruins but were surprised at how lovely the whole area was.  There was many pyramids, platforms and two ball courts that were well marked out and manicured. We explored the area from bottom to top in the hot, arid sun before we'd seen enough.  I suggested that we walk back into town since the taxi ride seemed so short that it wasn't worth the money.  We stopped to check out a church along the way that had beautifully landscaped grounds around it complete with decorative topiary bushes.

On Our Walk Down The Hill We Spotted These

Topiaries On Church Grounds

Arriving back at the bus station just in time to catch the bus as it was pulling out.  We settled in to our seats for a long, two hour ride back to Guadalajara tired but content with our adventures of the day.  We thoroughly enjoyed our day spent exploring the ancient ruins and pyramids of Guachimontones in the tiny town of Teuchitlan.......along the gringo trail.

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