Photography Day Trip to Malinalco, a colourful “Pueblo Mágico”

Exploring the Aztec ruins, the colourful colonial town and a former Augustinian monastery


Malinalco is a picturesque Pueblo Mágico about two hours’ drive from Mexico City, famous for its Aztec ruins high up on the mountainside overlooking the town. The town’s cobbled streets are lined by brightly painted houses and the cloister in the former Augustinian monastery has unusual murals painted by the indigenous people.

On our arrival in the town, we had some delicious cake to celebrate a birthday before climbing up the 400 steps to the Aztec ruins perched on the mountainside above the town. This is the only place in Latin America where the site has been hewn directly out of the rock and was where the elite eagle and jaguar warriors were trained. It is the dry season so the vegetation wasn’t as green as later on in the year but the jacaranda trees and other flowers were spectacular.

We then walked up through the small market and through the town until we got to La Playa, a nice shady outdoor restaurant, perfect for having a rest and some refreshment after the hot climb. On the other side of the main square is the large church of the Divino Salvador, which was unfortunately damaged in the September 2017 earthquake. No-one is allowed inside the church now due to the precarious state of the dome and walls and masses are temporarily being held under the arches near the cloisters. Inside we photographed the unusual murals of cactus and plants and animals painted by indigenous people, depicting their idea of paradise.

Finally, we popped into the Casa de Cultura before having a coffee on a beautiful shady terrace and making the journey back to Mexico City.

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