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The beauty and mystery of Mexico’s only round pyramids lay hidden from the world for about 1,000 years until a Mexican art history professor, Acelia García, and her husband Phil Weigand, an American archeologist, found them in 1970. The couple’s discovery has only become more impressive with each passing year, as archaeologists unearth more of the buried structures and discover more about the Teuchitlán tradition that flourished within the 100-plus-acre complex from perhaps 300 B.C. until 900 A.D.
Nestled in the hills near the town of Teuchitlán, an hour west of Guadalajara, the Guachimontones (pronounced "WHAH-chee-mohn-TOHN-ace”) is now considered the most impressive archeological site in all of western Mexico. The pre-Hispanic archaeological site consists of large circular, step pyramids that have been said to resemble layer cakes. Each pyramid is surrounded by circular building complexes that were used to worship the culture’s gods. Also, notable are ballgame courts and an amphitheater.
The site’s interpretive center helps visitors unlock the mysteries of this unique culture, and the fantastic views of the town of Teuchitlán and de La Vega Lake only make visiting Guachimontones that much more breathtaking.
30 pesos (about $2.30 USD). Parking is included in the price of admission. Guachimontones is free on Tuesdays.
Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- Plan on spending a couple hours to visit the interpretation center, tour the site, relax, and take in the views.
- Visit the interpretation center first to get to know the main features of the site. English-speaking tour guides are available inside the interpretation center to give free tours. Private guides are also on-hand to give extensive tours for a fee.
- Bring water, a hat, and sunblock as the temperatures can get hot, without much shade available.
- Taking the bus to Guachimontones is not recommended.
- If arriving by taxi, guests are recommended to have their driver drop them off at the interpretation center, as many drivers drop passengers off at the entrance to the town of Teuchitlán, almost a mile from the site.
- Go for lunch at Hacienda el Carmen Hotel & Spa, about 10 miles away, or for a complete Mexican hacienda spa experience, guests can pamper themselves by staying overnight.