What to do in Malinalco?
It is located to the west of Malinalco centre, in the hill “Los Ídolos” at a 300 metres high. It is the most important touristic attraction of the municipality and it is recognized internationally. The archaeologist José García Payón discovered the archaeological area in 1930.
The area, known as El Cuauhtinchan, belongs to the postclasic prehispanic period. The most remarkable building is the Cuauhcalli that means “House of the sun” or “House of the eagles”. It is one of the few monolithic buildings of the world and the only one in Ámerica. The building was carved out from a single stone. In the prehispanic period here, it was located the most important place of the ceremonial centre. Malinalco was the place for training and consecration of warriors.
The altar is situated in the summit and there, Aztec warriors were ordered or graduated after climbing 13 levels and 354 steps. This altar is semi-circular and shows diverse representations of eagles and jaguars, related respectively with two types of warriors: eagle and jaguar.
The buildings date back to 1501, nine calli called by the Aztecs, the date on which the tlatoani Ahuízotl ordered the construction of ceremonial sites. The structure is incomplete, because its construction was interrupted by the arrival of the Spanish conquerors.
The buildings date from the year 1501, known by the mexicas as 9 calli, in that time the tlatoani Ahuízotl ordered the construction of the ceremonial site. The structure is incomplete; its construction was interrupted with the arrival of Spanish conquerors.
Today it has become a touristic site with guided visits, especially during spring equinox in march and winter solstice in december.
"Dr. Luis Mario Schneider" Museum
The museum is located in Agustin Melgar corner with Amajac, in the Santa Mónica barrio. It is managed by the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México. The building was donated by the writer Luis Matio Schneider and later adapted as the principal museum of the municipality since 1999.
The museum has three rooms and an open area: the first room displays temporal exhibitions and is located in the entrance of the museum. The second room is located in the second level of the museum where you will appreciate apainting of the Malinalli flower (that is the representative flower of the municipality), photographs of different regional dances and town fiestas; also a model of the “La transfiguración” ex-convent; specimens of regional herbal medicine and a collection of butterflies that inhabit the region. In the third are of the museum there is a monolith representing Ehecatl: God of the wind; the representation of the cave in Chalma where the “Señor de Chalma” appeared and historic documents dating from Independence and Revolution times in México. In the garden there is a pond with trout Arcoíris, representing one of the local attractions.
Augustine ex-convent of La Transfiguración.
It is located in the city centre of Malinalco, next to central garden in the street Juárez, Hidalgo, Galeana y Morelos.
The ex-convent was built by the order of the Augustines in the XVI century. There is a temple in “plateresco” style, it is dedicated to the “Divino Salvador”.
In the corridors of the ex-convent you can appreciate the renowned paintings of Malinalco, native painters represented in them the Eden with the regional flora and fauna.
To the south of the ex-convent there is an orchard, in front of the temple there is the atrium where cultural activities and traditional parties happen.
The main festivity of Malinalco is dedicated to the Divino Salvador, the town patron, and is celebrated the 6th of august.
Holly week is another important festivity, with important tourist flow. During this time the community and church organize religious representations.
There are eight chapels dating from the XVI to XVIII century. Following, we provide you of general information about each one of the chapels according to the information provided by the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia.
San Juan Chapel
This chapel dates from the XVI century and is located in San Juan neighbourhood. It has a baroque “plateresco” style; in the interior there is an image of the Saint Patron “San Juan Bautista”, the “Virgen de la Candelaria” and two murals with biblical passages.
Santa María Chapel
It is located in the Santa María neighbourhood, in the Juárez Avenue. The chapel was built in the XVI century in honour to the Virgin María. The main festivities happen in the 15 of august and 2 of February.
San Martín Chapel
It is located to the southeast of Malinalco in the street La Paz, in the neighbourhood of San Martin. It is one of the main chapels in the town, as it is the oldest one built in the XVI century, forty years before the main chapel in the centre. It is said that the first dwellers inhabitated this areas. The architectural style is baroque; in the dome you can appreciate six serpents, which are the base for many legends.
The fiesta in honour of San Martin is the most important festivity of the chapel, it is celebrated the 11 of November. Other festivities are the one in honour of the Señor de la Escalera in april and the one dedicated to San Miguel Arcángel in September.
Chapel of La Soledad
This is one of the smallest chapels of the town; its architecture dates from XVI century. There is an atrium and is located in the Camino Viejo a Jalmolonga in the Soledad neighbourhood. The patronal fiesta in honour to the Virgen de la Soledad is celebrated the 15 of October.
San Andrés Chapel
Another smaller chapels at Malinalco, is located in Queretaro Street southeast of the county seat in the San Andres neighborhood. Like mentioned above, dates from the sixteenth century. The roof is tile, because its construction was unfinished. The patron saint of Barrio is on November 30.
San Pedro Chapel
It is located in the San Pedro neighbourhood in the street Lago de Pátzcuaro. In this chapel the drum played during patronal parties, the 29 of june, is safeguarded. It is important to mention that during September the dwellers of this neighbourhood barter-trade with dwellers from the Almoloya del Río municipality.
Santa Mónica Chapel
It is located almost in the centre of the town, in the sides of the Ídolos hill, in the Santa Mónica neighbourhood. The chapel is quite small; it has an atrium that was used as a cemetery in previous times. It was built in honour of the Virgin of Sta. Mónica, but today in the altar there is the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The patronal fiesta is the 12 of December.
San Guillermo Chapel
It is located in the San Guillermo neighbourhood to the southeast of the municipal header in the street Las Margaritas. It has a small atrium and similar to the San Andrés Chapel its ceiling is made of tiles because its construction was not completed. The patronal fiesta happens in the 9 of February in honour to the Santo Patrono.
Cave paintings and carvings.
This site is located to the southeast , in the Tepolica River, and the hill with the same name. The attraction consists of anthropomorphic (human shape) paintings partially conserved. It is assumed that they represent a cosmic dance, which reflects the mysticism of the painters, possibly hunters and nomad collectors. The name responds to the presence of red colour in the paintings; it is argued that the colour comes from a blend of blood and zinc oxide.
“Las Caritas” Petroglyphs
It is located in the hills zone, to the north of the San Juan cemetery. These petroglyphs represent the face of the “spirits”, however it is not certain the time of its creation. Next to this site, there is a viewpoint from where you can sightsee the municipality.
The access to the site is located through avenida del panterón, to later enter to a track road next to the municipal cemetery. There are guided tours managed by local operators.
- Gastronomic corridor Las Truchas
Located two kilometres away from the main square of Malinalco, visitants can appreciate the breeding process and sport fishing of trout. In the corridor there is the fish farm and a variety of small restaurants where trout is prepared with different recipes.
Señor de Chalma Sanctuary
This is one of the most visited temples in the country. It is acknowledged among the worshippers of the image of the Santo Señor de Chalma that is venerated there because it is believed to be very miraculous. The sanctuary was founded in the XVI century, following the orders of the religious authorities to mitigate the indigenous practices of worshiping a god in the nearby caves. The construction of the temple was finished in 1638, initiated by fray Diego de Velázquez; however, its architecture has been modified along the years.
Malinalco is considered a Magic town. It is located in the Estado de México, a region with different touristic attractions.
Since prehispanic times Malinalco was considered a privileged site, evidenced in the archaeological area located in the Ídolos hill. This area constituted a ceremonial centre of great importance, where an unique monolithic pyramid is erected.
In the centre of the town, you can visit the Augustine ex-convent of La Transfiguración, dating from the XVI century. The interior is decorated with beautiful frescos representing the Eden with the regional flora and fauna and the vision of local dwellers.