Golden Age Backpackers: Los Toriles Archaeological Site

With roosters crowing and dogs barking our morning coffee time began early giving us extra time to reflect and plan our day’s activities. Our day’s goal that emerged from our early morning conference of two was to leave our beach paradise behind for the day and travel inland to visit a prehistoric location, Templo de Quetzalcoatl, and visit the fascinating Los Toriles Ancient Ruins.

Los Toriles is an important archaeological site located just east of the town, Ixtlan del Rio. The site was home to the indigenous tribes of the Nahuath group around 300 B.C. More than 80 known structures exist within the large site. Visitors are easily able to visit the 15 restored temples. The round pyramid, Ehecatl Quetzalcoatl, is claimed to be one of the most beautiful buildings of the site in western Mexico, and for us it lived up to its reputation. The temple is 80-feet in diameter and 14-feet in height with numerous cross shaped openings around the structures circular perimeter. On the top floor are two rectangular shaped shrines. The top of the flat shrines is a great spot to obtain panoramic photos and an overview of the complete area. Apparently, the temple is dedicated to the wind god, Ehecatl Quetzalcoath.

Los Toriles features shaft tombs that are dug 3-8 meters into the ground with chambers located to the left and right of the central vertical shaft. It’s in the chambers that their dead are placed. Visitors are able to visit a shaft tomb. Unfortunately, we did not realize this when we were on location, therefore we missed this opportunity. Ask to visit the shaft tomb at the tourist office when paying your entrance fee. There’s a small museum near the entrance but it was closed. For further information relating to Los Toriles consult the web.


Getting There:

Drive north on Highway 200 toward Tepic and at Compostella take the highway toward Guadalajara. At Chapalila take Highway 15 libra (free) road to Ixtlan del Rio. The archeological ruins are one kilometer east of the town. Once you pass under the town’s impressive exit structure, watch for the left hand turn-off. The entrance is marked with a blue pyramid sign. Cross the railway tracks and you’ve arrived. The entrance fee is $30 pesos. With identification and proof of age, seniors are admitted free. Sorry, gray hair alone will not suffice. Other groups that enter free are children, handicapped, students and professors. It should be open Monday to Friday.

The driving distance from Rincón de Guayabitos is 100 km. taking about 2½ hours. This is assuming no stops for honey, pottery or meal purchases! The distance is calculated from the Rincón de Guayabitos Pemex Station #8489 on Highway 200. This was an interesting and fun day with a breakfast in Las Varas at Angelita’s Restaurant, a favorite with us, and returning to La Peñita for dinner.

About the Authors: We are golden age backpackers in our seventies and have traveled extensively throughout the world. We come to Los Ayala every winter for three months enjoying the Mexican people and the warm waters of Jaltemba Bay and surrounding area. We first started coming to this area in 2002 and although we had been in Mexico many times before that we had never settled on one place until then. We like to explore new territory and to consider settling down for three months was beyond our imagination. At first we came for two weeks, returning to Canada and coming back to Los Ayala within the month. We just loved it! As the years went by we increased our time to three months. We haven’t extended it beyond this as we do love to explore other places in the world during fall and spring. Our goal is to provide viewers with travel information that will assist with travel planning. We place trip information in our articles to stimulate interest plus specific facts that readers can follow to duplicate our travels. Other travel related articles may be viewed on our blog: Golden Age Backbackers – Budget World Travel.

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