What Is Tula?

” Tula was one of the most important cities of ancient Mexico. It had a long life of more than four centuries. In the year 1000 A.D. it was a metropolis with tens of thousands of inhabitants, spread out over an area of almost 16 km. There were plazas, pyramids, palaces, vast complexes of artificial terraces, canal systems, drainage systems, streets, boulevards, and bridges over the Tula River, which allowed for transit between neighborhoods of both parts of the city.” – Sign at the site of the Atlantean figures (pictured above)

How I Discovered Tula

I first found out about Tula de Allende through the travel blog Final Transit. This place is definitely off of the beaten path and definitely a must see if you are in the vicinity of Mexico City. It is a city in the municipality of Hidalgo, which is located 50 km. (about 2 hours) northwest of Mexico City.

What to do?

  • Visit the Zona Arqueologica de Tula and see the Atlantean figures, which were built during the Toltec empire.  
  • Visit the Catedral de Tula, walk around the grounds and sit down and rest with the locals.
  • Buy some concha (a sweet baked bread) from the lady near the Catedral or be adventurous and try some maguey worms (Chinicuiles) near the bus terminal.
  • Walk around the Zocalo

Getting There:

Take the Ovnibus from Terminal Central de Norte in Mexico City directly to the city of Tula.

Important Note for Visitors:

The Zona Arqueologica is open seven days a week from 9 am – 5pm. You MUST arrive two hours before it closes in order to gain entry to the site. The best time to go however is at 9:00 am when they open. It is cool and there are no crowds.

 Tula in Photos:

Pictured above are the famous Toltec Atlantean figures that Tula is known for. Each statue is 4.6 meters tall.

This is the Tula Cathedral (Catedral de Tula), which was constructed in the 16th century by the Franciscans. It is located in the center of the city and it is the ex-convent of San José. For more information, visit PasatiempoEnBlog.

 The Resurrection of Christ (pictured above) is one of the main paintings in the Tula Cathedral and it sits directly behind the altar .

 Here I am eating Chinicuiles (Maguey worms) at a local hole-in-the-wall restaurant. According to Hidalgo Travel, these bad boys are a delicacy that come from underneath maguey (agave) plants. They are seasoned to enjoy as a snack and sometimes they are cooked in butter or olive oil to enjoy inside of tacos.

Have you ever ventured off-the-beaten-path to Tula before? What did you do?