municipality of Mexico

Ixtlán del Rio is a small town in the southeast corner of Mexico's Pacific coast state of Nayarit. The town is best known as the site of a pre-Hispanic archaeological ruin that is sometimes known as Los Toriles.

Small statue from Ixtlan del Rio, ca. 200 BC

Understand edit

Archaeology edit

The only pre-Hispanic archaeological zone in Nayarit, Ixtlan del Rio is known for two things: 1) shaft tombs, and 2) five areas of pre-historic stone carvings (petroglyphs). The site is sometimes thought to represent a connection between civilizations in North America and South America.

The site has 93 mounds with a main circular building that is called “Ehécatl-Quetzalcóatl” (although that is the Nahuatl name). The site was occupied up until the time of the conquest (at least until 1521).

Shaft tombs were found in several sites in the western Mexico states of Nayarit, Jalisco and Colima. Shaft tombs are essentially wells where human and animal remains were "buried", often with sculptures and other items. Shaft tombs date from about 500 BC to 500 AD (usually closer to 300 BC).

Get in edit

Map of Ixtlán del Rio

By car edit

Ixtlan del Rio is 82 km southeast of Tepic. It is a 1-hour drive on a modern multi-lane highway (MEX-15D) which has tolls.

By bus edit

Pacifico operates several buses per day to Ixtlan del Rio departing Tepic from Av. Insurgentes y República de Chile. Fares cost about M$150 for the 1-hour trip. Other bus lines including ACN and TAP also serve Ixtlan del Rio.

  • 1 Terminal de Autobuses, Calle Miguel Hidalgo. There are actually at least 3 separate bus stops, all located within a block of each other on (or just off) Av. Hidalgo near the intersection of Cristobal Colon Sur. There are stops for Omnibus de Mexico, ACN, and Estrella Blanca.

Get around edit

The town is small, safe, and walking is the easiest way to get around. Taxis are usually available at a sitio across the street from the Zocalo. There are at least two taxi cooperatives in Ixtlan: Taxis Rojo (324 112 4997) and Taxis Blanco (324 243 5400). Most taxis are small Chevys.

See edit

Jardin Justo Barajas
  • 1 Jardin Justo Barajas (Plaza Principal) (Zocalo), Francisco Madero. Attractive, well-kept small urban park with groomed landscaping set around a large bandstand.
Circular ruins at los Toriles archaeological zone
  • 2 Zona Arquelogica de Ixtlan del Rio (Los Toriles), Carr. Guadalajara - Tepic s/n. 10:00 - 14:00. Small site managed by INAH. Clean with minimal facilities. Limited signage. M$75.
  • 3 Iglesia Santiago Apostel, Calle Miguel Hidalgo, Centro. Colonial era church with a beautifully ornate interior full of statues and other artworks.
  • 4 Cerro de Cristo Rey, Expropiación Petrolera 601. Daily 09:00 - 21:00. Climb the 500 stairs to the summit where you can sit in quiet contemplation or admire the views of the town and surrounding countryside. (It is possible to drive to the top by coming in the back way.) A small chapel at the top is usually closed.

Do edit

  • 1 Balneario el Suspiro, Av. Matamoros (south side of town, near Rio Grande), +52 324 100 3511. Daily 10:00 - 18:00. Public swimming pools. Public restrooms and showers. Pools are clean and well maintained.
  • El Salto del Diablo (south of town, in the mountain forests). If you're feeling adventurous, there's a waterfall in the mountains a few kilometers south of town. No roads go there but local guides know the way and can guide you on a several hour hiking trip out and back or its about an hour and a half each way on horseback.

Festivals edit

  • Feast of Christ King - last Sunday in October, locals hike to the top of Cerro del Cristo Rey

Buy edit

Eat edit

  • 1 Casa Grande, Zaragoza Ote. 25, Centro, +52 324 1119366. M-Sa 11:00 - 23:00, Su 11:00 - 19:00. Bright cheery traditional restaurant serving a variety of seafood and other dishes. Grilled octopus, steamed mussels, Also serves steaks, chicken and a smattering of international dishes. Full bar. Off-street parking available. M$250.
  • 2 La Veracruz, 5 de Mayo No. 22 norte, Centro, +52 324 243 2195, . W-M 07:00 - 16:00, Tu open 24 hours. Comfortably cheery restaurant with an extensive menu. Serves breakfast and lunch. Good fresh-brewed coffee in the morning.
  • 3 La Casona de Ixtlan, Hidalgo 756, +52 324 243 3109. Th-Tu 08:00 - 16:30, closed W. Large, clean, comfortable restaurant close to the archaeological ruins. Menu is traditional Mexican and the house specialty is carne asada. Locals also recommend the chilis rellenos. M$250.
  • 4 Mariscos Santa Gula, Pascual Villanueva #357, +52 324 243 8484. Daily 11:00 - 18:00. Family friendly casual seafood restaurant. Big shrimp cocktails, grilled octopus, grilled fish. Occasional live music.
  • 5 Taqueria la Ramada, Liceaga Norte, Esteban Baca Calderón, +52 324 101 0950. M & F 18:00 - 23:00, closed Tu-Th, Sa-Su 11:00 - 23:00. Good place for tasty late night cheap tacos. Super casual street food type place. Local delivery available. M$100.

Drink edit

Sleep edit

  • 1 El Marqués de Minas, Justo Barajas Nte 50-A, Centro, +52 324 243 2159. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Traditional hacienda style hotel with rooms set around a central courtyard. Rooms are clean, comfortably furnished and include air conditioning.
  • 2 Hotel Maya Ixtlán, C. Hidalgo 125 Pte, Centro, +52 324 100 1434. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Basic hotel in the heart of the city, near bus terminals. Rooms are minimally furnished and in need of renovation but prices are low. Off-street parking available.

Connect edit

Cell coverage in town and main highways is excellent but is 4G. WiFi internet is available at most restaurants and hotels in the area.

Go next edit

This city travel guide to Ixtlán del Rio is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.