The secret to enjoying life in any megapolis is to escape from time to time. For me the ideal formula is to go somewhere far away once every 4 months and stay there for 1-2 weeks plus fit in a small getaways on the weekend at least once a month. The idea seems luxurious, does`t it? If you live in a megapolis it is no luxury, it is pure necessity. It is the bare minimum that you need to keep yourself sane.
In my case it is also getting away from the city just to clean my lungs and breathe a bit. If you want to understand what I am talking about check out the application called Plume. It is a cool app that shows you how polluted or clean the air in your city is any hour of the day. The icon is a cloud. When you open the app you can see the cloud happy or sad depending on the level of pollution. So, my cloud is always in a bad mood and suggests taking it easy when doing outdoor activities. When you look at Mexico City from the plane you can see a huge brownish – grey cloud engulfing the entire city and it is nothing to do with precipitations.
So, this time we decided to escape from the endless city to a small village called Malinalco. It is one of the “pueblos magicos” which translates to magical villages. There are more than 100 of them throughout Mexico. “Pueblos magicos” offer a magical experience to tourists thanks to their historical value, natural beauty, rich culture or the combination of these there of.
The road to Malinalco is ok, although has a lot of twists and turns and I would not recommend driving it at dusk. However, i would give the same advice about any road in Mexico. You can get there by bus as well from metro station Observatorio (Terminal Poniente). More help with directions when going by bus can be found here bus.
What to do in Malinalco?
The restaurant Los Placeres is a tempting combination of beautiful Mexican style design and exquisite food. To be honest, with the lavish tropical nature here you can put together the simplest chairs and tables and any setting will look fantastic surrounded by the vibrant colours and natural sunlight. We ate our breakfast inside and then went back again for lunch and sat on the terrace. Thanks to the fresh ingredients, original presentation and heavenly sauces our meals were top notch. The fresh and juicy trout is highly recommended and is locally sourced.
2. Visit the ruins on the hill
Malinalco`s arqueological site is very easy to access and the climb is a breeze. It is very pretty as well. Personally I prefer Malinalco`s site itself, however the climb of Tepoztlan (a pueblo magico 2.5 hours from Mexico City) is perhaps more impressive.
3. Visit the Museum of Malinalco
It is a creatively organised small museum with a replica of the main temple of the ruins. A guide told us that they conducted their sacred rituals in the temple. In one of them a warrior had to stub himself, collect his own blood and drink it. The Aztecs were no joke.
4. Buy crockery at the market
Whilst the most important market day is Wednesday, we were there on Saturday and there was no lack of sellers or produce. We bought very nice crockery dirt cheap. It was too heavy, otherwise I would have probably bought the entire shop. There are a lot of fresh produce and tacos stands everywhere. Try Malinalco`s bread, it is famous for being baked in a stone oven using a special technique.
One day is enough to visit Malinalco. Just go there early in the morning so that you can leave the place before 5 pm. I find Saturdays to be the best for short trips out of Mexico City. Leaving around 7-8 am you won’t get caught in traffic and coming back before 6-7 pm you will also avoid the traffic and it will still be light.