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Ixtlán del Río

This Magical Town's name means "place where there is much obsidian," and it is the perfect place to explore on foot and admire its archeological attractions.

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What Makes It Magical

Set in the southeastern part of Nayarit, the Magical Town of Ixtlán del Río is cradled in a valley, Valle de Ixtlán, between the Sierra de San Pedro and Sierra de Pajaritos mountains. These geographical features are part of the town’s allure, guaranteeing breathtaking views of the surroundings. Plus, they create the warm, subhumid climate of this municipality known as the gateway to Nayarit. Its name means “place with plenty of obsidian.”

Archeologically, it is a significant spot because it is close to Los Toriles archeological site. It is one of the region’s most important sites because it is home to one of Mesoamerica’s few circular temples, in addition to palaces. It was the hub of the so-called the Ruta del Cobre (Copper Route), connecting what is now the US Southwest with central and south Mesoamerica along the Pacific.

Why You Should Go

  • Walk through the town to enjoy its hidden corners and old buildings.
  • Check out the Parroquia de Santo Santiago Apóstol. This church honoring Saint James displays Mexican baroque and rococo architecture.
  • Tucked inside the Presidencia Municipal government building, the Museo de Antropología Regional is both an anthropology museum and historic building you should visit.

At the Very Least

Cool off with a tall glass of sweet-and-sour corn-based tejuino and pick up some regional candy to take home. Watch the region’s diverse wildlife—perhaps you’ll spot coyotes, deer, wild boar, badgers, rabbits, and other mammals, or maybe birds, especially the goldfinches, magpies, and crimson-winged woodpeckers.

Don’t Miss

  1. Visit Los Toriles archeological site, 5.6 miles from Ixtlán del Río.
  2. Take in the panoramic views from the Cerrito del Cristo Rey mount.
  3. Take a break at one of the nearby waterparks, perfect for fun in the sun.