Ancient structures and monuments can be found throughout the country of Mexico, but the Guachimontones Pyramids of Teuchitlán (meaning ‘God’s place’) stand as perhaps the most important prehistoric settlement of western Mexico. In an ancient city inhabited by as many as 40,000 people from 200 to 400 A.D., the concentric circles left behind are visible remnants of the distant past.
The UNESCO World Heritage site isn’t as well known as others, yet it’s a unique place that transports you back in time. The circular pyramids are unlike any other archeological site, and have only begun to be excavated within the last twenty years.
Little is known about the Teuchitlan Tradition civilization that once lived here. It is believed that the main pyramid was once used as a ceremonial site, with 52 steps corresponding to the Mayan calendar. The space also has some of the largest ball courts in Mesoamerica, on which ancient games were once played with a rubber and stone ball.
Guachimontones is located just outside the town of Teuchitlán. Get there driving in 45 minutes from Guadalajara on the road to Puerto Vallarta. There is also a bus that stops nearby to the site that takes around 2 hours from the city.
Be sure to stop by the small local museum for more information (in Spanish.) The site is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm and admission is $30 MXN.