Visit Mexcaltitan Island and Celebrate Where Mexico Began
While you’re staying in Nayarit, don’t forget to visit Mexcaltitan Island, especially at this time of year. You’ll love the area at any time, but June 29th is the Batalla de Santos. This is a massive feast commemorating the patron saints Peter and Paul.
As one of the most outstanding and iconic traditional ceremonies in the country, you’ll want to be sure to visit Mexcaltitan Island if you’re here on that day. The island is often considered to be the birthplace of Mexican heritage. Heading to the island is often seen as a form of pilgrimage reflecting that of the Aztecs (Mexicas) who left Aztlán and to form the breathtaking city of Tenochitlán, today’s Mexico City.
Visit Mexcaltitan Island, Mexico’s Cultural Birthplace
The Riviera Nayarit was once an important location for the Aztec empire. The Aztecs were the people who gave Mexico its name and who designed the Mexican National Emblem, which appears to this day on the Mexican flag as the crest in its center. That crest tells the story of the Aztec legend of establishing a settlement where a heron was spotted in the middle of a lake, standing on a cactus, holding a snake in its beak.
That legend was what motivated the original pilgrimage in 1091. When you visit Mexcaltitan Island, you will see what was then considered the mythical “Land of the Herons,” Aztlan. What’s more, it is considered to be the very place where the Mexican identity was born.
Visit Mexcaltitan Island for History Dating Back Centuries
The pilgrimage brought the Aztecs, who identified themselves as “Mexicas” from the island to establish Tenochitlan (today’s Mexico City) in 1325 after spotting the heron from the vision. Those Mexicas called their original region Mexcaltitan, but called this new home Mexica, which evolved into the word “Mexico” that we use today.
The pilgrimage that brought the people from the island to Mexica was what launched the start of the Mexican culture. It is considered a critical moment in the country’s heritage.
What to See When You Visit Mexcaltitan Island
Today, when you visit Mexcaltitan Island, you’ll be surrounded by a wealth of culture and history. That said, it also has a kind of mystical air about it. Since 1986, it has been an official Historical Monument. The Mexican government also designated it a Pueblo Magico (a magic town). If you’d like a bit of history and magic to your vacation, you certainly can’t miss your chance to visit Mexcaltitan Island.