Mexicaltitán de Uribe – Mexcaltitán de Uribe, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Mexicaltitán de Uribe

Mexcaltitán de Uribe, Mexico

Legend says this tiny ancient island is the lost ancestral homeland of the Aztecs. 


The small, human-made island of Mexicaltitán in the western Mexico state of Nayarit is believed to be the location of the mythical city of Aztlán, the long lost birthplace of the Aztec civilization.

Legend tells that this quaint island village, which dates to the start of the 12th century, was the original home of the Aztecs before they abandoned the site to found the great city of Tenochtitlan in 1325.

There is little evidence to support the claim, although the streets of Mexicaltitán are laid out in a circular, cruciform pattern similar to Tenochtitlan, and Aztec mythology does suggest the civilization originated on an island.

Regardless of the veracity of the legend, the quiet island of Mexicaltitán de Uribe is well worth a visit. It is small and easily walked, and still relatively removed from the tourist trail, accessible only by boat. The residents traditionally dry shrimp and fish in the sun on the raised sidewalks of the island, which is crossed with canals and has been called the “Mexican Venice.” It is said that during the rainy season when the street is flooded, you can see the pigs swimming in the street. 

Know Before You Go

The island is accessible by water taxi or ferry from La Batanga.

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May 7, 2019

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