Texcotzingo is claimed to be one of the first extant botanical gardens in the Americas, along with Montezuma's gardens in Huastepec. The gardens and archaeological site are located roughly 20 miles northeast of central Mexico City, Mexico.
Texcotzingo is adjacent to the Aztec capital city of Texcoco and acted as the summer imperial gardens, resplendent in all the royal trappings of the time, including imperial and courtly residences and fantastic waterworks. Tetzcotzingo however should also be seen as a hedonist/sacred space, agricultural space, political statement or emblem, performance space, and earthworks.
Texcotzingo was designed and created by Nezahualcoyotl, the then-ruler of Texcoco, in the 15th century. These imperial gardens were used to collect and display plant and animal specimens, aiming towards an encyclopedic understanding of the flora and fauna of the whole of the Aztec empire, as well as the cultivation of medicinal plants. They were conceived as a place for sensual gratification on one hand and as a recreation of paradise on the other. Dedicated to the rain god Tlaloc, (He Who Makes the Plants Spring Up), Texcotzingo was designed by incorporating Aztec myths through sculpture depicting gods and observances of sacred numbers (such as the number 52).
New hydraulic projects and terrace gardens transformed the previously un-arable land into lush edible gardens containing the three ubiquitous staples of the Americas: maize, beans, and squash. Waterways were also used to connect pools imbued with historical and mythical significance through monolithic sculptures and symbolic representations, therefore reasserting the Aztec's empire connection to mythic cosmographies and preceding empires. One clear example is a bath/pool flanked by three frogs representing the three city states of Tenochitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan, the cities which made up the Aztec Triple Alliance. The baths in the Texcotozingo site were carved from solid rock and were surrounded by lush gardens and waterworks.
Make Texcotzingo a centerpiece of your Texcoco vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Texcoco planning tool .
Create an itinerary including Texcotzingo
I'm rather shocked that so few tourists go to this archeological site. The history is important: Texcoco was a sometimes-partner, sometimes-rival to Tenochtitlan, and the Texcoco people built this... more »
A superb free site just outside of Texcoco. A lovely hike up the hill round the baths and if you are energetic and sure footed up and over the top. Remains of the water management systems and gardens.... more »
Places to stay near Texcotzingo
Plan your trip to Texcoco
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Texcoco
Plans to Texcotzingo by other users
8 days in Huixquilucan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 39 days in Ciudad Nezahualcoyotl BY A USER FROM CHILE January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular sights PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Huixquilucan BY A USER FROM PHILIPPINES May, culture, popular sights PREFERENCES: May, culture ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in United States, Caribbean, South America, Mexico, Asia & Europe BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS August, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 1 day in Texcoco BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Texcoco BY A USER FROM MEXICO May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium