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San Miguel Ajusco

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San-Miguel-Ajusco-Tlalpan
Photo: Alcaldía Tlalpan

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San Miguel Ajusco is one of the original towns of Tlalpan. It’s best known as a first stop on your way into Cumbres del Ajusco National Park. The neighboring pueblo, Santo Tomás Ajusco, is contiguous with San Miguel but receives the bulk of visitors interested in the small town, the center, shops, and nightlife.

Nevertheless, San Miguel has lively traditions too. The name derives from the Nahuatl adjco, meaning “forest of waters.” It might be better translated as “Place of flowers where the water sprouts.”

According to tradition, the original town of Axochco was founded in 1531. According to the same tradition, the Archangel San Miguel appeared to post-conquest settlers in the area no fewer than three times. He’s been the patron saint of both the town and the church ever since.  The town church, pictured,  dates from 1707. Parishioners built a new nave during the 20th century along with a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart. The presbytery holds an 18th century wood carving of San Miguel.

The town is also famous for the labyrinth gardens, and for the harvest of Christmas trees. The town is some 2,900 meters above sea level. As such, it’s relatively cold for most of the year and rainy and cool in summer. The town is also a popular starting point for those intending to bicycle to Cuernavaca. The railway has been converted to a popular bicycle lane.

San Miguel Ajusco’s traditional feast days, both dedicated to San Miguel Archangel, are on May 8 and September 29 of each year.

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