The Alta Vista Petroglyphs – Fun on the Riviera Nayarit

The Alta Vista Petroglyphs

I led a tour group on an Alta Vista Petroglyphs hike recently and it struck me again how differently each visit to this ancient and special place affects me. The seasons change the feeling o

f this sacred place: winter’s riot of color and gurgling stream give way to early summer’s semi-arid browns and greens and drying pools.

Every hike in is different because of temperature changes and cyclical rain patterns.

Each visit is different because the ancients knew what they were doing – this is a special place!

There is a serene power at work here, as you enter the area you begin to feel its pull, the deeper in you hike the stronger it becomes, until you stand in the amphitheater surrounded by dozens and dozens of petroglyphs. Until you stand humbly next to an ancient peoples holy site, a simple ring of stones, a primitive altar still used today, and bow your head, and give thanks to your Maker.

Located on protected land, the Alta Vista Petroglyphs are clustered along a stretch of the Las Piletas creek.

Covering an area of 80 hectares (200 acres); archeologists have discovered over 2000 petroglyphs there, making Alta Vista one of the largest known concentrations of stone carvings anywhere.

The trail meanders along Las Piletas creek leading visitors to various groups of petroglyphs, signs in Spanish and English explain various historical facts about the region, what different petroglyphs are believed to have meant, and some of the religious and cultural beliefs of the Indians that organically carved the petroglyphs.

But the glory of the Alta Vista petroglyphs is the amphitheater.

Located in a bend of La Piletas creek, the rock creek bed descends in a series of steps, seemingly hand carved and lovingly placed to shape this one sacred venue.

An elevated finger of land juts out into the creek bed above the turn, and there under a tree, is the small altar – surrounded by dozens and dozens of different petroglyphs – most of them symbolizing requests for fertility, and an ample harvest.

You feel at one with the Tecoxquines Indians who carved the petroglyphs in order to communicate with their god, as you sit quietly and communicate with yours.

For an Alta Vista Petroglyph tour contact Cat Morgan at:

Cat Morgan is owner of serving the Riviera Nayarit for vacation and relocation.

 By Cat Morgan

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Celebrating twenty years of publishing weekly in Puerto Vallarta! Since 1997.

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