Last updateThu, 26 Jun 2014 7pm

Two for one: Visiting a 500-year-old church, plus a 1,000-year-old pyramid

Last week archaeologist Francisco Sánchez showed me some ancient ruins at El Diente and casually mentioned yet more ruins at a place called San Agustín, just south of town.

At home, I looked up San Agustín, Jalisco online and was surprised to find descriptions of no fewer than 13 archaeological sites, such as:

  • The Pyramid of La Loma
  • The Hill of the Toad
  • The Rosetta Petroglyphs
  • The Acropolis or Lost City
  • Obsidian Workshops
  • The Cosmic Labyrinth

These imaginative names were so enticing that I jumped at the archaeologist’s offer to show me a few of them the following Sunday. “Vámonos,” I said, and had no trouble finding friends willing to tag along.

“On the way to San Agustín, we can visit the church at Santa Cruz de las Flores,” said our guide. “Its architecture can tell us a lot about the people who lived here before the Conquista.”

Santa Cruz lies right along the Circuito Metropolitano Sur highway and is easy to reach both from Guadalajara and Chapala. I must confess I have driven past the town a thousand times and never thought of stopping to visit the church. Along the way, the archaeologist explained that the churches built by the Franciscans in this area are very different from those in other parts of the country.

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