The petroglyphs at Alta Vista are well worth visiting. They are located about 35 minutes north of Rincón de Guayabitos and La Peñita, in the heart of the Riviera Nayarit. There, one can hike the ancient trails of the Huichol Indians at the archeological site of La Pila del Rey (The King’s Fountain) along the Las Piletas Creek and El Copo Volcano. Although it is not the largest, it is considered the most complex site of its kind in the state of Nayarit. To this day, local Mestizos and Huichol Indians still worship here.
The windy dirt road into Alta Vista takes you past agricultural fields and cow pastures. The road is lined with a barbed-wire fence and large trees which provide a shaded canopy nearly the entire way.
If you look closer, you’ll notice that many of the fence posts are living Papelillo trees (commonly known as a Gringo trees because of their red peeling bark) and Kapok trees (also called Ceiba) with woody spines covering their trunks. Once you get to the “Y” in the road, the trip becomes a little more interesting. The road is completely washed out at this point (likely from the heavy rains a few years ago), so you’ll need to park your car and walk the rest of the way.
The hike to the entrance of the petroglyphs takes about 20 minutes. The route is not marked and sometimes difficult to find. Sections of the road are cobblestones, but most is dirt and quite rugged with deep potholes and grooves. You’ll make your way over the creek and through the woods… literally.
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Article and photographs by Allyson Williams