Known variously as “Tepeyacac” or “Tepeaquilla,” the Tepeyac National Park is the site of the famous apparition of Saint Juan Diego who met the Virgin of Guadalupe here in December 1531. Within the park are the Tepeyac Hill, Cerro de Guerrero and the Cerro de Santa Isabel. The park borders six colonias within the Gustavo A Madero alcaldia.
The main park entrance is off of Insurgentes, on Ave Huitzilihuitl, after the town of Santa Isabel Tola. Since the pre-Hispanic period, the area was known as a ceremonial center of importance to the Aztec culture. The goddess Tonatzin is known to have been honored here. Early settlers in the pre-Hispanic period settled on the slopes in nearby places like Ticoman, Tlatilco and Zacatenco. And a series of excavations in the region found human remains in tombs along with ceramic, clay, stone, and obsidian tools, figurines, objects, and ornament and some with clear Olmec influences. Likely other peoples include those from the Teotihuacan culture, Cholulteca, Toltec, and Chichimeca peoples.
The park has been reforested a number of times in the 20th century, and the most prolific species is eucalyptus. There are also cedar, oak, radiata pine, and pine patula pirules. Some smaller areas of grasslands can also be observed. The national park also shares the smaller hills with the Basilica of Guadalupe. At the foot of the hills a monumental complex dedicated to the Virgin if Guadalupe receives millions of visitors every year. The Plaza Mariana is composed of several churches and buildings. The Basilica is made up of several chapels such as the Capilla el Pocito, the Parroquia de Capuchinas, the Capilla del Cerrito and the Capilla de Indios. There is also a research center with a collection of colonial documents and music files. The Lorenzo Boturinis’ Theological Library holds more than 17,000 volumes.
The basilica compound also has a museum with an important collection of some 1,500 colonial period works, among them paintings, sculptures, jewelery, and artifacts.