Visit the Mesoamerican site of Peralta Near San Miguel de Allende

Peralta is a Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican archaeological site, not far from Guanajuato City, roughly a 2-hour drive from San Miguel de Allende, in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.

The ruin originally occupied about 130 hectares of land and was home to many structures, of which 22 pyramids have been identified, including a multitude of terraced agricultural fields that supported the population. The region was initially settled around 100 AD, with the center reaching its apex between 300 and 650 AD prior to the population’s reversion to a nomad lifestyle.

According to archaeologists the city declined and collapsed due to the overexploitation of the surrounding rainforest and it was abandoned around 900 AD. The most important structure is double temple structure, with its sunken patio.

Another important building is the main structure, called La Mesita. It has a large plaza which is considered to have been the main square for the city. Among the walls and other structures a semicircle dedicated to the Danza de Voladores has been discovered.

Peralta and the Bajio tradition are part of a regional culture, however, its unique archaeology and ceramic works are different from other Mesoamerican societies. The inhabitants are believed to have formed agricultural societies that built social and religious networks, probably linked by family ties and regional governments. These societies traded foodstuff items, baskets, ornaments and luxury items such as turquoise jewels, shell collars and obsidian items.

Over 1,400 years ago, in addition to Peralta, there were other five known important cities in the region; San Bartolome, San Miguel Viejo, Tepozan, Loza Los Padres and Penuelas. Circular structures confirm the tradition of ancient relations with other civilizations. Circular structures are common across Pre Hispanic Mesoamerica making this site, a typically underappreciated part of the Mayan puzzle, and an important aspect of Mexican history.

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