Desierto de los leones
Do not let the name deceive you: there are neither lions nor any desert. An oasis of nature, adventure, and culture.
About the area..
It's hard to explain why, but some places simply have a different energy. Such is the Former Ex Convent del Desierto de los Leones, a place full of mysteries. At the beginning of the seventeenth century the Order of the Discalced Carmelites had settled in New Spain and the friars were in search of the ideal place to build a convent where they could fulfill their vows.
On the way between Mexico City and Toluca, the monks discovered a forest submerged in silence. They called it "desert", even though it was full of vegetation, as a spiritual term to describe the tranquility of the place. That's where they founded their convent, which was known as "Santo Desierto de Nuestra Senora del Carmen de los Montes de Santa Fe". Over time, it was simply called "Desert of the Lions", because a family named Leon managed the place before the Spanish Crown in the name of the friars.
The original complex was huge, including: the main cloister, library, kitchen, dining room, guest house, laundry, cells, vegetable garden, chapels and stables, among other spaces. The so-called Garden of Secrets is an architectural jewel built to make surprising plays of light and shade with the surrounding nature.
1. Pay a visit to the former convent! A monk will take you through the tunnels, corridors, passageways and chapels. An exceptional experience.
2. Go with friends for a picnic day in this unique setting. Hike, explore the woods, and then dine at one of the typical food stands.
3. Try the typical quesadillas. Simply delicious.
4. Walk through the town of Cuajimalpa and visit the Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Museum, located in the old mansion where Father Hidalgo stayed before the Battle of Las Cruces.