Welcome to Ixtlán del Río, a municipality and the municipal seat in the Mexican state of Nayarit. With a population of 33,289 in 2018, Ixtlán is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Located 149 kilometers south of the state capital Tepic, Ixtlán is easily accessible by both rail and highway connections. The important coastal highway Route 15 passes through the city, while a toll road passes to the east. Ixtlán has boundaries with the municipalities of La Yesca and Jala in the north; Amatlán de Cañas and the state of Jalisco in the south, Jalisco in the east and Ahuacatlán in the west. The land is mainly mountainous (60%) with some flat lands near the small rivers where the agricultural lands and settlements are located. The climate is hot and sub-humid with rains falling from March to July. The average annual temperature varies between 21 °C and 25 °C, with maximum lows of 0 °C and highs of 48 °C. The average annual rainfall is around 859.8 mm. The economy is based on services, small industries (brickworks, furniture, pottery), and agriculture. The main crops are maize, sorghum, beans, and green chile. There were about 36,000 head of cattle in 1995. South of the city lies Toriles, the most important archaeological site in northwestern Mexico. Here is found the temple of Quetzalcoatl, from the Toltec culture. The ceramic and gold jewelry extracted here can be seen in the Regional Museum of Ixtlán. The Río Grande de Santiago crosses the eastern edge of the municipality but is not to be confused with the larger Río Grande de Santiago of the same name that flows from Jalisco into Nayarit. The land upon which the city lies sits atop the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and is defined by the volcano El Molcajete, and the hills known as Las Panochas, El Borrego, and Mezquites. The city has two rivers: the Río Grande de Santiago that originates in the Pajaritos Mountains, and the Río Chico which originates in the mountains of Juanacatán. The area has multiple seasonal streams, including El Cofradía, Los Limones, Los Sauces, Arroyo Verde, San Miguel, El Pilareño, and 17 springs, the most well known of which is the hot springs called Agua Caliente. Indigenous animals include coyotes, deer, jabalí (peccary), badgers, and hares. Birds include the goldfinch, painted urraca, and woodpecker. Ixtlán del Río is a city that offers visitors a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and mouthwatering local cuisine, this enchanting destination should be on every traveler’s bucket list.

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