La Quemada Ruins are located on a hillside overlooking a valley, about 56 km (35 mi.) s.w. of Zacatecas off Mex. 54. Also known as Chicomostoc Ruins, this archeological site bears traces of narrow streets and the foundations of homes and temples of the Náhuatlac Indians, who settled the valley around 1170. Thought to be destroyed by fire, the city was already a ruin when the Spaniards discovered it in 1535.
Among the remaining structures are a restored pyramid, a palace with 11 standing columns, and the substantial surrounding walls. Since local transportation is unreliable, the ruins are much easier to reach if you have your own vehicle. From the highway it's an uphill, 30-minute walk to the site entrance. Visitors should wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring water.