Av. Rodolfo Neri Vela, Bosque de Chapultepec II Secc, Miguel Hidalgo, 11100 Ciudad de México, CDMX
Most of the time the first section of the Bosque de Chapultepec (Chapultepec Park) gets most of the visitors and attention as it’s closer to public transportation and has many of the most popular landmarks in the park, and even in the city as a whole, such as the Castle of Chapultepec and the Zoológico de Chapultepec. But the area that comprises the entire Bosque de Chapultepec is massive and is actually comprised of 3 sections. The second section has some wonders of its own that motivate some travelers and tourists to adventure a little farther out inside the park, not least of all the Papalote Museo del Niño, which is one of the world’s finest (and largest) museums dedicated to the little ones, but just crossing the street from Papalote is an interesting sculpture, the Fuente de Tláloc (Tlaloc Fountain) which is a large fountain covered in tiles and designed by Diego Rivera just five years before his death in 1957.
The fountain was part of a larger project designed to refurbish Mexico City’s water system. The water supply starts at the Río Lerma (Lerma River) in the neighboring Estado de Mexico, and traverses most of the country’s central valley, finally ending at Lake Chapala in Jalisco. The water supply flows beneath the area surrounding the fountain and it used to pass over the sculpture of Tláloc and enter the adjoining and also massive sump pump, whose building was also designed by the artist.
The fountain eventually became obsolete and wasn’t used anymore, reaching its nadir at the start of the XXI century, when it was so damaged that it was closed for a decade. But in 2010, the government of Mexico City refurbished the whole complex and the fountain became a tourist attraction once again. It’s true that the figure of Tláloc, the god of rain adored by the Aztecs, is lying on his back, and to get a better view of the sculpture one would have to fly over it, but the next best thing is to climb the steps of a small promontory situated right in front of the fountain. This mini-pyramid offers the best view of Rivera’s magnificent tiled sculpture, and also provides a good workout for joggers looking to spruce up their run with some stair climbing, look for them passing you left and right while you leisurely climb up the stairs.