This shield-shaped island village is believed by some experts to be Aztlán, the ancestral homeland that the Aztecs left around AD 1091 to begin their generations-long migration to Tenochtitlán (modern Mexico City). Proponents point to the striking similarities between the cruciform design of Mexcaltitán’s streets and the urban layout of early Tenochtitlán. A pre-Hispanic bas-relief in stone found in the area is also provided as evidence – it depicts a heron clutching a snake, an allusion to the sign the Aztecs hoped to find in the promised land.
These days Mexcaltitán is foremost a shrimping town. Men head out into the surrounding wetlands, which are spectacular, in the early evening in small boats, to return just before dawn with their nets bulging.
It's a very laid-back, friendly place. Tourism has scarcely made a mark here.