33 Striking Aztec Tattoo Ideas for Men & Women in 2023
If you’re a history nerd, then you’ll know exactly who the Aztecs were, if not, here’s a little history lesson. The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican culture that thrived from the 1300s to 1521 and included different ethnic groups of Central America. We’re not entirely certain if the Aztec people practiced tattooing, but it’s known that they performed body modifications for various ritual practices. Many of the tattoos on this list are inspired by the many symbols and artworks of the ancient Mesoamerican people.
But before you go and get your own Aztec tattoo, let us help guide you in choosing the perfect piece of ink. Below we’ll show you the finest, most distinctive, and best-looking Aztec tattoo ideas for 2023. You’ll surely be inspired with the perfect idea of which tattoo style to get, as well as where to get tattooed on your body.
With that said, let’s begin.
Amazing Black and Gray Aztec Half-Sleeve Tattoo
Here we have a lovely black and gray Aztec half-sleeve tattoo. I love the mix of the calendar and dragon, it almost appears to be protecting the calendar. The smoke done in negative spacing is a great addition to this piece, especially with the drop shadow over the leaves. It adds a three-dimensional feel, giving this piece that extra pop.
Colorful God of Rain and Thunder (Tláloc) Aztec Tattoo
Welcome to another list of tattoos to inspire you in 2023. Today’s focus is on Aztec tattoos and do we have some amazing pieces in store. First up is this awesome colorful god of rain piece.
Obviously, the thing that stands out the most here is how vivid the colors are; they’re packed solidly and are without any inconsistencies. Another thing worth the mention is the clean linework, the starting point for any good piece.
Black and Gray Aztec Warrior Tattoo On the Forearm
The black and gray shading in this tattoo is so smooth and realistic, with the highlights adding an extra touch of realism. Another thing that’s really cool is how this piece looks like it was carved out of stone, which sticks to the Aztec theme because that’s all we have left of their history, stone monuments.
Realistic Black and Gray Aztec Girl Tattoo On the Outer Forearm
There’s so much depth to this tattoo, all created by the well-placed drop shadows. The shading is smooth and the details in the necklace and lion’s fur are exceptional. I also really like that this piece blends into the client’s original tattoos, bringing them smoothly together. Great work!
Neo-Traditional Aztec Full-Arm Sleeve Tattoo
Okay, this sleeve is absolutely awesome. The composition is amazing and flows with the shape of the client’s arm so nicely. What’s really cool is the addition of red; it complements the black and gray shading and creates a focal point your eyes are immediately drawn to.
Impressive Black and Gray Aztec Warrior Tattoo On Man’s Arm
This warrior tattoo is perfect for where it’s placed. Any design that has a portrait should face inwards, toward the heart. The shading is feathery and smooth, and true to the black and gray style there are no solid lines. Beautiful shading, gorgeous design, and amazing placement, credit to the artist for this lovely tattoo.
Aztec Jaguar Warrior Thigh Tattoo
This is such a unique Aztec tattoo, it’s very Old School but also looks almost like a cave painting. I adore the bright colors and dark shading; they contrast against each other while simultaneously complementing each other. Beautiful linework and even better color packing.
Black and Gray Aztec Snake Forearm Tattoo
I love everything about this black and gray Aztec snake tattoo; it looks like it was carved from stone and the artist did an incredible job at creating that illusion. Adding the white highlights is a good choice; it helps make this piece stand out, especially in the eyes. The thin linework is also the perfect choice for this tattoo as it blends well with the smooth shading. How amazing are the tiny details? So impressive!
Aztec Calendar Full-Chest Tattoo
Aztec calendars are a popular subject often added to this style of tattoo. The intricate details are awesome and the shading adds a three-dimensional touch to a tattoo that could have possibly been very flat. I like how the calendar fits between the original designs, and ties them together in a very natural way.
Amazing Black and Gray Aztec God Tattoo On the Side of the Calf
First, I want to say wow, because this tattoo is extraordinarily well done in all aspects. The attention to detail is jaw-dropping, especially the little white highlights that give this tattoo an extra pop. Another thing worth mentioning is the placement; I love tattoos on the calf or side of the calf. There’s so much space to work with, meaning you can go as big and as detailed as you want.
Gorgeous Realistic Aztec Queen Tattoo On Man’s Hamstring
Is she not the most beautiful Aztec queen you’ve ever seen? Her gaze says everything, don’t mess with her because she is powerful. I like the fade on the edges of the tattoo. It brings your attention to the face, because it’s darker than the rest of the tattoo.
Blackwork Aztec Warrior Skull Tattoo
I really like the mix of styles in this tattoo. There’s a hint of Old School and Neo- Traditional, which when brought together, create an amazing tattoo with so much character. A tattoo with clean linework and silky shading is always a winner in my book. Any artist can tattoo but not all of them can pull a solid clean line, so kudos to Dom Wiley for his incredible artistry. I also love the placement on the calf; this design suits it so well.
Impressive Black and Gray Dead Aztec Queen Tattoo
The shading in this tattoo is so smooth and absolutely gorgeous. I like how contrasted some areas are and then how they blend into a soft gray. Beautiful. If you want to see more Aztec tattoos like this one, give aztekstyles a like and follow on Instagram; you’ll find more amazing work by this amazing artist.
Amazing Aztec Stone Dragon Biceps Tattoo
The Aztec dragon is always such a magical-looking design. This one is called Quetzalcoatl, and is one of several important gods in the Aztec pantheon. What’s really cool about this piece is how it’s been placed. It starts over the biceps and ends on the forearm, with the most important part of the tattoo being shown off. I adore the attention to detail and the smooth shading that give life to this outstanding piece.
Stunning Blackwork Aztec Snake Tattoo On the Side of Calf
What’s awesome about this tattoo is the fact that there are no solid outlines; that’s because of the style it’s inked in. There’s a touch of black and gray but most of this tattoo is blackwork. How? Well, you can tell by how contrasted the shading is. The composition of this piece is also super unique. I love that the artist drew the snake curled up in a striking position and not the usual wrapped-around-the-leg positioning.
Aztec-Inspired Geometric Sleeve Tattoo
Aztec and geometry morphed into one tattoo? Yes, please. Okay, it’s not your traditional geometric tattoo but there are definitely hints. I like the rough textured shading; it gives this piece a more rustic feel. Another thing worth the mention is how the artist left the face barely shaded because the rest of the tattoo is rather dark. The lightness of the face immediately draws your eyes to it, creating a focal point.
Mictlantecutli-Inspired Warrior Tattoo on the Outer Forearm
How awesome is the placement of this tattoo? The way the design has been drawn fits perfectly on the outer forearm. This warrior is absolutely terrifying and I would not want to get in his way during battle. Amazing attention to detail and exceptional tattooing skills, if you find yourself in Mexico, be sure to find your way to zero.trez and get something equally as badass.
Black and Gray Aztec Lord of the Underworld Tattoo
Every culture or civilization has its own version of the ruler of the underworld. Most people get Hades or Lucifer, but this Aztec lord of the underworld is probably the coolest and creepiest thing I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Many of the tattoos on this list are done in a stone-like style because the statues and monuments are the only references we have left of this ancient civilization. This piece ties together with the previous one to create a full sleeve, and what a glorious sleeve it is.
Realistic Aztec Architecture Forearm Tattoo
The architecture of the Aztecs is quite impressive, especially because of how advanced they were for their time. This realistic tattoo of the Aztec monuments and architecture embodies the true nature of how massively impressive this civilization was. I adore the placement on the forearm; the shape of the design is a perfect fit. What an amazing piece!
Black and Gray Aztec God Tattoo On the Shoulder
Here we have another Aztec God monument, uniquely placed on the shoulder. I find this design to be quite interesting and unique, mostly because of its shape. However, this is not a lone tattoo, it actually ties into the next to create an amazing Aztec Snake. I love that the artist incorporates one of the Aztec God’s into the snake’s body, outstanding design work.
Massive Aztec Snake Tattoo On the Arm
Here’s the full view of the Aztec serpent tattoo, and wow is it impressive! The way the artist designed and placed this piece to accommodate the existing tattoo is really nice; there are enough gaps between the new and old tattoos so they don’t appear to be on top of each other. The shading is soft and buttery but it’s the placement that really gives this piece that wow factor.
Amazing Black and Gray Aztec Dragon Throat Tattoo
Throat tattoos are bold and make for a perfect statement piece. This Aztec piece looks amazing on the neck; I like how it goes all the way up to his chin, although, I wonder what it looks like when you’re looking at him head-on. Either way, this tattoo is super badass and definitely complements his neck.
Incredible Realistic Jaguar Aztec Outer Forearm Tattoo
This tattoo is so realistic it looks like you could almost reach out and stroke the jaguar. The part that I like the most is how the stone carving above the wild cat looks like a crown. A noteworthy mention is the attention to detail, from the jaguar to the stone carvings, everything about this tattoo is top-class, and if I could give the artist a reward I would.
Black and Gray Aztec Skull Tattoo On Guy’s Forearm
Another amazing realistic Aztec piece, I was going to say portrait but I don’t know if a skull counts. The forearm is the perfect place to put this design. Even though it wraps around the forearm, the focal point is in plain view and isn’t warped at all. I enjoy the soft shading, contrasting against the darker areas. The drop shadow under the chin is amazing and gives this tattoo a three-dimensional feel.
Gorgeous Black and Gray Queen of the Aztecs Tattoo
The Aztecs regarded jaguars as the bravest of the beasts, which is why they are prevalent in many of these designs. Jaguars were a favorite representation of war and here we can see one adorning this queen’s head like a crown. I like this tattoo a lot, although there’s one thing that’s bothering me, her eyes. For some reason, they appear too close together, but that may be due to the angle of the picture. Other than that, this piece is stunning and truly embraces the beauty of an Aztec queen.
Impressive Aztec Calendar Full-Back Tattoo
Okay, this tattoo is insanely impressive, not only is it beautifully detailed but it’s also massive! I can’t begin to imagine how long it took to finish, but that’s beside the point. The way the artist uses the serpent as a frame for the calendar is absolutely gorgeous, but the best part is how realistic this entire tattoo is. This is definitely a show-stopper; imagine seeing this guy taking his shirt off at the beach. I would definitely go up to him and ask him where he had it done.
Realistic Nahui Ollin Tattoo On Woman’s Outer Forearm
The Nahui Ollin symbolizes the cyclical motion of nature with regard to the four directions, while the eye represents the face of the earth. Overall, the meaning behind this cool tattoo is to constantly strive for balance, even when there is a struggle. I love that the artist went with a realistic style instead of the traditional design. The placement is also great; the outer forearm is always a winner because it’s a nice visible spot that can be admired by both wearer and admirers.
Amazing Black and Gray Full-Sleeve Aztec Tattoo
This full-sleeve Aztec tattoo is exceptionally well done and has such depth to it. I will admit that it’s quite busy, and most of the shading is quite similar, making it difficult to distinguish the background from the subjects that should be in the foreground. Besides that this tattoo is phenomenal. The artist displays a major understanding of the light source, shading, and attention to detail.
Black and Gray Jaguar Aztec Warrior On Arm
It’s really cool how the artist creates this tattoo; the style is unusual, maybe even illustrative. There’s also a blend of shading techniques used to give this design various textures. I love the white highlight in the eyes; it adds a mystical feel to this awesome tattoo. Credit to the artist for such a cool piece.
Stunning Tonatiuh (Deity of the Sun) Tattoo On Outer Forearm
Tonatiuh, the sun god and the center of the Aztec calendar, was thought to be the god of the fifth sun or “world”. Zero3 is the artist behind this outstanding tattoo and he specializes in these designs. You should go and give his Instagram some love; there’s a lot more where this came from.
Realistic Black and Gray Aztec Goddess Forearm Tattoo
There’s something both creepy and beautiful about portraits of people with white-out eyes. It almost gives them a mythical look. Here we have a stunning realistic Aztec goddess and boy is she a beauty. I love the contrasting shades of black and gray and the gorgeous highlights used to accentuate her face. What more could I say about this forearm tattoo? I give it an 11/10!
Traditional Blackwork Full Arm Aztec Dragon Tattoo
This tattoo reminds me of an Old School piece. What I like the most is how angled it is; instead of creating a flowy dragon the artist keeps with the style of the Aztec sculptures and monuments. I like how it wraps around the arm and works its way up along its entire length. Great shading and even better linework.
Completed Full-Sleeve Aztec Tattoo
We’ve reached the end of our list and our final tattoo is this completed full-sleeve. Remember the geometric Aztec tattoo? Here it’s completed, extending all the way onto the hand. What a great way to end an awesome tattoo!
We hope you found what you were looking for and had as much fun looking at these tattoos as we had writing about them. Until next time, happy inking!