Pochteca definition: Pochteca (singular pochtecatl) were professional, long- distance traveling merchants in the Aztec Empire. They were a small, but important class as they not only facilitated commerce, but also communicated vital information across the empire and beyond its borders. The trade or commerce was referred to as pochtecayotl. The Pochteca also traveled outside the empire to trade with neighboring lands throughout Mesoamerica. Because of their extensive travel and knowledge of the empire, Pochteca were often employed as spies.