Teotihuacan used to be one of the biggest cities in the world during its era. With a population of more than 125,000, it was the largest city in the Mesoamerica. It is designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pyramids of Teotihuacan are located in the State of Mexico, only 40 km from Mexico City which makes it a great day trip to explore this ancient site.
Luckily there is no need to book a tour. It can easily be done on your own. Not only it will save you some money, you can do it at your own pace and most importantly arrive before all the buses.
Visit of Mexico City is not complete without visiting the archaeological site of Teotihuacan.
We had previously visited the pyramids in Chichen Itza, and I would personally give the title of the World Wonder to the pyramids in Teotihuacan.
How to get to Teotihuacan
Wherever you stay in Mexico City, take the metro to the bus station – metro stop Autobuses del Norte station (yellow line #5). It is the fastest way to get to the station; it took us 30 minutes from Tlaxpana area. Most of the people who get off the metro will go to the bus station. Just follow the people and you’ll get there.
Once you are inside the station, head all the way to the left, to gate 8. You’ll find a window with a sign Autobuses Teotihuacan. As of August 2016, round-trip bus ticket cost 92 pesos (5 USD). Staff will point you in the right direction from which your bus departs. Also, the bus driver checks every ticket making sure nobody gets on the wrong bus. It departs every 20 minutes; time of your departure is printed on the ticket.
Teotihuacan archaeological site opens at 9 am, so catching the bus at 8 am would be the best option. It takes about an hour to get there. The bus driver will announce the bus stop for the pyramids so you won’t miss it. It stops right in front of the gate to the site where you purchase an entrance ticket to Teotihuacan for 65 pesos (3,50 USD) per person.
The only thing you’ll be missing out doing this on your own is a tour guide. You can hire one at the gate for around 700 pesos (38 USD), depends on how well you can haggle. Or read before you arrive more info about Teotihuacan pyramids. Most of the signs at the site are in Spanish.
The sooner you start the better chance of getting there before the crowds you have. Tour buses pull over around 10:30. By that time it starts to get very hot. And climbing to the top of the pyramid would not be very pleasant.
When you get to Teotihuacan
All the structures are along the main street of Teotihuacan – Avenue of the Dead. Biggest are The pyramid of the Sun and The pyramid of the Moon. They are very visible right from the start. That’s where we headed as our first stops.
You can climb all the way to the top of The pyramid of the Sun. It’s quite a climb with more than 200 steps. The view from the top is breathtaking. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that more than 125,000 people lived there. Parts of the surrounding pyramids are still covered in dirt and archaeologists are working on uncovering them.
Second stop was The pyramid of the Moon. You are only allowed to climb to the ¼ of the pyramid which will offer a view of the whole Avenue of the Dead with surrounding temples.
The Palace of Quetzlpapalotl is the most preserved building in Teotihuacan. Some ornaments were retouched so all the details are visible. People building the city had obviously taken the time to finish them. It took 350 years to build the city of Teotihuacan.
Where to eat in Teotihuacan
Several food stands are located on the site. Another option is restaurants outside the Teotihuacan. You can re-enter the site anytime as long as it’s on the same day. We opted for homemade sandwiches as these places are usually crowded and overpriced.
Teotihuacan closes at 5 pm, but honestly, you don’t need a whole day to walk around the site. In a leisurely pace, we were done in 4 hours.
The bus to the Mexico City will pick you up at the same spot it dropped you off.
Tips before you go to Teotihuacan
- It gets hot very quickly, don’t forget a hat and sunscreen
- Wear comfortable running or hiking shoes, surface is very uneven throughout the site
- Bring plenty of water, you will need it when climbing up the pyramids (additional can be bought at food stalls)
- There are many vendors on the site, they all sell the same souvenirs. Be prepared to get scared by a toy making sounds of a jaguar
- Site is closed on Mondays and Mexican have a free entry on Sundays so try to avoid this day
- Entrance fee to the museum Teotihuacan is included in the ticket for the site. It features several displays and sculptures
We found the site of Teotihuacan overwhelmingly beautiful and much bigger than expected. Given the size of the pyramids, it really makes you think how they built this city 300 years BC and appreciates all the perks of modern age which were not available for people building it.
When you visit Mexico City, make sure the trip to one of the biggest pyramids in the world is on your list!
Have you visited pyramids in Teotihuacan? Or any pyramids in Americas? Which is your favourite?
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