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Why you should visit Teotihuacan, Mexico

It was once among the largestand most populated cities around the globe, but today the pyramids are all that remains from the ancient city of Teotihuacan located in Mexico.

The site is located close to the modern-day Mexico City, the pyramids of Teotihuacan are located close to Mexico City. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site that ought to be on every traveler’s bucket list. Some of the more impressive pyramids are still climbing, and offer breathtaking views from the summit of these prehistoric works of engineering.

It’s an amazing place to discover, and also to assist you with planning your trip this is our information on Teotihuacan!

A brief history of the Teotihuacan Pyramids

Teotihuacan within Mexico is inseparable from its history; after all, this is an archeological site! So , it’s a good idea to equip yourself with some history prior to your visit to Teotihuacan.

The ruins of Teotihuacan and the remains of the Teotihuacan pyramids are all that remains of the once most strong city of Mesoamerica. The city isn’t just pre-Hispanic , but also predates the Aztecs, who were the force to be faced when Europeans first arrived in the 1500s.

Teotihuacan was established in the 1st century AD The city grew to be the largest city in the region. It was a center for culture, art, history and civilisation in the Teotihuacan Valley, and had an immense influence over the surrounding region. The city came to be one of the largest in the world, being the home of tens of thousands of inhabitants. The present-day pyramids were built (primarily because of religious motives) at the height of the city’s strength. By the 7th century A.D., Teotihuacan was beginning to be abandoned for unidentified reasons (at at the same time many Mayan cities in the south were getting abandoned).

The remains of the city and the pyramids held great influence for centuries to come but. The Aztecs, who came to build their capital city of Tenochtitlan to the south (where Mexico City stands today) also made pilgrimages to the temples. The name Teotihuacan is said to mean “Birthplace for the Gods” according to the Aztec dialect.

After the Spanish conquest, the pyramids fell into disrepair, and then archaeological work began centuries later. Today, there’s an increased admiration for Teotihuacan It’s also one of the most well-preserved examples pre-Hispanic pyramids found in Mexico.

Best Date to Visit Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is best explored during the spring, winter or the early summer season. The most suitable months for visit Teotihuacan are from November until May as the weather remains dry and the temperatures are cool.

The altitude of Teotihuacan has been recorded at 2300 metres (7,500 feet) so winters can be quite cold regardless of its location within Central Mexico. Winter is a great time to beat the crowds, though (except around Christmas), and if you’re not used temperatures, it’s an ideal time to go on a tour without being too hot.

In spring, the sun is shining and temperatures are rising However, the number of tourists is picking up also. It is extremely humid in summer, and the weather is marked by a continuous rain (not a good time to be outside, going to Egypt’s pyramids).

No matter what time of year that you visit take a trip to Teotihuacan during the week. The pyramids at Teotihuacan are close to Mexico City, and on weekends, they can be extremely busy.

Teotihuacan is located north in Mexico City; around 50 kilometers (nearly 32 miles) away from the city’s central area. Tours to Teotihuacan begin every day, all through the year, and it’s very accessible for a day trip from Mexico City.

Recommendation: We highly suggest this Teotihuacan day trip departing from Mexico City. With this tour in the early morning you’ll beat the crowds and enjoy the stunning archaeological site just as it begins to open its doors to visitors for the day. Visit its different places, buildings, and murals with a peaceful beautiful and mystical ambience which will give you an authentic experience of this dazzling city of the past of Mexico.

There are plenty of organized tours and reasonably easy to hop on a public bus to the ruins (even you’re not sure if this is your first time using public transportation within Mexico). Public buses depart regularly (every fifteen minutes, or more) in the terminal de Autobuses del Norte, Mexico City’s main northern bus depot.

The bus terminal has its own metro station (Autobuses Del Norte Metropolitano) which is situated on the Yellow Line (Line 5). You can buy an individual ticket to the metro, or use the metro’s pre-paid card. It is a bargain to ride the metro and cost just five pesos per trip.

You can cut down on a lot of time by taking an Uber for a ride to your station, however. It’s safe, easy to book on the app, and a very affordable price. When you get to the terminal, you’ll see advertisements on various counters promoting the bus route to Teotihuacan (complete with images of the pyramids, to make things clear). Simply queue up and hop on the next bus.

The journey can take as little up to 45 minutes, from airport dependent on the traffic. There are several entrances and exits to the pyramid complex however, you must go to the first stop by one of the Pyramids (Gate 1). Buy your entrance ticket (a moderately priced 80 pesos for a one-day ticket) and start exploring.

When you return on the way back, you can take the bus again at another exit, rather than walking back to the starting point. Buses operate all entire day (the Pyramids remain open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.).

Naturally, one could rent a vehicle and travel to Teotihuacan!

How Long Do I Need to Stay in Teotihuacan?

You are able to easily go to Teotihuacan for the day of your trip away from Mexico City, but with the long wait and transportation times you can expect to be spending the whole day in Teotihuacan.

The pyramids of Teotihuacan themselves, you’ll need at minimum three to four hours to experience all the sites. This includes walking time between the pyramids, a bit of time at the museum and many breaks for refreshments as well as lunch.

Can I Spend the Night at Teotihuacan?

It’s not possible to spend the night in the pyramids itself, however, you could spend your night in the town nearby. It’s only a few minutes from the pyramids towards the middle, where there’s a range of lodging options to choose from.

It’s not necessary to stay overnight however it can mean that you’ll get there early to see the pyramids and watch the sun set, or go to the sunrise for a hot-air balloon ride.

Best Things to Do in Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is spread out over several kilometers, so be ready for a lot of walking throughout the day. It is also possible to rent a bicycle by the entrance should you wish to. If you own your own car, you can drive around the edge of the complex and park in various spots however you’ll have to do a lot of walking around and in.

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s more convenient to take the bus. Just get off at the first entrance and then take the return journey at the final entrance (start with Gate 1 of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl by Gate 1 and finish at The Pyramid of the Moon by Gate 3).

With that in mind Here are the top things to do and see during your Teotihuacan tour.

1. Temple of Quetzalcoatl

The Temple of Quetzalcoatl (also known as the Temple of the Feathered Serpent) is the third largest pyramid at Teotihuacan. It is located near Gate 1 and is the first site to be seen by day-trippers.

It’s not as impressive as other pyramids that you observe from the distance, but it’s full of history and some of it quite dark. Mass graves have been discovered around the pyramid, hidden underground tunnels are beneath the temple. It also lies within what were once the city walls, rather than outside, as other temples are.

2. Avenue of the Dead

The Avenue of the Dead is 2.5 kilometers (about 1.5 miles) in length and begins from the Temple of Quetzalcoatl in a perfectly straight line until it reaches The Pyramid of the Moon.

This was the city of Teotihuacan’s main thoroughfare, and it’s so called because it could have been the way taken by those who were destined to be buried on the pyramids.

The route will take you along the avenue in your travels, making stops at temples as well as other sites along the route.

3. Pyramid of the Sun

The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan is located along the Avenue of the Dead, between the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramid of the Moon. It is the biggest pyramid in the city and also the most famous and easily recognizable.

It’s also the place that everyone climbs to reach the top, therefore be prepared for a long slog through the steps. It’s definitely worth the spending because the views are exceptional (and 360 degrees).

The pyramid is an exceptional engineering feat. It’s believed to be built around 200 A.D. and rises up to 65 meters (about 213 feet) in height, making it the third largest stone pyramid ever constructed anywhere in the world.

4. Pyramid of the Moon

The Pyramid of the Moon is located at the extreme edge of the Avenue of the Dead, which is where the road comes to an end. The pyramid measures 43 meters (about 142 feet) in height. It is comprised of seven distinct layers leading to the highest point.

It’s believed that the Pyramid was a major site of ritual sacrifices and religious ceremonies because graves of many people have been discovered around the base and within the layers of the pyramid within the pyramid itself.

5. Palace of Quetzalpapalotl

At the foot of the Pyramid of the Moon, you can stroll through the remains of Quetzalpapalotl’s Palace. Palace of Quetzalpapalotl.

In this gallery, you will find extensive murals that were meticulously restored, and demonstrate the ability to create art developed in the pre-Hispanic world.

The specific function of the palace is unclear however it could have been the home of the highest-ranking priest due to the location of the temple.

6. Teotihuacan Museum

The small Teotihuacan Museum gives a glimpse into the history and archaeology of the pyramids as well as the city’s ancient past.

There are artifacts, brief descriptions, as well as models of what the city might have appeared in the ago. The information isn’t as deep, but does help you to imagine the city a whole.

7. Hot Air Balloon Tour

Another of the exciting ways to enjoy Teotihuacan is to take hot air balloon rides across the pyramids. You can schedule them beforehand, and, like the majority of hot air balloon rides you should take them during sunrise.

From the air, you’ll have an aerial perspective of the entire complex and the valley that surrounds it, which puts the scale and scale of the city in stark view.

Tips for Visiting Teotihuacan

1. Go to The Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City First

There’s a lack of information on the pyramids if you’re strolling around, so it’s a good idea to check out the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City before your trip to Teotihuacan.

The Museum of Anthropology is one of the largest museums around the globe, and there’s plenty of information on the history of Teotihuacan and the civilization that created the pyramids.

The museum covers all known periods that are part of Mexican history, too, so you can really begin to piece the tale together and visualize how the pyramids are positioned on the timeline.

2. Leave Early, But Not Too Early

If you’re heading to Mexico City you’ll need to start early in order to get a whole day in. However, you want to avoid rush hour in the city. This applies to anyone who travels by metro, car, or Uber!

The rush hour in Mexico City is well-known, and the metro system jammed (literally to the point of being suffocating) and the roads are completely blocked.

Try to start your journey around 9 a.m. so that you don’t miss the most crowded rush hour throughout the metropolis. You’ll have enough time to visit the pyramids and then return in time for the evening rush.

Recommendation: By booking a tour you don’t have to worry about finding the right bus or navigating rush hour traffic. Plus, you get to stroll around with a knowledgeable guide who will tell you everything you need to know about the past of this important pre-Hispanic city. Tours for day tours are low-cost and seriously take the stress out of your journey for the Teotihuacan Pyramids.

3. Take a Hat and Sunscreen

There’s no shade at all in the entire pyramid complex (except in the museums) due to the fact that everything’s so wide open.

During the climb to the top of the pyramids and walk through the Avenue of the Dead, you’re constantly in the sunshine. So bring a sun hat and apply sunscreen even in winter.

4. Get a guided Tour of the Pyramids

While you can walk around the entire complex on your own, having a dedicated Teotihuacan guide can bring the experience to life.

If you haven’t booked the guided tour prior to your visit You can also hire the assistance of an local guide for Teotihuacan by stepping up to the front.

The prices are affordable You’ll leave those pyramids at Teotihuacan with a much deeper understanding of their importance that when you first arrived.

These pyramids at Teotihuacan are among the most striking archaeological sites on earth which is a must for those who travel towards Mexico City. The pre-Hispanic ruins stand against the tests of time and provide a fascinating insight into the intricate cultures which grew and declined before Europeans were able to arrive on Mexican shores. This is the ideal day journey to Mexico City!