Mexico City Pyramids: How to Get to Teotihuacán Plus Extra Pyramid Info
After living in Mexico City for 3 years I have been lucky enough to visit Teotihuacán many times. Teotihuacán is an ancient Mesoamerican city of pyramids. Visiting Teotihuacán is always absolutely incredible and I always enjoy every minute of it. Here’s all the info you need to plan a visit.
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MEXICO CITY BASICS
Getting There: FLIGHTS & BUSES
Getting There: AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Accommodation: HOTELS & HOSTELS
Things to Do: TOURS & ACTIVITIES
Getting Around: RENTAL CARS
Safety & Health: TRAVEL INSURANCE
Table of Contents
How to Get to the Pyramids of Teotihuacán from Mexico City
Many people think of Teotihuacán as the Mexico City pyramids, but the pyramids are actually outside of the capital. Teotihuacán is about a one or a one and a half-hour car ride from Mexico City. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can also take a bus to the pyramids as well. Make sure you get an Uber, metro, or bus to take you to the Autobuses del Norte station. At the Autobuses del Norte station, you can buy a ticket to take you to the pyramids.
When to Visit Teotihuacán
The Pyramids of Teotihuacán are one of the most popular sights to see near Mexico City so it often gets crowded. If you want to beat the crowds I highly recommend going on a weekday and trying to get there early in the morning. I arrived at the pyramids at 8 am one time on a Thursday and there was hardly anyone else there! If you have limited days to choose from and have to pick a weekend day, I would recommend going on Saturday. Sundays are much more crowded than Saturdays because entry is free for Mexican residents on Sundays.
What to Bring with You to Teotihuacán
Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and wear a hat. Even if it’s cloudy, the sun is really strong. It had been raining almost all day one of the times I went and when the rain stopped it was super cloudy. During the cloudy period it got hot but was so cloudy I didn’t put any sunscreen on. Needless to say, it was one of the worst sunburns of my life.
Altitude & Pacing Yourself
Also keep in mind that Teotihuacán, and Mexico City in general, are at a very high altitude so don’t go running up the pyramids like an Olympic athlete. Take it slow, as you will get tired more quickly than at lower altitudes. It’s very easy to get burnt out from both the sun and the altitude, so pace yourself, drink lots of water and listen to your body. If you don’t think you can make it to the top of a pyramid, just enjoy the view from the bottom, or climb up a smaller structure. You can also stop halfway up the Pyramid of the Sun and take a break, or just enjoy the view from there rather than going all the way to the top if you’re too tired.
The two main features in Teotihuacán are the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon. However, there is much more to see than just these two pyramids. While visiting Teotihuacán, you can also see the Ciudadela (Citadel) and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Feathered Serpent). Among these important structures, are 2,000 single-story compounds. There is a wide road that connects all the main buildings and pyramids, that you will walk on when you visit. This road is called ‘The Avenue of the Dead’.
Many people who visit, assume that the Aztecs built the pyramids but this isn’t actually true. Teotihuacán was settled around 400 BC but the Aztecs didn’t find it until the 1400s. By then, the city had been long been abandoned and so the Aztecs named it ‘Teotihuacán’ which means ‘The Place Where the Gods Were Created.’ You can view an interactive map of the pyramids here.
Pyramid of the Sun
The Pyramid of the Sun is the taller of the two pyramids. It’s located partway down the Avenue of the Dead and the views from the top are incredible. It was constructed around 200 BC and is 75 meters tall. No one really knows why this pyramid was built, but it’s thought that it was built in honor of a Teotihuacán god or goddess.
Pyramid of the Moon
The Pyramid of the Moon lies at the very end of the Avenue of the Dead. Just before you reach it, you will come across the Plaza of the Moon. Many of the vendors selling souvenirs like to hang out in this plaza. The Pyramid of the Moon is much shorter than the Pyramid of the Sun but still has amazing views from the top as well.
The Pyramid of the Moon was first constructed between 100 and 450 AD, and then later expanded. A lot of human and animal sacrifices were made there and the platform atop was used for ceremonies honoring the Goddess of Teotihuacán, fertility, water, earth and creation.
Ride a Hot Air Balloon Over the Pyramids!
If you don’t mind waking up early, you can also ride a hot air balloon over the pyramids. This is becoming more and more popular and there are lots of tours to choose from. I personally have not done this yet but I’m hoping to when I’m back in Mexico again later this year.
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