Teotihuacan ‘Place of the Gods’ is a UNESCO world heritage site a short drive from Mexico City, Mexico. Things to do on a day trip to Teotihuacan include;
- Pyramid of the Sun
- Pyramid of the Moon
- Avenue of the Dead
- Temple of Feathered Serpent
- Palace of Quetzalpapalotl
- Teotihuacan Museum
I highly recommend you visit Teotihuacan on an organised day trip from Mexico City. There’re good value and you can book them online in advance.
Teotihuacan Mexico was one of the first big cities of the world. When the Aztecs found the city they named it Teotihuacan, which means ‘Place of the Gods’ in their language. It’s believed the pyramids date back 1000 years before the Aztecs arrived and its original name has never been discovered.
Pyramid of the Sun
The Pyramid of the Sun is the largest of the Teotihuacan pyramids. It’s about half the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. You can also ascend all the way to the top which is forbidden at both Giza and Chichen Itza. In addition, you can ascend most of the buildings within the archaeological zone. Lastly, it’s difficult to take the perfect Instagram shot due to the amount of people on the Pyramid of the Sun. For this reason, you may choose a smaller, much quieter pyramid to pose for photos on.
Pyramid of the Moon
The view behind me is the Pyramid of the Moon and its plaza (above). This picture was taken from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. I highly recommend you make the effort to walk up the steep steps to the top. You’ll be rewarded with great photo opportunities, once you get your breath back of course! The Pyramid of the Moon is the second largest pyramid and you’re only permitted to walk half way up it.
Avenue of the Dead
You can walk half way up the Pyramid of the Moon and this is the view you are rewarded with (above). Additionally, you can see the plaza, Avenue of the Dead as well as the Pyramid of the Sun in the distance. To the right of the plaza is the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl and also the Teotihuacan archaeological zone. Finally, at the end of the avenue is the Teotihuacan Museum and Temple of Feathered Serpent.
Temple of Feathered Serpent
The third largest pyramid is perhaps the most beautiful. Temple of Feathered Serpent features feathered serpents carved into the exterior. Furthermore, this pyramid is often less crowded than the main 2. Lastly, it’s also referred to as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and not to be confused with the nearby Palace of Quetzalpapalotl.
Palace of Quetzalpapalotl
After seeing the huge pyramids lining the Avenue of the Dead, you may be forgiven for skipping the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl. However, if you do make the effort, you’ll be rewarded with well preserved icons as well as carvings.
In the museum you’ll find more detailed information on the history of the Teotihuacan archaeological zone. As well as in depth maps there are details of how life was here throughout the years. Finally, they explain the current excavation work which is ongoing.
Enjoy your visit to the Teotihuacan Ancient Pyramids.
A word of warning about the various vendors who’ll approach you whilst you’re exploring. Nothing they sell is of archaeological value, they will lie to you and try and get as much money from you as they can. If however you do want a souvenir, you’ll have to bargain. Be aware that what you’re buying was made locally so is worth very little. Finally, the Scam City series had an episode on Mexico City including a visit to Teotihuacan which showed the vendors for who they really are.