Exploring Aztec Pyramids Just Outside the City


Member Rating 5 out of 5 by airynfaerie on October 5, 2009

In the afternoon of our first full day in Mexico City, we headed about 30 miles north to the ancient Aztec city of Teotihuacan. Home to the third largest pyramid in the world, this city which began as early as 200bc, was amazing to see and learn a little bit about. We began at the southern end of the site known as the Citadel, where apartment buildings and public gathering spaces once existed. The Temple of the Feathered Serpent is in this area and we explored around the grounds trying to understand what it must have been like to be here at the city's pinnacle.

From the southern end we made our way north along the Avenue of the Dead, which was the main thoroughfare and stretched for more than 2.5km. From this street one can see how detailed the layout of the city was, as it was divided in symmetrical sections each corresponding to astrological patterns. Some believe that this was to help with their calendar planning in dealing with seasonal farming.

In the center of the Avenue is the massive structure, the Pyramid of the Sun. It looked big even from a far way off, and kept getting larger and more daunting as we approached. It's hard to capture it in a photo, plus adding to it the heat of that afternoon, and the crazy crowds, it made me laugh (but feel a bit more at ease) to see a permanent paramedic stand just outside the main staircase.

The line to go up wrapped around the front and one side of the structure, as the crowd size is controlled by several guards along the staircase. Finally, when it was our turn, we trekked our way skyward and then hung out on the top for a while to people watch and take in the scenery. The way down was just as harrowing and there was still one more pyramid to go...the Pyramid of the Moon.

On the Avenue of the Dead again, there were many things to explore, as there didn't seem to be any regulations on what you could and couldn't climb on, walk on, or crawl through. We saw several little kids going from one structure to the next crawling through the remains of a system of drainage pipes. Some were definitely only suited for people shorter than 2'...but a couple openings looked like I might just about fit - so I tried it out.

After another climb up and down the final pyramid of the Moon, we walked towards the parking lot past a few more structures that showed the amazing advanced plumbing systems of this ancient culture.

This is a complete must-see stop for anyone visiting the Mexico City area!

Open daily from 8am to 6pm
Entrance Fee $51pesos (about $3 USD)
Parking available
Bring lots of water and sunscreen
Pirámides de Teotihuacan
Carretera México Teotihuacan Km. 46 (zona Arqueológica De Teotihuacan)
San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico, 03010
+52 5 9560052

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