Located 40-km outside of the modern-day metropolis of Mexico City, the ancient city Teotihuacan is one of the most visited archeological sites in Mexico. It was one of the largest cities on the pre-Columbian American continent and was an important cultural center from around 1 AD to around 700 AD. During its peak, Teotihuacan would have ranked as one of the 5 largest cities in the world, home to an estimated 125,000 people.
Even today, 2000 years after it’s construction, the size of this complex is still awe-inspiring. Pre-dating the Aztecs and the Maya civilizations, this city was once the most important city of the Pre-Columbian period. The ruins of Teotihuacan are still a little mysterious in origin. Not much is known about the original inhabitants of the city.
The Aztecs would later re-purpose the complex for their own ceremonies and claim that they were the descendants of the original builders of this city.
What makes Teotihuacan so amazing?
Teotihuacan means “the place where the gods were created”. It was a religious and ceremonial center. The city was massive and what remains today is a huge sprawling complex; you could easily spend hours wandering around and still not appreciate everything.
The city complex is best known for the two massive Pyramids here, which honour the sun and the moon. One of the reasons we needed to visit the ruins, is that you can still climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. While it’s not an easy staircase to climb, the views from the top are amazing, especially looking across the Avenue of the Dead at its neighbor; the Pyramid of the Moon. It is breathtaking for many reasons.
Not much is know about the original inhabitants of the city. These architectural monuments have stood for over 2000 years. It is easy to see why the Aztecs wanted to associate themselves with the original builders.
We visited on a perfect day. The sun was shining and the skies were blue, so it was a great day to take photographs.
Where is Teotihuacan and how do you get there?
We only had 2 full days in Mexico City, and we were very happy that we dedicated one of those days to visit the ruins. Teotihuacan is only 40-km from the bus station in Mexico City. It is an easy day trip from the city (the bus takes about an hour each way).
Once you arrive and set your eyes on this amazing place, you know you’ve arrived somewhere important. It seems fitting that the largest city in the Americas would be located outside of the largest city in the Americas.
It is rumored that in the next few years, the Mexican Government will close the staircase, both for safety and to preserve the site. So it’s important to visit this place while you still can. Climbing to the top of the pyramid is an experience we will never forget.
The Pyramids of Teotihuacan:
Climbing the Pyramids of Teotihuacan:
Just outside of Mexico City are the amazing ruins of Teotihuacan, which features two amazing pre-Aztec Pyramids. This was our first of the many ruins we would visit on our 2-month trip to the Americas (Mexico and South America). The highlight for us was climbing to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, which is one of the few ruins in the Americas that you can still climb.
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