5 Tips for Touring the Teotihuacán Pyramids


Situated a short drive from Mexico City sits a remarkable and mysterious archaeological site: the Teotihuacán Pyramids. These towering ancient ruins tell a story of a people long forgotten, offering a glimpse into the fascinating civilization that once thrived in this region.

From towering pyramids to intricately carved stone monuments featuring ancient gods, Teotihuacan is a testament to the craftsmanship of its builders. Whether you’re a history buff or simply a curious traveler visiting Mexico, the wonders of Teotihuacan are a must-see.


Understanding the History

Teotihuacan, now a crumbling city reduced to ruins, was once one of the largest urban centers of the ancient world. It sits approximately 30 miles out of modern-day Mexico City, taking up about eight square miles at its peak.

Little is known of the city and its inhabitants, but historians estimate it was home to more than 100,000 people. It flourished during its early construction, around 2,100 years ago, but began to decline around 1,400 years ago.

While many cities like Teotihuacan faded into oblivion, becoming “lost” to the outside world, this city was never truly lost. Instead, people still visited its soil in later years, although its glory was long gone. In later periods, the Aztecs made regular pilgrimages to the site, naming it Teotihuacan, which means “the place where the gods were created.”

While parts of the city were lost to a fire in its decline, many structures still remain standing. The city’s main street, known today as the Avenue of the Dead, stretches for over two miles and is home to a handful of major pyramid complexes.

The Pyramid of the Moon, situated at the northern end of this avenue, towers over the street at approximately 150 feet high. It boasts various elevated platforms that are thought to have been used for rituals and several tombs within the structure that house the remains of human and animal sacrifices.

The Pyramid of the Sun sits about half a mile from the Pyramid of the Moon, standing at about 200 feet high. This pyramid, completed around 200 AD, remains one of the largest structures created in the pre-Columbian New World.

Situated south of the Pyramid of the Sun is the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, also known as “La Ciudadela.” This structure is a smaller six-stepped pyramid, likely completed in the 3rd century AD. It features various alternating heads of Quetzalcoatl, a feathered serpent god, alongside Tlaloc, an ancient storm god.

Throughout the complex, there’s a myriad of colorful murals adorning the city’s numerous apartment compounds, palaces, and temples. Alongside the murals, there are pictographic figures that may have been the people’s writing system, although this is debated among professors and historians.



5 Tips for Your Teotihuacan Pyramid Excursion

If you plan to visit the Teotihuacán Pyramids during your trip to Mexico, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are five tips to help you make the most of this cultural experience:

1. Start Early

Mexico’s midday temperatures can be unforgiving, especially on outdoor excursions. So, when planning your trip to the Teotihuacán Pyramids, plan to start early. This way, you can beat the heat, exploring all these ruins have to offer before the temperature reaches its peak.

Plus, by leaving early, you can beat the crowds! Many folks arrive midmorning or later, so you’ll have time to explore the ruins in relative peace and quiet. The serene quiet, paired with the remarkable remnants of rich history, creates a mystical atmosphere that is truly unforgettable.

2. Wear Comfortable Shoes

Expect to do lots of walking during your excursion, so wear comfortable shoes. Teotihuacan is a sprawling complex of ruins that once covered about eight square miles, so there’s a lot of walking involved in exploring it. Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes that can handle the uneven terrain around the pyramids and steep stairs up each structure.

Of course, you don’t have to climb the pyramids, but given that the terrain is rough around the structures, choose shoes you can trek around in comfortably.

3. Bring Plenty of Water

Dehydration is a major concern on outdoor adventures in Mexico, as the sweltering heat of the arid climate and altitude where the pyramids are located can become problems. This is especially true of the Teotihuacán Pyramids, as there’s little to no shade around the site.

So, ensure you bring plenty of water to keep you hydrated throughout your visit, especially if you visit during the warmer months.

4. Take Your Time

With so much to see and explore at Teotihuacan, you might be tempted to speed through the site in an attempt to see everything. However, in rushing, you may miss certain facets of the ruins, so take your time. Soak up the atmosphere, taking the time to learn more about each structure along the way and absorb the marvels of this ancient architecture.

 5. Hire a Local Guide

Teotihuacan boasts a rich history, so if possible, hire a local guide to enhance your experience. Your guide can walk you through the ruins, conveying the remarkable history and significance of each structure through fascinating anecdotes. They may even have stories that can bring the long-gone ancient civilization to life.

Or, if you prefer the laid-back nature of a group setting, look for group day tours to the pyramids. Plenty of tour companies offer Teotihuacán Pyramids tours, and some even pair the excursion with another adventure to make a full day of it.


Explore Mexico’s Ancient Civilizations on a Guided Tour

Exploring the Teotihuacán Pyramids takes you on a journey through time, a time capsule that offers a glimpse into Mexico’s pre-hispanic past. The mysterious history and remarkable structures are well worth the visit, even if you aren’t a history enthusiast.

At Caravan, we offer a nine-day guided tour that takes you on a journey to the glory of old Mexico, exploring the splendor of years gone by. In addition to other ancient civilizations and colonial cities, you’ll visit Teotihuacan and soak in its mysterious wonders. Ready to embark on a trip to explore Mexico’s ancient civilizations? Call 1-800-CARAVAN or 1-312-321-9800 today!