The mysterious Teotihuacán Pyramids were built around 100 BC as the centerpiece of an enormous ancient city that is often compared to ancient Rome. They were inexplicably abandoned centuries before the arrival of the Aztecs, who called the ancient architectural marvel the Birthplace of the Gods. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in North America with its stone temples populated with rich and detailed stone statues and faded paintings but is less-visited than other Mexican sites.The Basics
Neither the Aztecs nor modern archaeologists have unraveled all the secrets of these massive ruins, presided over by the third-largest pyramid in the world. Constructed according to precise astronomical measurements and filled with the bodies of sacrificial victims, Teotihuacán was perhaps a place where rituals were performed to keep the end of the world at bay.
Opt for an early morning private tour with an archaeologist to beat the crowds and learn about highlights such as the Moon Plaza, the Sun Pyramid, the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl, and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (the feathered serpent). Other options include a hot air balloon tour, a bike ride, and the Light and Sound show experience, while some to the Teotihuacan site include tours of Mexico City, with stops at the Angel of Independence and the Plaza de las Tres Culturas.Choose a self-guided tour or one led by a tour guide.
Tours generally include roundtrip transportation from the city.
How to Get There
Two roads head north to Teotihuacán from Mexico City (exit on Insurgentes): the scenic but long 132-D, a winding freeway that can take well over an hour, and 85-D, a toll road that usually gets visitors to the pyramids in about 50 minutes. It's also easy and convenient to take buses from the Terminal Central del Norte. Clearly marked buses leave hourly (at least) from the terminal and are geared toward tourists with limited Spanish skills. On weekends and holidays, a tourist trolley can be taken around the Teotihuacán Pyramids for a small fee.
Some tours of the Teotihuacan pyramids archaeological site are combined with a stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The doric style architecture and array of marble statues are worth a look, and the shrine of Guadalupe is an important pilgrimage site in the Catholic faith. Other popular combination tours, most full-day tour options from Mexico City or Oaxaca, include visits to Puebla, Cholula, Palenque, or Tlatelolco.