The Pyramids in Teotihacan

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Mexico City has been on my radar since I visited the costal city of Cancun back in 2013. I remember looking up day trips, and seeing a visit to a pre-Aztec community being one of the options. Now, I’m definitely am not a big history buff, but I thought it would be nice to visit a place that had such a rich past.

So when I started to prep my itinerary for this trip, a visit to the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacán was most definitely in the plans. 

This ancient land houses the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon.

Pyramid of the Sun

  • 248 steps
  • Third largest pyramid in the world (216 feet high)
  • Top of pyramid used as an alter to exhale the Sun god
  • Built in the 2nd century AD
  • At its peaked housed over 100,000 people

Pyramid of the Sun

The steepest of stairs

View from up top
Pyramid of the Moon to the far right

Pyramid of the Moon

  • 141 feet high
  •  Second largest pyramid in modern day Teotihucán
  • Constructed between 200 and 250 AD
  • Platform at the top of the pyramid was used to honor the Great Goddess of Teotihucán in ceremonies
  • Human and animal sacrifices have been discovered inside of the pyramid
Pyramid of the Moon

Feet dangling from up high

Me, on top of the “Moon” with the “Sun” in the background

There were other smaller pyramids scattered about the area, but one thing I learned about this area is that the pyramids weren’t just used for ceremonies. Teotichucán was built in 100 BC and was a thriving city for a thousand years until 500 AD. At its peak, the city reached an astounding 200,000 people. No one really knows what caused the city’s downfall but it is said to be either famine or invasion.

The Aztecs arrived many years later and gave the city it’s name, Teotihuacán, which means the “birthplace of the gods”.  They gave this region that name due there already being temples and pyramids upon their arrival.

Although my trip was through a planned excursion, you can go to the Teotihuacán on your own via public transportation for about 6 USD. The reason I  picked this planned tour, is because we got access to the sites before it was open to the public. So while we have an early 6:30 am wakeup call (and a $40 price tag), it was more that worth it, because around noon when we were wrapping up our visit, many others where just starting to come in by the droves. 

We also made a pit stop on the way back to Mexico City to an obsidian workshop, where we learned about the black volcanic rock native to the area. The cool part about this was that they gave out 4 samples of different alcohol during the tour before we headed steps away to a delicious buffet lunch. 

Different goods made from the black volcanic rock
The before

The after

Again, another great day trip that I recommend if you want to explore Teotihiacán with an experience guide and if you want to beat the crowds.

It is also worth mentioning that I met another solo traveler who was a sista and fellow educator from Florida. We got acquainted during the tour and after we got back to Mexico City, did some walking around before we went our separate ways. 

My new buddy Farrah, giving the cactus a gentle touch
Inside the Iglesia de La Profesa
Government building

Ice cream stand on street

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