Los Piramides

The archaeological zone of Teotihuacan is located 50km northeast of Mexico City.  It was the largest ancient Aztec city in all of Mexico and the capital of Mexico’s pre-hispanic empire.  Construction of the Piramide de Sol (pictured above) was completed by AD 150 and the rest of the city was developed between AD 250 and 600.  Ancient Teotihuacan covered more than 20 sq km.  Today the main attractions all lie along 2km of the Calzada de los Muertos or Avenue of the Dead. 

Piramide del Sol, or Pyramid of the Sun, is the third largest pyramid in the world and was built without the use of metal tools, pack animals or the wheel.  We climbed more than 200 steps to reach the top and look out over the ruins.  Piramide de la Luna, or Pyramid of the Moon, is slightly smaller and located at the northern end of the Calzada de los Muertos.  This pyramid along with the 12 surrounding temple platforms is believed to represent the ancient calendar.

We boarded a bus that took us from Mexico City directly to the ruins and arrived in less than an hour.  Just before we were about to depart from the bus station a pair of men with guitars got on board and proceeded to entertain us for a good portion of the trip.  They finished up and collected their tips just in time to jump off at the last stop and board another bus.  This happened again later on in the day on our bus back to the city.   

The weather was beautiful, although not surprising since the weather has been beautiful every day since we arrived in Mexico.  It is the beginning of the dry season and I have yet to see rain.  Every day has been sunny and warm while early mornings and evenings are slightly cooler.  Sitting atop the Piramide del Sol with the sun beating down felt like being on the beach on a clear, hot summer day and was even more beutiful because of the views, not to mention the colorful butterflies that were fluttering around everywhere.

Teotihuacan remains an important pilgrimage site even today.  Every year thousands of people visit the site on the 21 of March to celebrate the vernal equinox.  There is a picture posted in the site’s museum of the pyramid during the pilgrimage and it shows the Piramide del Sol almost completely covered with people, many avoiding the crowded stairs and instead scaling the walls to get to the top. 

It was not nearly as busy when we visited, although there were still a good amount of tourists as well as vendors lining the ancient avenues.  There were significantly more tourists visiting Teotihuacan than I’ve seen in Mexico City thus far.  Somehow it remains a kind of peaceful retreat away from the chaos and noise of the city.  We even saw several people who had come to meditate and practice yoga.  A very manageable day trip from Mexico City, Teotihuacan should be at the top of every visitors list of must see attractions.

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1 Response to “Los Piramides”


  1. 1 Donna October 6, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    wow, this looks really cool! did you take any other pictures of it? i guess i’ll have to check your flickr thing. seems like an awesome day trip. i love pyramids. must have been quite a trek to the top of it. glad to see you are seeing some cool sites in mexico. i cant wait to visit you guys there!
    bye


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