Teotihuacan Guide

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Teotihuacan Guide - Mexico City Pyramids

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Are you planning a trip to Mexico City Pyramids, the famous Teotihuacan Ruins?

These are pyramids that are 2000 years old near Mexico City called the Teotihuacan Pyramids. It is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico and is just an hour outside of Mexico City. Teotihuacan was once a city that had over 150,000 people and is considered to be one of the largest cities in the pre-Hispanic Americas. A detailed travel guide for Teotihuacan is also available.

Visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids feels like a journey through time, as you sense the energy of the ancient city in its prime. Despite years of research, very little is actually known about the city, which is why Teotihuacan remains a captivating destination.

We have written a detailed guide to assist you in planning your trip to the Teotihuacan ruins. The guide includes valuable information on how to get there, the best spots to visit, and the best place to eat. This will help you make the most of your visit to Teotihuacan.

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Is Teotihuacan Worth the Visit?

Teotihuacan Pyramids are an extremely popular day trip destination from Mexico City for a good reason. These pyramids are among the largest in the world, and the entire complex is exceptionally well-preserved. Due to its historical significance, Teotihuacan has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

An impressive thing about Teotihuacan is the size of its monuments, specifically the Temple of Quetzalatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon. These structures are laid out using geometric and symbolic principles, proving the advanced engineering skills of ancient Mexico.

Read Next: – Our detailed guide on the Top Things to do in Mexico City

Teotihuacan Ruins and Pyramids History

Teootihuacan, a powerful center in Mesoamerica, was called the “place where the gods were created.” However, the Teotihuacan civilization declined around 650 A.D. for reasons that remain a mystery. Environmental and social factors may have played a role in the decline, but the true cause is still unknown.

The founders of Teotihuacan and builders of its large pyramids and temples are not fully known. However, there are speculations from archaeologists that it could have been the Toltecs or the Totonacs. The Toltecs came from central Mexico and were famous for their massive statues and head carvings. On the other hand, the Totonacs originated from Veracruz, which is near Chiapas, and their descendants believe that their forefathers constructed Teotihuacan.

Although Teotihuacan is known to have been inhabited by various civilizations, such as the Toltecs, Totonacs, Mayans, Mixtecs, and Zapotecs, its people had a written language that remains undeciphered by researchers, adding to the mystery.

Guides for Stunning Mayan Ruins in Mexico:

What is the Best Time to Visit Teotihuacan Mexico City Pyramids

Totihuacan is a major tourist attraction and can get very busy on weekends, especially Sundays when entry is free for Mexican citizens and residents. To avoid the crowds, it’s recommended to visit during the less busy months of April through September.

It can be crowded during peak travel season, which can diminish the experience of Teotihuacan. It’s recommended to avoid visiting during Christmas, New Year, Easter (Holy Week), and other Mexican holidays. Another busy time is during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) from October 26th to November 2nd, as many people come to Mexico City for the celebrations.

Teootihuacan has a warm and sunny climate throughout the year, thanks to its high elevation that maintains mild temperatures. The sun can be intense, however. The months between December and February are the coolest, but the daytime temperatures still reach an average of 72°F (23℃).

How to Get to the Teotihuacan Ruins

Teootihuacan is situated 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Mexico City, and it only takes an hour to reach there. If you have only 4/5 days in Mexico City, you can conveniently add Teotihuacan to your itinerary.

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By Bus

To get there, taking the bus from Terminal Central del Norte station is the most convenient option. The bus ride usually lasts around an hour and costs about $50MXN/$2.40USD for a one-way trip. The first bus leaves for Teotihuacan at 6am, with subsequent buses departing approximately every 20 minutes until 2pm. If you plan to move around the place, it is advised to get a SIM card.

By Taxi

A taxi or an Uber is more expensive, but we decided to book an Uber from our hotel in the Centro Historico. We spent around 500 MXN (US$25) each way. At first, we were concerned about getting back as there is limited cell signal in the complex. However, we found an Uber easily by walking to Gate 5, which only took us 10 minutes.

By Day Tour

If you want to visit Teotihuacan without worrying about transportation, admission, and getting a guide, then consider booking a day tour from Mexico City. This option allows you to learn more about the site and have a hassle-free experience. Check out our guide to find the best day tours from Mexico City.

How much does a visit to Teotihuacan cost?

Visiting Teotihuacan is affordable. Adults pay 80 MXN (US$4) for admission while children under 13 years old enter free. This fee includes entrance to the site, the Teotihuacan Culture Museum, and the Museum of Teotihuacan Murals.

You can buy tickets at any of the entrance gates to the Mexico City Pyramids. Your ticket allows you to leave and come back inside the archaeological zone on the same day, in case you need to take a break or go out for lunch.

Tours of Teotihuacan start at approximately $650MXN/$33USD per person. You can view the available tours here and continue reading for my recommended tours.

Teotihuacan Opening Hours

Teotihuacan is always open from 9AM to 5PM, every day of the year. The Teotihuacan Museum is open daily from 9AM to 4:30PM, while the Museum of Teotihuacan Murals is open from 8AM to 5PM every Tuesday through Sunday.

For a more comfortable and less crowded visit, it is recommended to go to Teotihuacan early in the morning when it opens. To avoid the midday heat, this is also the best time. However, please keep in mind that the last entry is at 3 PM. The site staff strictly enforce this time and the gates shut at exactly 3 PM.

What Should I Expect?

There are designated paths for visitors to follow when exploring Teotihuacan and the signs are written in both Spanish and English. Additionally, there is a small museum on-site that displays artifacts found during excavation and admission to the museum is included in the general fee.

The other important heritage sites in Mexico, Teotihuacan attracts many vendors selling souvenirs. These vendors can be aggressive and use jaguar whistles to create noise, so be aware of this and anticipate possible disturbance.

Toiilets can be found near the entrance of the Zone, but visitors have reported a potential lack of toilet paper. It’s advised to bring your own tissues. Many food options are available around the perimeter of the site, including the popular restaurant La Gruta located inside a cave.

How Much Time should you spend at Teotihuacan?

If you’re visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids and have limited time, I recommend dedicating at least hours to explore. The duration of your visit ultimately depends on what you’re interested in and how thoroughly you want to explore the area. Additionally, keep in mind that each museum may take up to an hour to fully experience, so factor that into your itinerary if you plan on visiting. If you’re looking to also enjoy lunch at the site restaurant, that will also add to the total time of your trip.

Mexico Travel Requirements

  • Mexico has no restrictions and travelers are not required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test prior to boarding their flight. All individuals are allowed to travel to Mexico.
  • recommend travelers purchase travel insurance regardless of the length of their trip. It’s especially crucial to have coverage for COVID-19 in today’s climate.
  • Safety Wing is a great option for travel insurance for digital nomads and . Safety Wing is known for being the top travel insurance company for COVID-19 coverage.

How to Get around Teotihuacan

If you arrive at the site, there are 5 entrances to choose from. For a complete tour of the site, it’s recommended to use entrance gate 1 located at the south. You’ll walk through the site restaurant and then reach the Avenue of the Dead, which is a 2km long path passing by all the main monuments. Exiting through gate 5 is recommended, as it leads to the best restaurant in Teotihuacan. More information about this restaurant will be provided later.

Best Teotihuacan Tours from Mexico City

In my opinion, independent travel is the best way to go as it gives you more flexibility. However, visiting Teotihuacan on your own can be difficult because there isn’t much information in English and the site is quite large which can make it overwhelming.

If you’re interested in visiting the Teotihuacan Pyramids, you’ll have a variety of day tour options to choose from. Some tours offer early access or tequila-tasting. For an unforgettable experience, I highly recommend the Teotihuacan Tour with a Hot Air Balloon Ride. This tour costs $162 and includes transportation from Mexico City, admission to Teotihuacan, an English-speaking guide, and a hot air balloon ride over the pyramids. I believe this is an incredible experience that everyone should try at least once.

If you want to explore the archaeological site without too many people around, you’ll love the Early Access Tour. It comes with a tequila tasting experience at a family-operated workshop in Tlacaelel, and costs US$39. The tour lasts about 8 hours.

Visiting Teotihuacan with Kids

Teotihuacan is a large site with limited shade, which can make it challenging for families with young children. However, with proper planning or A Private Tour, it is still possible to visit.

Nellie’s daughter was 6 years old, they visited Teotihuacan together and had a wonderful time. It wasn’t difficult for her daughter to walk long distances or handle the heat because young children at that age are capable of doing so. Nellie, the founder of this blog, was also there.

you’re traveling with small children, it’s better to use a sling or hiking carrier instead of a stroller. The pavement is old and uneven, so pushing a stroller around can be difficult. Make sure to bring enough water, hats, and even an umbrella for kids who are sensitive to the sun.

Things to Do at Teotihuacan

During your visit, I recommend prioritizing some of the following highlights:

Get to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun

The Pyramid of the Sun is a massive structure found at the Teotihuacan ruins, standing at 213 feet tall. It is one of the tallest pyramids globally and contains six pyramids stacked on top of each other. Additionally, there is a cave beneath the pyramid. It was built roughly around 200 A.D.

structure is situated on the east side of the Avenue of the Dead, between the Pyramid of the Moon and the Ciudadela in Teotihuacan. However, the original purpose behind its construction remains unknown, just like many other enigmatic safeguards found in the same location. Some experts believe that it was built to honor a deity.

You can climb the pyramid for a great view, but when we visited in November 2021, it was closed for climbers. Rules can change, so make sure to check first before trying to climb.


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Stroll Through the Palace of the Jaguars

Palace of the Jaguars, adorned with intricate carvings of jaguars, eagles, and other marine creatures, is regarded as one of the most remarkable structures in Teotihuacan. It holds the esteemed position of being the most revered site in the entire city.

The building features a spacious courtyard, enclosed by small rooms displaying impressive remnants of murals. It is believed to have served as a venue for organizing temple-related activities and festive events.

Walk the Avenue of the Dead

The Avenue of the Dead, also known as Avenida de los Muertos, is a wide road that runs through Teotihuacan. It is flanked by pyramids on both sides and stretches from the Pyramid of the Moon in the north to the Ciudadela complex in the south, which is located near the main entrance to the park.

The Avenue of the Dead, which used to be 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) long, has multiple ceremonial platforms that consist of detailed murals and carvings.

Get on top of the Pyramid of the Moon

Pyramid of the Moon is situated at the northern end of the Avenue of the Dead and is considered the oldest structure in Teotihuacan, built around 150 A.D. Standing at 147 feet tall, it is the second highest structure in the complex.

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A large number of sacrificed remains have been discovered inside this pyramid, which includes the remains of 12 humans and a variety of animals. This suggests that the site was used for religious purposes and public rituals, according to archaeologists.

Usually visitors are allowed to climb the Pyramid of the Moon, but it was closed during our last visit. However, you should expect a strenuous climb as the stairs are steep.

Tepantitla Palace

Tepantitla Palace is located to the east of the Pyramid of the Moon and although it requires a bit of a walk from the Avenue of the Dead, it is definitely worth a visit. From the outside, the building looks like a stable, but the walls inside reveal traces of elaborate paintings. One mural in particular, known as the mural of Tlālōcān, stands out and is considered the most impressive mural of all Teotihuacán. In Aztec mythology, Tlālōcān was the marvelous underworld ruled by the water deity Tlaloc. It is believed that Tepantitla was either a palace, a priest’s house, or the opulent residence of an aristocrat.

See La Ciudadela

One of my favorite spots at Teotihuacan is the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, located in La Ciudadela – a large ceremonial courtyard across the Pyramid of the Moon. Quetzalcoatl was an important god and known as the Feathered Serpent in Mesoamerican cultures. The temple is adorned with large carvings of snake heads with bodies and images of marine life like conch shells and clams.

Mural of the Great Goddess

Teotihuacan civilization’s Great Goddess is depicted in various parts of the City Pyramids, with the most notable mural being at the Tetitla compound. She’s often portrayed fancy jade nose-bar through her septum, earning her the nickname “Spider Woman of Teotihuacan.” On the Tetitla mural, she dons an ornate headdress that resembles those worn by dancers during the Brazilian carnival. The headdress is made up of long green quetzal feathers that are thought to symbolize the sun’s rays.

Teotihuacan Museums

suggest taking out some time to visit the museums, which are not easily noticeable as they are located behind the cacti gardens. The museums have captivating exhibits and informative explanations, and they provide much-needed air conditioning on hot days.

ruins of Teotihuacan have two museums, and admission to both of them is included with your ticket.

  • The Teotihuacan Murals Museum  with over fifty millennia-old murals and several artifacts that have been recovered from the site.
  • The Teotihuacan Cultural Museum with than 600 artifacts from the archaeological site. The museum also features a sculpture and a botanical garden.

Where to Eat at Teotihuacan

Teootihuacan offers various food options. For a quick and affordable meal, check out the row of food stands located near entrance 4 and 5.

We highly recommend going to La Gruta Cave Restaurant, which is only a 10-minute walk from Gate 5. It was the best meal we had in Mexico City! During our visit on the Day of the Dead, we were pleasantly surprised to see an atmospheric altar set up in their cave. I suggest making reservations, especially if you’re visiting on a weekend.

the underground restaurant, you can enjoy contemporary Mexican cuisine in a unique setting that features a volcanic cave illuminated by candles. The menu consists of traditional Mexican dishes that have been given a modern twist. I highly recommend trying the panceta (pork belly) with mole sauce as it was exceptional, and my friend Alberto thought the barbacoa lamb meat was divine. Don’t miss out on their mezcal cocktails which are delicious.

Where to Stay near Teotihuacan

most visitors to Teotihuacan come for a day trip from Mexico City, the area doesn’t have many hotels. However, you can check out our guide on where to stay in Mexico City. Additionally, for those who want to stay near the pyramids, I have compiled some recommendations that cater to all budgets.

Luxury: Lujosa Villa

is a private villa that can accommodate up to 6 people. It’s a great option if you’re traveling with family or friends because it has a private pool and cable TV. Prices for a night’s stay start at around 1950 MXN/US$94.

Luxury: Hotel y Suites Osdan

This is an apartment that can accommodate up to 4 people. It includes a fitness center, fully equipped kitchen, and parking spaces. The location is near Avenue Tuxpan, providing easy access to the pyramids. Prices begin at approximately 20,100 MXN/US $102 per night.

Mid Range: Hotel Boutique Rancho San Juan Teotihuacan

enjoyed our stay at a beautiful ranch that is also a boutique hotel. It is located a little further away from Teotihuacan, but they do provide a shuttle service to the pyramids. The rooms are spacious and well-decorated, with lovely gardens surrounding them. The starting rate per night is approximately 1250 MXN/US$60.

Budget: Hotel Fer  

Both simple and comfortable, offering free parking and a 24-hour reception. It’s conveniently located near the main gate of Teotihuacan for easy access into the complex. Rates start at around 520MXN/US$25 per night.

What to Pack for Teotihuacan

Avoid the hot sun in Teotihuacan, it’s recommended that you bring a hat, wear breathable clothes, and carry enough water. If you forget, you can buy hats, sunscreen, and water at the gift shops on-site. The walk is mostly flat, so you don’t need hiking boots. Here’s what I packed/wore:

Rules at Teotihuacan 

This is an ancient archaeological site that must be treated with respect. Stay within designated boundaries and avoid trespassing into restricted areas. Keep in mind that the use of drones is strictly prohibited.

Final Tips for Visiting Teotihuacan

hope that the travel guide for Teotihuacan has been useful to you and has motivated you to plan a trip to the pyramids in Mexico City.

are the last ones before your trip.:

  • To avoid the crowds, it’s best to get there when the gates open at 9am. If you want to be the first person to enter, consider booking an early access tour.
  • Be sure you bring enough water and snacks when visiting the archaeological site. Keep in mind that there are vendors selling cold drinks, but make sure to check that the bottles are sealed before opening them.
  • Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and put on comfortable shoes because it can get really hot!
  • Bring Mexican Pesos with you for the entrance fees as they cannot be paid by other means.
  • Teotihuacan, there are many street vendors offering various souvenirs, but they tend to be pricier than in other places, so it’s best to refrain from purchasing souvenirs here. Although the vendors aren’t overly aggressive, simply declining politely by saying “no gracias” and moving on is recommended.

Thank you for taking the time to read. If you have any questions or tips, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. I will respond to any queries you may have

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