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Earth : North America : Mexico : Central Mexico : Mexico State : Teotihuacán
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Teotihuacán, also known as the City of the Gods, is an archeological site 40 km northeast of Mexico City. Náhuatl for "the place where men became gods", Teotihuacán is home to some of the largest ancient pyramids in the world. According to legend, it was here where the gods gathered to plan the creation of man.


Teotihuacán was the largest Pre-Columbian city in the Americas, reaching a total population of 150,000 at its height. The name also refers to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica.

Construction of Teotihuacán commenced around 300 BC, with the Pyramid of the Sun built by 150 BC. 150–450 AD.

The Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan

Many of the artifacts from the site have prudently been moved to National Anthropological Museum, in Mexico City. Elevation: 2,300m/7482f

Get in[edit]

Temple of the Moon as seen from Temple of Sun

By car[edit]

it takes about 45 minutes from the center of Mexico City if you use the toll highway. It takes much longer, but is a more interesting trip, if you use the old free road. There is a small fee for parking at the site. A taxi may be prohibitively expensive, though if you want the convenience, sometimes "tours" with a car and driver/guide can be arranged for a reasonable fee.

By Uber - In the morning, the fare will be from 700 --> 1,000 pesos depending on surge pricing. For Uber, enter in the address 'Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 1, State of Mexico'. Be sure also to specifically tell the Uber to take the toll road before you leave if coming from Mexico City. (la carretera de cuota). Uber drivers will often follow a map blindly so show them a picture of the map route with your phone and it should show freeway 132D taken. You will be dropped off at a gate where you buy your ticket then walk in. When coming back, the fare is cheaper in the afternoon, around 400 pesos and there is some reception outside the gate of door 3 outside of the Pyramid of the Moon.

By bus[edit]

Buses to Teotihuacán leave from Mexico City every 20 minutes from Terminal Autobuses del Norte (outside Autobuses del Norte Metro station, Line 5). Walk all the way to the left once you enter the terminal building to Sala (Gate) 8. Buy tickets at the 2nd booth from the right from Gate 8, showing a blue pyramid sign and word "Teotihuacan". Just say "piramides" at the ticket booth and you will be fine. As of September 2015, the clerks working at those windows speak English well. A one-way ticket will cost MX$52, with a round trip ticket MX$104. Check that your bus shows a "Piramides" placard. Usually the staff there will point you to the right bus if you show them your ticket. (The stop's formal name is "Zona Arqueologico', which should be printed on your ticket). If you need to use the restroom, there is one available for MX$ 5 (must use coin) to the right of the ticket checkpoint.

The buses may also stop outside the Potrero Metro station. From Potrero, exit the station and look for white buses that go to Piramides -- they mean the pyramids of Teotihuacán. The trip will take around an hour (the trip back takes 10 minutes more as it drives through the town of San Juan Teotihuacán). The buses run until about 9pm -- check the last departure before you leave. You will be dropped off at Puerta 1 and picked up at Puerta 3 (Closest to the Pyramid of the Moon). There is no obvious marking for the pick-up zone, so you might want to ask, but if you're standing somewhere near the road you can usually flag down the bus if it is heading back to Terminal Autobuses del Norte. As of May 2016 there are no more return trips from Puerta 2 and Puerta 1 due to new road taken on the way back that goes around those gates. From there it's a 1/8th of a mile down the main road entering the complex. Consider getting to the bus stop before the appointed time as buses can fill up.

You can also take line nr 3 to Indios Verdes and take exit J. The price is MX$44

By tour bus - most travel agencies offer half or full day tours to the site, often combined with the Plaza de las Tres Culturas and the Basilica of Guadalupe, both of which are outside the city center. It’s a convenient way to combine the three, but note our comments above about getting to the site early. The price is around US$38. You may feel that these tours' stops at gift shops are a waste of your time, but they are still a convenient way to get here for Mexico City-based tourists.

Get around[edit]

There is an entrance fee of 75 pesos (January 2019) to enter the park (museum included). This is a large site, a lot of walking is required as there few other ways to navigate the complex, unless you have a car, then you can freely drive around the perimeter (if you are staying at the hotel in the park or heading to one of the many restaurants). There are tractor-drawn wagons with seats and shelter that run on a schedule known only to them. If you go by bus, they will deliver you to a drop off point, from which you will be required to walk. If you tire easily, pack light for this excursion (i.e., no heavy backpacks, large purses, etc).

Note that the site is free for residents of Mexico on Sundays, so you might want to visit on an alternate day. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are typically the slowest days of the week.

There are licensed guides who speak English after you give them your entrance ticket. They will quote you for a group 800 pesos, but you can negotiate it down to 500-600 pesos depending on the person. The tour is quite insightful as they talk about some details of the Temple of the Serpent which you would otherwise miss if you went straight to the top of the Temple of the Sun and Moon.

There are plenty of friendly park police there who also control automobile traffic. Taxi drivers are not allowed to drive you around the site, unless you have a destination, like a restaurant, inside of the park. If you are adventurous and lucky, you may be able to rent a bicycle to ride around the perimeter on the cobble stone road (a bit bouncy). If you do not have an opportunity to explore the perimeter where the shops, restaurants and old buildings are, you are missing out. A little creativity should help you find some transportation inside of the complex. The locals are very friendly and a few pesos will go a long way. Try to at least find a ride around the perimeter to view the complex, it will be worth the effort.

You can go to the nearby town of San Juan Teotihuacan for restaurants, ATMs, or other services. It's a crowded town 5 ~ 10 minutes taxi ride away. You can catch a taxi at any gate and the price to the town should be around MX$30 ~ MX$35.

See[edit][add listing]

This site has a lot of small pyramids, but there are four main attractions:
Exhibit at Museo Teotihuacan 10-30-2004
  • The Temple of the Moon - A medium sized pyramid off from the center of the complex.
  • The Temple of the Sun - The largest pyramid in the structure with an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. Wear sunscreen, they don't call it the Temple of the Sun for nothing.
  • The Temple of Quetzalcoatl - One of the most sacred Temples in the complex. This temple is decorated with many stone serpent heads.
  • Museo Teotihuacán - The museum at the park with outstanding displays and a miniature recreation of the entire site. Well worth the visit. Close to Puerta 5.

There are also some smaller structures surrounding the complex, no more than four or five meters in height. A drive around the perimeter, on the road along the park will provide many surprises and is worth the trip. Hitching a ride or even paying a few pesos for a ride will be worth the effort.

There are also many interesting constructions along the Avenue of the Dead which runs along the middle of the site, so don't just walk from one temple to the other. On the left side of the plaza in front of the Temple of the Moon are several areas including the Palace of the Jaguars which house many wall paintings, sculptures, and underground rooms.

There is a government map of the site.

Do[edit][add listing]

You can exit one of the back gates into the adjacent town of San Juan Teotihuacán. There you can shop for consumer items like groceries, water, bakery items, fresh OJ and such. Get a Telmex prepaid calling card for Mexico's pay phones. They are available from several vendors and the savings are substantial. In case you have not done so recently, check your phone service provider to see about their Mexico service offerings.

Fly on a hot air balloon over the pyramids and enjoy a traditional toast after the flight. Flying Pictures Mexico [1] is an English company, has operated balloon flights for many years, and has no problem speaking to you in English and giving you the service you expect. They are also very safe, all their balloons are Cameron Balloons.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Museo Teotihuacán has an official gift store nearby with a small selection of books, clothing, and souvenirs.

There are many vendors selling "silver" products here; though at one time Mexicans believed silver was cheap and touristy, many today collect and wear silver. Be sure the silver is marked ".925" or / and "Sterling" - and if it is too shiny it might be "Alpaca", which is also called "German Silver" and contains no silver at all. Your best bet are the museum shops and better silver jewelry stores in Mexico City, Taxco, etc.

You will find black, silver and gold sheen obsidian (volcanic glass) rocks and carvings for sale. Some will be just a round stone, or something more elaborate like a statue or head. Also, there will be salesmen everywhere with "Aztec" flutes, clay idols (some are still found today), stone carvings, etc. These are generally reproductions that are aged, but if you did acquire an original you are violating strict laws and could encounter trouble and stiff fines from the authorities on the site or at the airport.

Around the inside perimeter of the site you will find several shops that not only sell, but also manufacture, obsidian art and other stone objects for sale. Shop and compare quality and prices before buying. You can find quality reproductions here and at FONART shops in the city.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Exhibit at Museum

There are a plenty of restaurants near the exits of the complex, inside and outside of the park and in the hotels in San Juan Teotihuacan as well as grocery stores and bakeries. Consider having one prepare a picnic for you and enjoy it at the park.

  • Restaurante La Gruta is located on the eastern perimeter around Teotihuacan, 500 meters down the road across from the "Puerta No. 5" entrance. The restaurant is located deep inside a subterranean cave and illuminated by two large holes on the side along with other ambient lighting. There is a bar with a vast selection of beers, wines, and liquors. Prepare for the possibility of a serenade by a small Mariachi band or weekend shows featuring live Aztec dancers.
  • Hotel Villa Arquelogica of Teotihuacan is located inside of the park and close to the entrance it has a very pleasant dining room serving 3 meals a day. It is reasonably priced, food is excellent and the staff very helpful.
  • Museo Teotihuacán has an area close by with public bathrooms as well as several vending machines with drinks and snacks.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are a lot of small vendors in and outside the complex that sell water, juices, and sodas. Alcohol is available at the hotel and several vendors around the perimeter (on the road) sell cold beer. Drinks are available from vending machines near the Museo.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Villa Arqueológica of Teotihuacan, is the only hotel in the archaeological zone, located 5 minutes walking distance from the main entrance of the site and is open all year round. There is a small swimming pool, dining room and patio. The rooms are cozy and very clean. There is secure parking; having a car at the site is a definite plus. You are allowed to drive around most of the entire site with little restriction. [email protected] [2] Phone: 011 52 55 58 36 90 20 (from USA/Canda/Abroad)


The main thing you will notice inside and around the complex are people constantly approaching you trying to sell you trinkets. Be prepared, as this will be unusual if you have never been to Mexico before. Sometimes they can be very persistent. If you are not interested, don't make eye contact or merely say "No, gracias" and let your eyes move on.

Feathered Serpant

The climb to the top of the pyramids is a long one. You may want to take several breaks on the way up, unless you are exceptionally fit or young.

There are numerous stray dogs around the park, they do not seem to be dangerous, but touching them, feeding them or paying any attention to them is not in your best interest, especially at the restaurants.

Be aware of the weather. Sunny days can suddenly turn rainy. And even cloudy days can result in sunburn--wear sunblock / hat to protect yourself!

Get out[edit]

Return by bus or taxi to México City. Buses come by the entrance every 30 minutes, outside of the parking lot for entrance #2 ("Puerta 2") or entrance #3 ("Puerta 3"). Cross the street to wait for the right direction (opposite of the brown puerta sign). Buses might stop at the Indios Verdes Metro Station (Line 3) before arriving at Terminal Autobuses del Norte. If Line 3 is more convenient for you than Line 5 then it might save you some time or it could be a nice way to get off the bus if it's standing room only.Create category

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!