While in Mexico City, I learned that less than 25 miles northeast of town is the ancient archeological site of Teotihuacan. Here anyone can spend the day climbing Aztec pyramids and exploring this ancient city. I had to go!
After spending the day stepping back in time, I have learned a few things:
1. Start early. We arrived at 8:30am. The benefit here was that there were less people about and the weather was very mild.
2. Be prepared. Planning on climbing the pyramids? Wear good shoes! I don’t mean your favorite flip-flops. You need solid tennis shoes or hiking boots to navigate these ancient steps.
Be sure to bring hydration, snacks, sunglasses, sun block, and if you need, a hat. Didn’t remember all these? You are in luck! There are a multitude of vendors available to fill your needs.
3. Plan accordingly. Climbing the Sun and Moon pyramids and strolling down “Calzada de los Muertos” (Avenue of the Dead) takes time. Be sure to eat your Wheaties, so to speak, and prepare to spend at least 4-6 hours exploring this ancient site.
4. Know your limits. The Pyramid of the Sun is the 3rd largest in the world at 246 feet. This is not a climb for sissies. In addition, the Pyramid of the Moon is 206 feet. Personally, I chose to climb the Pyramid of the Sun and call it good. And this is an ancient site – there are no escalators, elevators, or the many safety rails you would find at a public U.S. historical site. Climb at your own risk.
5. Have fun! I loved learning the history of this ancient city. Now I know:
This was a planned city! This city had all the modern conveniences of its day including an aqua duct system, which was very unusual for a city of its day.
In addition, the city was clearly marked out with a planned grid, a central plaza, and temples of worship for both the God (Pyramid of the Sun) and the Goddess (Pyramid of the Moon).
I can just imagine the advertisements “ Come live in Teotihuacan!-Worship, work, and play, all conveniently close to home.”
I also learned that there are plenty of bodies buried here. Apparently, it was a huge honor to die for your god and become part of the pyramid’s foundation. The bodies found are believed to be of great warriors and high level men and women of the city. Personally, I prefer a simple mention in the paper to death, but who am I to judge?
The pyramids have great spiritual value and are thought to posses great powers. Many people climb them in order to feel the power within, so to speak.
Finally, there is WAY too much exploring to be done in just one day. Teotihuacan is definitely a valuable city and a great place to visit. I highly recommend spending some time here.
Want to learn more? Check out these great sites!