As one of the few successful trips we made during our time in Mexico City, Teotihuacan was the first full set of ruins we explored. Though we don’t have much to compare it to yet, it was well worth the time and money investments.
Arriving at the ruins, we were immediately impressed with the view down the Avenida de los Muertos and the towering Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon. In the distance the screams of eagles and pumas echoed off the ruined walls. It wasn’t long before we found ourselves face to face with the sources of the wild cries. There they were. Standing, staring. Their predatory eyes piercing our clothing for the prize hidden within. They let out another shrill, deafening at this range, and unhesitatingly approached us. In their mouths are the noise makers, in their hands are delicately carved obsidian statues. We ran past the persistent vendors and continued towards the pyramids.
Being moderately more prepared for this adventure made it much more enjoyable. However, we’re still far from being in the shape we want to be and the stairs reminded us of this. We felt much better after seeing that most people rest at each landing and our breathing was definitely more controlled than a lot of the other climbers. Closer to the top, we passed a girl walking up the pyramid in socks. In her hands were 5 inch heels- not ideal ruin-climbing shoes. I hope her decision to come to Teotihuacan was very spur-of-the-moment but after seeing how well Mexican ladies dress all the time, I doubt that was the case. She seemed totally fine with destroying her socks, probably because she knew that she had the sexiest shoes for several miles.
Avoiding Fail – What to Bring:
- Sun protection
- A snack/meal
- Expect the trip to take around 5 hours in total. There is a restaurant at the entrance of the ruins and some street vendors at the exit if you would rather eat there.
- Appropriate shoes
- There is a fair amount of walking and more stairs than Rocky could climb.
Transportation to Teotihuacan:
Getting to the ruins is easy and begins with a ride on the Metro. You take the Yellow 5 line to Autobuses del Norte where you can buy your bus ticket (http://mexico-on-line.com/mexico-city/mexico-city-maps/mexico-city-metro-map.html). The bus station is next to the metro exit and it is really easy to find tickets to Teotihuacan. If you walk towards the end of the station (Sala 8), you will see a bus company with pictures of the pyramids. The tickets are $36 pesos one way. When you are purchasing your tickets, be sure to tell them you want to go to the pyramids so you don’t end up in the nearby town of San Juan Teotihuacan.
The bus will drop you off at the entrance of the ruins where you pay $51 pesos to get in.
Returning to Mexico City:
When you’re ready to head back to Mexico City, walk towards the road where you were dropped off. Once on the other side of that street, you will see people who you can pay $36 pesos for bus credit (the equivalent of buying a ticket back) back to Mexico City. The people are very friendly and will help you get on the correct bus.
Other Item of Note:
On our ride back to Mexico City, our bus was pulled over and searched. However, during this search the men and women were separated and patted down by same-sex officers. After a quick check for drugs, the men were allowed back on the bus and we set off again without issue. This was a bit confusing at first, but the officers were quite respectful.
In its heyday, Teotihuacan was one of the largest cities in the world (some estimations state there could have been almost a quarter of a million residents). Walking amongst the ruins, Erica and I tried to imagine what it would have been like to live here. Luckily, much of the majesty is still intact and there are very few fences to corral your exploration. Teotihuacan was an incredible experience with breathtaking views. Only an hour outside Mexico City, there is no reason not to check it out for yourself.