Teotihuacan the city where people turn into Gods
Teotihuacan is an ancient city in Mexico, one of the oldest, largest and most mysterious sites in the Western Hemisphere. This complex of majestic temples is known for its two massive pyramids, Pirámide del Sol and Pirámide de la Luna. Located 50 kilometres to the northeast of Mexico City, makes the perfect day trip.
Get outta town!
Teotihuacan is a huge UNESCO site with a 2,000-year-old history. The site is enormous and you can easily spend a whole day there. People obviously underestimate the size of the site and the intense heat of the sun. Make sure you’re well prepared and bring lots of sun cream and lots of water! There’s very little shade at Teotihuacan, and it gets very hot.
It was relatively easy to get to the site without a tour. Buses leave every 20 min from the northern bus terminal in Mexico City. It is called Terminal Central del Norte. The bus ride was on time and approximately an hour long. When you get to the terminal look for the stand for the bus company ‘Autobuses Teotihuacan’ with a pyramid sign next to the name.
The main points of the site itself are the two pyramids, as well as the central Avenue of the Dead walkway. The site is enormous and it’s really worth exploring more than just the two biggest pyramids.
Literally, everyone rushes to the Pyramid of the Sun first, so arrive early and avoid waiting in a queue. Remember: admission on Sundays is free to residents of Mexico so I would avoid weekends. We learned the hard way, being out in the heat all afternoon, waiting to get the view from the top. But it was totally worth it! Considering it is the most visually breathtaking archaeological sites in the country. So they say 🙂
It’s no surprise to see some people who are treating a place like a playground. I mean seriously?! It’s an ancient site, full of history, one of the largest pyramids in a world, not a skating ground.
Some history and facts
Given its mystical essence, thousands of people visit Teotihuacan and ascend the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon during the spring equinox. The first day of spring, around the 20th and 21st of March, on the equinox, the sun is positioned directly over the equator. The word “equinox” means “equal night” referring to the fact that on this day, there are twelve hours of daylight and of the night.
The start of spring is still a cause for celebration in Mexico. In many places, there are spring festivals, that take place to celebrate the beginning of the season. On that date hundreds of thousands of visitors visit the site, many dressed all in white. They climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun where they perform rituals and stretch out their arms to re-charge themselves with solar energy. They believe the power is present on that day, at the moment when the sun is directly above the equator.
Impressive and interesting
- Pyramid of the Sun consists of over 3 million tons of stone.
- Orthodox archaeologists are divided concerning the dating of the site. Some believe it flourished from 1500 to 1000 BC, and others state a later period of 100 BC to 700 AD.
- Teotihuacán roughly means ‘place where gods were born’ and was also believed to be the location where the universe was created.