Teotihuacan (pron. TAY-uh-TEE-wah-kahn) is a pre Aztec ruins site which makes a great day trip out of México City. The complex boasts incredibly crafted pyramids and perfectly detailed walls making it well worth your time.
Teotihuacan is often referred to as an Aztec site however its dates are infact, from pre Aztec times. The Aztecs came to occupy Teotihuacan 1600 years after its creation, during the peak of the Aztec ruling. Just who ruled the complex prior to the Aztecs is a small part of the mystery of Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan fell quickly around 550 A.D with researchers speculating that food shortages or droughts may have driven the population from their home. This explanation, however, does not explain the known burnings of many of the upper class or government buildings.
Take your time to ponder the exceptional craftsmanship behind massive constructions made from detailed and perfect right angled walls. Even those affected by altitude will want to make the effort to climb the steep pyramid stairs which gives way to a unique view of the surrounding ruins and barren landscape dotted with cactus and dry hills.
Teotihuacan is a particularly budget friendly and affordable day trip from Mexico City. Read our tips below to enjoy the site for yourself.
• Buses for Teotihuacan leave every 15 minutes (6am – 9pm) from Autobuses del Norte – Address: Lázaro Cárdenas, Panamericana, D.F.
• To reach Autobuses del Norte take the subway to Autobuses del Norte (yellow line). We found the subway easy, cheap (5 pesos per person anywhere in the city) and safe to use with a a bit of common sense. Allow extra time for this part of the trip if you are travelling within rush hour (8am – 10am).
• When you arrive at Autobuses del Norte station visible yellow signs direct you to the bus terminal. Follow these outside and across one road where you will easily be able to see the main bus terminal. NB: do not head toward the local buses, you want to go straight into the main terminal.
• Once inside head toward Salia 8 and purchase a ticket from the counter promoting Teotihuacan (44 pesos per person one way – 2015, approx 1 hour). Ensure your ticket is direct to Los Piramides, not San Juan Teotihuacan (the destination of many local buses). The later will take you further away from the ruins themselves and require you to take a taxi from the town. A ticket to San Juan, however, is an option to consider if you are planning on staying in the region, accommodation is available here.
• Entrance to Teotihuacan cost 64 pesos with a discount available for ISIC card holders. Total approximate time from Central Mexico City: 2 hours.
Getting away: Return buses leave every hour outside the main entrance. These are more frequent after 1pm.
Total Cost: 162 pesos per person for return transport and entry to the park (2015).
• Pack a hat and sunblock, there is limited shade in the complex.
• Pack lunch. An overpriced cafe is available and there are small shops selling potato chips and cold drinks. Even if you are not travelling on a budget a packed lunch may be more enjoyable as the complex is vast and you may find yourself a fair walk from the cafe at lunchtime.
• Get to the park before 10am to beat the crowds.
• ISIC cardholders receive a discounted entry
• There are countless tour companies ready to shuttle you to and from the ruins directly however your time at the ruins itself is often cut short (often down to a mere hour). Your ‘full day tour of Teotihuacan’ is then filled with numerous stops at local stalls.
• There have been reports of buses to Teotihuacan being held up however we understand there have been no recent events and found the ride safe and enjoyable. But then again if you read the American travel safe website we will all die if we step one foot outside our houses.