The Mighty Teotihuacán
Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, Teotihuacán happens to be one of the most visited archaeological site in Mexico. The name Teotihuacán had been given by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztec, and translates into ‘The place where the gods were created’. The complex is characterized by the vast size of its monuments, laid out in geometrical shapes.
If we go by what the historians and archaeaologists say, Teotihuacán was the largest city anywhere in the Western Hemisphere before the 1400s. In fact, the city reached its zenith between 100 B.C. and A.D. 650 with at least 25,000 inhabitants, thereby also making it one of the most powerful cultural centres in Mesoamerica.
Teotihuacán also had multi-floor apartment compounds built to accommodate this large population, according to legend, it was here where the gods gathered to plan the creation of man. However, what is paradoxical is the fact that no one knows where the huge population that lived here eventually ended up. Many theories have been suggested but most of them have been inconclusive.
Teotihuacán is located at a distance of some 50 km from Mexico City. However, the weather here at Teotihuacán is usually hotter, thereby resulting in a rise in the temperature. So when visiting Teotihuacán, visitors are advised to wear light clothes, wear sun screen and carry a hat or/and sunglasses Keep yourself hydrated by constantly sipping water.
In order to reach Teotihuacan, the closest airport is Mexico City. From Mexico City, there are two options available. Either, tourist can opt for buses to Teotihuacán which leave from Mexico City every 20 minutes, taking 45 minutes to reach the destination. Or else, the other option is to hire a cab which would take them to Teotihuacan. There is an entrance fee of 57 pesos to enter the park. Visitors should also keep note that since Teotihuacan is free for residents of Mexico on Sundays, the site tends to get crowded which is why tourists should plan accordingly and visit on an alternate day.
The attractions within Teotihuacán include:
• Avenue of the Dead (Calzada de los Muertos) : This is the main avenue at Teotihuacán connecting all the other main attractions of this site.
• Temple of Quetzalcoatl : Decorated with numerous stone serpent heads, this is one of the most sacred and often visited temples in the complex.
• Museo Teotihuacán : The museum at the Teotihuacán park which is home to a vast array of outstanding and exquisite displays. There is also a miniature recreation of the entire site kept inside the museum.
• Pyramid of the Moon : Towering at a height of 16 feet, Pyramid of the Moon contains 12 platforms which surround about 4 acres of land and provides an excellent view of the Mexico City.
• Temple of the Sun : The largest pyramid of the Teotihuacán complex, Temple of the Sun is the third largest pyramid in the world. Climb to its top for some splendid views of the surrounding mountains and the distant city.
Listed above are merely the major attractions of Teotihuacán. While we encourage visitors to make it a point to visit these sites, at the same time we urge them to not limit their exploration to these and unravel the mysteries contained in the other structures lined at Avenue of the Dead.
For a vacation filled with intrigue, suspense and awe, plan a trip to Teotihuacán!