Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian city in the Americas, reaching a total population of 150,000 at its height. The name is also used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica.
Construction of Teotihuacán commenced around 300 BC, with the Pyramid of the Sun built by 150 BC. Construction continued from 150 to 450 AD.
By the time the Spaniards arrived, this place was not used as a settlement anymore, but served as a spiritual and religious destination for the people of Tenochtitlan.
A lot of artifacts have wisely been moved to National Anthropological Museum, in Mexico City.
By car (or taxi)It takes about 45 minutes from the Mexico City, city center if you use the toll highway. It takes much longer, but more interesting, if you use the old free road. There is a small fee for parking at the site. A taxi may be prohibitively expensive, though sometimes tours with a car and driver/guide can be arranged for a reasonable fee if you want the convenience.
By busBuses to Teotihuacán leave from Mexico City about every half hour from two locations: Terminal del Norte (outside Autobuses del Norte Metro station, Line 5) or from outside the (Line 3). A one-way ticket will cost 50 pesos (April 2019). From Terminal Autobuses del Norte, walk towards Gate 8. There is a ticket booth almost at the end of the concourse. Check that your bus goes to the site entrance of Teotihuacán ruinas and not just to the town of San Juan Teotihuacán nearby. From Potrero, exit the station and look for white buses that go to Piramides – they mean the pyramids of Teotihuacán. The trip will take around an hour, and the buses run until about 18:00. When alighting the bus, check the last departure with the driver. You will be dropped off and picked up at (closest to the Temple of Quetzalcóatl).
By tour busMost travel agencies offer half or full day tours to the site, often combined with the Plaza de las Tres Culturas and the Basilica of Guadalupe, both of which are outside the city center. It’s a convenient way to combine the three, but note our comments above about getting to the site early. The price is around 700 pesos for an adult. As with guided tours everywhere in the world, these tours will waste much of your time by promoting gift shops, but they are still a convenient way to get here for Mexico City-based tourists.
There is an entrance fee of M$75 (July 2017) to enter the park for non-Mexican visitors. This is a large site, a lot of walking is required as there are few other ways to navigate the complex, unless you have a car, then you can freely drive around the perimeter (if you are staying at the hotel in the park or heading to one of the many restaurants). There are tractor-drawn wagons with seats and shelter that run on a schedule known only to them. If you go by bus, they will deliver you to one spot, from which you will be required to walk to and from. If you tire easily, pack light for this excursion (i.e., no backpacks, heavy purses, etc.)
There are plenty of friendly park police there, they may limit your driving around the site unless you are staying at the hotel. Taxi drivers are not allowed to drive you around the site, you must have a destination, like a restaurant, inside of the park. If you are adventurous and lucky, you may be able to rent a bicycle to ride around the perimeter on the cobble stone road (a bit bouncy). If you are visiting the site and do not have an opportunity to explore the perimeter where the shops, restaurants and old buildings are, you are missing out. Just a little creativity should help you find some transportation inside of the complex. The locals are very friendly and a few pesos will go a long way. Try to at least find a ride around the perimeter to view the complex. It will be worth the effort.
Pirámide del SolThe largest pyramid in the structure with an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. Wear sunscreen, they don't call it the Temple of the Sun for nothing.
Pirámide de la LunaA medium-sized pyramid off from the center of the complex.
Templo de QuetzalcoatlOne of the most sacred temples in the complex, this structure is decorated with many stone serpent heads.
Museo TeotihuacánThe museum at the park with outstanding displays and a miniature recreation of the entire site. Well worth the visit.
There are also many interesting constructions along the Avenue of the Dead which runs along the middle of the site, so don't just walk from one temple to the other. On the left side of the plaza in front of the Pyramid of the Moon are several areas including the , which includes the Palacio de los Jaguares (Palace of the Jaguars) and the Templo de los Caracoles Emplumados, with many wall paintings, sculptures, and underground rooms.
There are also some smaller structures surrounding the complex, no more than four or five meters in height. A drive around the perimeter, on the road along the park will provide many surprises and is worth the trip. Hitching a ride or even paying a few pesos for a ride will be worth the effort.
Get a Telemex prepaid calling card for Mexico's pay phones. They are available from several vendors and the savings are substantial.
Around the inside perimeter of the site you will find several shops that not only sell, but also manufacture obsidian art and other stone objects for sale. Shop and compare quality and prices before buying.
phone: +52 594 956 0127address: Zona Arqueológica de TeotihuacánThe restaurant is located deep inside a subterranean cave and illuminated by two large holes on the side along with other ambient lighting. There is a bar with a vast selection of beers, wines, and liquors. Prepare for the possibility of a serenade by a small Mariachi band or weekend shows featuring live Aztec dancers.
phone: +52 555 836 9020address: Periférico Sur s/n, Zona ArqueológicaHas a very pleasant dining room serving 3 meals a day. It is reasonably priced, food is excellent and the staff very helpful.
Museo TeotihuacánThe museum at the park has a restaurant.
phone: +52 555 836 9020address: Periférico Sur s/n, Zona ArqueológicaThe only hotel located in the archaeological zone at only 5 minutes walking distance from the main entrance of the site. The hotel is open all year round, and is accessible to the public. There is a small swimming pool, dining room and patio. The rooms are a bit small, but very clean. There is secure parking, having a car at the site is a real plus! You will be allowed to drive around the entire site without much restriction.
phone: +52 594 956 18 81address: 26 Av Hidalgo, Teotihuacan SJComfy hotel 2 km from Archaeological Park. Spacious rooms, pool, restaurant. Free parking. Walking to the site from here isn't recommended as it's a hot, busy ratty highway with no side-walk, then there's lots of walking to see the site, then you have to get back.
There are numerous stray dogs around the park, they do not seem to be dangerous, but touching them, feeding them or paying any attention to them is not in your best interest, especially at the restaurants.
Be aware of the weather. Sunny days can suddenly turn rainy. Use sunscreen. Especially at this altitude you can get a sunburn quickly without noticing it.