Where Men Become Gods: The Pyramids of Teotihuacan, A Photo Journal (Estado de México, México)

Piramides de Teotihuacán, Teotihuacán Pyramids, Estado de Mexico

Last week we sat down to plan our final week in Mexico City. With the unstable political situation here, we weren’t sure how soon we’d return. So we made a list. All the places we wanted to be sure to visit before we left. Obviously Los Pirámides de Teotihuacán were on the list.

I can’t believe we didn’t visit the pyramids of Teotihuacán sooner, because it was definitely one of my favorites of our whole Mexico City trip. If you’re planning a trip to Mexico, you DON’T want to miss this. 

We quickly planned our day trip to the pyramids with Wiki Travel which offered accurate and helpful information for getting there.

Entrance to the park was $64 pesos (~$4 USD) and our round-trip bus tickets from/to Mexico City were $88 pesos per person (April 2015).

La Ciudadela at Zona Arqueológica in Teotihuacán

Diana approaching La Ciudadela at the Archaeological Zone of Teotihuacán

Arriving by bus at Puerta 1, we entered the archaeological zone near La Ciudadela (the Citadel). The expansive plaza inside and the structures around the perimeter suggest that this was the city’s main marketplace.

On the eastern side across from the entrance to the plaza, you can climb up ancient stairs to a platform for a better view. The back side led us to a close-up look at the animal carvings and architecture of the pyramid behind the platform.

Diana at the top of the platform in La Ciudadela of Teotihuacán

Diana at the top of the platform in La Ciudadela

pyramid in La Ciudadela of Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacán

view from the back side of the platform in La Ciudadela

back side of the platform in La Ciudadela of Teotihuacán

Diana on the back side of the platform in La Ciudadela

close-up view of the animals on the pyramid in La Ciudadela of Teotihuacán

animal carvings on the pyramid in La Ciudadela

From there, it was time to head toward the “big” attraction: Pirámide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun).

It looked so far away! Lucky for us, rain clouds overhead made the trek cooler and more bearable.

view of Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon from La Ciudadela in Teotihuacán Archaeological Zone

Diana at La Ciudadela, Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon in the background

And so we began walking… and walking… and walking. We passed several vendors selling ocarinas, Aztec calendars, jewelry, the most popular item: animal head toys that “roar” loudly when you blow into them.

We also passed a sign for the “Museo” but skipped it and pushed onward toward the Pyramid of the Sun. A storm was a-brewin, and we wanted to see the main attraction!

I’d guess it was a 20-30 minute walk.

And when we got there… Holy shit! It was HUGE!

Pyramid of the Sun, Zona Arachaeológica de Teotihuacán

Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán

As we approached the first set of stairs, it started to rain. Though there was mild thunder, we saw no lightning. So we started upward.

This trek gave us quite the workout. The steps were inconsistently constructed. Some narrow. Some wide. But nearly all MUCH taller than the standardized steps you’d find in any modern building. We stopped for a rest after each staircase.

Diana part of the way up on the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán

Out of breath, but still smiling. We need to work out more. And we’re not even halfway up.

Several steps and LOTS of huffing and puffing later, we made it to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun! And the view was beautiful.

photography at the top of Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán

We took lots of photos from the top of the Pyramid of the Sun.

on top of the Pyramid of the Sun, view of Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacán, Mexico

Ian and Diana at the top of the Pyramid of the Sun

Going back down wasn’t nearly as bad, though the steps can be a little hard on your knees. (And that goes for ALL of the steps in Zona Arqueológica of Teotihuacán.

pyramid steps at Teotihuacán

Some tall steps (though not the tallest) at Teotihuacán

And then we were on our way to Pirámide of la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon). Ian and I alternated taking photos of each other along the way.

You can see the vendors spotted along the side of the road below.

Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacán

Ian in the middle of the Avenue of the Dead

Avenue of the Dead at Teotihuacán, view of Pyramid of the Moon

Diana on Avenue of the Dead, Pyramid of the Moon in the background

We bought a blanket from that guy behind me to the left. 400 pesos… down from 700…

I wouldn’t have agreed to pay more than 225 (Ian finalized the deal), but I wouldn’t say we got a bad deal, either. I just think I’m an expert at bartering after my trip to Morocco in high school!

Last stop on this adventure: Pyramid of the Moon!

view from Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacán

From the Pyramid of the Moon, we watched some active archaeological digging at the base of the stairs below.

on the Pyramid of the Moon, Teotihuacán

as high as you can get on the Pyramid of the Moon // Diana almost lost her hat to the wind.

You can’t climb as high on the Pyramid of the Moon as you can on the Pyramid of the Sun, so this trek up was shorter and easier. But THOSE STAIRS!!! They were the WORST of all the stairs in the Archaeological Zone — extremely tall, quite the workout going up, and even harder to come back down.

(I didn’t stop to take a photo because I was too concentrated on not tumbling down!)

Tired, thirsty, and one blanket heavier, we caught the bus back to Mexico City at Puerta 3, as we’d been instructed by the man at the admission booth at the beginning of our visit.

What a great day. What a cool place. If you ever find yourself in Mexico City, you absolutely MUST go see it!


All photos in this post were taken with either Ian’s Sony a7 II or my Sony RX-100 III and edited using various presets in The Quantum Collection of Lightroom presets, available for free on photoncollective.com.

Like this post? View more of our photo collections on North to South!

This post was handcrafted just for you during our travels in Mexico.

About the Author

Diana Southern
In March 2014, Diana called it quits on her traditional American working life and set out to explore the world with her partner in crime (and love of her life) Ian Norman. They now live a sustainable life of full time travel, working for themselves and seeking adventure at the same time. Here on North to South, Diana documents their journey in achieving and maintaining this "road less traveled" way of life.

2 Responses

  1. Anna April 15, 2015 / 8:37 pm

    This looks awesome! I’m a fan of ancient ruins. I’m surprised the steps at Pyramid of the Sun still look quite nicely preserved. I remember those horrible stairs at the Khmer temple ruins!

    • Diana Southern April 16, 2015 / 12:01 am

      Yep, not in bad shape at all, considering their age, but a hell of a workout! 🙂

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