Teotihuacan, day trips from Mexico City

The Earlybird North America

Teotihuacan is an absolutely kick-ass ancient temple complex located just outside of Mexico City. It is the mandatory excursion from DF. Teotihuacan was the capital of a massive empire which ran from approx 100 to 700 AD, although no-one is really sure. It is also thought that Teotihuacan was destroyed by fire, but this is also unclear. After which the city was sacked and lay abandoned for centuries until it was discovered by the Mexica (Aztecs). The Mexica named is Teotihuacan, which means „the place where gods were born“ as they believed the gods created the universe there. The site is pretty big, so you need about 4 hours to complete it. You can also climb the pyramids giving you stunning views of the site and surrounding countryside. I got a guide at the gate for about $30, which I shared with another tourist I met on the way there, which worked about cheaper than taking a tour.

How to get to Teotihuacan

Getting to Teotihuacan is a piece of cake with public transport. You take the metro to the Terminal del Norte bus station, walk 2 mins and there is a counter right there with the bus which will drop you off directly at the entrance. If in doubt, just ask for the „Pyramides“. Regulars buses pass right by the exit up until about 7pm in the evening. There are plenty of taxis, in case you got into trouble.

Tripadvisor is full of reviews from people who all took a tour, warning of the foolishness of attempting an independent trip. God forbid should you have to venture out of the confines of your hotel, to take public transport and come face to face with those horrible Mexicans! Well, some under time pressure with no budget constraints find it more convenient to take a tour. I’m all up for tours if they can save me time and money. However in this case, you will pay someone else to easily do what you could yourself. You won’t save time, because it is a door to door service, meaning you will be stuck in rush-hour traffic for hours and hours before they get to your hotel, which will be last in line.

Another big disadvantage with a tour is that they combine it with a trip to the Basilica Lady of Guadalupe, so you are forced to visit something that you may or may not have any interest in, leaving you less time for the pyramids.