The Ultimate Mexican Experience: Teotihuacan

One of the ultimate Mexican experiences you will EVER have while in Mexico is definitely hiking the pyramids of the Sun and Moon in Teotihuacan. I’ve been to the pyramids three times in my life: once as a kid with my family, a second time with my classmates for a Cross-Border class I took in college, and the third time I went with my boyfriend.

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Every time I’ve visited the pyramids I’ve traveled with foreigners -whether it was my mother and my grandfather, my classmates or my boyfriend, they’ve all walked away mesmerized by the mystique symmetry of these monumental man-made creations. It is mind-blowing to think cement and construction machinery were non-existent back when the pyramids were built, but what’s more incredulous is that unlike several modern buildings in Mexico City, the pyramids have survived two major earthquakes and are still standing to date!

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100% Guarantee! Exploring Teotihuacan will be one of the best journeys you will ever experience in your life. That’s why you need to go and check it out for yourself!

ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK

Hours: open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. all days of the year.

Entrance Fee: $70 MXN pesos. Make sure you hold on to your ticket to enter the museums inside the park. Videocameras cost an additional $45 MXN pesos.

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Journey: The Death Valley is a South to North path, about 4 KM long, that will take you through the archeological park. My biggest recommendation is you start at the South entrance of the park and work your way up.  You don’t want end up walking North to South and back to the North again. The walk from the citadel to the pyramids is a pretty long haul, trust me you do not want to make the same mistake as me and walk it twice. There is no need!

There are so many things to see, and depending on how much time you spend in the museums, or how slow you are walking, time might be a little constraining. So, make sure you at least hit these spots:

  • Templo de Quetzalcóatl
  • Calle de los Muertos
  • Museo de la Cultura Teotihuacana
  • Pirámide del Sol
  • Pirámide de la Luna

To see a map of the site click here. Unfortunately, the site is only in Spanish, but you can get a good idea of where these places are situated on the map so you are able to navigate through the park.

DISTANCE

If you followed my hotel recommendation in my post “Why Mexico City Should be Your Next Adventure Destination,” Teotihuacan is nearly 50 KM from Hilton Reforma Mexico City –about a 60 to 90 minute drive (subject to the level of traffic). Be sure to ask your concierge for more information on Teotihuacan Tours to book your excursion!

WHAT TO WEAR & WHAT TO BRING?

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Shoes. You must be prepared for a long day of walking and hiking! The ground is mostly rocks and dirt, and the stairs on your way up the pyramids are very narrow. I know we all have really cute shoes that hurt our feet, that we still wear despite the painful fact! However, don’t wear them. I cannot stress enough how much you will regret it!  Wear comfy flat shoes –may it be tennis shoes, sneakers or any derivative of this sort.

Attire. It depends what time of the year you are going, but you are bound to experience a mix of chilly and warm weather that same day. To be safe wear any variation of leggings, shorts, jeans and a loose blouse or T-shirt to keep you warm if it’s chilly in the morning, and stay cool should the temperature rise throughout the day. I don’t recommend dresses at all since you will be going up many narrow stairs and it can be windy –you don’t want to show all Mexico what you are wearing under (this is a Mexican expression we use whenever your undies get seen LOL).

Here are a few important items you won’t want to forget for your long day journey:

Cash. Remember what I said about getting cash in “Why Mexico City Should be Your Next Adventure Destination,” ? Well… guess what?! You will most definitely need cash at Teotihuacan. Typically, none of the vendors at Teotihuacan accept credit cards, so if you want to buy hand-made souvenirs you should bring MXN pesos. Yes, things are cheap in Mexico, but things add up quickly so bring enough to cover your expenses, plus your souvenirs. If you are going to carry a significant amount of pesos (anything above $2,000) you don’t want to put it all in one place; keep some bills in your wallet, and others in your pocket.

Essentials. Whether it’s a backpack or a purse, just make sure you bring something that allows you to carry all your essentials like sunglasses, sunblock, snacks, water bottles, cell phone, camera, an extra blouse or a sweater. I took a purse, and honestly, I think it would have been better to carry my things around in a small backpack.

WHERE TO EAT?

You will notice there are a lot of small restaurants near the entrances of the archeological park, but take note of this place I am about to recommend: La Gruta, “The Grotto.” Eating at this restaurant will only enhance your ultimate Mexican experience; it is truly one of a kind.

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Location. La Gruta is about 15-20 minute drive away from the archeological park of Teotihuacan. You can grab a taxi and ask them to take you there for a few MXN pesos.

Food. There are so many authentic, delicious Mexican dishes here, it will be hard to decide what to order. I can help you narrow your decision-making by confirming that the “consommé de cornero, “beef broth soup,” and the barbacoa plate, “beef,” are two excellent choices on the menu. If you any questions about the menu, some of the waiters speak really good English, and are very helpful.

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*Note: if you REALLY want to be adventurous, ask for an appetizer of chapulines, “crickets.” I kid you not… they are delicious -a bit salty and crunchy. My recommendation to you if you decide to eat them: Don’t think about the cricket and don’t look at it, just toss in your mouth and enjoy the flavor!

Drinks. I ordered the mezcal de chapulines which I believe is off the menu. I literally thought this cocktail would have crickets swimming in my mezcal drink. Thankfully, the crickets were blended into the mezcal. If nobody told you you are about to have a cricket drink, you wouldn’t even know it’s a cricket drink! This has been one of my most favorite mezcal drinks; it was AMAZING!!! I highly recommend it.

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*Note: make sure you have a sweater packed because this place can get a bit chilly even on a hot, sunny day.

Well people… I hope these notes about Teotihuacan motivate you enough to go experience it yourself. Keep us posted on your trip and share your best experiences with us. I look forward to hearing all about it!

Safe Travels,

~Steph

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