Teotihuacan Notes

Thirty miles northeast of Mexico City, Teotihuacan (a founding member of my bucket list ) waited. Having spent a few days in Mexico City, skittish pre-travel advice/warnings to “book in advance”, “take a reputable tour” and “avoid public transit” had long since evaporated. We hailed a street cab, destination – Terminal de Autobus del Norte. At the bus station,  paid 46 pesos each (under $4 Canadian return trip ) and hopped a coach leaving every 15 minutes for Teotihuacan.

Going in I knew Teotihuacan (City of the Gods) was a UNESCO World Heritage site. The largest pre-Aztec city in central Mexico, covering 20 square kilometers, dominated by Pyramids of the Sun and Moon, both situated along Avenue of the Dead’s considerable 2.4 km reach. Above all I knew Pyramid of the Sun was lined with Mica, a sheet mineral prized for thermal conduction and electrical insulation properties. Mica quarried thousands of miles away in South America, mysteriously placed beneath the outer stone surface. Nothing prepared me for enormity of personal first impressions.


An hour out of del Norte our bus arrived at Gate 1. Beyond a dusty entrance lined with vendors, map in hand, the Citadel lent dimension to scant comprehension of the task at hand.




First photo – view of the Citadel from Gate 1. Above – looking into the Temple of Quetzalcoatl from atop the Citadel.


From the Citadel, looking down Avenue of the Dead toward Pyramid of the Sun (right) and distant Pyramid of the Moon.




Images along Avenue of the Dead.

Between the Citadel and Pyramid of the Sun, we explored a jaw dropping expanse of prickly pear cactus –



Above – first ever WordPress photograph of myself and husband.

Evey step toward Pyramid of the Sun made the structure more implausible.





Hot, thirsty, needing to process Teotihuacan, we timed out at Gate 5 for lunch at La Gruta.




My cell phone photographs can’t begin to capture lunch in a cave. (I’ll post my husband’s images in a few days)


Refreshed and centered, we made our way to Pyramid of the Moon and adjoining Quetzalcoatl complex – Patio of the Jaguar and Temple of Feathered Conches.






Leaving Teotihuacan, I smiled when my daughter said “look at your boots”. Covered in dust, I walked away carrying stony determination of lost civilizations in my heart. It was a perfect day.


27 thoughts on “Teotihuacan Notes

  1. Never taken a reliable tour in my life. I love the hotel advice handbooks that tell you for example, ‘Choose a respectable looking restaurant.’ My wife and I invariably headed for the most disreputable dive we could find.

    • When we told friends and family of our planned trip to Mexico City, almost all of them dropped jaws and asked “is it safe?”. Yikes! Countless websites cautioned calamity waited for those oblivious to tight ass, narrow minded rules of conduct. Perhaps those nincompoops should stick to cruise ships or all inclusive resorts. I travel with common sense, not fear. Anything else strikes me as pointless.

      • I’m with you on that. I’ve never had an all-inclusive either. And I survived to weeks in NYNY back in 1979 when going there was supposed to be tantamount to signing up for early and brutal euthanasia

  2. Love the photo of La Gruta! My kind of place to eat a meal!

    Congratulations for “coming out” — you make a cute couple.

    I have sometimes wondered by so much of the advice people give to others about to travel is cautionary? Does it say something about the 21st Century that we have to warn rather than encourage?

    For us the photos are hard to grasp — not that the photos are bad, they aren’t, they’re wonderful. But hard to grasp the amount of human enterprise that it took to construct those edifices. So many fascinating places left on earth to be seen…. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hubby and I have visited two small Mayan complexes. Like you, I’d made this a top-of-the-bucket-list item. We wandered around Chac Mul for about three hours. When we left, Hubby asked me if I’d been disappointed. As the pictures show, I had walked around completely expressionless and he thought I was unimpressed. Instead, it was quite the opposite – I was absolutely gobsmacked, struggling to absorb the fact that I was there.

  4. It’s a fascinating field. As a devout cynic I take a lot of what I read with the proverbial grain of salt but even so just looking at the imagery makes the ol’ jaw drop open and eyes glaze.
    I make the mistake of channeling my WTF? reflex into HTF? (How …) and also try to fit in the occasional ‘Why?’.

    The easy answer of course is always ‘their religion’; which may answer the ‘why’ but unless they had help from their divine/s doesn’t explain the Hows …

    Amazing what you can do with thousands of slaves and a few rollers …

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