Mexico Travel Guide
Teotihuacan Guide

Complete guide: Visiting Teotihuacan

Rutopía editorial team
Rutopía editorial team
- min read

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Your first time in Mexico City? If you have the opportunity to visit this fantastic city, you have to take a trip to Teotihuacan. Its proximity to Mexico’s capital and other major cities like Puebla and Pachuca makes it a popular destination. But it is its imposing presence and historical importance that gives it its fame. It is a fascinating place to explore, and to help you plan your trip, here is our guide to Teotihuacan. This guide has up-to-date information on how to get there, where to eat, other tips for visiting Teotihuacan, and the essentials you need to know about its history.

Facts and History of Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is inseparable from its history. After all, it is an archaeological site. So before visiting this place, I recommend you to know some historical facts.



The “City of the Gods” was one of the largest cities in Mesoamerica. It is estimated to have had a population of around 100,000 inhabitants. However, it is still a mystery who built and lived in Teotihuacan, we also do not know why the city lost its powers, but we know that the town suffered a partially burnt at the end of its era.

Many archaeologists believe that the city was home to diverse ethnic and linguistic groups. Teotihuacan was the center of the Teotihuacan Valley’s culture, art, history, and civilization. The pyramids seen today were built primarily for religious reasons.

When the Aztecs arrived in the Valley of Mexico in the early 14th century, they discovered the remains of this great city. They found them so enormous that they considered them the work of divine beings. So they gave it the name: Teotihuacan, the “city of gods.”

As a reflection of its importance not only for Mexico but internationally, Teotihuacan is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Teotihuacan was closed for several months in 2020 but is now open again, with limited restrictions to maintain security. So, if you want to recharge your energy, pack your things, grab a pen, and note the information, we will provide you with this guide to visit Teotihuacan. Discover an impressive archaeological site in Mexico and get to know it uniquely with Rutopía.

Pyramids and temples of Teotihuacan to visit

I recommend starting at the Pyramid of the Sun and the Moon before they fill up with tourists. Then you can walk around the site and explore the temples and side structures of the complex. Below you will find the temples and places to visit in Teotihuacan.

Avenue of the Dead


 Robtowne0 – Pixabay 

The Avenue of the Dead is 2.5 km (approx. 1.5 miles) long. It runs from the Temple of Quetzalcoatl to the Pyramid of the Moon and is the main thoroughfare of Teotihuacan. Its name comes from the belief that it was the route for those destined to die in the pyramids. You will see a vast plaza called La Ciudadela during your tour at the southern end. At the north end, you will see ancient dwellings and temples such as the Pyramid of the Moon. Finally, the massive Pyramid of the Sun faces west.

Pyramid of the Sun



As you enter Teotihuacan, look skyward, and you will see the Pyramid of the Sun. At 64 m high, it is the third tallest pyramid in the world, after Cheops and Cholula. The Pyramid of the Sun is six pyramids, each built on top of the other. Underneath it, all is a cave, which in ancient Mexico represented passages to the underworld.

Archaeologists say it took approximately 14,000 people to build this structure and could have served as a water source, a monument to the sun, a tomb, or a ceremonial center.

Climbing the pyramid is on the bucket list of almost every traveler who visits Teotihuacan. However, it is not possible to climb the pyramids due to pandemic issues. In fact, during autumn and spring equinox, people climbed to the top of the pyramid to receive the energy of the place. The climb is steep (238 steps), but there are several platforms where you can take breaks and contemplate the views. Once at the top, you have 360° opinions of the site.

Pyramid of the Moon



Smaller than the Pyramid of the Sun, but almost the same height. Since it locates on higher ground, it appears as though you are at the same level; this pyramid gives you the best panoramic view of the complex. The Pyramid of the Moon locates at the far end of the Avenue of the Dead. The pyramid is 43 meters (approx. 142 ft.) high. Archeologists believed that rituals and human and animal sacrifices happened at the top of the Temple. On top of this pyramid sits a platform in honor of the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, the goddess of water, fertility, earth, and creation.

The Citadel

Following the Avenue of the Dead to the southern end, you will see the Citadel, a large quadrangular complex. The Citadel (ceremonial plaza) is a large courtyard containing the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. This part was of great political, cultural, and economic importance and where the elite of Teotihuacan lived.

Temple of the Feathered Serpent


Erika Falco – Pixabay 

The Temple of Quetzalcoatl, or Temple of the Feathered Serpent, receives its name from the serpent heads carved on the pyramid’s sides. There is also another carved figure, believed to be Tlaloc (god of rain), and snails and shells, both symbols of water. The feathered serpent heads represent life and peace. Archaeologists believe the other snakeheads symbolize war. The history of this pyramid is fascinating since it functioned as a center for human sacrifices in the past. As proof, the remains of more than 200 sacrifices that archeologists found at the site, which you can see a representation in the Museum Teotihuacan Culture.

Temple of Quetzalpapalotl


Eskystudio – Shutterstock

At the foot of the Pyramid of the Moon, you can tour the ruins of the Temple of Quetzalpapalotl. It is small but worth a visit. Most impressive are the paintings and engravings, as several walls and pillars depict butterflies and quetzal feathers. The name of the Temple means “butterfly-quetzal.” Its function is unclear, but it could have been the home of a high-ranking priest, given its location next to the temples.

Temple of the Feathered Snails

Inside the Palace of Quetzalpapalotl is this well-preserved Temple with a large, beautifully decorated mural.

Palace of the Jaguars

Behind the Temple of Quetzalpapalotl is the Palace of the Jaguars, which features murals of feathered felines and the rain god (Tlaloc). Archaeologists theorize that this space was a planning area for temple events.


With your ticket to the Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone, you have access to two museums: the Site Museum, inside the complex, and the Museum of the Teotihuacan Murals, across the street from the Pyramid of the Moon.

Archaeological Museum of Teotihuacan



In this Museum, there are virtual reality representations of how the city of Teotihuacan looked in the past. Also, you can find pieces found in the excavations and samples of the beliefs and rites practiced in this place.

Museum of Teotihuacan Murals



In this Museum you will understand more about Teotihuacan. The Museum was created in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Mexico to spread the artistic richness of Teotihuacan. It houses an extensive collection of archaeological pieces such as carved stone, ceramics, and obsidian. You can also find mural fragments, models, and texts that explain the process of elaboration of the mural painting.

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