Complete guide: Visiting Teotihuacan

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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 DeadCalzada de los Muertos

 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 SunPiramide Sol


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 MoonPirámide de la Luna


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 QuetzalpapalotlTeotihuacan

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

Museo de Sitio de Teotihuacán


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

Museo De Los Murales Teotihuacanos - Beatriz de La Fuente


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.

Teotihuacan Hot Air Balloon Ride

Cinthia Aguilar – Unsplash

Walking around the great site of Teotihuacan is one thing. Floating over the pyramids and the Avenue of the Dead during a hot air balloon ride is something else entirely. The Air Balloon Ride is the only way to appreciate the immensity of this site is from above. At dawn, at the side of the Archaeological Zone, hot air balloons are inflated and make an exceptional tour over Teotihuacan.  We highly recommend this ride if you have a particular date to commemorate, such as a birthday or anniversary. You can book a hot air balloon tour here.

The hot air balloon ride costs 2,500 MXN per person in a group and 4,000 MXN for an individual ride. There are several options to choose from, and the price varies considerably. So when choosing a company, check and compare what the tours included and whatnot.

Authentic experiences in Teotihuacan

Culinary Experience, Pulque Tasting (drink of the gods), and Visit to a Local Produce Cooperative


Touring the archaeological zone whets your appetite. So you should not miss the typical delicious food of Teotihuacan. Among the dishes, you will find escamoles (ant larvae highly appreciated in Mexico since pre-Hispanic times), maguey worms (a type of larva that grows in the maguey), barbacoa (sheep meat cooked in its juice), xoconostle candy (fruit belonging to the cactus family), among a tremendous culinary variety. Don’t forget to taste the exquisite pulque (drink of the gods) at the end of a great feast and visit a workshop of local products made with Tuna, Nopal, and Xoconostle. With Rutopía, you will be able to taste the typical food of Teotihuacan and improve your knowledge of the local culture, learn more here.

Cycling in Teotihuacan


How about a bike tour of Teotihuacan? Pedal Teotihuacan, take a bike to tour the Valley of Teotihuacan that surrounds the archaeological site, passing through the route of the Murals. You will have a first perspective of the place to start your guided tour of Teotihuacan.  On this day, you will also taste traditional dishes and experience Teotihuacan uniquely. Let us know if you would like to do this tour, and we will do it for you.

Tips for visiting Teotihuacan


On your visit to Teotihuacan, I have the following tips for you:

Frequently Asked Questions

Guía visitar Teotihuacán


Where are the ruins of Teotihuacan?

Teotihuacán is only 40 kilometers, or 25 miles, northeast of Mexico City. The Teotihuacán Archaeological Zone is in San Juan Teotihuacán, which is in the federal state of Mexico State (Central Mexico).

How to get to Teotihuacan from Mexico City?

Many excursions combine a trip to Teotihuacán with other popular attractions, including a stop for lunch. It is also easy to take the bus to the ruins. Buses leave every 15 minutes from the Terminal de Autobuses del Norte in Mexico City. The trip can take 45 minutes from the terminal, depending on traffic. There are several entrances and exits, but get off at the first stop next to the pyramids (gate 1). You can take the bus back to one of the other exits on the way back.

You can also rent a car and drive to Teotihuacán, taking highway 85D and following the signs to San Juan Teotihuacán. Traffic permitting, this drive takes about an hour, passing through breathtaking scenery. Part of the drive is toll, so have cash and change. Parking is available in the vicinity of the zone, the use of which costs a small fee.

Taxi services from the city to the site, including Uber, are also an option. More details and online booking here.


You can visit Teotihuacan from Monday to Sunday between 9 am and 3 pm. Therefore, you should arrive early to have enough time to explore all the wonders inside this archaeological zone. Unfortunately, the closing time is at 3 pm due to the pandemic, and the capacity is limited to 30%.

Can I climb the pyramids of Teotihuacan?

In regular times, you can climb to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. Also, climb up to a platform halfway to the Pyramid of the Moon. It is a steep climb up long stairs to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes and plenty of water. And don’t forget your camera: the views are spectacular.

When is the best time to visit?

There is no wrong time to visit Teotihuacán. However, January to April is considered the best time to visit. These are also the months when Teotihuacan receives the highest number of tourists.

As Teotihuacán’s altitude is 2,300 m, winters can be cold. However, winter is an excellent time to avoid the crowds (except at Christmas) and the heat.

In spring, the sun shines, and temperatures begin to rise, but the number of tourists also increases. Summer is humid and rainy (not a good time to be outdoors).

Regardless of when you visit, try to plan a trip to Teotihuacan in the middle of the week. The pyramids of Teotihuacan are very close to Mexico City, and weekends can get very crowded. A Rutopia specialist can guide you if you’re not quite sure which months you should go. 

Entrance fee to the ruins of Teotihuacán

The entrance fee is 80 Mexican pesos (about 4 US dollars); this includes entrance to the Museum of Teotihuacan Culture and the Museum of Teotihuacan Murals (Beatriz de la Fuente).  Currently, you cannot buy skip-the-line tickets for Teotihuacan online due to restrictions imposed by the Mexican government. However, there is also the option of a guided tour to know more about the city’s history and its constructions while you visit. Admission is free for children under 13, as well as for Mexican citizens and residents on Sundays.

Accessibility (wheelchair)

Accessibility for wheelchair users is throughout the site. Tourism can reserve parking at gates 2, 3, and 5 for visitors with disabilities. At Gate 3, there are ramps and walkways for visitors with mobility difficulties or who use wheelchairs.

Gabe Rebra – Unsplash

Visiting Teotihuacan is, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Mexico City. It could almost be considered a right of passage for first-time visitors to Mexico. The site has stood the test of time and offers a deep insight into Mexico’s culture and history. It’s the perfect day trip from Mexico City, and with Rutopia, you can experience it! See more details here to plan your trip and adventure in Teotihuacan, and we will design a unique and hassle-free trip for you and your family.

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September, 2022
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April, 2022
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Enjoyed using Rutopia (Marisol and Melina) to plan my trip to Mexico. Marisol helped me figure out the best options fand booked everything. Melina was my in country support. Rutopia (the company through Kim Kim) is great and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take the burden out of vacation planning. My son and I truly enjoyed the trip knowing everything was taken care of and we just had to have fun. Thanks!
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July, 2022
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Such an amazing time in the Yucatán! Between floating in the mangroves to visiting Chichén Itzá to spending a whole day on the beach in El Cuyo, I couldn’t have planned a better trip without their help. Thank you so much for an unforgettable birthday vacation!! Simply amazing! Don’t think twice about having them help you plan your next vacation!
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Great experience with this agency, totally recommend!
Great experience with this agency. Our tour in Mexico was perfect and organised with great passion and precision. Special thanks to Mel (our direct contact during the trip) for being super responsive and to Jorge Barbosa (our tour guide in Mexico City). Totally recommend this tour operator!
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June, 2022
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Rutopia did an outstanding job with the arrangement and execution of a 9 day tour of Mayan sites in the Yucatan peninsula. We provided Rutopia with the general parameters of the trip we wanted and they suggested an itinerary. After our approval, they set up the hotels, transportation within Mexico, and site tours. The hotels were good quality, and all of the drivers and tour guides showed up on time. We were very impressed with the quality of the tour guides and learned a lot on the trip. Jorge handled setting up the itinerary, and Melina handled the execution of the trip and was readily available via WhatsApp throughout the trip for any questions or issues. Melina was particularly helpful in changing our transportation arrangements to the airport at the last minute per our request. I would recommend Rutopia and would use them again for future trips.
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My wife and I had a fantastic holiday in Mexico thanks to Marisol, Ana, Teresa and their colleagues & partners. The entire itinerary and arrangements were put together in less than 4 days. What we really liked about Marisol & her team was that they were only a message or a phone call away for any query/suggestion, etc. The trip was bespoke to the extent that Rutopia had kept in mind about our interests, food habits & executed bookings, tours. They were also very flexible in catering to last minute changes/requests. The team took upon them to ensure that our entire trip was comfortable & safe by taking care of even small stuff that one normally finds out post getting to a place. We would definitely like to use their services again!!
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April, 2022
A literally perfect trip to the Yucatan peninsula
Tom and I knew we wanted to go to Mexico. We knew we wanted a little bit of culture, some wildlife, and maybe a splash in the ocean. That's it. With the vague and minimal information we gave them, Rutopia was able to put together a perfect trip for us. We had a flawless itinerary. It's so clear that Rutopia really cares about the communities (animals and humans) in Mexico. Everything we did and everywhere we stayed felt like they were helping us experience Mexico as authentically and respectfully as possible. It's almost impossible to pick a highlight, but top of the list has to be the day we shared with Enrique, a Mayan host who was unbelievably generous with us. He shared the community gardens, including history and background about the families that live in Nuevo Durango and other nearby communities. He showed us the neighborhood cenotes, Punta Laguna, Uma Nojoch Keej (a wildlife reserve), and more. We picked and prepared the plants as Enrique and his wife Blanca showed us the best way to cook them (and rescued us when we were pricked by the nopales!). We saw howler monkeys and spider monkeys in the wild which was very cool. That had to be the very best day, but every day was amazing. Sian Ka'an reserve was lovely, the Mayan ruins were spectacular, the snorkeling in Puerto Morelos was fabulous, the bicycle cenote tour was jaw'droppingly gorgeous. I'm waxing superlative but it really all was like a dream. Beyond the activities, the scheduling and pace was perfect for us. We felt like we really made the most of our six days, but with enough downtime to explore and enjoy at our leisure. From picking up our car at the airport to finding our accommodation, the logistics were very smooth at every interaction. Special shoutout to Melina who pretty much instantly helped us when we had any questions about the trip. We've never used a travel planning service like this before. But after this trip, we'll never go back to the old way!
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We had a wonderful time. We started out in Mexico City with a 2 day tour filled with museums, food, and beautiful sights. We then went on to Cholula to experience the culture in a smaller town, see a local market, and eat traditional food. We finished the tour in a small town called Cuetzalan, where most people speak an indigenous language. All of our guides were great. Thank you for a memorable vacation!
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March, 2022
Just wonderful!
We had an amazing trip excellent organized by Jorge and supervised by Melina from Rutopia. We spent 10 days in Mexico, starting in Ciudad de Mexico where we visited the amazing Teotihuacan and then we flew to Yucatan for the amazing sites of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Ek Balam, Tulum, Merida, Valladolid and the great Island Holbox. The trip was perfectly organized, the hotels were very good, and the guides were carefully chosen. We highly recommend Rutopia and especially Jorge!
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November, 2021
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I traveled to Chiapas for an ecotourism experience with Rutopia and I liked it very much, the team responds very quickly to all questions and accompany the traveler throughout the experience, I missed my flight and they were very flexible to accommodate the entire itinerary, My destination was the lakes of Tziscao, where I was received by Neri with his family in very nice cabins next to a lake with incredible views and a magnificent tranquility, with them you make experiences of beekeeping and coffee and tours to nearby lakes, Montebello is a must! 100% recommended.
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March, 2021
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We have worked with Rutopia for several tours in Mexico in the Yucatán and Chiapas and we have never been disappointed. Authentic experiences, with locals, in magical places and off the beaten tourist track. Our contact Marisol was always super available and responsive, understanding and anticipating our desires. And she speaks very good French. I highly recommend Rutopia!
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Mikel D

April, 2021
The best moment lived in Mexico
We were traveling as a group of friends with nothing organized. We like to improvise and be able to find alternative plans to the conventional tourist routes. We arrived in Puerto Escondido - Mexico's paradise - and started looking for options. A Mexican friend recommended us to contact Rutopia and we did. We explained our way of traveling - which they quickly understood - and in a few hours they came to us with a perfect selection of activities. We chose one of them and the next day we found ourselves galloping through beautiful hills, crossing a small lagoon in canoes, bathing on an unspoiled beach at sunset and sipping freshly picked coconuts with some mezcal. We had dinner in the only hut on the beach, eating fish that had been caught that day from the lagoon. Then we went to see the luminescence of the placton with paddle canoes until we were surprised by one of the biggest and reddest moons I have ever seen in my life. We ended up sleeping in bamboo huts a few meters from the waves. There were no more than 5 huts on the miles of beach that we could see. And at ALL times with an exquisite treatment - sympathy, kindness and attention. This is just one of the plans we booked with Rutopia, which definitely changed the course of our trip. Without a doubt, I would repeat this experience in any place I would like to visit in Mexico. Viva Mexico!
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Claudia A

September, 2020
Super organization, great accommodations and nice team
The trip was perfectly organized, we were always exclusive or in very small groups and had freedom to do our own activities. All accommodations were fantastic and sustainable, the food almost always local and very good, we could always fill our Rutopia water bottles and travel as plastic free as possible. We were met at the airport and had assistance getting a rental car. After that, we traveled independently but had our fixed dates and reservations with Rutopia. It was the perfect mix!
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March, 2020
Circuit in Yucatan
Discovering wonderful and surprising sites, Mayan communities with an unforgettable welcome, breathtaking landscapes, a very pleasant climate in the middle of March...and smiling people! A big thank you to Rutopia and his team for the elaboration of this ideal circuit, alternating nature, city life, simplicity and comfort. Thanks to Mélina for the follow-up during our trip. We don't speak Spanish well enough, and we appreciated having a French-speaking contact person who could be reached if necessary. We still have a lot to discover and hope to come back very soon, and with Rutopia without hesitation!
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Sabrina N

March, 2020
For those who don't like to manage logistics like hotels, rental cars, activities. And above all, to have someone who speaks fluent French that we can reach at any time for the unexpected... You are in the right place! Thank you to Chloe for the preparation of our trip, to Melina our Ariadne's thread and Teresa for her welcome and help at the arrival and departure. A big thank you to Enrique and Blanca from Nuevo-Durango for their welcome, their smiles, their family, a lot of emotions at the time to leave you. Thanks to Mémo for your teaching of Mexican customs (Sian Ka'an) The Yucatan is a magnificent region. And the population is very pleasant. Only downside Holbox... Too much dust, too much smell of fuel oil, too much tourist. I will keep in memory these wonderful moments!
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