On our last full day in Mexico City, a group of us from the hostel headed out to see the famed Pyramids at Teotihuacan. Tours would have cost us upwards of 400 pesos each, so we decided to DIY for half the price and take the Metro to the bus depot, and then an hour bus ride to reach the Pyramids.
It was an early start, given that we wanted to beat the tour buses, so we were out of the hostel just after 7am. It was the first time that Pete and I had taken the Metro, and it was quite a daunting experience – even that early on a weekend. The train was packed, and we had to push our way on, and squeeze our way out again at our stop, which is easier said than done when the doors are only open for what felt like 3.5 seconds.
It was relatively easy to work out where to buy our bus tickets, but we only had seven minutes once we had purchased them to find the departure bay and get on the bus. We were confronted with an incredibly long queue of people all trying to get through the security check-point before the bus bays, and I wasn’t sure if we were going to make our bus. Add to the chaos that I (as per usual) was busting for the loo, and when I found one I was cursing myself for not remembering that you have to pay for the privilege of using them… and I didn’t have any pesos on me. So I was running around the terminal like a headless chook to grab some dosh off Pete, use the facilities, get through security and still make our bus.
Once we got outside the queue for our bus was as long as the one to security. I didn’t think there was any way that we would squeeze on. But the bus had more seats than it appeared to (and was also pretty roomy and comfortable), and it wasn’t long before we were sitting back in our seats and mentally preparing for the days adventure. But not before a lady came aboard the bus and handed everyone three chocolate wafer bars, and I was really excited! Free chocolate! But alas, we gathered from her speech that if we wanted to actually eat them, we had to pay 15 pesos for the three. But we splurged (the whole $1) and bought them from her anyway.
There were a couple of stops on the way to the Pyramids, and more passengers jumped on. However by the third stop there weren’t any seats left, so everyone who boarded, old and young, had to stand in the aisles for the duration of their trip.
Once we were there and had paid our entry fee at the gate, we were greeted by an awe inspiring scene – hot-air balloons rising up into the early morning sky above the ruins of Teotihuacan. My photos don’t do justice to the beauty, or the scale of what is thought to be the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas.
The day was quickly warming up, so we continued on to the Pyramid of the Sun, to begin our ascent. Pete and I had passed on buying bottled water at the entrance gate, and half-way up the pyramid we were seriously regretting our decision. The Pyramid of the Sun is the third highest pyramid in the world, and stands at approx 70m high, making it quite a hike up.
But the views were well worth it!
The people below looked like ants as they walked towards the Pyramid of the Moon.
We walked 2.5 miles down the Avenue of the Dead towards the Pyramid of the Moon. It was surreal to think that this city was formed around 100BC, and that people had walked along this avenue over 2,000 years ago.
We climbed up to the first platform on the Pyramid of the Moon, and the view that we had across the site was breathtaking.
We then moved on to the Palacio de Quetzalpapálotl and the so-called Substructure of the Feathered Conch Shells where we saw some beautiful art.
Teotihuacan, Mexico – in the Palacio de Quetzalpapalotl.
We spent about four hour at the site, and it was a really humbling experience. I recommend anyone who is in that part of the world to definitely check it out.