Just north of the bustling modern-day metropolis of Mexico City lies an incredible site of ancient history. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Teotihuacan is Mexico’s largest archeological zone, a Mesoamerican city that was once the largest city in the Americas and is thought to have been the first advanced civilization in North America.
Although its people and political influence are long gone, what’s left behind is a site of inestimable cultural heritage and sensational archeological significance.
Dominating the site of Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico are the Pyramid of the Sun, Pyramid of the Moon, and Avenue of the Dead, which still preserves ancient mural paintings daubed by those who lived within these ancient walls all those epochs ago. Visitors to Teotihuacan can climb the ancient pyramids for spectacular panoramic views over the valley and Avenue of the Dead, soaking up an incredible, and slightly eerie, atmosphere.
Nearby, local workshops display and sell obsidian products and other artwork, recognizing Teotihuacan’s heritage as an exporter of obsidian tools throughout Mesoamerica during its time of influence. Whilst the ethnicity of Teotihuacan’s inhabitants is still under debate, it is thought they could have belonged to Nahua, Totonac, or Otomi ethnic groups, although some scholars believe many ethnic groups may have once resided amongst the pyramids. When the Aztecs discovered these ancient ruins, they claimed their own ancestry, and adopted aspects of the Teotihuacanos culture for their own people.
Teotihuacan is Mexico’s largest and most-visited archeological site, receiving over 4 million visitors in 2017. One way to see the site a little differently is by bike tour, benefiting from the in-depth commentary of an expert guide and a mode of transport that allows you to efficiently explore the surrounding valley. Take in this sensational sightseeing destination close-up as you clamber over the ancient pyramids and learn all about the influence of the Teotihuacanos from your guide, before visiting a local products workshop.