The pyramids of Teotihuacán are incredible and should not be missed when visiting Mexico City. Its two largest pyramids, the Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon, towered over one of the largest cities in the ancient world during its peak. It’s largely assumed that Teotihuacan was built by the Aztecs, but actually it is much, much older. The Aztecs only discovered the city centuries after it was constructed and mostly abandoned.
Today, Teotihuacán is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a truly spectacular experience that is easily accessible from Mexico City.
Keep reading for more info on how to visit Teotihuacán from Mexico City!
What To Do In Teotihuacán?
Of course, the main attraction is the pyramids, but how you choose to experience them is up to you!
Private Tour: You can hire a guide once you arrive onsite. As you enter, you’ll see plenty of certified guides offering their services per hour. I’ve also heard excellent things about Journeys Beyond the Surface private tours and it’s a good option if you want transportation to/from Teotihuacan.
Group Tour: Along with their typical hop-on, hop-off bus tours in Mexico City, Turibus offers a bus tour to Teotihuacan with a certified guide. Get Your Guide also offers a similar experience. I would be really interested in checking out one of the many Airbnb Experiences next time I visit. They seem to have shorter tour options in case a full 8-hour tour seems like too much.
Self-Guided: The past two times I’ve been, I went on my own. We took a public bus there and back and visited the pyramids at our own leisure. This is the cheapest option and good for those that like to move at their own pace.
Hot Air Balloon Ride: If you’re looking for a magical way to experience this spell-bounding place, then a hot air balloon ride over the pyramids at sunrise is the way to go.
Teotihuacán at Night: Watch the pyramids come to life at night as a spectacular light show illuminates these ancient structures.
How To Get To Teotihuacán From Mexico City
There are a couple of ways to get to the Teotihuacán pyramids from Mexico City. They are close enough to the city that it makes for the perfect day trip. No one option is better than the other, but I would not recommend going by Uber or taxi. Last I checked, it costs around $60 USD one way. With that money, you could go on an excellent tour that includes round-trip transportation and much more.
Here are the ways I’d recommend getting there:
Public Transport: You can take a public bus from Terminal Norte for $104 MXN round trip, or about $5 USD. Once you are at the bus station Terminal Norte, go to the far left end of the station until you see Sala (door) 8. Just there you’ll see a sign for the pyramids where you can buy your tickets. The last time I rode, it took about an hour to get to the pyramids and 35 minutes to get back to the city.
Group Tour: When you sign up for a guided tour, usually it includes round-trip transport. If you feel uncomfortable navigating the bus system in Mexico or would like to be around other travelers, this would be a good option.
Rental Car: If you have a rental car during your stay in Mexico City then you can easily drive to Teotihuacán. I believe there is one toll road you will have to pass through going there and coming back, so make sure to have some cash as they don’t accept cards.
Do I Need A Guide To Visit Teotihuacán?
You certainly don’t have to hire a guide when visiting Teotihuacán, I never have. However, the next time I go I definitely will.
Going solo has its pros. It’s cheaper and you have full control over how long your visit is. The idea of being stuck on a group tour for 8 hours usually isn’t my idea of a fun way to travel, however, I feel like I did miss out on a lot of interesting history and stories by not having a guide. The pyramids were certainly awe-inspiring, but I think they would be even more impressive when you know their history.
Next time, I will look into hiring a guide onsite by the hour or trying an Airbnb experience as these options seem to be shorter but still offer the valuable insight of a guide.
Where To Eat In Teotihuacán
I prefer to visit Teotihuacan early in the morning, bring a few snacks to hold me over, and eat lunch some place great once getting back to Mexico City. If you book a tour, it usually includes lunch.
The food options in and around Teotihuacán are limited and pretty average. There are food vendors at the entrances with basic on-the-go-food. Just outside of the archaeological site are a few more restaurants to choose from like Restaurante Techinanco, La Gruta Restaurant (the cave restaurant), or the exhilarating Dinner in the Sky.
How Much Does Teotihuacán Cost?
The entry fee is $80 MXN per person ($4 USD), getting there by bus is $104 MXN ($5 USD) roundtrip, which puts you at less than $10 USD total for the cheapest, do-it-yourself route.
Group tours usually start at $40 USD per person and typically include round-trip transport, a tour guide, and lunch.
What To Wear To Teotihuacán
Teotihuacan seems to either be hot and sunny or cool and rainy, so it’s best to check the weather forecast beforehand and dress in layers. Generally, you should be comfortable in a pair of long pants, walking shoes, t-shirt, a light jacket in case it’s chilly, and a raincoat or umbrella if there is a chance of rain. Dry season is from November to April, so it’s rare you’ll need any rain gear if you visit then.
What Else To Bring
There are no trees at the archaeological site so when there is sun, it’s direct and can be intense. A hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of water will keep you comfortable on even the hottest days. Once you enter the site there are no food or drink vendors so bring some snacks in case you get hungry.
Teotihuacán Hours: Officially, Teotihuacán opening hours are from 9 am to 5 pm. However, when I visited in September 2021, I saw them close the gates at 3 pm. Play it safe and arrive before then.
Climbing Teotihuacán Pyramids: In 2017 I climbed both the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon. Unfortunately, you are not able to climb either pyramid at the moment due to COVID and ongoing archaeological restoration projects.