The name means The City of Gods in the native Aztec language

Teotihuacan is only about an hour away from Mexico City. What’s most enticing about this city is that it’s shrouded in mystery. There are still plenty of questions unanswered to this day. Which ethnic group started and built this once-powerful metropolis? What led to its eventual collapse? And where did the inhabitants go after its destruction?

View of the Mexican mountains from Teotihuacan

The name means The City of Gods in the native Aztec language of Nauhatl. Though the Aztecs came up with this name, they were not responsible for building the city. The Aztecs only stumbled upon the abandoned ruins several centuries after its collapse. They were so impressed by what they found that they adapted some of its rituals and practices, making them their own.

Quetzalcoatl or the feathered serpent Details of Quetzalcoatl or the feathered serpent

There are three main structures on site: The Pyramid of the Sun, The Pyramid of the Moon, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent. For me, the most impressive was the Pyramid of the Sun. Seeing it in person—its full grandeur—was humbling. You wonder how, before the age of modern machines, the people were able to build something so enormous. Climbing was not allowed because of covid, but I was still in awe of its scale from the ground level.

Pyramid of the Sun

What’s even more interesting is that the Pyramid of the Sun and the Pyramid of the Moon are named because they align astronomically to these celestial bodies.

Jeremie and the Pyramid of the Moon
Dog in Teotihuacan Lady and the Pyramid of the Sun

You will encounter many local guides offering their services. You will also hear the sound of a jaguar’s call every few minutes. Not to worry, there aren’t any actual jaguars in the area (that I know of), just local vendors trying to sell you an instrument that creates the sound.

Avenue of the dead close up Jeremie climbing up the stairs Avenue of the dead

I’ve read that there are several colorful murals on-site, but we’d only seen one. Maybe the other murals are found inside the structures, and since we can’t climb or go in them, there’s no way to see them. Sadly, the museum was also closed due to the pandemic.

Jeremie wearing poncho Colorful jaguar mural
Pyramid ruins