When planning a short visit to Mexico City, I naturally turned first to see what Viator had on offer. I knew I’d want to get out of the city at least once, when I realized there were ancient pyramids nearby at Teotihuacan, I decided to check them out. I chose the Early Morning tour as that sounded like a good way to beat the heat and the crowds.
The day before the tour, I received an email from Amigo Tours, the local tour operator, letting me know that my pickup time would be at 5:50 the following morning. Keeping my travel tradition of waking up way earlier on vacation than I ever do in my real life.
The tour bus arrived before dawn, and I was the first one to be picked up. I snoozed on the bus while we picked up the other 20 or so tourists all over Mexico City and then headed out of town towards Teotihuacan. We stopped for gas and snacks about halfway there, and I took the chance to snap a photo of the local area.
When you arrive at Teotihuacan, there is a small plaza area with shops and restrooms. The shops were all closed this early, and our bus met us at the other end of the pyramids, so the shoppers in our group were disappointed we didn’t come back this way. (As if there is a shortage of souvenir shops in the touristy areas!) I had to laugh as one girl in our group was dripping in Mexican clothing and turquoise and silver jewelry; she made a great decoy for the rest of us as all the peddlers aggressively followed her around.
We quickly made our way to the first temple area, where our guide explained the history of the area, as well as how the pyramids were built in layers and how those layers were exposed upon excavation. Teotihuacan was once the largest pre-Colombian city, with a population estimated at 125,000.
Next, we approached the largest pyramid, Pyramid of the Sun, and had plenty of time to climb to the top, catch our breath and enjoy the views. As you can imagine, the top of this pyramid afforded excellent views in all directions, including towards the Pyramid of the Moon, which was our next and last stop here.
While we had strolled the main plaza, our van drove to meet us at the other end, and we headed off to a nearby restaurant and store. Before we sat down for lunch, we had some demos on how the plants of the area are used, sampled some tequila and pulque, the sweet fermented juice that becomes tequila.
Lunch had a menu option, and a buffet option, with performers to entertain us, and of course, another gift shop on site. I had to partake in the cheesy tourist photo op. At least they don’t try to sell you a photo!
With full bellies, we all slept most of the way back to Mexico City, where we arrived just in time for rush hour. The younger folks jumped out of the van to continue their adventurous day rather than sitting in traffic, but I waited it out and got dropped off at The Red Tree House, where I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing with my new pal.
For the price of this tour, less than $40, I thought it was a really good value. We had a fantastic guide, who was very knowledgeable and spoke excellent English, and we missed the most crowded part of the day – always a bonus in my book!
For the rest of my Mexico City photos, click here!