I’ve stayed in luxury hotels (rarely) and I’ve stayed in budget hotels (mostly). When I visited the famous Teotihuacan pyramid complex in the summer of 2009, my room at the Villias Arqueologicas Teotihuacan was only $35/night (about $50 now). My little budget room at Teotihuacan was one of the best places I have ever stayed at! I didn’t get anything fancy, but it was clean, comfortable, and it was the only hotel in the archaeological park. Every morning I could get up and walk just 5 minutes over to the park, and every evening just steps from my room, I could see the sun setting over the pyramids. In this case that old saying, “location, location, location” proved true.
Teotihuacan is one of the most amazing places that I have ever seen. The name Teotihuacan itself is Aztec, but the complex was built long before the Aztecs, more than two thousand years ago. Just who built these pyramids is still somewhat of a mystery. Some scholars say it was heavily influenced by the Maya, others the Toltec. One thing is certain, Teotihuacan influenced all who followed, and remains a site of religious and historical significance today. Recent scholarship has come to light that suggests astronomical and architectural similarities to the complex at Giza in Egypt. Concidence? Maybe one day we will discover the truth.
The largest structure (Pyramid of the Sun) is open for visitors to climb to the top. Depending on your level of physical fitness you can reach the top in about 30 minutes. Fortunately, I didn’t have very far to walk from my hotel room in the first place. In addition to the Pyramid of the Sun, you can climb the Pyramid of the Moon, go in the Temple of Quetzacotal, and walk the Avenue of the Dead. If you are lucky there will be an active archaeological dig at the site as well. There is also a very nice restaurant and museum in the park. However, I decided to wander the town outside of the park and ended up having lunch in a cave!
Even though I went in June, it did get cold at night. Teotihuacan sits at an elevation of 7500ft above sea level, so expect to get sunburned (unless your remember the sunscreen) and expect to get winded climbing the pyramid (unless you’re in great shape!)Teotihuacan is a great trip and requires little advance planning. A short flight to Mexico city and a cab (or a bus) 40km north, and you are there. I was visiting family in FL, and one day while at the beach I thought it would be cool to go see the pyramids. Two days later, I was there!
Further Reading: UNESCO World heritage Site: Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan