When you're walking around the grounds, be careful of some uneven footing and if you decide to climb the pyramids, take it slow and beware of some steep steps. The Pyramid of the Moon has some particularly steep stairs and most people use their hands to steady themselves as they make their way up. Coming down is even more precarious, so if you're balance isn't great, or if you're not in decent condition, I wouldn't attempt to climb it.
In 1905 archaeologist Leopoldo Batres led a major project of excavation and restoration. The Pyramid of the Sun was restored to celebrate the centennial of Mexican War of Independence in 1910. Excavations at the Ciudadela were carried out in the 1920s, supervised by Manuel Gamio. Other sections of the site were excavated in the 1940s and 50s. The first site-wide project of restoration and excavation was carried out by INAH from 1960–65 and supervised by Jorge Acosta.
The area is still under excavation and tourists unfortunately can’t walk everywhere they want. You will see prohibited area if you only leave the Avenue of the Dead…
The construction resulted the Pyramid of the Sun in its completed size of 225 meters across and 75 meters high, making it the third largest pyramid in the world, but being much shorter than the Great Pyramid of Giza (146 meters).
Nevertheless to climb the Pyramid is a difficult task (do you remember – it is about 2400 m over the sea level high).
The climb to the top of the pyramids is a long one. You may want to take several breaks on the way up, unless you are exceptionally fit or young because climbing the steps can be rather daunting.
If you have already read my page about Mexico City you remember that my suitcase with my T-shirt, summer trousers and hat was still in Paris while I explored Mexico City and Teotihuacan. That’s why you can see me in a dark shirt and my face suffering a little bit from the sun at the photo, haha!
Teotihuacán is hotter and the sun is significantly fiercer than it is in Mexico City. Be sure to wear light clothes that allow your skin to breathe; take sun screen—you will need it—a hat and sunglasses would be a good idea too. Keep drinking water—there are plenty of local vendors selling ice-chilled, purified bottled water.
The pyramids are very high, the steps are steep, and the sun can burn quite good in the middle of the day. You also have to remember that the area is situated about 2.200m above the sea. It can be quite hard climbing the pyramids. Fortunately they are built as platforms on top of eachother, so you can stop many times and take a rest.
If you are afraid of heights, like me, you can try to go up to the first platform and see how you feel about that. When you stand on the top you don't see straight down to the ground, but to the first platform instead. This helped me a lot... :) I made it to the top and it wasn't as bad as I had thought. So give it a try, just remember to bring water and rest a bit on the platforms.
Be careful when climbing the steep stairs of the Pyramids. Because regularly people fell down from these stairs, of course with awful injuries as result. Even few have already died on these stairs.
So if you decide to climb these stairs, go up at your own speed, if you are getting out of breath, stop to relax, lean over with your body towards the pyramid, do not look down, and after a few minutes you can continue your climb to the top.
Okay, you reached the top of the pyramid. Congratulations, you will be rewarded with splendid view.
But finally you must come down, there is no other way then those step stairs. On few pyramids there is a rope or a chain where you can hold yourself. But most pyramids do not have this. It is best to come down slowly, and way that suited me best was sideways. And for me the first step was the worst, it is difficult to describe but it was like making a step in the vacuous.
because there is very little shade at Teotihuacan and you are likely to be doing some physically demanding exercises such as climbing two large pyramids, be sure to bring plenty of water and a hat to prevent yourself from getting dehydrated or a heat stroke.
When midday rolls around, hit the museum to get some shade.
It is full of vendors who will follow you to try to sell their craft and other things like postcards, stone sculptures, jewlery. Stop just if you really want to buy because if other vendros see you are buying, they will approach to you to try to sell to you too.
We had an interesting ploy that Im still not sure if we were ripped off or it was real. We had dinner at a nice little place and settled the bill and left. As we made it to the car the waiter ran us down and had the bill with him. His story was that the other waiter that served us was new and he added the total wrong. As we looked at it the total was different thatn what was on the bottom. So we made up the difference. I wonder if it was not a snow job, because we didnt want to go back in and check the menu, maybe he knew that or maybe it was real. Maybe I will double check this next time. Generaly Americans in small Mexican towns should be aware that we are their paycheck and they want as much as they can talk us out of. Most of them are hard working, lovable people, but stay on your toes.
Mexico can often produce some of the most aggressive vendors you have ever seen. At times, they do not take "no" for an answer even after you have seen what they are selling and obviously show no interest in the item(s). Sure they are trying to make a living, yet you came here to see the site rather than buy a painted plate. Sometimes you have to simply ignore them. I found that climbing the pyramid also helped out with getting some peace since they do not feel like following you up there.
I went in January in a group of three. Since the grounds were not at all crowded, the vendors focused on us because there simply were not a lot of people there. It is really not that bad, but be prepared to be approached by a fair number of vendors.
Be very carefully when you go upstairs or especially downstairs, the steps in the pyramids are not designed for actual foot size =), If you go on March 21th be careful with the kids there are a lot of People trying to get up.
Do not try to find your inside spider-man, it's too dangerous to try get up the pyramid by the sides, it's also prohibited and you can be under arrest, remember use always the stairs and be patient if you goon March 21th.
The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon here hae seen centuries of wear and weather. If you aren't careful, you might just roll right down or off their sides. Well, if you overestimate your own limits or you had one too many tequilas back at the shop...or if you simply succumb to the beating sun above, and in your wooziness you misstep and...you made out your will back home, didn't you?.............. ;-))) If that weren't enough pressure, watch your step at ground level, as well. We noticed several verrrry active ant mounds out at the Temple of Quetzalcoatl complex. ;-O