Every Tuesday at the Rancho we escort guests to Teotihuacan, an incredible archeological site located 48 kilometers (about 30 miles) northeast of Mexico City that preserves the remains of one of the most important and largest civilizations in Mesoamerica. The “City of the Gods” is thought to have been established around 100 BC, becoming a religious and economic center as it flourished. Teotihuacan covered 21 square kilometers (8 square miles) and supported a population of at least150,0000 at its zenith. Because of its complex, multi-family residential compounds, the city is considered a model of urbanization and large-scale planning which greatly influenced the conceptions of contemporary and subsequent cultures.
The “Avenue of the Dead” is the main pathway through the city and it is flanked by temples, palaces and platforms. Two major pyramids, though, are the real focal points of the site. Both stone structures are constructed according to precise astronomical measurements.
The Pyramid of the Sun is the third largest pyramid in the world. It is situated in perfect synchronization with the axis where the sun sets every evening. Guests can climb the 243 steps to the top of the pyramid where there is an excellent view of the surrounding mountains. Some believe this is the perfect place to be at sunset to charge the body with energy and make a wish.
The Pyramid of the Sun is the third largest pyramid in the world.
The Pyramid of the Moon is smaller but no less intriguing. A platform on the apex was used to conduct ceremonies in honor of the Great Goddess of Teotihuacan, the goddess of water, fertility, the earth, and even creation itself. Excavations have revealed the remains of human and animal sacrifices that were most likely witnessed by thousands of spectators to consecrate successive stages of the pyramid’s construction.
No one really knows who built this magnificent city. Teotihuacan was built by hand more than a thousand years before the Aztecs arrived in the area. However, evidence does show that over the years, it hosted a variety of cultures including the Maya, Mixtec and Zapotec. And just as mysteriously as it was built, Teotihuacan was destroyed and inexplicably abandoned around 650 AD.
The next time you stay at Rancho Las Cascadas, take the day trip to Teotihuacan. It is a “must see” and an experience unlike any other.