Touristic Hotspots of Mexico City

Teotihuacan is just 40 minutes outside of Mexico City. We set aside the afternoon to head north toward this unbelievable archaeological site. We were initially concerned about the best way to see the pyramids and still fit in other touristic locations that we didn’t want to miss during our short trip. When it comes down to it, there are three ways of getting to Teotihuacan. The first is by car – either your own or a rental if you are visiting Mexico by air. The second is by taxi or Uber. These two methods of transportation are prolific in the city of Mexico and a taxi or Uber is always nearby. Not all will make the journey since it is far away, but if you are in a pinch it’s definitely possible. The third and best way is via a tour company. You can easily coordinate with your hotel, which likely has a relationship with one or more of the local tour companies. The best deal is to do a tour that will incorporate more than one place. This way you have transportation, a guide (English or Spanish-speaking), and your entrance fees to the locations are included in the tour’s cost (which for us was $30 USD per person). You have many options for which package fits your travel plans and group the best.

We chose what I thought was the best package and were able to visit five touristic locations over an eight-hour period (the ruins of Tenochtitlan, Our Lady of Guadalupe Basilica, a tequila tasting, a silver mine, and the Teotihuacan pyramids). The only gripe that I have – and it’s a small one – is that Dave and I are the moseying type of tourists. We like to explore every nook and cranny, take a ton of photos, and not have to answer to other people’s timetables. It wasn’t hard for us to get with the program and return to the bus when we needed to, but that was an added stress to the day. If you’re the type of person that needs to think a lot about what souvenirs to buy or prefer to leisurely stroll through sites, then this may not be the tour for you. All in all, we saw a ton and learned more than we anticipated. What a beautiful and surreal adventure

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One of the seven churches surrounding the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the heart of Mexico City. For Christians, this is the most visited religious location in the world. Millions of people make a pilgrimage to this location each year.

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This is one of the most historic and religiously significant images in the world. The story of Juan Diego and the miracle that took place near this location in the 16th century is awe-inspiring.

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Rafael, the famous jeweler who created both the wedding bands in Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet and “the heart of the ocean necklace” in Titanic, is seen above showing us how he makes imprints for silver jewelry. He was the nicest man and even gave all the women in our group a free silver piece to take home.

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Just a 5 minute drive from the pyramids at Teotihuacan, we stopped by a stone mining site where we learned how local artisans take stones from the mountains and turn them into fine jewelry and art. In the above picture, our guide showed that adding water to stones brings out their natural radiance and luster. Afterwards, we had a tequila and mezcal tasting in their showroom. All the tequila is made on site.

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When the view is this amazing and the line to go back down the pyramid of the sun is too long…you sit and enjoy a good book. 🙂

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Exhausted after a very long day and looking back at the pyramid of the moon. The Aztecs believed that everything in this world has a complement — sun and moon, woman and man, light and dark — so they balanced their city by having the pyramids of the sun and moon opposite of one another. You can also see in this photo that the pyramids were created to blend in with the surrounding volcanic mountains. This was thought to be a way in which the Aztecs could harness the power of these mountains. The pyramids at Teotihuacan are larger than those at Giza in Egypt and unlike the pyramids of the latter, the Aztec pyramids were not burial grounds, but rather places to worship and sacrifice to their gods.

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