The ruins of Teotihuacan reopen in Mexico with strict sanitary measures

13/09/2020

The archaeological zone of Teotihuacan, considered a vital center of ancient Mesoamerica, was reopened Thursday to the public with strict sanitary measures after nearly six months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Panoramic view of the Archaeological Zone of Teotihuacan, State of Mexico. Photo: Secretaría de Turismo
Panoramic view of the Archaeological Zone of Teotihuacan, State of Mexico. Photo: Secretaría de Turismo

Actions were taken at the ruins for the orderly return of vendors, workers, and visitors, who will only be able to move around in open areas because direct access to the pyramids will be restricted.

On this day, the popular archaeological zone located in the central State of Mexico opened from 09.00 (15.00 GMT) to 15.00 local time (21.00 GMT) with a capacity of up to 30% of the capacity allowed. The estimated capacity, based on last year's visitor statistics, was a maximum of 3,000 people, a figure that will continue to be accepted in the following days.

To enter, visitors had to wear mandatory mouth guards and were told that they had to keep a healthy distance at all times, i.e. there had to be a separation of at least 1.5 meters between people, except for children, who had to be accompanied by an adult.

In addition, their temperature was taken and they were given antibacterial gel in the sanitary filters. The visitors were only able to walk in some open areas, such as the mythical Calzada de los Muertos, squares, and esplanades.

While the Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Sun, and the Temple of the Feathered Serpent remained closed, as well as the Quetzalpapalotl complex, San Juan River (superimposed buildings and stuccoed heads), and the Palaces (Tetitla, Atetelco, Yayahuala, Zacuala, and Tepantitla). The museums of Teotihuacan Culture and Painting were also closed.

According to the records of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the archeological zone of Teotihuacan is the most visited in Mexico, and only in 2019, it received about 2.6 million visitors.

The archeological zone was closed to the public since March 20 due to the National Day of Healthy Distance imposed by authorities to avoid the spread of the coronavirus in Mexico.

San Juan Teotihuacán and San Martín de las Pirámides

Teotihuacán was one of the largest pre-Hispanic cities in Mesoamerica and one of the most admired in the world, but both towns combine pre-Hispanic and colonial cultures.

For what you must discover: the former Convent of San Juan Bautista stands out for its architecture, or the Temple of Our Lady of Purification with its imposing facade and original interior.

Characteristics

The meaning of Teotihuacan is composed of teolt: "god"; Hua: possessive and can: "place", which means "Place where the gods are" or "Place that has our gods". Therefore, according to Nahuatl mythology, it represents the place where the sun and the moon were created. The Teotihuacans developed their culture from 500 B.C. Teotihuacan became the largest city in Mesoamerica reaching about 25 square kilometers. The pyramids of The Sun and The Moon rose in 300 B.C.; The city was extended in 5 stages in 600 A.D., around 650 A.D. Teotihuacan reached its peak, and by 800 Teotihuacan mysteriously expired.

After the conquest, in 1594, the Spaniards founded San Martín Obispo and named it San Juan Teotihuacán. By 1935 there is a separation of municipalities, and in 1945 the archaeological zone is declared federal property; it is in 1988 that UNESCO declares the archaeological zone a world heritage site. Teotihuacán de Arista, is the current name for San Juan Teotihuacán.

If you have an adventurous spirit you should take one of the balloon trips that offer an unbeatable way to observe the pyramids and the union of two cultures that formed Mexico.
If you have an adventurous spirit you should take one of the balloon trips that offer an unbeatable way to observe the pyramids and the union of two cultures that formed Mexico.

Located at 2,300 m of altitude; it has a temperate and dry climate, with an average temperature of 15º C and 10º C in winter; the rainy season is in summer. The main vegetation is cactus, maguey, cactus, and lollipops.

The local gastronomy is wide and offers barbecue, carnitas, mixiotes of chicken or ram with nopales, quesadillas, tlacoyos, soups; for more epicurean tastes there are chinicuiles, maguey worm, quesadillas with chapulines, tamales, or scamoles cakes. As for drinks, there are pulques and liquor of nopal, tuna, and xoconostle.

The handicrafts are based on precious, semi-precious stones: alpaca, quartz, onyx, silver, clay, and obsidian; also noteworthy are pieces carved in wood and pyrotechnics.

Location

1 h from Pachuca; 1:20 h from CDMX; 1.30 h from Tlaxcala; 2 h from Puebla or San Juan del Río; 2:15 h from Toluca; and 2:30 h from Cuernavaca or Querétaro. It borders to the north with the State of Hidalgo and Axapusco and Temascalapa; to the east with Axapusco and Otumba; to the south with Tecámac, and Tepetlaoxtoc; to the west with Axapusco, Tecámac, Temascalapa, and the State of Hidalgo.