CITY OF THE GOLDS

Mexico 2015 | TOURISM | PHOTO ESSAY: TEOTIHUACAN PYRAMIDS

A trip to Mexico's heartland wouldn't be complete without visiting the UNESCO World Heritage site of Teotihuacan. Located just 50 km north-east of Mexico City, the so-called “City of the Gods" features a first-hand glimpse into one of Mexico's most treasured archeological sites.

According to UNESCO, the holy city of Teotihuacan was built between the 1st and 7th centuries ad and is emblematic of the pre-urban structures that existed throughout much of ancient Mexico. Characterized by the sheer size of its monuments and the unique architecture that exists, the city's population swelled to least 25,000 inhabitants during its hey-day, making it one of the largest ancient sites in the Americas.

The settlement is widely considered by anthropologists as a model of early urban planning, as its large-scale planning greatly influenced contemporary and subsequent cultures, according to UNESCO. The city stretched to encompass over 36 sqkm at the height of its development. In the 7th century, however, its inhabitants completely abandoned the settlement after a massive fire destroyed much of the city.

The Temple of Quetzalcoatl, the Avenue of the Dead, and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon are some of the more popular attractions in the ancient city, as the geometric formations and decorations reflect the environment and worldview that its inhabitants once lived in and by.

The 3km-long Avenue of the Dead served as Teotihuacan's Main Street and connects the Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Sun and other important buildings and temples in the settlement. The tallest structure, the Pyramid of the Sun, features 243 steps that lead up to a point at the top that is purportedly synchronized with the sun's axis, leading to breathtaking sunsets and fantastic views. The Pyramid of the Moon features a number of ancient jewelry and pottery exhibits, as well as a number of burial sites.

Its location makes it easily accessible and a must-see for those interested in pre-Hispanic history, and as Mexico looks to boost its tourism industry, this archeological gem's mixture of history, archeology and culture offers visitors an unparalleled experience that few sites can match.

Cees Houweling Koeze
CEES HOUWELING KOEZE
Director of Operations, Tequila Espíritu de México
By our calculations, there are 450,000 tourist visits per year to Tequila, with 200,000 visiting our premises and 250,000 visiting the smaller factories. We calculate that in 2020, one million visitors will come to the town of Tequila, which currently has only 42,000 residents. This will have risen by 20% by 2020, creating more jobs, more infrastructure, better schools, universities, and hospitals, and also improving housing.