I’ve been to several ruins now. Tulum. Coba. Palanque. Those, however, are all Maya civilizations. Teotihuacan is an Aztec place, and the differences are stark. Most notably, the other ruins are very organic in their layout: it looks like someone decided to build a temple on a lovely grassy knoll, then later another person thought: no, wait, I’d like to put a house over on this flat part, then someone else built a granary and a town square, and paths or streets evolved naturally with no real regard for urban planning. Much like our cities in the US, today.
Teotiuacan, on the other hand, is a massive array of right angles, straight lines, and glaringly obvious planning that must have just BEGGED for a copy of Excel to get things organized properly.
At the top of the “Temple of the Sun”, you can see pretty much everything and get a good feel for just how methodically and structurally the planners thought all this through. Very impressive. Also; while the other ruins I mentioned are all in various states of being consumed by the jungle, Teotihuacan is very much out on the plains. Which probably helps the ability to plan for right angles a great deal.
One drawback of Teotihuacan: there are people everywhere trying to sell things (which is fine, you get used to this in Mexico), and one of the most popular choices for kids is a small device which when blown into slowly makes a slow gurgling sound like a panther rumbling in the back of it’s throat. This same device, when blown forcefully makes the sound of a very angry panther who is about to have your face for dinner. “Ruumble rumb-rum-ROOAAAAR!!!” At the hands of an experienced salesman, these devices seem awesome. In the hands of the 400 pubescent kids sent here on field trips for school, these devices seem like listening to Pee Wee Herman do short cover songs for the entire Nickleback catalog: briefly amusing, then relentlessly annoying.
Mass of pictures follows below, for those interested in a more visual explanation.
So yes: Teotihuacan is amazing. Beautiful. If you ever find yourself in Mexico City, you must take the trip here. Remove any rodents in your brain that are coming up with reasons why you can’t. Just go. Do it. You will not regret it.