Cuicuilco PyramidCredit: S Friedman

If you are the type of person that loves to mix your travel when you go on a vacation so you can get fun and culture all in one then Mexico City is for you. This city is great for all types of travel as it has all the advantages of a big modern city and some of the most impressive cultural sites in the world. One of the archaeological sites which does not get as much attention as others in the country is Cuicuilco, but one visit will have you asking why. You do not even have to leave Mexico City to visit Cuicuilco and that is not the only reason you should visit. You and your family are bound to learn a lot when you get to this amazing place.

What Is Cuicuilco?

Cuicuilco is one of the oldest sites in the region and an archaeological site like no other. While researchers are still studying the site, its importance is not challenged by anyone. Cuicuilco was the very first religious and civic center in the area. Researchers believe that the residents of the site were the same as those in the ancient city of Altepetl of Mesoamerica. The city was eventually destroyed when the volcano by the name of Xitle erupted. The population moved to the north eventually ending in the Teotihuacan area which is about 30 miles north of Mexico City. It is also believed that this site was the first time that a pyramid's site was selected to link with cosmic events.

Why Is It Different?

The first thing that you will notice when you get to Cuicuilco is that it is very different to other archaeological sites that you will visit. The first thing that will jump out at you is that it is a round pyramid and not the traditional four-sided type found everywhere else. You can go to the top of the pyramid as it is still allowed at the moment. The fact that it is right in Mexico City makes the view from the top a little strange as you will see cars passing by, tall buildings and billboards. A walk through the hiking area of the site will also give you hints of its volcanic destruction. There are large boulders which are lava rock taller than the average person. In some cases the lava rock reaches over 30 ft. in height.

Information On Cuicuilco

Cuicuilco is in Mexico City, but getting there is not as easy as it is to get to Templo Mayor. There is no Metro line to take you there; however you can get there by taking the modern Metro Bus Line 1 to Perisur. You can also take a smaller "pecero" bus from either the CU station of the Metro or from Azteca Stadium by the Tren Ligero (light rail), but the Metro Bus is your best option. If you are taking a tour bus then the one going to the south of the city will leave you in front of the site and you can board again when your visit is over. You will not have to pay to get into Cuicuilco as it is free for visitors. You can use cameras without flash and the site is open every day of the week so make sure you visit when you travel to Mexico City. Don't forget to visit the small museum at the site for more on its history.

Museum at Cuicuilco