Housing around 130 million people, Mexico contributes globally and is among the top 15 economies in the world. The country of Mexico is well known for its rich and vibrant culture and its spicy cuisine. But there’s one other thing that Mexico is known for: Pyramids. Many people don’t know that there are pyramids outside of Egypt also.
Mesoamericans are known to have built pyramids from around 1000 B.C. up until the 16th century. The fun fact is that American pyramids outnumber Egyptian pyramids by a great number. Another less known fact is that the pyramids of Mexico were rebuilt again and again to glorify the then-present ruler. In this we will discuss the top 10 pyramids in Mexico:
Pyramids in Mexico
Here is the list of the best and most amazing Pyramids in Mexico that you can visit:
1. La Iglesia
La Iglesia is the second tallest pyramid in the Mayan ruins. You can find the pyramids in the Coba region of the city. The height of the pyramid is 74 feet. La Iglesia was constructed during 550-900 A.D. (Late Classic Period). The pyramid was originally used as a center for worship and any religious ceremonies were held here. There are many ways to reach the place. The most prominent way is to just drive there.
2. Pyramid of the Magician
Upon entering the ceremonial area of Uxmal, you can find the Pyramid of the Magician. This pyramid in the Uxmal region is not to be missed. It’s unique in terms of structure. The highly stylized motifs, Puuc style, and richness are not like any other pyramids of another Mayan region. The unusual name of the pyramid comes from an ancient Maya tale. According to the tale, a dwarf created this pyramid in one night. The pyramid is created in several phases that are visible from bottom to top.
3. Great Pyramid of La Venta
La Venta hosts the oldest known pyramid of Mexico, known as the Great Pyramid. La Venta is one of the most important cities in Mexico. This is because many archaeological findings were found during the excavation here. The site of the Great Pyramid is no exception. 77 carved stone monuments (4 colossal heads, 3 mosaic pavements), numerous jade figures and ornaments have been found here. With a height of 30 meters, the Great Pyramid divides La Venta into northern and southern sectors. Visiting the site is not that easy due to the atmospheric conditions of the pyramid.
4. Pyramid of the Niches
Pyramid of the Niches, is also considered a masterpiece of ancient Mexican and American architecture. The tetrahedron is in the region of El Tajin, the present city of Veracruz. The pyramid held a very important value for the people of Tajin. It used to contain 365 niches, marking its connection with the solar year. This pyramid was also used as a temple. The pyramid has undergone very serious damage over the centuries. Many archaeologists believe that the pyramid was built at one go, unlike most of the other Mesoamerican pyramids that were built in stages.
5. Castillo de Kukulcán
Chichén Itzá, yet another ruined Mayan city, is considered to be an important center for religious, military, political, and commercial purposes. The city is situated 150 km northeast of Uxmal. Since there was a great source of water back in the time, Chichén Itzá was home to over 35000 people. Today the city is well known for the pyramid Castillo de Kukulcán. As per legends, during the spring and autumn equinoxes, Kukulcán visits the pyramid.
6. Pyramid of the Inscriptions
The temple of Inscriptions is considered to be the largest Mesoamerican stepped pyramid. The pyramid is notably known for its hieroglyphic inscriptions. This pyramid was significant as it put light upon the fact that pyramids were also used as tombs just like in Egypt. Talking about tombs, the chamber of King Pakal is contained within the center of the pyramid. What’s astonishing is that he has been buried there since 683 CE. The Pyramid of Inscriptions is located in the present-day city of Chiapas.
7. Monte Alban
The pyramid in Monte Albán is the only Mayan pyramid that is situated on the top of a plateau. The site of the pyramid was held sacred by the natives. The Zapotecs were responsible for the creation of the pyramid in 500 BC. The area was inhabited for 1500 long years after which the Zapotecs went ahead. The pyramid also served as a fortification and help the Zapotecs defend themselves. The pyramid is in the present-day city of Oaxaca.
8. Great Pyramid of Cholula
This great pyramid also known as Tlachihualtepetl is the world’s largest pyramid by volume. It was the first pyramid in the Cholula region and was built by the Toltecs. It was used as a center for worship. Due to its religious importance, it has not been fully excavated to this yet. Despite its grand size, not much is known about the early life of the pyramid. The construction was initiated in 300 BC. According to various myths and legends, the pyramid was built by a giant.
9. Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl
When the Toltecs moved to Tula after the fall of Teotihuacán, they established Tula as their prominent city. The most impressive and significant structure of the time was the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl. 13-foot-tall statues of Toltec warriors are visible on the top of the pyramid. The name of the pyramid is derived from the representations of the ‘feathered serpent’ deity of the Mesoamerican era.
10. Pyramid of Moon
The pyramid of Moon is the second largest pyramid in the Mesoamerican region. The pyramid was used as a burial ground for sacrificial victims. It was also used for performing animal and human rituals. A tomb of the Great Goddess known as Teotihuacan Spider-Woman was discovered here in 1998.
Read more, Best Historical Places in the World to Visit
This concludes our extensive list of the top 10 best pyramids in Mexico. Most of the pyramids can be visited easily by anyone. If you are visiting any of these pyramids just make sure to have proper repellents and sunscreens. The best time to visit the pyramids differ with each pyramid but if you want to be on the safer side, you can visit these pyramids from November till March.