Aztec Ruins

If you’re looking to explore Aztec Ruins and want to find the best places to view Aztec history then you can explore our interactive map above or navigate further by using the links below.

There’s a great selection of Aztec Ruins and Aztec sites and you can plan some fantastic things to see on your trips. Once you’ve explored the list of Aztec Ruins and selected those you wish to visit you can use our itinerary planner tool to plan your trip and then print off a free pocket guidebook. This indispensible holiday guide will help you make the most of your time exploring Aztec Ruins .

Our database of Aztec Ruins and Aztec historic sites is growing all the time, but we may not cover them all. Remember, if you know of other Aztec sites, remains or ruins, you can always add them to Trip Historic now by visiting our upload page.

Aztec: Site Index

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Calixtlahuaca

Calixtlahuaca is an Aztec archaeological site near Toluca in Mexico.

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Calixtlahuaca near Toluca in Mexico is a well-preserved Aztec archaeological site which was once a thriving city originally home to the Matlatzinca people – the people of the Toluca Valley. The Calixtlahuaca site has a series of fascinating and impressive structures, not least of which are its vast pyramid-like temples.

Photo by -Chupacabras- (cc)

El Tepozteco

El Tepozteco is a small Aztec temple in Tepoztlan, Mexico.

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El Tepozteco is an ancient Aztec temple hidden deep in the western part of Tepoztlan National Park, Mexico. El Tepozteco is a hilltop shrine to the Aztec deity Tepoztecatl made up of two rooms.

Whilst not the most impressive site in Mexico by a long haul, it is a great stop on a hike through the park. Getting to El Tepozteco can be tricky and involves some hiking, although the scenery is beautiful.

Photo by gripso_banana_prune (cc)

Mexico National Museum of Anthropology

The Mexico National Museum of Anthropology is one of the world’s best renowned museums of pre-Hispanic history.

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The Mexico National Museum of Anthropology is a world renowned museum with a large array of archaeological and ethnographic exhibitions, mostly relating to the pre-Hispanic era.

The Museum of Anthropology takes visitors through Mexico’s historic cultures, including the Toltecs, the Maya and the Aztecs.

Some of the National Museum of Anthropology’s most famous exhibits include the jade mask of Zapotec Bat God and the Piedra del Sol or Aztec sun stone excavated from Zocalo. It also holds original pieces found in Chichen Itza.

The museum is quite large and too much to take in during the course of a single visit, but it is well organized, allowing history enthusiasts to explore it according to eras. Guided tours also offer a great way to explore the museum and are offered in Spanish, English and French, Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 17:30.

Templo Mayor

Templo Mayor was a holy temple in the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, now modern day Mexico City.

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Templo Mayor was a temple in the capital city of the Aztecs, Tenochtitlan, in what is now Mexico City.

In fact, much of Mexico City was built over Tenochtitlan, but some original sites remain, including the Great Temple, known as Templo Mayor, which was the most important building in the city.

Temple Mayor was built by the people of Tenochtitlan as a shrine to the deities Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc. Tenochtitlan was originally established in around 325 AD and was a thriving city with around 200,000 people until 1521, when it was conquered by the Spanish.

Templo Mayor is now a popular tourist site, with a museum filled with Aztec artefacts uncovered during the excavation. Overall the Templo Mayor and its museum offer a great insight in the pre-Hispanic era in Mexico.

Tenochtitlan

Tenochtitlan was the Aztec capital, established in 1325AD and destroyed by the Spanish in the 16th century.

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Tenochtitlan in Mexico was established on an island in Lake Texcoco in 1325 AD as the capital city of the Aztecs and, in its final and most prosperous days, was ruled by Motecuhzoma II, also known as Montezuma.

At its peak, Tenochtitlan was a thriving and imposing city with around 200,000 inhabitants. It was characterised by its enormous pyramids and clear street grids, dividing Tenochtitlan into four zones.

In 1519 AD, during Montezuma’s rule, Spanish invaders led by Hernán Cortés arrived in Tenochtitlan and by 1521 the city was conquered. Much of Tenochtitlan was subsequently razed to the ground, leaving little behind.

Today, remnants of Tenochtitlan are hard to find as they have been consumed by the development of modern Mexico City. Those Tenochtitlan sites which have been excavated, including five temples of which Templo Mayor is one, are protected on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, however there is no single Aztec site to visit.

One of the most popular Tenochtitlan sites is Xochimilco. This is more of a beautiful park rather than an archaeological ruin, but features waterways that ran from the Aztec era as well as some Chinampas (flower gardens) from that time. Alternatively, see the Templo Mayor entry for a more traditional site.

Photo by Darij & Ana (cc)

Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan is a well preserved ancient Mesoamerican city near Mexico City.

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Teotihuacan was a holy Mesoamerican city built in around 400 BC in what is now Mexico and forms one of the country’s oldest archeological sites.

Whilst the founders of Teotihuacan have never been definitively identified, it is thought that the city was inhabited by the Toltecs and was also an important Aztec site.

Literally translated as the place “where gods are created”, Teotihuacan was clearly a city of significant religious importance to its inhabitants, as illustrated by the wealth of monuments at the site.

Characterised by looming stepped pyramids, indeed one of the most impressive aspects of Teotihuacan is the sheer size of these monuments, including the Pyramid of the Sun, which measures 225 by 222 metres at its base, rising 75 metres high.

Incredibly well-preserved, despite a fire which tore through Teotihuacan in the 7th century, Teotihuacan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

However, it is not just Teotihuacan’s religious monuments which make it such an important and popular site. In fact, it is estimated that these make up a mere 10% of the total excavated site and the rest includes castles, such as the Palace of Quetzalcoatl and the Palace of the Citadel, residential buildings and communal buildings.

Visitors to Teotihuacan can maneuver their way through the city via its original streets, such as Avenue of the Dead, which divided the city into quarters, although take note that the site is absolutely enormous.

Today, Teotihuacan is one of the most popular tourist sites in Mexico and includes numerous museums, including the Museo del Sitio, just south of the Pyramid of the Sun where visitors can see various artefacts from the site. It also features as one of our Top Ten Tourist Attractions in Mexico.