Known as “the city of the gods”, Teotihuacan was at one point one of the most important cities to the Aztecs. This miraculous city is by far one of the most amazing city sites of the ancient Aztecs. The Calle de los Muertos, or the Street of the Dead, is lined with platforms, temples and two of the greatest pyramids to the Aztecs. The tallest pyramid in Teotihuacan is the Temple of the Sun which happens to be the third tallest pyramid in the world. The second tallest temple or pyramid at Teotihuacan is the Temple of the Moon. The temple is shorter than the Temple of the Sun but it features larger steps than that of the Temple of the Sun. At either one of the temples visitors could find a great deal of well preserved murals and carvings which depict the various ceremonies that occurred as part of daily rituals which the Aztecs felt moved the world and aided in the betterment of farming and other facets of life. These rituals were of great importance to the Aztecs and usually included sacrificial rituals which cost the lives of many Aztecs and native villagers outside of the major cities, but were important in the communications with the gods. These sacrifices were obviously in vane because we know today that bloodshed does not feed a god’s needs so they will relinquish the fertility of lands or even allow it to rain so crops could grow. When visiting Teotihuacan, there is plenty of ground to cover. Walking, climbing, and gazing are the main things to do here and there is plenty of all of it. A great pair of walking shoes, a sun hat, a bottle of water, and a good camera are ideal items for a trip to this majestic site. Also notable of this site is the altitude where Teotihuacan is located. The altitude here makes the climbing and walking a bit more strenuous than anywhere else. There is also a museum on site which houses a scale model of the city at the height of its power. There are also artifacts housed there which depict the daily lives of the people who made this city function.
The Xochimilco’s floating gardens are an amazing place where people from all over come to experience a rich cultural experience in one of the Aztec’s most intriguing forms of farming and cultivation. It is no surprise that the Aztecs were a highly resourceful people who truly understood their lands and the environment. Although they had interesting views on the way humans interacted with the gods trough the use of sacrifice and ritual, they were amazing hunter gatherers who’s farming capabilities were by far the most resourceful and sustainable, until their collapse due to over population and over farming. Their manners of farming were constantly evolving due to their increasing need, and for the most part they kept up with the demands. Before the Spanish arrived in Mexico there was a large lake called Lago Texcoco. From the lake the Aztecs dug large canals and either placed the mud from the canals on mainland surrounding the lake or on floating reeds which were anchored in place. The mud which was stacked on top of the reeds was used to prepare seed beds which then turned to rich gardens. These were the best ways to produce rich crops of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Today beautifully painted trajineras, similar to gondolas, float down the still navigable canals past these floating islands covered in beautiful plants and vegetation. Visitors from all over the world come to admire this serene place set within the metropolis which is Mexico City. The trajineras were covered in beautiful flowers at one point but due to costs and the ever increasing pace of modern society, paint is now used to decorate the boats. Flowers of all sorts of colors are painted on the boats to depict a story like atmosphere where people can come and enjoy life and their surroundings. Picnics are very popular on the banks of the canals in the parks around as well as within the gardens. At night, the youth come out to enjoy the gardens with loud music and dancing. They usually sail the canals on large pontoon boats which hold stereos, coolers with their beverages, and lots of good times. Come and enjoy the beauty, fun, and excitement of Xochimilco’s floating gardens and get involved in a rich part of Aztec history.