The Great Pyramid of Cholula: the world's largest pre-Hispanic construction.

Author:
Mireille Pasos

Cholula

Welcome to the place where ancient Cholulteca priests used to be initiated, a place that has been populated for over 30 centuries, a place full of enigmas and mystery...welcome to San Andres Cholula!

However tricky it can be for the first-time visitor to find the town and the archeological site, this trip has many rewards for the adventurer who comes to Cholula.

CholulaWith a base of 40 acres and a height of 214 feet, the Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest in the world, whereas the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, with a base of 13 acres and a height of 480 feet, is the tallest. This immense structure is the result of 5 huge overlapping constructions built over a period of 10 centuries.

CholulaOnly a tiny part has been excavated, down to the fourth layer, with the rest of the pyramid remaining completely covered by soil and vegetation, which makes it look more like a mountain than a pyramid. On top of this mountain-esque pyramid a Catholic church was built, by the Spanish in honor of the Virgen de los Remedios. This beautiful church is still used to perform mass and other important Catholic services.

CholulaFrom the grounds of the church beautiful sights can be seen, such as the Popocatepetl Volcano, Mount Iztaccihuatl and Cholula's fields of flowers. Once there, you can take pictures, take a well-deserved rest, catch your breath and get ready to start the second part of the journey, which is exploring the tunnels.

CholulaThe entrance to the tunnels is located on the northern side of the Great Pyramid, where you will also find the ticket office and tour guides offering their services. A guided tour is highly recommended as these experts provide accurate information to help you understand the structure of the Pyramid, drawing your attention to certain details which you could easily miss if you went into the tunnels by yourself.

There are a total of eight kilometers of tunnels that run from north to south and east to west beneath the Great Pyramid. These tunnels were built in 1931 when the architect/archeologist Ignacio Marquina started exploring the site. He traced the edges of the five bases, the angle of the slopes and the stairs. Nowadays, just two kilometers of tunnel is open to visitors, but it's still a very interesting tour that you wouldn't want to miss.

If you're vacationing in Puebla, then take the chance to visit San Andres Cholula and the spectacular Great Pyramid, a place where the grandeur of Mexico's rich cultural past can be admired to the fullest.