El Cerrito Pyramid In Querétaro Mexico: Tips For Visiting
Did you know there is a pyramid in Querétaro City? We neither until we traveled there and it’s definitely worth seeing!
Mexico is a country that is well known for its pyramids. However most people usually only know the main ones such as Chichen Itza in the Yucatan and Teotihuacan near Mexico City.
But Mexico is filled with thousands of pyramids many of them buried under cities never to be seen again. But there is one pyramid in Querétaro called El Cerrito totally within a major city that has survived.
Most of the time when you visit pyramids or ruins in Mexico you have to journey out into the countryside. But El Cerrito is totally within the suburbs of Santiago de Querétaro which is the 8th largest city in Mexico. So it’s super easy to visit.
El Cerrito is not the most amazing archaeological site in Mexico but it is very interesting and unknown. So you will likely only be there with a few other people.
For me, it was definitely one of the top things to do in Querétaro. So keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this unique pyramid in Querétaro 🤠
How To Get To El Cerrito Pyramid In Querétaro
The cheapest way to get to El Cerrito Querétaro is to take the bus. You can take bus number 5 for 10 pesos (0.50 USD) and it will take around 45 minutes from Querétaro’s city center.
But the most convenient way to get there is by Uber. We caught an Uber for around 70 pesos (3.50 USD) each way and it took us about 20 minutes to get there.
So since Ubers are so cheap I think it is by far the best option as you will save a lot of time which you can use to see other top things in Querétaro.
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El Cerrito Entrance Fee
🎟️ The entrance fee to El Cerrito Querétaro is 70 pesos (3.50 USD). This includes a free tour of the on-site museum with a guide.
🕐 We spent about 1 hour in total at the site including the museum tour.
El Cerrito Tour And Visiting The Site
When we arrived at the entrance we were asked by a guide if we would like to do a free tour of the museum. It is a good idea to do this tour as the guide will take you through the museum and explain all the exhibits.
This is great because a lot of the exhibits are only in Spanish and the tour was in English. So if your Spanish is not that good you won’t understand a lot of the exhibits.
The guide took us for about 20 minutes through the museum which was very interesting and taught us a lot about the history of this unique pyramid in Querétaro.
After the museum, it is just a short walk to the main pyramid which you will do without a guide. There is not a lot to explore as it is not a very big site but still very impressive.
The coolest thing is that you will probably have the site almost to yourself if you visit during the week. We went on a Tuesday morning and enjoyed walking around the site in peace.
Brief History Of El Cerrito Pyramid in Querétaro
The area around El Cerrito has been settled by indigenous cultures to the region since at least 300 BC. From 400 AD to 1500 AD, it was an important religious capital of the region. So it was an important site for over 1000 years! 😮
El Cerrito was one of the most important sites of the Toltec people. The Toltecs were a culture that ruled an area of central Mexico prior to the Aztecs.
The more well-known Aztecs considered their culture to emanate from the Toltecs. The Toltecs occupied the area around El Cerrito until 1200 AD, during this period it was a very important site. So there are many vases and other artifacts to see in the on-site museum from this time period.
But after the Toltecs left the region in 1200 AD the area was settled by semi-nomadic groups. They did not use the pyramid in the same way as the Toltecs. But they still considered it to be a spiritually important place.
Even though the site was essentially abandoned according to Spanish records in 1638, locals would still make their way to the pyramid to make spiritual offerings.
Fun Fact 🏠
Eventually, the Spanish settled in the area and a hacienda owner decided to build his house on top of the pyramid. Yes, you read that right. At the time the pyramid was buried under dirt and trees so the Spanish thought it was just a hill.
This was why the pyramid is called El Cerrito as this means the little hill in Spanish.
Let’s Jump To Modern History
Even though El Cerrito continued to be of spiritual significance to local people the exact dimensions of the pyramid under the hill were unknown until 1995 when a team of archaeologists started excavating the site.
After excavating the site it was realized that the pyramid was of significant importance and was quite a large pyramid. Then from 1995 on tourists were able to visit the site. So it is relatively new to tourism and is almost unknown outside of Mexico.
Excavations continue to this day although they rely on federal funding. So they are not carried out as quickly as archaeologists would like. But there still remain many more discoveries to be made at El Cerrito Mexico 🤠
Where To Go For The Best View Of El Cerrito Querétaro (Tip!)
We actually found that the best view of El Cerrito was not from the actual site but from a hill nearby. If you look towards the city from the pyramid you will see the hill nearby.
The hill has some colorful stairs going up it and felt like a very peaceful neighborhood. It’s a nice walk up and makes you realize how close the city of Querétaro is to the pyramid.
Where To Eat After The Pyramid (A Local Treat)
If you are feeling hungry after visiting the pyramids then a good place to get some local food is Centli Gorditas y Quesadillas. It is located on the way to the stairs where the great view of the pyramid is.
They make great gorditas and quesadillas and offer a whole variety of fillings. Some of the options are even vegan such as guacamole, poblano pepper and mushrooms. Order 3 (about 60 pesos / 3 USD) per person and you will be full!
There is also this highly-rated vegan and vegetarian restaurant close by you could check out instead: Corazon Verde Vegano y Vegetariano 💚
Now You Know All About El Cerrito Pyramid In Querétaro
Querétaro is a great underrated city in Mexico with a lot to see and do. El Cerrito is only one of them.
It felt magical to us to have a historical site with interesting stories and fun facts almost all to ourselves.
If you want to know more about visiting Querétaro check out our list of top things to do In Querétaro.
And let us know in the comments if you found this travel guide helpful and if you are planning on visiting El Cerrito too!
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1 thought on “El Cerrito Pyramid In Querétaro Mexico: Tips For Visiting”
Interesting, I didn’t know there was a pyramid so close to Queretaro. Is that the hacienda on the top?