What better way to finish off five months in Latin America than a few days in Mexico City. We had three things to tick off the list – sampling the delicious street food, visiting Arena Mexico to watch some Lucha Libre wrestling and a trip to the pyramids of Teotihuacan.
If you’re looking for fun, drama and a whole lot of spandex, then Arena Mexico in Mexico City’s Doctores neighbourhood is the place to be on a Tuesday, Friday or Sunday night. Lucha Libre, literally translating as “free-style wrestling,” is characterised by the colourful masks that the Luchadors (wrestlers) wear and their high-flying acrobatic moves.
We took a metro from Sevilla in Roma Norte to Cuauhtémoc and walked 10 minutes to the arena. We were amazed at how huge it was inside and much more professional than the Cholita wrestling we had witnessed in Bolivia! Lucha Libre is the biggest sport in Mexico behind football. The Luchadors are big stars and the children queue for hours for photos with their heroes.
The show was great fun, building up in skill, flamboyancy of costumes and good guy vs bad guy routines until the headline act featuring the famous Luchador, Atlantis.
We took the metro back and the street food outside the station was still going at 10:30pm. A couple of tacos and gorditas went down nicely.
Our favourite street food stand was just on the corner of our road, we don’t know what it was called but it was a tortilla, stuffed with grilled beef steak, grilled mashed potatoes and habanero chilli sauce. Delicious!
While in Mexico City we had to visit the famous pyramids of Teotihuacan. Just an hour away, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. Established around 100BC it was there for about 1600 years before the Aztecs discovered it and incorporated it into their own history and religion. The archeological complex is huge and features the magnificent Avenue of the Dead, Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon.
To get there most people take a tour from the city which can set you back around £50 per person. Being on a budget we opted for the local bus. A metro to Terminal Autobuses del Norte and a ticket for less than £2 on the bus that leaves from Gate 8. It takes around an hour and drives through some pretty scary looking areas on the way out of the city, not helped by the fact that security get on to check bags and film everyones faces, as there have been incidents of armed robbery on this bus in the past! (We found this out later and may have thought twice about taking the bus if we knew, although the last incident was some time ago).
We chose not to hire a guide at the site, but just walk around and read the signs. We climbed to the top of the Pyramid of the Sun and took in the views down the Avenue of the Dead. You can’t tell the scale from the pictures but these are some of the biggest and most impressive pyramids we’ve seen.
Our journey in Latin America was done. Five months travelling through some amazing countries, embracing the latino culture and meeting some fantastic people. As our plane took off on the way to our next continent, we broke through the clouds and the Popocatepetl and Izataccihuatl volcanoes were there to see us off.
Adíos America Latina y gracias por todo.