Model of the various structures that make up the Great Pyramid of Cholula (Credit: Alejandro Linares Garcia/ CC-BY-SA 4.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza, which stands 481 feet (147 meters) high, is the world's tallest pyramid. But the world's largest pyramid lies half a world away in Cholula, Mexico. Tlachihualtepetl, or the Great Pyramid of Cholula, is about 217 feet (66 meters) tall with a base of 1,476 by 1,476 feet (450 by 450 meters). The pyramid boasts a total volume of 157 million cubic feet (4.45 million cubic meters). This is almost twice that of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Many of the pyramid's stairways, platforms, and altars have been excavated (Credit: Diego Delso/ CC BY-SA-3.0/ Wikimedia Commons)

Historians believe the massive monument was built in several stages from 300 BC to 700 AD. The temple built above the pyramid served as a center of worship for Quetzalcoatl. He was the Aztec god of learning and books. But the temple was abandoned around the 8th or 9th century AD. As years passed, the pyramid was covered by lush vegetation.

Visitors can explore over five miles of tunnels inside and around the pyramid (Credit: CC-BY-SA-2.0)

The structure blended in so well with the nearby hills and mountains that the Spaniards, who conquered Mexico in 1521, mistook it for a natural hill. They destroyed the temple on its summit and replaced it with a colonial church. The pyramid only came to light in the 1930s when the dirt started to fall away. Since then, archeologists have excavated many of the pyramid's stairways, platforms, and altars. They have also dug over five miles of tunnels in and around the pyramid. The ancient site is a popular attraction, receiving thousands of visitors every year.