Tour description provided by Viator
Visit two extraordinary archeological sites—Mitla and Monte Alban—with this full-day combo tour that takes you sightseeing with a knowledgeable guide. Set out by comfortable coach from Oaxaxa to the Zapotecan ruins of Mitla, whose well-preserved mosaics tell an interesting tale. Then tour the immense complex of Monte Alban, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and gaze upon the Oaxaca Valley from this hilltop vista. Explore numerous tombs, pyramids, carvings and an enormous ball court as you learn about the excavations. Round-trip hotel transport is included.
At 10am you’ll be picked up at your hotel and driven by comfortable, air-conditioned coach to the archeological ruins of Mitla, a religious center whose construction began in 850. While touring the site with your informative guide, hear about the Zapotecs, who developed a hierarchical society governed by kings and remained relatively isolated until Spanish conquest in the early 1500s. Admire the intricate mosaics of the colonial Church of San Pablo, built by the Spanish in the 16th century.
Your guide will bring your attention to the architectural harmony of Mitla’s buildings and proportional courtyards. Study the elaborate design of the fretwork and geometric patterns that decorate tombs, panels, friezes and entire walls. Made with finely cut and polished stone pieces, the extraordinary mosaics make Mitla significant among the well-preserved Mesoamerican sites of the Oaxaca Valley.
Back aboard your coach, travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Monte Alban, whose name means ‘White Mountain.’ Located on a vast mountaintop expanse with spectacular 360-degree views of the city and surrounding Oaxaca Valley, the pre-Columbian archeological site—along with Oaxaca City—is considered the most magnificent of the region’s ancient ruins.
You’ll explore the immense and well-preserved complex on foot as you tour the grounds with your guide. Visit pyramids, temples and altars, as well as several residential structures—all constructed around the rectangular Grand Plaza, a large open area on the flattened plateau.
See the I-shaped ball court constructed in 100 BC, and climb to the South Platform (Plataforma Sur), a large area known for its wide staircase and great panoramic views. Learn interesting facts from your guide about Zapotecan history and culture as you gaze at ceremonial platforms, including a series of significant rock carvings called The Dancers (Los Danzantes). You’ll see some of Monte Alban’s 170 tombs, whose excavations revealed a range of paintings and stone carvings.
Spend some free time exploring on your own and capturing great photos before re-boarding your coach back to Oaxaca city, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel around 6pm.