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Introducing Monte Albán

The ancient Zapotec capital of Monte Albán stands on a flattened hilltop 400m above the valley floor, just a few kilometers west of Oaxaca. It’s one of the most impressive ancient sites in Mexico, with spectacular 360-degree views. This strategic position was doubtless one of the reasons why the ancient Zapotecs chose this site for their capital. Its name, Monte Albán, means White Mountain.

At the entrance to the site are a good museum (explanations in Spanish only), a cafe and a bookstore. Official guides offer their services outside the ticket office for tours in Spanish, English, French and Italian (around M$200 for a small group). The heart of the site, the Gran Plaza, is wheelchair accessible, via an elevator and special walkways (ask at the ticket booth for the elevator to be activated). Explanatory signs are in Spanish, English and Zapotec.