Welcome to Mitla

The unique stone 'mosaics' of ancient Mitla, 46km southeast of Oaxaca, stand today in the midst of a modern Zapotec town. The ruins date from the final two or three centuries before the Spanish conquest in the 1520s, and comprise what was probably the most important Zapotec religious center at the time – a cult center dominated by high priests who performed literally heart-wrenching human sacrifices. The geometric... Read More

Top experiences in Mitla

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Mitla activities

$50.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Day Trip to Mitla, Tule, Matlatan and the Teotitlan Valley from Oaxaca

At 10am you’ll be picked up at your hotel and driven by comfortable, air-conditioned coach to the town of Santa Maria del Tule, just 5 miles (9 km) east of Oaxaca city. Stop in the center of town to see the famous Tule tree, located within the church grounds. Gaze in awe at the 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress, which is thought to have the thickest trunk of any tree in the world – boasting a girth of 173 feet (53 meters) and weighing 509 tons! Your guide will point out how this unique natural monument is actually rooted in a family of ancient trees.Back aboard the coach, you’ll drive to the nearby archeological ruins of Mitla, a Zapotec religious center whose construction began in 850. Hear about the Zapotecs, who developed a hierarchical society governed by kings and nobles – relatively isolated until Spanish conquest in the early 1500s. While touring the site with your guide, admire the beautiful mosaics of the colonial Church of San Pablo, built by the Spanish in the 16th century. Made with finely cut and polished stone pieces, the mosaics tell a vivid tale with their pictures. The elaborate and intricate design of the fretwork and geometric patterns decorate tombs, panels, friezes and entire walls, making Mitla stand out among well-preserved Mesoamerican sites of the Oaxaca Valley. Your guide will discuss the unique harmony of its buildings and the proportion of its yards. Next, head to the Zapotec community of Teotitlan of the Valley. Here, wool rugs are woven on domestic looms, using natural dyes to color their pictorial designs, which include reproductions of Matisse and Picasso! You’ll observe weavers at work as you browse the larger showrooms located in the village before winding down a narrow, unpaved road for a scenic stop at Hierve el Agua – Spanish for ‘boiling water.’Here, spend approximately 1-hour marveling at a set of fossilized 'waterfalls.' These natural rock formations are created by carbonated springs on a cliff, where a large pool has given rise to a natural spa. Observe the bubbling mineral springs as they run into cold bathing pools below – believed to have been a sacred place of the ancient Zapotec. Saturated with calcium carbonate and other mineral deposits, the rock sculptures appear as white as waterfalls and offer great photo ops or a swim! You'll have time to energize and eat lunch at a buffet restaurant (own expense) before heading to Matatlan.Finally, your guide will make a stop in Santiago Matatlan, a town is known as the 'world capital of mezcal.' As you take a look around, learn about the undiluted white mezcal as well as other fine varieties produced in the large number of mezcal factories and outlets. Visit one of these factories and see how this drink is produced, and enjoy a taste of it at the end of the tour!

$71.99 Cultural & Theme Tours

Mitla and Monte Alban Combo Tour from Oaxaca

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.

$39.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Mitla and The Ways of Mezcal Day Trip

After hotel pickup, you'll head to the world famous tree El Tule which is one of the biggest trees in the world weighing 509 tons. Visit the Zapotec weavers town, Teotitlán del Valle, where weavers use ancestral techniques to make and paint the rugs. Most of them are personal designs and inspired in famous artists like Toledo, Picasso and Tamayo. Then see the archaeological zone of Mitla which is a must. This city has the most important architecture evolution achievement. Mitla means “place of the dead”. With an extraordinary decoration of borders in the walls, it is one of the five magic towns in Oaxaca. Hierve el Agua is a short stop to see the famous petrified waterfalls.Finally, learn the Mezcal process and enjoy some shots of different mezcal flavors that they offer before heading back to your hotel. 

$79.99 Cultural & Theme Tours

Monte Alban, Atzompa, Yagul and Mitla Day Trip fro

After hotel pickup, you will begin with a visit to Monte Alban, which is the major urban center built by the Zapotec culture and the most important state of Oaxaca archaeological zone. Learn all about this site from your guide and then visit the "New Monte Alban" or archeological site of Atzompa. This was one of the monuments of Monte Alban and a peculiarity it has is the existence of three tennis for the "Ball Game" (Juego de Pelota) very close together. The occupation of the site goes from 650 to 900 B.C.The archaeological site of Yagul is your next stop and it is located on a steep hill in the Valley of Tlacolula. It emerged as a guiding center in this area after the decline of Monte Alban. One of the most interesting aspects of Yagul is the presence of mural painting in floors and walls of their structures. You'll stop to eat a buffet "Oaxaqueña" (not included in the price) and then see the archaeological site of Mitla as the last stop. This city achieved the evolution of Zapotec architecture and highlights the extraordinary decoration in friezes of its walls. After your full-day tour, you'll be dropped-off back at your hotel.

$4477 Multi-day & Extended Tours

Mexico Magical Towns: 8-Day Tour from Mexico City

Your 8-day tour will take you from Mexico City through amazing and magical places in central Mexico on this 8-day, and 7-night tour. You will have the opportunity to visit archaeological sites from Puebla and Cholula to Santa Maria del Tule and Mitla, and then go through the countless attractions of Oaxaca city and the world famous Mexico City.

$50 Day Trips & Excursions

El Tule Teotitlan Village and Mitla Ruins Tour from Oaxaca

Spend a day exploring the Oaxaca region on a tour that takes you to some of the more important sites in the area.Begin your guided journey with a visit to the Tree of Tule, the widest tree in the world. Nicknamed the "Tree of Life," scientists estimate its age to be anywhere between 1,200 and 3,000 years old.Next, visit the Zapotec village of Teotitlán del Valle to admire handmade wool weavings made by the locals. You will continue to the Zapotec archaeological site of Mitla, which translates to "Place of the Dead." The site is famous for its intricate mosaic architecture and ornamentation fitted together without use of mortar.Finally, on the way back, you will stop off at a mezcal factory to learn about the production of this unique Mexican liquor fermented and distilled from the maguey agave plant.