Welcome to Monte Albán


Monte Albán traces its roots to 500 BC and its 1300-year history is usually split into five archaeological phases. The city reached its apex between AD 300 and 700, but was abandoned long before the Spanish arrived in the 1520s.

While busy compared to other Oaxaca archaeological sites, Monte Albán avoids the tour bus circus of some of the better-known ruins around Mexico City and Cancún.


Top experiences in Monte Albán

Travel guides

Starting at $38.99

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Monte Albán activities

$50.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Monte Alban, Arrazola, Coyotepec, Cuilapam Tour from Oaxaca

Upon pickup from your hotel at 10am, travel by comfortable coach to Monte Alban, located approximately 20 minutes from Oaxaca. Translated as ‘White Mountain,’ the immense archeological site stands atop a mountain plateau overlooking the city and valleys below. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ruins with your knowledgeable guide on a 2.5-hour tour, and learn about the significance of the pre-Columbian ruins as explore the complex.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. Climb to the South Platform (Plataforma Sur), a large area known for its wide staircase and great panoramic views. You’ll learn interesting facts about Zapotec culture as you view the ancient ball court and ceremonial platforms, including a series of significant rock carvings called The Dancers (Los Danzantes). Don’t miss some of Monte Alban’s 170 tombs, whose excavations revealed a range of paintings and stone carvings.Re-board the coach for San Antonio Arrazola, a small and quiet town at the foothills of Monte Alban. Spend approximately 45 minutes walking around and taking in the local folk art, such as the world-renowned woodcarvings called alebrijes. Admire the ingenuity of the artisans, comprising 80 local families, who carve the figures – depicting a fantastic zoology of mythical creations and monsters – from the copal tree.Next, head to Cuilapam de Guerrero, a traditional town that holds feasts of saints throughout the year. Visit the Cuilapam Convent, a 16th-century Dominican convent known for its unfinished basilica and capilla abierta, or open chapel. Learn about this typical colonial feature, constructed for gathering a greater number of indigenous people for conversion to Catholocism. Around 2:45pm, take a break for lunch at Hacienda Cuilapam (own expense).You’ll make your last stop around 4:30pm in San Bartolo Coyotepec, a town whose artisans are famous for their black pottery (barro negro), fashioned with techniques used since pre-Columbian times. The town boasts several dozen workshops, the Oaxaca State Museum of Popular Art (MEAPO) and a craft market featuring the work of more than a dozen local families, some with international acclaim. You’ll visit the beautiful 16th-century San Bartolo Coyotepec Church before your guide transports you back to Oaxaca with hotel drop-off around 6pm.

$79.99 Cultural & Theme Tours

Monte Alban, Atzompa, Yagul and Mitla Archaeological Site Trip

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.

$901 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Discover Oaxaca Tour & Mezcal Distillery

Day 1 - 9:00 am - 9:00 pm - Cabin Check-inThis amazing experience starts when we pick you up from the Oaxaca International Airport. From the first moment of landing in Oaxaca you’ll be in touch with our professional guides. This first day will be to get settled in your mountain cabin in Llano Grande and walk around a little town called Benito Juarez. Day 2 - 6:30 am - 6:00 pm Get Outdoors at Llano GrandeThe second day we’ll wake up early to start with a little trek (2 hours) to appreciate the sunrise at the mountains. Back at the cabin, a delicious and traditional breakfast will be waiting for us. After the breakfast we’ll continue our trek through suspension bridges, rappelling walls and finish with a zipline. We’ll end our day around a firepit in the forest where we can sit and tell stories of the day’s adventures before heading back into cabin. Distance Hiking: 4 miles  Starting Elevation: 9,900’  Highest Elevation: 10,820’ Day 3 - 8:00 am - 6:00 pm Mountain Bike DayOaxaca is well know for some amazing mountain bike trails. Today we’ll hop on bikes to discover what these trails have to offer. We’ll give you all the necessary equipment to ride through the Llano Grande forest. Do not worry about your mountain bike skills, we have easy trails for beginners and hard ones for pros, so you can choose your level of difficulty. We’ll end the day with a delicious dinner next to another fire. Distance Hiking: 12.5miles  Starting Elevation: 9,900’  Highest Elevation: 10,820’ Day 4 - 8:00 am - 7:00 pm Hierve el Agua, Santo Domingo, & Mezcal DistilleryOn our fourth day, after breakfast we’re going to head out to Hierve el Agua. On the way we’re going to have a Mezcal stop in a little town to visit a local distillery where we’ll learn about the distillation processes in making artisanal mezcal and taste some amazing versions of mezcal. Then continue to Hierve el Agua, an amazing place that will leave you in awe. It is one of the most beautiful hidden places at Mexico. We’ll give you a special tour of this place frozen in time. Day 5 - 8:00 am - 10:00 pm Monte Alban - Back HomeIf your flight schedule allows, we should have time to check out one last bit of culture at Monte Alban. After the breakfast we’ll take you on a tour full of history. Monte Alban is one of the biggest archaeological places in Mexico, home of the “Zapotecas”. You will be amazed by the history at this archeological site. Discuss with your guide your departure schedule, and we’ll make sure you get to the airport on time. Now that you’re part of LocalAdventures family, we look forward to sharing another adventure travel experience with you.

$940 Private & Custom Tours

All Mexico in 9 days Private Tour

Day 1 Arrival toMexico city- Airport pick up & transfer to 4 star Hotel. Day 2 City Tour+ Teotihuacan+ Basilica de Guadalupe Breakfast at hotel. Starting with Mexico’s City main square of Zocalo, the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and its Diego Rivera's famous murals. Continue with Teotihuacan to walk through the city were men became gods (that’s the nahuatl name given to this site) discover The Pyramid of the Sun the third largest pyramid in the world. Return to Mexico City visiting Lady of  Guadalupe Shrine. Return to hotel for comfortable rest. Day 3 Mexico-Puebla-Oaxaca Enjoy breakfast at hotel. We visit Puebla to admire its colonial beauty and lavish arquitecture. You'll find a number of shops where you can sample a wide variety of delicious traditional food and candies.Continue to Oaxaca city. Overnight at a 4 star hotel. Day 4 Oaxaca-Monte Alban-Tehuantepec Breakfast at hotel. Visit Oaxaca, its Cathedral, Santo Domingo church and downtown. We continue to Monte Alban built on a mountain top flattened by the Zapotecs. We hit the road again through the landscapes of the Sierra Madre to reach Tehuantepec. 4 star hotel overnight Day 5 Tehuantepec- Sumidero canyon- San Cristobal Hotel breakfast. Starting with Sumidero Canyon. Boat ride through the canyon to witness the wild life.  Later we head to San Cristobal. Overnight at a 4 star hotel Day 6 San Cristobal- Palenque Breakfast. Visit town, largely inhabited by indigenous people, which adds a colourful cultural vibe. Explore The Cathedral, Santo Domingo’s temple. Afterwards we continue on to Palenque. Dinner and overnight at 4 star hotel.  Day 7 Palenque –Campeche Breakfast. Visit of Palenque, surrounded by the jungle, one of the most important sites for mayans. Back on the road and  ahead we will find a nice panoramic of the Gulf of Mexico. Continue on to the beautiful walled city of Campeche. Overnight at 4 star hotel. Day 8 Campeche- Uxmal- Merida Breakfast. Departure to Uxmal, “the three times built” After we drive towards Merida. This southern city has incredible colonial mansions that show the wealth of previous times. Tour through Montejo Avenue, the monument to Motherland, the Main Square, the Cathedral & Government Palace.  Overnight at Hotel 4 star Day 9 Merida- Chichen Itza –Cenote- Cancun or Riviera Maya Breakfast. Be ready to visit one one of the new 7 Wonders of the World Chichen Itzá. Ahead to the beautiful cenote (sinkhole)  to swim in. Continue to Cancun or Riviera Mayan to finish our amazing All of Mexico 9 day Tour at the Caribbean turquoise waters  

$1311.75 Classic

Classic Mexico Adventure

If you want to experience all the flavours of Mexico you’re going to need more than just tacos and tequila ­— the music, the history, and the people all have a little something you’ll crave. Cities, beaches, jungle, and the curious spices of mole sauce all await on this 14-day tour that lets you hit the beach, discover the ruins of the Mayans, and wander colonial cities. Think of this as Mexico 101 ­without the pop quiz.

Monte Albán in detail