About 300m long and 200m wide, the Gran Plaza is the heart of Monte Albán. Some of its structures were temples; others were elite residential quarters. Many of them are now cordoned off to prevent damage by visitors’ feet.

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1. Juego de Pelota

0.06 MILES

The stone terraces of the deep Ball Court, constructed about 100 BC, were probably part of the playing area, not seats for spectators. It’s thought they…

2. Edificio P

0.07 MILES

Building P was topped by a small pillared temple and was probably an observatory of some sort. The sun shines directly down into a small opening near the…

3. Plataforma Norte

0.08 MILES

The North Platform is almost as big as the Gran Plaza, and affords the best views. It was rebuilt several times over the centuries. The 12 column bases at…

4. Edificio J


Arrowhead-shaped Building J, constructed about 100 BC and riddled with tunnels and staircases (unfortunately you can’t go inside), stands at an angle of…

5. Edificio de los Danzantes

0.13 MILES

This structure combines an early (Monte Albán I) building, which contained famous carvings known as Danzantes (Dancers), with a later structure that was…

6. Plataforma Sur

0.17 MILES

The 40m-high South Platform, with its wide staircase, is the tallest in Monte Albán and is great for a panorama of the plaza and the surrounding mountains…

7. Monte Albán Ruins

0.26 MILES

The former capital of the Zapotec people is today an illustrious ruin, but for over a thousand years it served as the second-largest ceremonial site in…

8. Atzompa Ruins

2.59 MILES

If you like your pre-Hispanic Mexican ruins suitably ‘ruined’ and crowd-free without compromising on authenticity or spectacular setting, opt for Atzompa…