Welcome to Monte Albán

The city from which the ancient Zapotecs ruled Oaxaca's Valles Centrales, Monte Albán stands on a flattened hilltop 400m above the valley floor, just a few kilometers west of Oaxaca. This is one of Mexico's most spectacular archaeological sites, with the remains of temples, palaces, tall stepped platforms, an observatory and a ball court all arranged in orderly fashion, with wonderful 360-degree views over the city,... Read More

Top experiences in Monte Albán

Monte Albán activities

$50.99 Day Trips & Excursions

Monte Alban, Arrazola, Coyotepec and Cuilapam Full-Day 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 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.