Monte Alban, Oaxaca de Juárez
monte alban is a zapotec ruins outside of oaxaca city. it is beautiful. there are many buildings and original carvings. there is a cave that used to be used as a burial tomb for multiple bodies; you can go inside it. the most magnificent part is the ballfield, which is a huge green expanse. it is positively spooky. the silence surrounds you like a fog. the whole ruins is at the top of a very high hill so that the natives could spot anyone coming.
the entry fee is $5. there is a small gift shop with a small gallery holding original stones and carvings taken from some of the walls of the ruins. in the hall outside the gift shop are larger reproductions of some of the walls of the original buildings. there are also vendors outside.
when i went, there was a man just outside the gift shop who offered to act as a guide. at first, i thought, oh, he won't have anything good to say, but it turned out to be worth every penny. i can't remember how much he charged (maybe $5), but i tipped him an additional $10 because he was so informative.
allow two to three hours. a lot of walking, but worth it.
a commercial bus leaves periodically from the hotel rivera del angel (calle mina #518) and costs $3 each way. the gift shop (and the last bus) closes at 5 pm, and i was told that the taxis leave then too, so be careful not to get caught up there with no way to get home. there is nothing within a walkable distance.
open daily 8 am to 6 pm
We visited Monte Alban Zapotec ancient ruins, what a fantastic ancient ruins it was. Located above the city of Oaxaca. It is approximately 9km from Oaxaca city. This area was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.
took a tour from Oaxaca to monte alban. i rather had spent more time here. Its unbelievable big. it was the first ruine i saw and couldnot believe my eyes.
i still need a programm to make my pictures smaller but will try to put some videos on.
tour from Hotel Mesos / Rivira del Angel 8.30 but because it was low season first went at 9.00. so times i dont know exactly as they change them. i arrived there at 9.15 and had to be ready at 11.30. the museum is very small but here are the original danzantes.
open 8-17 all days
entrance monte alban 48 pesos
video 35 pesos
bus tour from hotel 38 pesos return.
with the bus be carefull because they had to many people so some others who were in the same bus when i arrived had to wait for next because bus (van) was full.
you can also arrange a taxi who waits for you but you have to make a price think some couple paid 100 pesos
1 of the buildings has a small lift for wheelchairs although i think it will be hard to push a wheelchair here but i guess it is possible
Monte Alban Archaeological Zone, Oaxaca, Oax., 68140.
Phone: (951) 516 7077 , 516 1215
Monte Alban is a major archaeological site and most people take a bus up and a guided tour. For something different, you coould climb the adjacent hill that not only has a unique view of the reconstructed part of Monte Alban, it has another yet untouched portion of the ruins to explore. Of course, you should not take any of the artifacts that you might find up there. The top of the hill also offers wonderful views of the city and the surrounding countryside and is an ideal place for a picnic.
Starting from the entrance to the town of Sta. Maria Atzompa, head uphill (to the southeast). You can follow a dirt road and foot path to the top. It is worth the hike.
This Zapotec ruined city (500 B.C. to 800 A.C) is less than half an hour by bus from Oaxaca. It's larger than I expected and you can easily spend several hours pottering around, taking pictures and savouring the place. It's above the valleys so you get a bird's eye view of Oaxaca and many villages.
There is a pleasant cafe (with great views) and a small museum near the entrance. Entry fees are around $4.
You can get there by taking the tourist bus that leaves from the parking area behind the Hotel Rivera del Angel, Mina 518. You buy your ticket in the lobby of the hotel. Buses leave every hour or half-hour during the day. If you don't ask, you'll be sold a return ticket for 30 Pesos (about $3) that gives you only 2 hours at the site since you have to take a specific bus back. If you ask for a "retorno libre", you pay 45 Pesos but can come back on any bus you want.
Monte Albán is situated on a mountain that rises from the middle of the valley floor,from here you can see all that lies between you and mountains in the distance.
Monte Albán is centered on the Great Plaza, a man-made area created by flattening the mountaintop. From this plaza, aligned north to south, you can survey the Oaxacan valley. The excavations at Monte Albán have revealed more than 170 tombs, numerous ceremonial altars, stelae, pyramids, and palaces.
To get to Monte Albán, take a bus from the Hotel Mesón del Ángel, Mina 518, at Mier y Terán. Autobuses Turísticos makes seven runs daily, leaving at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30am and 12:30, 1:30, and 3:30pm. Return service leaves the ruins at 11am, noon, and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5:30pm. The round-trip fare is $3. The ride takes half an hour, and your scheduled return time is 2 hours after arrival. It's possible to take a later return for an additional $1; inform the driver of your intent (but you won't be guaranteed a seat). During high season there are usually additional buses. If you're driving from Oaxaca, take calle Trujano out of town. It becomes the road to Monte Albán, about 6 miles away.