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I notice that sometimes in VT, the area of MITLA is written about as a separate place from Oaxaca, which it is, being about 25 miles outside the city, but for many people, it is seen as a day-trip; and coming back is a good time to visit the rug makers as mentioned under 'Things To Do'.
Also, the areas here have been noted on some page as 6-10 different Tips! So, it indicates that there is much to see, and of great importance, but is easily covered in a half-day outing.
Just because you go to Monte Alban, don't think that MITLA is just a repeat of the same! This site is very different, firstly, the archaeological excavations indicate that the site was occupied from as early as 900 BC. The current ruins, however, date from between 200 and 900 AD when the Zapotecs were present, from 1000 AD when the Mixtecs took control of the site, and from 1200 AD, when the Zapotecs were back in control. The word Mitla is a term from the Nahuatl language meaning 'Place of the Dead', and the earlier Zapotec name of Lyobaa means 'tomb' or 'place of rest'. Obviously, this village was an important burial place during both Zapotec and Mixtec times.
IN the Hall of Columns, there are six monolithic columns of volcanic stone that originally supported a roof covering the entire hall. The doorway leads through a low and narrow passageway to the interior of another enclosure, now roofless, but also covered in ancient times. The walls are covered with panels of inlaid cut-stone mosaic known as stepped-fret design. The motif of these intricate geometric mosaics are believed to be a stylized representation of the Sky Serpent and therefore a symbol of the pan-regional Mesoamerican deity, Quetzalcoatl. Many of these designs are used still today in the hand-made rugs of the region.
If staying in Oaxaca, both your hotel and/or local tour operators will advise driving directions or tour times.
Updated Nov 26, 2009
This is perhaps the most amazing place you will have visited in your life if you get the chance. Very few visitors know of this place so it remains untouched for the most part. Located in the high mountains of Sierra Sur, you can experience the simple yet spectacular life of the mountains. The mountain mist is something incredible to experience here. When the mist passes by you the visibility suddenly drops to 0. I have never seen anything like that before, not even in San Francisco, CA. Here you can explore the mountains through horses or quads. Be sure to go on a weekend because Temezcal (traditional steam bath ceremony) is only held on Fridays and Sundays. As for a place to stay, you can rent a cabin here starting from 100 pesos a night to 400 pesos a night. The 400 pesos a night cabin has a fireplace and private bathroom. I rented the 400 pesos/night cabin when I visited. I have included a photo of the view from my cabin. When you are there, make sure you visit Lilio's cafe. It is owned by this guy who is half Irish and half Italian. Awsome place to go for dinning and entertainment. Actually it is the only place in San Jose with television.
Updated Jan 28, 2007
I stayed at this lovely, remote little beach on the coast of Estado de Oaxaca...named Mazunte. I was told that this place fills up after Christmas...but since we were there before December 15th, it was calm and peaceful.
It is a fabulous place to watch the sun rise AND set.
When we arrived, there was a full moon and people twirling fire...
It is magical at night on this beach. Be careful of the current...
Updated Aug 10, 2005
Beautiful Mazunte! My friend Brandon and I spent most of our time here, throwing frisbees and talking with locals and people from around the world. At night the palapas had candles on all the tables and we would order fresh papaya or melon juices and eat fresh fish....truly a paradise....
This is a view from above...we didn't stay up at this spot...we were right down on the beach...
Updated Aug 10, 2005
Went to a very small town on market day, unfortunately I can't recall the name, but there are many such villages around. In the city of Oaxaca there is a free English newspaper which lists the market days of the various locales.
Written Apr 20, 2003
entered a church in a remote village, painted a brilliant cobalt blue, against a blue sky almost as brilliant, church was deserted except for this lone corpse.
God rest his/her soul.
Written Apr 20, 2003
Camino Real Oaxaca Oaxaca de Juárez
3 Reviews and 148 Opinions I stayed here a weekend, we loved this hotel, the patios and gardens are really beautiful. You feel...