Insider's Guide to Oaxaca

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4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

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  • Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Duration:  8 hours (approx.)
Visit two extraordinary archeological sites—Mitla and Monte Alban—with this full-day combo tour that takes you sightseeing with a knowledgeable guide. Set out by comfortable coach from Oaxaxa to the Zapotecan ruins of Mitla, whose well-preserved mosaics tell an interesting tale. Then tour the immense complex of Monte Alban, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and gaze upon the Oaxaca Valley from this hilltop vista. Explore numerous tombs, pyramids, carvings and an enormous ball court as you learn about the excavations. Round-trip hotel transport is included.

Highlights

  • Full-day combo tour of Mitla and Monte Alban from Oaxaca
  • Tour the archeological ruins of Mitla, including the 16th century Church of San Pablo
  • Discover the beauty of Mitla’s elaborate mosaics and fretwork with a professional guide
  • See the marvelous tombs, temples and pyramids of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Monte Alban
  • Enjoy spectacular views from Monte Alban’s panoramic mountaintop
  • Learn about the Zapotecs who constructed these Mesoamerican cities
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off by air-conditioned coach included

What You Can Expect

Mitla and Monte Alban Combo Tour from Oaxaca

Mitla Ruins in Oaxaca

At 10am you’ll be picked up at your hotel and driven by comfortable, air-conditioned coach to the archeological ruins of Mitla, a religious center whose construction began in 850. While touring the site with your informative guide, hear about the Zapotecs, who developed a hierarchical society governed by kings and remained relatively isolated until Spanish conquest in the early 1500s. Admire the intricate mosaics of the colonial Church of San Pablo, built by the Spanish in the 16th century.

Your guide will bring your attention to the architectural harmony of Mitla’s buildings and proportional courtyards. Study the elaborate design of the fretwork and geometric patterns that decorate tombs, panels, friezes and entire walls. Made with finely cut and polished stone pieces, the extraordinary mosaics make Mitla significant among the well-preserved Mesoamerican sites of the Oaxaca Valley.

Back aboard your coach, travel to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Monte Alban, whose name means ‘White Mountain.’ Located on a vast mountaintop expanse with spectacular 360-degree views of the city and surrounding Oaxaca Valley, the pre-Columbian archeological site—along with Oaxaca City—is considered the most magnificent of the region’s ancient ruins.

You’ll explore the immense and well-preserved complex on foot as you tour the grounds with your guide. 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.

See the I-shaped ball court constructed in 100 BC, and climb to the South Platform (Plataforma Sur), a large area known for its wide staircase and great panoramic views. Learn interesting facts from your guide about Zapotecan history and culture as you gaze at ceremonial platforms, including a series of significant rock carvings called The Dancers (Los Danzantes). You’ll see some of Monte Alban’s 170 tombs, whose excavations revealed a range of paintings and stone carvings.

Spend some free time exploring on your own and capturing great photos before re-boarding your coach back to Oaxaca city, where you’ll be dropped off at your hotel around 6pm.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

This tour was a highlight of our trip to Oaxaca. In the description they don't mention you also go to see the Tule (widest tree in the world) and a textile maker. Oaxaca is famous for its textiles, so it was truly a pleasure to stop and see what they are all about. We loved Monte Alban. The views are incredible. Our guide took us right up to the entrance gates after passing many people hiking up the hill toward the entrance. Mitla was also fantastic. Try the ice cream outside of the gates.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Experienced guides, great sites.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

The tour was amazing!
Gabriel, the tour guide, was extremely patient and took his time to answer questions, allow picture taking and wait for people who were lagging a bit behind. Though I believe the afternoon portion of the trip took longer than he was scheduled to work, he never made us feel rushed or as though we should not satisfy our curiosity. Though I had been to the archaeological ruins before, it was still fascinating as well as a wonderful introductory experience for my companion.
The tour company in Oaxaca was amazing!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

If you are in Oaxaca you undoubtedly need to take this trip. My boyfriend and I went on this excursion and we were accompanied by two other parties and an English speaking tour guide who was knowledgable and friendly. I recommend you wearing lots of sun screen because the only shade is in the van! Have fun!

4 star rating: Recommended March 2015

Tour schedule was upset by political activity in Oaxaca City, but the staff met the challenge and we had a wonderful day. The tour guide, Moses, was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. A very full day!

3 star rating: Worth doing August 2014

The tour started very well. Our tour guide Moses spoke good English and was very helpful and informative. We went first to Mitla, which was really interesting, helped by the information Moses contributed. Then we went to the Tule tree, which we hadn't expected, and it is really huge. The final part of the trip, visiting Monte Alban, was unfortunately not as successful as it might have been. The plan had been to go back back into Oaxaca to pick up some other people and drop others off but because there had been a strike and the roads were blocked we were very delayed. The trip to Monte Alban went ahead - we could have gone the following day but we weren't aware that the site closed at 5 p.m. This meant that we did not have sufficient time at the site to explore or to see the museum which was there too. We were disappointed about this as Monte Alban is really fascinating place to visit and we would have been better advised to put our visit off to the following day. For this reason, we have given 3 stars.

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Tour code: 6181FDMITMONT

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