From the mountaintop pyramids of Monte Alban to the Cuilapam Convent on the valley floor, learn all about the rich history of Oaxaca Valley on this guided full-day trip by coach. Discover the Zapotec pyramids and excavated ruins of UNESCO-listed Monte Alban, admire the mystical woodcarvings of San Antonio Arrazola and meet resident artisans in San Bartolo Coyotepec, a town known for its beautiful black pottery. Hotel pickup and drop-off from Oaxaca included.
Oaxaca day trip to Monte Alban, Arrazola, Cuilapam and Coyotepec
See the ball court, temples and tombs of Monte Alban, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site
Admire artisan-made alebrijes (woodcarvings) in San Antonio Arrazola
Visit the San Bartolo Coyotepec Church and the Cuilapam Convent in Cuilapam de Guerrero
Hear stories about the ancient Zapotecs from your guide during your full-day sightseeing tour
Hotel pickup and drop-off from your Oaxaca hotel included
Enjoy midmorning pickup by coach from your Oaxaca hotel and kick off your day of sightseeing at Monte Alban, a UNESCO site located on a mountaintop boasting panoramas of the city and Oaxaca Valley.
Spend about 2.5 hours at the archaeological site. Your guide takes you around the complex, including the Grand Plaza, a large open area on the flattened plateau. Hear engaging facts about Zapotec history and culture as you gaze at ceremonial platforms, including a series of 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. Visit pyramids, temples, altars and the I-shaped ball court constructed in 100 BC. Make your way up the South Platform (Plataforma Sur), a large area known for its wide staircase and great views.
Next, head to San Antonio Arrazola, a tranquil town at the base of Monte Alban. For about 45 minutes, stroll through the town and admire the local folk art, such as the world-renowned woodcarvings from the copal tree called alebrijes depicting a fantastic zoology of mythical creations and monsters.
In the traditional town of Cuilapam de Guerrero, swing by the Cuilapam Convent, a 16th-century Dominican convent known for its unfinished basilica and capilla abierta, or open chapel. Learn about this historical colonial feature aimed at encouraging larger numbers of indigenous people for conversion to Catholicism.
After refueling with lunch (own expense), wrap up your sightseeing in San Bartolo Coyotepec. Visit the 16th-century San Bartolo Coyotepec Church, the Oaxaca State Museum of Popular Art (MEAPO) and a craft market displaying the work of more than a dozen families. Learn about this town known for its black pottery (barro negro), unique ceramics made locally since pre-Columbian times.
Your full-day tour ends with drop-off at your hotel in Oaxaca in the evening.
The tour guide, an archaeologist, was excellent as was the itinerary although the place we were taken to in Arrazola was a little too touristy and commercial and was disappointed in the quality of the wood carvings.
Antonio was a wonderful tour guide, and the trip was well worth the money except for some reason the entry fee for the cathedral we visited was not included..?. Going to the actual villages where the Alibrijes wood sculptures were first made was awe-inspiring, and the craftsmanship was impeccable. Definitely plan on doing some shopping at the villages.
The tour of Monte Alban was incredible, maybe a little bit of a time crunch, but the ruins and views were amazing. Definitely bring a hat!
The tour was quite good, a real highlight was going to the artisan villages. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and made a special effort for me as I was the only English speaker. The Monte Alban part of the trip could quite easily be done independently and you could get a guide there that would go over the entire site more thoroughly, I wanted more informationhistory for this part of the trip. All in all the tour was good.
Yes this was a good all day trip. It started off a little shaky, with the computers down. We left late from our meeting place, but after that it was smooth throughout.
Special shout out to our guides: Daniel and one they called Pansonsito. So informative and their English was very good.