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Monte Alban picture in Oaxaca
mikeblue / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Hiking, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.5

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Monte Albán, literally "White Mountain," contains the preserved ruins of a Zapotec city. Travelers will find pyramids, temples, plazas and more atop this mountain, which rises 1,300 feet above the floor of the Oaxaca Valley. For a deeper understanding of the city, which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, travelers can book a tour guide on-site. Keep in mind that the official licensed guides will wear a badge from the Mexico Secretary of Tourism.  

Many travelers give Monte Albán top marks for its preserved structures and the accompanying museum, but they also highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes and bringing plenty of water since this outdoor attraction gets hot. Other travelers recommend booking a tour with an English-speaking tour guide, since the bilingual or trilingual tours can get a little long. Though, if you want to see the site at your own pace (and save a little coin), you'll find informational signs are posted in English, as well as Spanish. 

Located about 5 miles west of town, Monte Albán is easily reached by bus. Buses to the site depart from the Hotel Rivera del Angel on Mina Street. The round-trip ride costs 55 pesos (about $2.80) per person. Adult admission to Monte Albán costs 65 pesos (around $3.50). Kids ages 13 and younger enter for free. Official guides usually congregate around the ticket office, and they charge 250 pesos (around $13.50) to take small groups on a guided tour. Monte Albán is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, consult Visit Mexico's website

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#1 The Zocalo Oaxaca's main square – formally referred to as the Plaza de la Constitución de Oaxaca, but colloquially called the Zócalo – is a must-see. Skirted by cafes and eateries and bounded by the Palacio ... Read more » Darryl Leniuk / Getty Images

#2 Templo de Santo Domingo Dating back to 1555, the Templo de Santo Domingo acted as a convent and church before being used as military barracks in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, the convent ... Read more » javarman3 / Getty Images

#3 Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca is a regional culture museum that walks visitors chronologically from ancient times all the way to modern-day Oaxaca. Other halls are thematic, featuring ... Read more » NNehring / Getty Images

#4 Monte Alban Monte Albán, literally "White Mountain," contains the preserved ruins of a Zapotec city. Travelers will find pyramids, temples, plazas and more atop this mountain, which rises 1,300 feet above ... Read more » mikeblue / Getty Images

#5 Hierve el Agua Hierve el Agua – Spanish for "the water boils" – are natural mineral springs located on a clifftop, about a 90-minute drive from Oaxaca City. Along with swimming in the warm springs ... Read more » arturogi / Getty Images

Javier Castañón / Flickr

#7 Benito Juarez Market To get a taste of Oaxaca, visitors should head to the Benito Juarez Market (Mercado Benito Juárez). Different stalls purvey everything from crickets and mole to grilled meats and homemade ... Read more » Steve Silverman / Flickr

The Zocolo picture in Oaxaca
Santo Domingo picture in Oaxaca
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca picture in Oaxaca
Monte Alban picture in Oaxaca
Hierve el Agua picture in Oaxaca
Andador de Macedonia Alcala  picture in Oaxaca
Benito Juarez Market picture in Oaxaca
The Zocolo picture in Oaxaca
Santo Domingo picture in Oaxaca
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca picture in Oaxaca
Monte Alban picture in Oaxaca
Hierve el Agua picture in Oaxaca
Andador de Macedonia Alcala  picture in Oaxaca
Benito Juarez Market picture in Oaxaca

The Zocalo is Oaxaca's central plaza, and it serves as a great place to relax at one of the many eateries and cafes. You can also pick up traditional Mexican souvenirs here.  Darryl Leniuk / Getty Images

This baroque convent-turned-church is praised for its gilded interior designs and stunning exterior architecture.  javarman3 / Getty Images

The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca adjoins the Templo de Santo Domingo and tells the stories of the regional people from ancient times to present day.  NNehring / Getty Images

The ruins of this Zapotec city rest 1,300 feet above the floor of the Oaxaca Valley.  mikeblue / Getty Images

Although it takes a little effort to reach Hierve el Agua from Oaxaca City, most travelers say the warm mineral pools and the breathtaking views are more than worth the effort.  arturogi / Getty Images

This pedestrian-friendly street is the best way to travel from the Zocalo to Santo Domingo Javier Castañón / Flickr

You can pick up handicrafts, as well as fresh produce, herbs, and even clothing in the stalls at the Benito Juarez Market Steve Silverman / Flickr

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