Monte Albán picture
mikeblue/Getty Images

Details

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

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

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

See all Hotels in Oaxaca »

More Best Things To Do in Oaxaca

The Zócalo1 of 6
Templo de Santo Domingo2 of 6
Type
Time to Spend
#1 The Zócalo

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 de Gobierno (the State Government Palace) on its south side, the Zócalo is a prime spot for people-watching, picking up a souvenir or two and watching day fade into vibrant night. Thanks to its leafy landscaping and many trees, it's also a relaxing place to cool off in the shade. Plus, the Mercado Benito Juárez sits just minutes from the square. 

Recent visitors gushed about the Zócalo, saying it's a nice spot for an afternoon coffee or an evening margarita. Others suggested visiting at night when the Zócalo fills with live music. You'll find the Zócalo in the heart of Oaxaca; it is free to enjoy at all hours of the day (though businesses operate on their own hours). For more information, check out Visit Mexico's website.

Read more
Darryl Leniuk/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Oaxaca »

Explore More of Oaxaca

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 10 Best Detroit Tours

Get to know the historic and quirky side of Motor City.

12 Top Family Camping Trips, Ideas and Campgrounds

Enjoy the great outdoors for a price you can afford.

The 8 Best Memphis Tours

Experience the best of Memphis with one of these top guided tours.

The 10 Best Kauai Boat Tours

Set sail on these excursions to explore the beauty of the Garden Island by sea.

The 18 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in the U.S.

Bring your pet along on an unforgettable beach vacation.

The 10 Best San Antonio Tours

Experience one of Texas' best cities with the help of a local.

The 11 Best Salem Tours

From its infamous witch trials to its underrated food scene, this Massachusetts city is ripe for exploration.

15 Top Weekend Getaways in California

Escape to the Golden State without breaking the bank.

The 7 Best Chicago Walking Tours

See the best Chi-Town has to offer on your own two feet.

The 14 Best Puerto Vallarta Tours

Make the most of your time in Mexico with these top-rated excursions.