Maybe we expected too much of Mitla, but this had to be the greatest disappointment of our 12-day stay in Oaxaca. The site is small - barely covering a block or two of the surrounding village - and was overrun with tourists, including children and teens climbing on the ruins (despite ample signage saying this was prohibited); adults making out and smoking in the tunnels; and toddlers urinating along the paths (while their parents watched nonchalantly). To even get the the ruins, you have to walk thru a gauntlet of cheesy tourist stalls selling cheap tchotchkes.
Sure, the geometric patterns of some of the stonework are amazing...but much of the archeological ruins here have been reconstructed. (Our driver, who had bachelor's degrees in anthropology and history from the national university in Mexico City, said only about 20 percent of the site is actually original; the rest has been "re-imagined" to how archaeologists think it once looked.)
Compared to the amazing ruins at Monte Alban and Yagul, this place felt like some sort of cheesy roadside attraction. We toured in in less than 30 minutes and left.
This is a place that looks better in photos than in real life.
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