This is a must when visiting Oaxaca. It is a 2000 year old archaeological site rich in history of the Zapotec people that live in the valleys surrounding the site. It has been painstakingly recovered and restored. Everything is well documented on placards describing the various components of the site.
I must say it was disappointing that many of the structures have been blocked off so that you can't explore them, but it is understandable considering the age of the site and the reality that some of it is deteriorating. There are still several of them available to climb and explore. Abnormally large, steep stairs make for a challenging climb that delivers huge rewards of breathtaking views.
It's very hot on the mountain with very little shade. Vendors at the entrance sell hats at a huge bargain (under 100 pesos) and they're worth every peso. Make sure to buy one, you won't regret it.
I had a translator with me who was also a native of the region. This is very important to give you a history of the area, translate the descriptions and explain the significance of the site, the vegetation in the area as well as the impact on the current demographic of the surrounding settlements.
You're going to walk...a lot. Be prepared for this. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing, light as possible. Make sure to have sun screen if you have fair skin. You'll be getting a lot of sun.
The on site restaurant offers a terrace with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. We stopped in for a beer after spending hours scooting up and down the various structures and poking in the nooks and crannies. You can also buy water there which I guarantee you'll need during your exploration.
Finally they have a great museum on site with many original artifacts, glyphs, stone monuments and skeletons all described in sufficient detail to understand their significance. It's worth noting that much of the actual buildings are gone, save for some foundations and the remains of majestic pillars. Very few of the actual buildings, along with some of the tombs, remain and can't be explored.
There is an admission fee to access the site, but it's only about 30 pesos. I assure you that it's worth every one.
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