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“Ancient ruins”
Review of Monte Alban

Monte Alban
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Monte Alban Day Trip from Oaxaca
Ranked #1 of 121 things to do in Oaxaca
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The ruins of this ancient Zapotec capital make up one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Latin America.
Decorah, Iowa
Level Contributor
68 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Ancient ruins”
Reviewed November 14, 2013

These ancient ruins have withstood weathering. Compared with Mitla in the area and other ruins in other parts of Mexico, they seem a bit plain as there is very little decoration. However, they are well worth the time spent touring them. It is very helpful to have a guide to explain them and the historical background.

Visited November 2013
Thank Edie108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
24 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Ancient history”
Reviewed November 11, 2013

A visit to Monte Alban takes you back thousands of years to learn about the lives of the Zapotec people who lived in the area. How they built, caught water, grew food, worshipped and lived. The site is mostly "restored" having been "discovered" in the early 1920's and excavated. All the findings are in the Museum in town. It's hot - take water to drink and wear a hat and very good walking shoes. There are many steep steps to go up and down but the views are worth it. There is also a small museum of original objects, a gift shop and cafe.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Missadair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
South Wales
Level Contributor
277 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Spectacular remains in a beautiful setting”
Reviewed November 10, 2013

This is one of the most important sites in Mesoamerica. It is only a short drive outside Oaxaca and can be reached easily and cheaply. It has a good museum attached although the information is in Spanish only. There are guide books in English and the information panels around the site include English. We did not hire a guide but were happy to stroll around at our own pace. It was much quieter after lunch when the large organised trips had gone.

The site is very well preserved and presented and it's setting and the views are simply breathtaking. Be prepared for all weathers from blazing sunshine to heavy rain as it can change in minutes.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Jeffdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Impressive Ancients”
Reviewed November 9, 2013

This site is impressive with its size and authenticity. It is not for people who cannot climb up steep stairs that have very high steps.If you can climb around pretty well it is well worth the visit.

Visited October 2013
Thank Glassartgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
118 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Worth a visit - but not amazing”
Reviewed November 7, 2013

Visiting Monte Alban was a nice afternoon out, but it is not half as good as a lot of the other archaeological sites we have seen in Mexico. Having said that, for just over £5 to get there and get in it is definitely worth a visit, but if you've been to other sites don't expect too much.

We paid $50 pesos each to get there and $57 pesos to get in. We spent 3 hours there, which for us was enough to get around the site, look in the museum and enjoy some of the views under the shade of trees. There was a lot of information on boards (mainly in Spanish with some English) and some excellent views, impressive structures and interesting placards with hieroglyphics and pictures.

We took the tourist bus from 501 Mina in Oaxaca. You can choose your return time and the buses go every hour 10.30pm, 11.30pm, 12.30pm, 13.30pm and 2.30pm. The return bus will be waiting for you in the car park at your allotted time. We initially tried to save a bit of money and took a public bus for $6 pesos to Monte Alban. However, this stops short of the site and involves walking 15-20 minutes walk up the road. We started to walk but there were a lot of barking dogs so we turned back (if you're ok with dogs it should be fine as there were a few people cycling up when we were there). The public buses back to town leave from the drop off point 15-20 minutes walk from the top and go every 10 minutes.

No food and drink permitted in the site, but water's ok - and worth taking as it's very hot. You can't climb many of the structures, but there are a couple which you are permitted to climb which are well worth climbing for the view. The North Plaza has quite a lot to explore at the top, whereas the South Plaza is more for the view.

Overall a nice day out, but for us, if we were limited for time and had to choose between Monte Alban and the Arbol de Tule, we would go to see the tree, as for us it was a completely unique experience and we're unlikely to see anything else similar in the near future.

Visited November 2013
Thank carly f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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