Dating back to 500BC, the impressive Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán lie just 6 miles from the city of Oaxaca, and so are a must-visit in our humble opinion.

Image of Alexandra Heriot Maitland

Ollie and Alexandra are here to help give you the inside track.

Key Stats

Best Time To Visit

Oct - Sep

Flight from London London

10:50 hrs

Time Difference

GMT -6 hrs

Monte Albán is one of the most impressive Zapotec sites in Mexico, sitting 400m above the valley and so offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside - undoubtedly the reason ancient Zapotecs opted for the city as their capital. The site was inhabited over a period of 1,500 years, by the Zapotecs, but also Olmecs and Mixtecs, the latter who were responsible for creating one of the most impressive tombs - Tomb 7 - which was filled with treasure to honour their fallen ruler.

This grand Zapotec capital housed magnificent temples, tombs, and bas-reliefs complete with intricate hieroglyphics. The Regional Museum is close to the ruins and houses some of the Monte Albán artifacts in order to prevent them from being plundered or weathered. See some of the site's original statues, as replicas are now in their original positions.

Without doubt the area's most interesting and extensively excavated ruin, it is estimated that only about 10% of the site has yet been uncovered. Whilst Monte Albán is one of the most impressive sites in Mexico it receives far fewer visitors than the very popular Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula, and so is much less crowded.​


Where to stay

Uvence Arte + Hotel

Uvence Arte + Hotel

Located in the oldest part of town, Uvence Arte + Hotel is a converted hacienda that offers guests an authentic yet luxurious experience.

Quinta Chanabnal

Quinta Chanabnal

Quinta Chanabal is a modern Mayan palace, and is just a ten minute drive from the ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque.

Pool at Casa Oaxaca, luxury hotel in Mexico

Casa Oaxaca

Housed in an 18th Century colonial house, Casa Oaxaca has been painstakingly restored and modernised to create a designer boutique hotel.

Hotel Bo

Hotel Bo

In complete contrast to most San Cristobal hotels, Hotel Bo is a design forward boutique hotel, located a short stroll from the heart of town.

Quinta Real

Quinta Real

Built in 1576, Quinta Real Oaxaca was formerly a convent, before being taken over and turned into municipal offices at the height of political turmoil in 1862. Restoration began in 1972, under the watchful eye of The National Institute of Anthropology and History, with the beautiful frescoes restored by experts, and artistic treasures repaired.

Start creating your tailored trip today

Ollie and Alexandra are our Oaxaca & Chiapas experts and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

Image of Alexandra Heriot Maitland

Call us on +44 (0) 20 7978 7333

Or enquire online