Archaeological Site of MONTE ALBAN
Monte Alban is the most important archaeological zone of the Oaxacan entity, of unique regional importance due to the religious, political and economic control that the Zapotec state exercised over the population of the Valley of Oaxaca for more than thirteen centuries. It has been named by UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Humanity together with the city of Oaxaca on December 11, 1987.
The heritage of the Zapotec world reaches us through the magnificent archaeological sites designed in the Valley of Oaxaca. Of these, the city of Monte Albán stands out for its enormous importance as an economic, political and religious hub (it was the first urban complex in Mesoamerica); by its extension, almost as big as the current capital of Oaxaca; and for its long life, started around 500 BC and concluded around 850 AD
The city is surrounded by several mountains strategically located at the confluence of the arms that form the great Valley of Oaxaca. There are three groups that make up the site: Monte Albán, Atzompa and El Gallo, all configured by archaeological monuments on the peaks and by series of cultivation terraces on the slopes.
Map of MONTE ALBAN
Reopened in November 1994, the Monte Albán Site Museum houses part of the collection of Engraved Stelae found in the archaeological zone, which show the development of the writing system during the four phases of the Zapotec occupation of this archaeological site (500 BC- 800 AD). With a selection of pieces mostly from the 1992-1994 Special Archeology Project, the Site Museum introduces visitors to all relevant topics of the pre-Hispanic Zapotec world: architecture, chronology, ceramics, writing, commerce and funerary practices.
The archaeological city of Monte Albán is located at a maximum height of 400 meters above the level of the Valley and 1900 above sea level. It is located towards the west side of the Atoyac River, about seven kilometers from the center of the city of Oaxaca, with which it communicates by tourist access, west of the Tecnológico de Oaxaca, or by the route that emerges from San Juan Chapultepec , which is reached via the food market.
The Archaeological Zone of Monte Albán can be reached from the city of Oaxaca de Juárez by two routes: the first of them is through the old highway to Monte Albán (towards Xoxocotlán), passing through the communities of San Juan Chapultepec and San Martín Mexicapan; the second way is the highway that leads to Santa María Atzompa, taking the deviation towards Monte Albán; both with a journey of 10 km and an approximate travel time of 25 minutes from the city center.
Its main buildings: The Great Plaza, Ball Court, System II, Los Danzantes, Building “J”, GHI Central Buildings, The Palace, South Platform, System 7 Venado and Tomb number 7 The Great Plaza. It is 200 more long by 200 meters wide, so the rocky ledges had to be trimmed and some gaps filled.
It is located to the left of the entrance to the Great Plaza, generally presents the characteristics of the ball games of the region, it is believed that the rings were installed with wooden posts, hence the absence of these in the area.
This three-section building belongs to period III B, with sloping walls covered with sculpted tombstones with representations of human figures in very strange positions and with physical features characteristic of Olmec sculpture.
It is a two-section structure with a stairway, flanked by two rafters, finished in slopes and double scapular panels. In the upper part there is a small temple with a rectangular base with five columns in front and as many in the back without side walls; To the south of this element there is a roofed tunnel with an angular vault that communicates with the central buildings.
The Observatory, Building “J”
It is separated from the other buildings, it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting, due to its orientation and shape. It resembles an arrowhead, it is of two bodies, its stairway is oriented towards the northwest, its walls are vertical, covered with tombstones with inscriptions, it is believed that the previous chamber served for astronomical observations but this is not proven; this building belongs to period II.
GHI Central Buildings
These buildings are located in the central part of the great square. The central building “H” is the largest, it has two bodies, with a large staircase, two tombs and the temple in the upper part with two chambers and two columns at the entrance, very close to the side walls. It is believed that this building belongs to period III A, it continued to be used at the end of period III b. In front of the main staircase there is a small temple with a quadrangular base, in which the famous mask of the Bat God was found, made of jade.
It is a structure made up of two bodies, with a central staircase, with balustrades finished in the shape of a slope, it has 13 rooms in the upper part grouped around a central patio, on the entrance to this set there is a lintel, recently placed.
It is a very large structure that closes the square on that side. Of two bodies, in the upper part there are two mounds, from this place the great ceremonial plaza can be fully observed. In the lower part of this and in the corners are embedded several stelae with reliefs of zoomorphic figures, as well as some offerings.
System “7 Venado”
To get to this place it is advisable to walk on the upper part of the south platform, towards the southeast which is located about 250 meters away from the main square. There are four structures around a square oriented towards the four cardinal points.
Tomb No. 7
When exploring it on January 6, 1932, the Mexican archaeologist Dr. Alfonso Caso, found a burial with a rich amount of offerings, considered a great archaeological treasure, which is exposed in the Regional Museum of Oaxaca. The layout of the tomb has a rectangular base, consisting of an antechamber and a chamber with an angular vault cover. It is one of the few that have been found, although already deteriorated with its offerings intact.
More Tourist Attractions in OAXACA
Oaxaca is the most diverse state in Mexico. It has peaks that reach more than 3,000 meters high, caverns that are among the deepest in the world, virgin beaches, secluded forests, and sunlit valleys. Oaxaca is rich in traditions and customs and has the largest ethnic population found in Mexico.
The City of Oaxaca, the state capital, is famous for its architecture and for its rich cultural traditions. Oaxaca is also graced by a splendid and varied cuisine and spring-like weather year round. UNESCO declared the city a Cultural Heritage Site.… Leer Más
The Santo Domingo Cultural Center is a cultural complex that is located in what was one of the most important convents in the colony. It is a large convent in which the Museum of the Cultures of Oaxaca, the Fray Francisco de Burgoa Library and the Ethnobotanical Garden have been established. The Néstor Sánchez Public Newspaper Library is located in a building that is part of the complex but dates from the 19th century.… Leer Más
The Guelaguetza is an ancient tradition with pre-Hispanic roots related to agricultural ceremonies of gratitude to the gods for the arrival of the rains and the lifting of the harvest at the end of July and is the largest festival in Oaxaca. La Guelaguetza is a celebration of gratitude for the arrival of the rains and the harvests, in which representatives from all regions of the state gather in the capital to share their culture through dances, crafts and food. La Guelaguetza is celebrated every year on the two Mondays after July 16, except when the first Monday is July 18, Benito Juárez’s death anniversary. Many types of dances also participate, such as the traditional Flor de Piña; where women usually dress in Huipiles representing the different regions of the state, as well as with their pineapple on their shoulders, they comb their hair with beautiful long braids accompanied by their ribbons and can not missing her accessories that is, bracelets, necklaces and earrings of precious colors and her beautiful makeup.… Leer Más
Mezcal is a rich, handcrafted flavored drink that requires considerable attention to be produced. Mezcal is normally served with white salt or worm salt (salt mixed with a cooked larva and ground chili), lemon or orange. Mezcal production today remains more or less as it was when the Spanish arrived hundreds of years ago. Each “recipe” is transmitted from generation to generation within the families that care about its production; Because each family has its own approach to mezcal production, there are an enormous number of different flavors. It is also in this way that the rich diversity of flavors and traditions are preserved for all to enjoy.… Leer Más
The beaches of the coast of the state of Oaxaca are among the most beautiful and complete in Mexico, thanks to a developing tourist infrastructure and the rich gastronomy of the Pacific. Along the 533 kilometers of coastline, the beaches of Oaxaca offer a wide variety of activities for lovers of water sports: snorkeling, diving, sport fishing, surfing, among others… there is something for everyone!… Leer Más
Oaxaca is famous throughout the world for its archaeological sites and the history they keep. Discover Monte Alban, Mitla, Yagul and more of these remote sites, which have made Oaxaca a World Heritage city, according to Unesco. The original Zapotec and Mixtec peoples of Oaxaca lived in the cities and religious centers of the valley of this city until the time of Spanish colonization. Today, there are still vestiges of these towns and places where you can meet them.… Leer Más
Oaxaca, located in the southeast of Mexico, is an example of a singular miscegenation that even in the midst of modernity never forgets its origins. In its varied geography, it brings together not only a vast biodiversity, considered among the largest in the world, but also insurmountable cultural and ethnic riches, and the most different and beautiful natural settings. An ideal space for Alternative Tourism, Oaxaca offers activities such as walking, mountain biking, rappelling, climbing, zip-lining, horseback riding, observation of flora and fauna and more, in close contact with nature. The visitor can also witness the various aspects of local life, savor the gastronomy and enjoy the warmth of its people, as well as an offer of accommodation in hotels, ecotourism cabins, local houses or excellent camping areas.… Leer Más
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The Oaxacan gastronomy takes you on an amazing journey into one of the most outstanding and colorful cuisines in the world. Oaxacan food is among the most varied and delicious in Mexico, UNESCO has declared it Humanity’s Cultural Patrimony. Oaxaca’s gastronomy incorporates elements of pre-Hispanic cuisine, and lively imagination has created combinations that amaze by the color, the aromas and the flavors.
The list of dishes that characterize this cuisine is endless, however, we can mention: Oaxacan Mole in its 7 varieties depending on the type of chili used, Chapulines, (dry roasted, spiced grasshoppers), tlayudas (large tortilla spread with the remaining of the lard and beans), maguey worm sauce, chiles rellenos (stuffed chilies), and of course the famous Oaxacan tamales in banana leaves. Oaxaca cheese is a soft white string cheese, which is similar to mozzarella. It is sold in “ropes” which are wound onto themselves into balls, and eaten cold or lightly melted on quesadillas is considered among the best in the world.… Leer Más
Oaxaca is a destination that offers a great variety of attractions and tourist charms which leave anyone surprised. When arriving in the city of Oaxaca, the most common is to visit the historic center, the Santo Domingo Temple, the Macedonio Tourist Walk, the gastronomic delights in the Benito Juárez market, the Basilica de la Soledad, among other attractions. And one of the places that you cannot miss is the Monte Alban archaeological zone, which is approximately 30 minutes by car from the historic center. However, there are other places that are also worth knowing and are in the surroundings of the city. For this reason we recommend the following tourist routes.… Leer Más
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Guided Tours in OAXACA
Flights & Hotels in OAXACA
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On the Beaches of Mexico you can immerse yourself in the intense blue ocean of the Pacific bays, sunbathe on the shore of the warm and transparent waves of the Caribbean Sea in Quintana Roo or even rest on the beautiful coasts of the Gulf of Mexico. Mexican beaches hide wonderful secrets for the traveler. By visiting them, in addition to enjoying the excellent climate and water activities, you can discover splendid archaeological sites and interesting colonial cities without traveling long distances.… Leer Más
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It is practically impossible to make a meticulous, and above all, accurate selection of the places to visit in Mexico. Each place that our country houses is unique and beautiful in its own way. Mexico, with its nearly 2 million km², has a large number of scenarios to offer, as well as endless activities to do. Do not lose your way and enter the places to visit in Mexico. In Mexico, apart from the beaches and its famous archaeological sites, there are many other really interesting sites and activities that you should know. In the surroundings of the main cities you will find places full of culture and tradition, where you can spend relaxing, interesting and fun vacations. On your trip through Mexico you cannot stop obtaining souvenirs, the crafts that are made here are of the highest quality and recognized worldwide. A shopping tour cannot be missed.… Leer Más
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