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Monte Albán
Monte Albán

Monte Albán

star-5
264 Reviews
Oaxaca, Mexico

Basics

Dating back to around 500 BC, Monte Albán was continually occupied for close to 1,500 years by (at different points) the Zapotecs, Olmecs, and Mixtecs. The site was already abandoned when Spanish colonizers arrived in the 16th century. While not fully excavated, Monte Albán offers many highlights, including vast plazas, palaces, and some of the most elaborate tombs unearthed in the Americas.

Visit Monte Albán during a day trip from Oaxaca City, or combine a stop here with visits to nearby towns and archaeological ruins, such as Arrazola, San Bartolo Coyotepec, and Teotitlán del Valle. Multi-day Oaxaca tours often stop at Monte Albán.

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Monte Albán, Arrazola, Cuilapam y San Bartolo Coyotepec. pick up 8:00am
Monte Albán, Arrazola, Cuilapam y San Bartolo Coyotepec. pick up 8:00am
star-4.5
$47.57 per adult
Traveler Favorite
A Fascinating Look Back
The tour was expertly run, gracious, and very informative. Our archeologist guide, Antonio, was very knowledgeable, and shared his wealth of history & stories with us! Bus was comfy. Buffet lunch was yummy - get the mole!
Tracy_W, Jul 2021

Recent reviews from experiences in Oaxaca

star-5
Monte Albán 1/2 day tour
Sonya_C, Jul 2021
Monte Alban Guided Half Day Tour
Miguel was very knowledgeable. His vast knowledge about f the history of Monte Albán and the Zapotec people made this tour five stars. I highly recommend this tour.
star-4
Great tour (but a 2 & 1/2 hour wait to enter)
Spencer_J, Aug 2021
Monte Albán cradle of civilization in America/half day tour pick up 8:00am
Our Zapotec tour guide was awesome-super knowledgeable and clearly cared about the ruins. The ruins were phenomenal. But 4 stars because this company really should let people know that they’re going to be waiting for 2 and half hours to enter the ruins because of Covid crowd restrictions. You arrive at 7:30 and enter at the earliest at 10. This may be old fashioned but I would have brought a book (and a coffee) if I had known. Recommend putting this info on your site.
star-5
Perfectly scheduled and informative
Mario_E, Sep 2021
Monte Alban - Full Day Guided Tour with or without Food - Oaxaca
Pick up was timely. We spent the perfect amount of time at each location for it to be fascinating but not overly done. It was a full day but it didn't feel like it. Juan is fun and knowledgeable. Good group of guys!
star-5
Great Tour
Adam_O, Aug 2021
Monte Alban Guided Half Day Tour
Angel was a great guide, and did a wonderful job leading the English language group members. His knowledge of the site was impressive! He kept things moving along, so we still had a full hour to explore the site on out own!
star-5
Awesome experience
Janelle_C, Jul 2021
Monte Albán cradle of civilization in America/half day tour pick up 8:00am
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and was a great speaker. She kept us engaged. We were very accommodated in that we received way more on the tour than expected. She also took care to do tour in both English and Spanish, and picked us up/dropped us off at our desired location. I am in great awe of Monte Alban and Oaxaca. Book this tour!
star-4
Wonderful guide and tour of Monte Alban
Todd_Larson, Jul 2021
Monte Albán, Arrazola, Cuilapam y San Bartolo Coyotepec. pick up 8:00am
The guide Antonio and Monte Alban tour were wonderful. The stops at at craft villages were canned and cheesy. Handicrafts way over priced.
star-5
Great experience
Pamela_L, Jul 2021
Monte Albán Express Tour From Oaxaca de Juarez
We had an excellent tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and interesting, and he adapted his tour for our energetic children and tired adults. Thank you!
star-5
Great experience
Victor_V, Jul 2021
Monte Albán, Arrazola, Cuilapam y San Bartolo Coyotepec. pick up 8:00am
Our tour was a wonderful experience. Monte Alban was the ultimate experience and our tour guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. We also enjoyed touring the villages and getting a better perception of the locals. I don't care much about souvenirs and shopping but you get a better understanding of the people who make out trip worthwhile.
star-5
Great Tour!
Isabel_K, Jun 2021
Private Tour, all inclusive Monte Alban & Atzompa
The guide was extremely knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. I highly recommend Rosario and the driver.
star-5
Great Experience
Marla_S, Jun 2021
Full-Day Monte Alban Archaeological Site and Oaxaca Artisan Experience
Gabriel was a great guide. This was a good balance of activities! Monte Alban is impressive and seeing the artisans was a good stop also
star-5
Great way to spend a day in Oaxaca
Matthew_G, May 2021
Monte Albán, Arrazola, Cuilapam y San Bartolo Coyotepec. pick up 8:00am
This was a great tour to experience Monte Albán and artisan villages in the area. Going to an alebrijes workshop in Arazola was particularly interesting. Our tour guide was top-notch.
star-4
A full day af facts and food!!
Bill_G, Aug 2021
Monte Alban - Full Day Guided Tour with or without Food - Oaxaca
The tour was very nice. As of 9 August, 2021, Monte Alban now only allows 400 people a day on site and to ensure entrance, we were picked up at 0700 with others along the way. We reached Monte Alban at 0800 and sat for 2 hours until the gate was opened. If that condition continues, be sure to have a book or something available to fill that 2 hour block of time. Viator needs to let perspective clients know of the period of down time. Zenon, our driver/guide, did play a DVD of the movie "COCO", which was cute, but it was in Spanish~ so closed captioning for a mixed language audience would have been more helpful. The site is a wonder, and shows the great efforts put forth by the earlier inhabitants. The tour was a bit distracting at times during the day in that Zenon, had to do the presentation in both Spanish and English, as it was a mixed language audience. If there was bottled water available during the day, it was never offered. Xenon was extremely knowledgeable and helpful thought out the day, and was particularly kind in assisting my wife in and out of the van and with the stairs at Monte Alban. The wood carving stop at San Antonio Arrazola was very professional, watching carvings and painting being done. The work there was amazing! The buffet lunch was quite good, with a fine mix of vegetable and meat meals, and included a small taste of Mescal, if you wished. It did run a bit long though, as we are light eaters but some folks sure did like to eat. Unfortunately the Church at Ex Convento de Cuilapam de Guerrero was closed, but it was truly an intimidating structure with a rich and colorful history. The black clay pottery exhibit was incredible and well worth the stop to watch a pot actually being made. The tour does make for a long day, but was full of information, sites and a view of the local area along the drive. We have done VIATOR tours all around the world and have never been disappointed. This tour was no exception. Thank you!

Things to Know Before You Go

  • The signage at Monte Albán is in Spanish.

  • There’s a small on-site museum and a gift shop.

  • There is very little shade at Monte Albán, so bring a hat, sunblock, and water.

  • Wear comfortable shoes; Monte Albán is an expansive site.

  • Children aged 13 and under enter for free.

  • Monte Albán is not fully wheelchair accessible due to uneven ground.

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How to Get There

Monte Albán is situated just 5 miles (9 kilometers) outside of Oaxaca City and is easily accessible. Tourist shuttles to the area depart from Mina 518 in Oaxaca City, and organized tours typically include round-trip transportation—as well as stops at other points of interest.

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When to Get There

Monte Albán is open daily from morning until late in the afternoon. It is perhaps Oaxaca’s most popular archaeological site, so visit early to avoid the largest crowds and the worst of the day’s heat. Weekends tend to be busier than weekdays.

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Oaxaca’s Artisan Towns

After you visit Monte Albán, stop at the nearby artisan towns, which are known for producing some of Oaxaca’s most distinctive handicrafts. San Bartolo Coyotepec is known for black clay pottery, and Teotitlán del Valle is famous for handwoven rugs and other textiles. Arrazola is the place to find Oaxacan alebrijes—brightly colored wooden animals.

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