Monte Alban, one of ancient Mexico's most impressive ceremonial sites, is located very close to Oaxaca city and is definitely a must see for any visitor to Oaxaca. This massive complex of pyramids, terraces and crumbling temples is considered one of the most important examples of pre-Columbian culture in all of Mexico. Constructed by a culture that possessed a genius for building, this spectacular city is one of the most thoroughly explored archaeological sites in Mexico. Throughout the centuries Monte Alban has continued to amaze those who study the site and has never failed to remain both magical and mysterious.
Founded sometime before 500 AD, Monte Alban was the Zapotec capital and is built on a impressive site which dominated the entire Oaxaca valley. The city reached it's heyday around 800 AD and at that time supported a population of over 30,000. There is a museum on site and a well-stocked bookstore. If you are arriving with your private guide, or driving yourself, I suggest an early arrival to beat the busses that bring the group tours to the site. You can hire a registered site guide at the ticket office. Location: 5 miles west of Oaxaca city, the site is open daily from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M.