First, we’ll visit Monte Albán, the ancient capital of Zapotec civilization, with its impressive monumental architecture. This was one of the first urban centers of Mesoamerica, built on a mountaintop 500 meters above the Oaxaca valley, offering beautiful views of the valley below. During this tour, you will learn about ancient Zapotec civilization and its advances in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and architecture. After our visit to Monte Albán, we’ll continue on to Cuilapan, where we’ll visit an unfinished Dominican monastery of impressive proportions that today houses a museum and church in use by the local community. Afterward, we’ll continue on to Zaachila. This was the last Zapotec kingdom before the Spanish presence in Oaxaca. The small archaeological site has two tombs with interior stucco work that are open to the public. We recommend a stop at La Capilla for lunch. This open-air restaurant with long wooden tables offers a variety of Oaxacan specialties.
Tour includes: Stops at Monte Albán, Cuilapan and Zaachila. This tour includes transportation in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle and guide service with a knowledgeable, bilingual guide.
Duration: around 7 hours
Recommendations and tips: Wear comfortable shoes. It’s a good idea to bring sunglasses and a hat, sun block, and extra cash in case you want to purchase souvenirs and food. Take this tour on a Thursday to see market day in Zaachila.
Cost: for one to three people: $275 USD. For four people or more, contact us for pricing.
Our clients say...
We spent an amazing week in Oaxaca, being shown the fascinating historical and cultural highlights of this beautiful state by Benito and Suzanne - both very experienced guides, with an obvious passion for the area and also the impressive natural setting of this ancient trading post. Benito's love of the mountains also saw him taking us high into the Sierra Norte range for a 4-hour mountain trek, complete with a 1km zip-wire adrenline rush to cap it off! Visiting the ancient Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban, and also the restored Dominican cathedrals that dot the landscape were also must-dos. Highly recommend these guys - very friendly, knowlegdable, and keen to ensure you leave with a wondeful impression of Oaxaca and surrounds.
We got in touch with Suzanne for our two-week, total Spanish immersion experience in Oaxaca! (Our kids are in the Spanish Immersion program at school.) Suzanne pointed us to a place to stay that was absolutely perfect for our family. She also organized a fantastic cooking class that accommodated our kids, connected us with a wonderful babysitter so we could get out for a night, and took us on a tour of Monte Alban. Everyone should be so lucky to take a tour of this magnificent place with Suzanne, who is an anthropology major and was able to discuss the culture and history of this place in as much depth as we wanted and didn't blink an eye at any of our random questions!
We had two incredible days in Oaxaca with Benito as our knowledgable and friendly guide. One day we toured Monte Alban, Cuilapan and Zaachila Market. The other day we went to Mercado de Tlacolula, Herve el Agua, and Santa Maria el Tule. Benito knows everything about Oaxaca. For hours we discussed the history of Oaxaca and Mexico, ancient civilizations, architecture, the multiple different types of fruits and vegetables in the markets and how best cook and eat them; and different trees, plants, birds and butterflies as we were hiking. I would recommend Benito (and Suzanne who was our initial contact person) as a 15 on a scale of 10. You can’t get any better. We look forward to returning to Oaxaca and joining them again.