One of my goals for 2008 is to visit Oaxaca with my son. His birthday is on Dia De Los Muertos, and for his 15th birthday I intend to take him on this trip to Oaxaca. This means I need to start saving $$$ and plan ahead! 6 years ago
Went here in 2004.
This tree has a circumference of 54 meters (164 feet)—the largest girth of any tree on the planet. Imagine … this tree was a sapling at the time when the Zapotec civilization at Monte Albán was flourishing! 7 years ago
Went here in 2004.
The Name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl word “Mictlan”, which means “Place of the Dead”. In the Language of the Zapotecans, it is called “Lyobaa”, which means “Burial Place”. The name in the language of the original builders (The Zapotecans) is probably the most accurate when one considers the tombs of the ancient kings and priests which are actually an integral part of the structures within the city.
Archaeological evidence indicates that the site was actually inhabited as early as 900 BC, but the structural remains of the city itself have dates ranging between 200 AD and 900 AD.
The Structural remains of the city correspond with the height of Zapotecan rule over the region from Monte Alban (500 BC to 800 AD). It must be noted, however, that Mitla experienced its greatest growth between 750 AD and 1521 AD; and this period of growth corresponds with the end of Zapotecan rule over the area and the beginning of Mixtec rule with its center of power based in Mitla.
Political Power in Mitla followed the same theocratic structure as Monte Alban.
The ancient city of Mitla was made up of 5 main palaces, or precincts: One for the Zapotecan High Priest, One for secondary priests, one for military officers, with one reserved for the king and another for his entourage (when they were in town).
Today, what is left of Mitla, gives us a glimpse back into the past. To a time when the walls with long panels of geometric mosaics made of polished stone and pieced together without mortar stood out against a brilliant red background. A time when the codex style writing which covered the walls of the palaces were bright and new. When priests were trained here, and the noble dead were laid to rest.
Busses leave for Mitla every half hour from the second class bus station, and a ticket will cost 12 Pesos (you pay another 12 Pesos on your way back). The ruins are located about 45km from Oaxaca, and the trip will take about 50 minutes.
When the bus stops in Mitla, signs will point you towards the ruins and it’s a ten minute walk to get there.
The ruins are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9-5. Entrance to the ruins is 30 Pesos (free on Sundays for Mexican Nationals only).
If you have a video camera, it will cost you an extra 30 Pesos (tripods are by special permit only).
If you would like a first class tour of the ruins, guides are available for 120 Pesos. 7 years ago
Went here in 2004.
In the magnificent state of Oaxaca, just outside the stunning colonial town of Oaxaca City lies magnificent archaeological sites: Monte Alban.
Monte Alban: Perched between two lush valleys, which had inhabitants as far back as 2000 BC, is Monte Alban (meaning White Mountain). The mountain is also host to one of Mexico’s most famous archaeological wonders: The ruins of the ancient capital city of Monte Alban.
The top of the mountain was leveled and upon the land the people here built a great city – the ruins of which you can see today. The views from this archaeological site are stunning.
This archaeological wonder is just a short trip outside of Oaxaca city and should be part of any itinerary should you plan to travel in this part of Mexico.
Many artefacts and treasures found on Monte Alban can now be seen at the Museo de Oaxaca.
Buses travel frequently to Monte Alban from Oaxaca, or if you prefer you can travel on a guided tour. 7 years ago
Went here in 2004.
Oaxaca is a city that is truly blessed. Blessed with a climate that is like an eternal springtime, blessed with friendly residents that take great pride in their beautiful city. Oaxaca is blessed with a creative, artistic atmosphere that sets the city apart from all other cities in México. The quality of life in Oaxaca just seems to be on a level above the other cities of southern México. It has been said that you haven’t really seen México, until you have visited Oaxaca.
Oaxaca is a city of almost constant celebrations, a city of traditions and a city of people who keep ancient cultures thriving in their everyday lives. This is a city that celebrates the dead, yet is vividly alive with subtle and, not so subtle, references to the traditions of times long past. Oaxaca’s history dates to the 16th century, the Oaxaca valley much earlier than that, and the customs and heritage of the past are evident everywhere you look.
Oaxaca can boast of at least twenty-seven churches, and by far the most spectacular is Santo Domingo de Guzmán, which was built entirely by Indian labor, in the 16th and 17th centuries. The exterior is incredible, the interior is truly a work of art; don’t pass up the chance to view the interior of this local treasure. Directly beside the church, in a former monastery, is the Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo, a museum housing a fine collection of native costumes, incredible gold jewelry and other objects which were recovered from Monte Albán, the nearby ancient Zapotec city.
The Oaxaca area has produced some of México’s most famous personalities. Two of México’s presidents came from Oaxaca, Benito Juárez and Porfirio Díaz both hailed from this area. Rufino Tamayo, one of México’s most famous artists, was also from Oaxaca and the contents of the museum that bares his name, features a large part of his incredible collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts, which are on permanent display.
Oaxaca is also famous for it’s ice cream, which may just be the best in the world, the wonderful string cheese produced locally, rich, flavorful chocolate, the delicious variety of mole sauces that find their way into many of the local dishes and grasshoppers. Yes grasshoppers, or as they are called locally, chapulines. Fried, sometimes with garlic, and supposedly very tasty, chapulines are considered a local delicacy. They are eaten straight when sold by vendors on the streets and in the markets of Oaxaca. Chapulines are also included on the menu of some of Oaxaca’s finer restaurants, as an appetizer or sprinkled on salads. 7 years ago