- 8 hours (Approx.)
- Hotel pickup offered
- Mobile ticket
Explore the cultural treasures surrounding Oaxaca on a full-day trip with an experienced guide. Travel by coach to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Monte Alban and discover the excavated ruins of this ancient Zapotec city. Meet local artisans making black pottery in the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec and admire the famous wood-carved figures of San Antonio Arrazola. From the mountaintop pyramids of Monte Alban to the Cuilapam Convent on the valley floor, you’ll learn all about the region’s rich history! Round-trip hotel transport is included.
- All entrance fees included
- Family friendly
- Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
- Led by a local guide
- Professional English- and Spanish-speaking guide
- Hotel pickup and drop-off
- Entry/Admission - Monte Alban
- Entry/Admission - San Antonio Arrazola
Oaxaca hotels. If staying at a residency/house, meeting point is Hotel Quinta Real in the historical center.
Returns to original departure point at approximately 6pm
Upon pickup from your hotel at 10am, travel by comfortable coach to Monte Alban, located approximately 20 minutes from Oaxaca. Translated as ‘White Mountain,’ the immense archeological site stands atop a mountain plateau overlooking the city and valleys below. Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ruins with your knowledgeable guide on a 2.5-hour tour, and learn about the significance of the pre-Columbian ruins as explore the complex.
Visit pyramids, temples and altars, as well as several residential structures – all constructed around the rectangular Grand Plaza, a large open area on the flattened plateau. Climb to the South Platform (Plataforma Sur), a large area known for its wide staircase and great panoramic views. You’ll learn interesting facts about Zapotec culture as you view the ancient ball court and ceremonial platforms, including a series of significant rock carvings called The Dancers (Los Danzantes). Don’t miss some of Monte Alban’s 170 tombs, whose excavations revealed a range of paintings and stone carvings.
Re-board the coach for San Antonio Arrazola, a small and quiet town at the foothills of Monte Alban. Spend approximately 45 minutes walking around and taking in the local folk art, such as the world-renowned woodcarvings called alebrijes. Admire the ingenuity of the artisans, comprising 80 local families, who carve the figures – depicting a fantastic zoology of mythical creations and monsters – from the copal tree.
Next, head to Cuilapam de Guerrero, a traditional town that holds feasts of saints throughout the year. Visit the Cuilapam Convent, a 16th-century Dominican convent known for its unfinished basilica and capilla abierta, or open chapel. Learn about this typical colonial feature, constructed for gathering a greater number of indigenous people for conversion to Catholocism. Around 2:45pm, take a break for lunch at Hacienda Cuilapam (own expense).
You’ll make your last stop around 4:30pm in San Bartolo Coyotepec, a town whose artisans are famous for their black pottery (barro negro), fashioned with techniques used since pre-Columbian times. The town boasts several dozen workshops, the Oaxaca State Museum of Popular Art (MEAPO) and a craft market featuring the work of more than a dozen local families, some with international acclaim. You’ll visit the beautiful 16th-century San Bartolo Coyotepec Church before your guide transports you back to Oaxaca with hotel drop-off around 6pm.
Hotel pick-up is offered for this tour. Note: if you are booking within 24 hours of the tour/activity departure time, we cannot guarantee hotel pick-up. Once your purchase is complete, we will send you complete contact information (phone number, email address, etc.) for our local operator to organize pick-up arrangements.
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Wheelchair accessible
- Stroller accessible
- Service animals allowed
- Near public transportation
- Infant seats available
- Transportation is wheelchair accessible
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
This was a well organized tour, with a large variety of information. We enjoyed it!
The tour guide, an archaeologist, was excellent as was the itinerary although the place we were taken to in Arrazola was a little too touristy and commercial and was disappointed in the quality of the wood carvings.
The English-speaking guides were very attentive. They were very detailed in their description of the sights. Ample time to explore and take photographs on your own at every stop. Highly recommended!
Antonio was a wonderful tour guide, and the trip was well worth the money except for some reason the entry fee for the cathedral we visited was not included..?. Going to the actual villages where the Alibrijes wood sculptures were first made was awe-inspiring, and the craftsmanship was impeccable. Definitely plan on doing some shopping at the villages.
The tour of Monte Alban was incredible, maybe a little bit of a time crunch, but the ruins and views were amazing. Definitely bring a hat!
The tour was quite good, a real highlight was going to the artisan villages. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and made a special effort for me as I was the only English speaker. The Monte Alban part of the trip could quite easily be done independently and you could get a guide there that would go over the entire site more thoroughly, I wanted more informationhistory for this part of the trip. All in all the tour was good.
Excellent and friendly driver. Very knowledgable. It was an excellent way to get the lay of the land and learn a lot about Oaxaca and the wonderful sights in the region.
Yes this was a good all day trip. It started off a little shaky, with the computers down. We left late from our meeting place, but after that it was smooth throughout.
Special shout out to our guides: Daniel and one they called Pansonsito. So informative and their English was very good.
This was a fantastic full day tour. The tour guide, Moses, was friendly, helpful and very knowledgable on the sites we visited. The use of the Viator site was easy and the arranged hotel pickup was simple. I will be using their services again!
David guide and Manuel driver were absolutely lovely. I was the only tourist to show up that day and they were incredibly gracious to take me. David was very well-informed and gave me a lot of great information as we walked through Monte Alban. We visited Arrazola, the village where wood figures are made of the copal tree and painted by the women. The people were not happy to have me there so I felt embarrassed to watch them work. We went off-script and visited the Friday-only Ocotlan market, which I loved I was perfectly happy to visit that rather than the church that was on the schedule. Then we visited Coyotepec, the village where pottery is made from black clay. This was only a warehouse and things to buy with no one demonstrating how they were made. At Monte Alban and Ocotlan I got an hour each to walk around by myself. I paid 47 for this tour but was told that other tours were 20.
This tour was amazing. David was great and very informative. Definitely recommend food was delicious and Monte alban is beautifullll.
We really enjoyed this tour and our guide/driver was courteous, informative, and spoke excellent English. The only thing that keeps me from giving it five stars is that we were only allowed 45 minutes of free time at Monte Alban, which is not nearly enough to explore the sight. If the tour could be adjusted to allow at least an hour and a half, it would be perfect. Despite that criticism I would still recommend this tour to others. It's particularly good for people whose time in Oaxaca is limited and who want to see as much as possible in a short amount of time.
Very well run tour commencing at a hotel in the central city. The company was well organized, easy to contact, and offered well trained guides and drivers. The van drivers were professional and safe. The tour buses were recent models, comfortable and well maintained. We felt safe. The tour provides both English and Spanish speaking guides depending on the needs of the group.
Long day, but very rewarding. We had an extremely well versed tour guide who had all the answers and provided lots of interesting information. Especially enjoyed the artisania and luncheon buffet. Visited a variety of interesting towns and locations.
My rating is two stars. The visit to the wood carvers was a tourist trap--too much time for not much to do or see. There was a guy sitting there with a machette pretending to carve a piece. The lunch was beyond terrible. It was buffet style and flies were everywhere. There were women standing over the food to push the flies away! We had no choice but to pay around $15 / person and could eat nothing but the soups or rice which was covered. A real disappointment given all the amazing food we had in Oaxaca. The visit to the potters was nice as we watched a demonstration. And the monastery was worth it too. Monte Alban is certainly worth a visit and a little more time would allow us to see the museum as well as climb to the top to see the whole area.