Oaxaca Culture & history

Our most recommended Oaxaca Culture & history

From Oaxaca: Monte Albán and Art Craft Towns Day Trip

1. From Oaxaca: Monte Albán and Art Craft Towns Day Trip

Explore the archaeological area of Oaxaca built by the Zapotecs. Learn about its big plazas, truncated pyramids, and the court for playing tlachtli (a type of ball game). Hear about the underground passageways and more than 100 tombs at the site from your professional tour guide. Start your day by being picked up in Oaxaca City, and begin your journey to Monte Alban. Next, visit the town of Arrazola town and fall in love with the authentic wooden figures called Alebrijes. Watch the interesting creation process of these figures which involves carving and painting. Head to Cuilapam de Guerrero town and visit a Dominican Ex-monastery of the 16th-century, known for its unfinished basilica and prominent open chapel. End your magical tour in the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec and meet local artisans who specialize in black pottery (Barro negro). Learn about the techniques used since pre-Columbian times.

Oaxaca: El Tule, Mitla, and Hierve el Agua Tour with Mezcal

2. Oaxaca: El Tule, Mitla, and Hierve el Agua Tour with Mezcal

Experience the sights, culture, and flavors of Oaxaca on a multi-stop guided tour. Visit the town of Teotitlán del Valle to discover unique hand-made rugs and see the Mitla Archaeological Zone. Stop at the Tree of Tule and learn how to make the local mezcal drink before trying it yourself. Following pickup, stop first at the world-famous tree called the Árbol del Tule or Tree of Tule. This tree is a millenary ahuehuete, one of the biggest trees in the world weighing up to 509 tons. Next, head to the town of Teotitlán del Valle, where they use ancestral techniques to make and paint rugs, most featuring one-of-a-kind personal designs. Then, make an hour stop at Hierve el Agua to explore the famous petrified waterfalls. The Mitla Archaeological Zone is another must-see stop, so that's next on the itinerary. This city has some of the most important architectural evolution achievements. Admire elaborately decorated walls and much more. Before drop-off back in Oaxaca, learn about the mezcal (an alcoholic drink made from the sap of an agave). Get to know about the process of making this drink and enjoy tasting different mezcal flavors.

Oaxaca: Monte Alban and the Art of Oaxaca

3. Oaxaca: Monte Alban and the Art of Oaxaca

Immerse yourself in Oaxacan culture on this day trip. Visit the most important archaeological site in Oaxaca, Monte Albán, located in the majestic urban center. This area was known as the religious, political, and economic center of the Zapotec civilization. Walk around the square and explore the Site Museum.  Don't forget to bring your camera to take pictures from the top of the archaeological structures. Next, you'll visit San Antonio Arrazola, a magical place of colors and traditions, where the famous artisans will teach you how they carve copal wood. Learn the process of creating the magical figures called "Alebrijes", which represent the innovative spirit of the Oaxacan soul, part of an ancestral tradition of the Zapotecs. Finally, stop at Cuilapam de Guerrero, a Mixtec town famous for its 16th-century Dominican ex-monastery, and San Bartolo Coyotepec, a small town of adobe houses where you'll witness the process of making beautiful black clay figures.

Oaxaca: Monte Alban Guided Archaeological Tour

4. Oaxaca: Monte Alban Guided Archaeological Tour

Discover the Archeological Zone of the state of Oaxaca. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your hotel in the Oaxaca city center. Drive to Monte Albán in an air-conditioned van. Explore the ruins of the former capital of the Zapotec people, who were the dominant civilization in the area thousands of years ago. Discover the second-largest ceremonial site in Mesoamerica. Learn about the Zapotec people from your knowledgable guide. Marvel at the ancient ball court, excavated tombs, astronomical “observatory. Enjoy phenomenal views from Monte Alban. Looking out from the flat hill where the archeological site is located, you can enjoy views of the Oaxaca Valley. Visit the onsite museum and admire artifacts from the Zapotec civilization. Afterward, you will be transported back to your accommodations in Oaxaca.

From Oaxaca: Yagul Archaeological Site & Sunday Local Market

5. From Oaxaca: Yagul Archaeological Site & Sunday Local Market

Join a guided tour for a unique Sunday experience with a visit to the archaeological site of Yagul and San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya. See the closest example of an original pre-Hispanic market in Tlacolula. Start your adventure by being picked up in your hotel lobby in Oaxaca City. Head to the town of San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya to marvel at the legendary 16th-century construction. Learn about its religious art and altars. Then, visit the archeological site of Yagul, a city that flourished as an urban center after the decadency of Monte Alban. Walk with your guide and understand how it transformed as an important city back in the days after the Spanish conquest. Lastly, head to Tlacolula. Walk through one of the most popular and colorful Sunday markets in the country. This fascinating place turns into the main street of the town on Sundays. Find products, arts, and crafts made by the local people here.

Oaxaca: Monte Alban and Historic Villages Full-Day Tour

6. Oaxaca: Monte Alban and Historic Villages Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a tour of the extraordinary archaeological zone of Monte Alban, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. Monte Alban, constructed on a plateau at 1,940 meters above sea level, is one of the most representative archaeological sites in Mexico. With pyramids, a court for the pre-Hispanic ball game, among many other mystical constructions, take this chance to explore cultural traces from different civilizations, such as the Olmecs, Mixtecs, and Zapotecs.  Continue to the town of Coyotepec, famous for its ceramics production, followed by a visit to the convent of Cuilapam. This Dominican convent dates back to the 16th century and was the site of the execution of one of Mexico's heroes from the Independence War, Vicente Guerrero. Finally, visit the village of Arrazola and head to a workshop to see how the famous Alebrijes (wood-carved fantasy animals) are made.

Oaxaca: Mitla Skip-the-Line Ticket

7. Oaxaca: Mitla Skip-the-Line Ticket

Walk among Mitla, a Mixtec-Zapotec ruin noted for the well-preserved, detailed geometric masonry. Learn first-hand why the name Mitla comes from the Nahuatl word Mictlan - the place of the underworld. Mitla, an ancient ceremonial center, includes two cross-shaped tombs, a promenade of strong stone columns, and an elevated suite of ornate rooms once occupied by the Zapotec high priest for you to learn about and explore. On your way out, take in a beautiful cactus garden growing in the archaeological park. At the gates of the ruins, shop at the local craft market hosting folk art goods.

From Huatulco: Oaxaca Overnight Guided Tour

8. From Huatulco: Oaxaca Overnight Guided Tour

Discover the city of Oaxaca on a guided overnight trip from Huatulco, stopping at the highlights between these places. Visit archeological sites, and learn about local culture and heritage. Day 1: Get picked up at your hotel in La Crucecita or Tangolunda and start the journey towards Oaxaca. Stop at Jalapa del Marqués, where you can enjoy breakfast, at your own expense. Continue to the mezcal region, where you'll take a tour to learn how this delicious drink is produced. Enter the Mitla Archaeological Zone and explore the ancient ruins. Afterwards, head to Teotitlán del Valle to discover how rugs and blankets are made and enjoy some free time for shopping. Stop at Santa María del Tule to admire the 2,000-year-old tree, take photos, and enter the church. Arrive in Oaxaca in the afternoon, and visit the former convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán and its museum. Check-in at the hotel, then enjoy the rest of the day to wander through the historic center and explore on your own. Day 2: After checking out of the hotel, take a tour of Monte Albán Archaeological Site. Admire the ancient ruins and take in views from the top of the pyramids. Continue to Benito Juárez market, where you can have breakfast and learn about local cuisine. Stop at San Bartolo Coyotepec, to watch local artisans producing handicrafts from black mud. Visit either San Martín Tilcajete or Arrazola, to see how local folk art sculptures called alebrijes are made. Depart for Huatulco, stopping at San Jose del Pacifico along the way. In the evening, you'll get dropped off back at your hotel where your tour will end.

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What people are saying about Oaxaca

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 12 reviews

A wonderful day tour of Monte Alban, the artist Don Miguel Jimenez,, and the black pottery makers. You’d never find DonMiguel’s studio on your own. A fabulous day in a magical place!!!

Excellent, friendly. Although not a guided tour, safe transportation, amicable bilingual conversation, flexible with time and plans, definitely reccomended.

Good value. Nice air-conditioned bus, knowledgeable guide, timely pickup. Monte Alban was awesome. Would book again.

One of the best tours I've ever been on: beautiful places and very informative about history and culture.

The guide was so friendly and explains everything well. The places we visited were all worth it.