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Monte Alban travel pictures

Monte Alban, an ancient ruin near Oaxaca

Monte Alban is an archaeological site build by the Zapotec located outside of Oaxaca. It is one of the oldest one in Mexico as it was founded around 500 BC. It is build on top of a hill, so it is visible from many places in the surrounding valley. This also means that it is possible to get some nice views from the top of the scenery below.

The whole site has the shape of a large rectangle with on one end the South platform. This pyramid is the largest structure, but has been largely overgrown and lacks the typical layered structure which can be seen in some of the other temples. In the center of Monte Alban there is a large empty field with in the middle three smaller platforms. On both sides of the field there are additional structures which consist of many steps and have been built in a layered fashion. The north platform was more densely built and made up of several structures and there are several stone foundations left. From here it is possible to get a birds eye view of the whole sight which is quite impressive. There is a small museum located near the entrance which is worth a quick visit.

As Monte Alban is located close to Oaxaca it is easily accessible from its city center. There is a shuttle bus which regularly travels between the town and the entrance of Monte Alban. It also acts as a service for the local people which means it stops a few times along the way, but there is no long delay. Normally you will buy a return ticket when you get on. The trip takes only half an hour and drops you off at the entrance. Surprisingly, the archaeological site is not that heavily visited which makes it easy to see everything. In a few hours most of the temples and other buildings can be seen so in total putting half a day a side for this should be enough.


Monte Alban travel photo gallery

 
View over the valley.

View over the valley.

 
Some of the dry vegetation.

Some of the dry vegetation.

 
The town of Oaxaca seen from far.

The town of Oaxaca seen from far.


The photo albums of Mexico 
include: Agua AzulChichen Itza
Tulum and Uxmal.


 
Some smaller structures.

Some smaller structures.

 
A terraced temple in the middle.

A terraced temple in the middle.

 
The west group.

The west group.

 



The central platform.

The central platform.

 
A large stone.

A large stone.

 



Palace of the dancers.

Palace of the dancers.

 
One of the less restored parts.

One of the less restored parts.

 
Fenced off part.

Part of the site which is not accessible.

 
Terraced structure.

Terraced structure.

 
View towards the south platform.

View towards the south platform.

 
Another ancient ruin.

View towards the south platform.

 
View from the highest point.

View from the highest point.

 
Many steps against the backdrop of some mountains.

Many steps against the backdrop of some mountains.

 
Another temple.

Another temple.

 
Some vegetation overgrowing the ruins.

Some vegetation overgrowing the ruins.

 
The plain that makes up the sight.

The plain that makes up the sight.

 
Grass growing on the pyramid.

Grass growing on the pyramid.

 
The flat middle bit.

The flat middle bit.

 



Stairs leading up the south platform.

Stairs leading up the south platform.

 



The largest of all the temples.

The largest of all the temples.

 
Ancient doorway.

Ancient doorway.

 
The north side.

The north side.

 
Ancient pyramid.

Ancient pyramid.

 
Some details of the building techniques.

Some details of the building techniques.

 
Ruins of pillars.

Ruins of pillars.

 
The central platform.

The central platform.

 
The stepped terraces of the east group.

The stepped terraces of the east group.

 
The east group.

The east group.

 
View over the pyramid of the dancers.

View over the pyramid of the dancers.

 
The west side.

The west side.

 
Monte Alban described in one picture.

Monte Alban described in one picture.

 
The view over Monte Alban.

The view over Monte Alban.

 
The smaller pyramids.

The smaller pyramids.

 
Steps of the north side.

Steps of the north side.

 
More of the ruins.

More of the ruins.

 
Small pyramids.

Small pyramids.

 
The north platform.

The north platform.

 
Ruins of the north platform.

Ruins of the north platform.

 
The surrounding scenery.

The surrounding scenery.


Internet sites with travel info for Monte Alban

Some general information about Oaxaca can be found on Wikipedia and the online travel guide of Wikitravel. The city is accessible by plane as 
Oaxaca airport is located nearby. An alternative option is getting in by bus and schedules can be checked on Ticketbus. For those who want some more information it is worth have a look at the Visit Mexico website or the pages of Lonely Planet. It is always worth have a look at the reviews on Virtual tourist for some surprising tips.

Suggested photo albums on Mad Planet Earth

Images of Oaxaca, an attractive and beautiful city with a colonial heart. Images of ancient Teotihuacan, an old settlement outside of Mexico city. Photo album of the Maya ruins and beaches of Tulum.  


Last update: 31/07/2013