Oaxaca Guide for pre-Hispanic Ruins Lovers



Description:

Oaxaca has so much history. Let's keep in mind the region has been ocupied for centuries, and all the civilizations that stablished here left us something to admire them for.
For this guide I'd recomend to rent a car, specially because on day 1 and 3 you'll be moving around a lot.

Author: VicaAmuchastegui


Day 1 - Oaxaca, Oaxaca City


This is the first day of our adventure as pyramids explorers, as pre-Hispanic sculpture searchers, as archaeologic explorers. So it’s only fair toady we visit the two most important Mesoamerican sites in Oaxaca: Monte Alban and Mitla.
They are both magnificent. Monte Alban is, next to Teotihuacan close to Mexico City, Chichen Itza in Yucatan and Palenque in Chiapas, the most important site in Mexico. And as soon as you get there you’ll discover why. First of all the view from the ruins is amazing, but is the ruins itself what will take your breath away.
As for Mitla, this is a magical place. Experts haven’t been able to agree on why do these buildings have those amazing designs and graphics. They seem to be taken out from the most modern design book, but they were made centuries ago. So what’s their secret? What is this religious center hiding? Hope you’ll be able to find something none of us have, and when you do, please tell us! But if you don’t, that’s ok, just enjoy. Submerge your self in these good vibe center.
Hope you enjoy day 1!


1

Monte Alban

expert pick

Location:

N/A Road to Monte Alban
Oaxaca, Mexico


2

Mitla

expert pick

Location:

Carretera Oaxaca - Mitla Km 42
San Pablo de Mitla, Oaxaca
70438 Oaxaca City, Mexico


Day 2 - Oaxaca


So, yesterday we went to Monte Alban and Mitla, and now, for sure, you are even more in love with the Zapotec and the Mixtec civilizations. Today we’ll stay in Oaxaca City, but we’ll continue admiring these civilizations.
First stop is the Santo Domingo Temple. Ok, this has nothing to do with the pre-Hispanic world, but we can’t go to the next stop, being just next to this church, without actually going in. Some people consider Santo Domingo as the most beautiful magnificent and important Colonial church in Mexico. You be the judge, and don’t forget to look up as you’re entering, a big surprise awaits you.
Now we can continue our archaeological tour. The Centro Cultural Santo Domingo has the treasure found in a tomb in Monte Alban, Surely you heard about it yesterday, and you probably wondered about the many ornaments, jewels and art pieces found in there. So here’s your chance to admire them! This Cultural Center has so much more than just the treasure from Monte Alban, so be sure to visit it calmly.
And now, off to the Rufino Tamayo museum. This one you’ll love. Rufino Tamayo was one of the most important artists in Modern Mexico, and is still a big influence in the contemporary art. He was a big mesoamerican collector, so before he died, he left all his collection to the people of Oaxaca and founded this museum. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and be left wanting more.


1

Centro Cultural Santo Domingo

expert pick

Location:

Macedonio Alacalá n/n
Oaxaca, Mexico


2

Templo de Santo Domingo

expert pick

Location:

Macedonio Alacalá n/n
Corner of Gurrión and Alcalá
Oaxaca, Mexico

Contact:

tel: No phone


3

Rufino Tamayo Museum

Location:

Av. Morelos 503
North of the zócalo between Tinoco y Palacios and Porfirio Díaz
Oaxaca, Mexico

Contact:

tel: 951/516-4750


Day 3 - Oaxaca


Today we’re going to visit some smaller sites than Monte Alban and Mitla, but still important and special.
Zaachila was the place the Zapotecs moved after abandoning Monte Alban (ecxperts haven’t been able to agree on why), and it was the last important city before the dawn of the civilization. Zaachila is famous for its tombs, specially the bats on some of them. You’ll what I’m talking about.
After Zaachila we’re going to Cuilapan, one of the oldest churches in the State. This XVI convent was never finished, but that doesn’t make it less beautiful, in fact, I think is part of its attractive. But if you are still wishing for some more ruins, inquire about the ruins nearby, some almost unexplored Zapotec trace.
And before we head back to Oaxaca City, lest’s make one last stop at Yagul, the beautiful site with more tombs, designs and buildings. This is the newest mexican addition to the World Heritage List, so it must have something, don’t you agree? Also, if you have time and still want to see more, ask about the near by prehistoric caves, also appointed World Heritage Site
I hope you had a great, adventurous and filled of pre-Hispanic history trip. Come back soon!


1

Zaachila

Location:

Sierra Madre del Sur, and 7 mi/11.3 km S of Oaxaca
Oaxaca, Mexico


2

Cuilapan

Location:

Km10 highway to Zaachila
Oaxaca, Mexico


3

Yagul

Location:

KM 36 Carrtera Federal 190
Oaxaca, Mexico


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