Monte Alban - Explore the Ruins of the Ancient Maya City in Mexico

Monte Alban - Explore the Ruins of the Ancient Maya City

As a budget traveler, I always try to find interesting and affordable places to visit. One such place in Mexico that is definitely worth seeing is Monte Alban. It is an ancient Mayan city located on a hill, overlooking the Oaxaca Valley.

Monte Alban - Mayan ruins in the heart of Mexico

This is a place that will definitely make an impression on you, both because of its history and the beautiful landscapes you'll see standing on top of this hill.

How to get to monte alban?

The first step to visit Monte Alban is to get to the city of Oaxaca. The cheapest way to get to Oaxaca is by bus. Ticket prices depend on the distance, but usually range between 100 and 200 pesos (about $3-$5). Taxis are also available, but they cost around 200 pesos (about $5). Once in Oaxaca, you can rent a bike or take public transport to get to Monte Alban. Bus tickets or bike rentals start at 20 pesos (about $1).

What to see in monte alban?

  • Pyramid on the hilltop - this is undoubtedly the most important point in Monte Alban. Climbing to the top, you can admire the beautiful landscapes in the Oaxaca Valley. It's worth bringing a camera because the views are truly amazing.
  • Museum - it is located on the Monte Alban site and is one of the best museums in Mexico when it comes to Mayan culture. In the museum, you can see many artifacts related to the history of Monte Alban.
  • Great Plaza - this is the place where ceremonies and assemblies took place in ancient times. Today, it is one of the largest squares in Monte Alban.
  • Ball game - in ancient Mexico, ball game was a very important event that took place on special fields. Monte Alban has one of these fields, which is well preserved.
  • Ceremonial bath - this is the place where Monte Alban residents bathed before ceremonies and sacrifices. Today, you can see its remains.
  • Hill of the Cave - this is where the ruins of a building that once served as a food storage place are located. It's worth a visit because it is one of the best-preserved buildings in Monte Alban.
  • Cave - there is a cave under the hill that you can enter and explore its interior. However, it's important to remember that the entrance to the cave is payable and costs about 10 pesos (less than $1).
Discover the beauty of the ancient Mayan city in the heart of Mexico. Visit Monte Alban on a low budget and taste local dishes.

In addition to visiting Monte Alban itself, there are many other attractions in the area that are worth seeing. One such place is the city of Oaxaca, which is famous for its beautiful colonial architecture, traditional market, and numerous museums. In the center of the city, there is the Cathedral of St. Dominic, one of the most important monuments in Oaxaca. It's also worth visiting the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Abstract Art, where you can see many works of Mexican and world art.

Another attraction is Hierve el Agua, natural limestone pools that were formed over thousands of years of erosion. It's a perfect place to relax and rest among the beautiful nature. You can also admire amazing views of the Oaxaca Valley there.

If you enjoy active recreation, I recommend taking a hike to the village of Teotitlan del Valle, where you can see traditional textiles and crafts. You can also go for a hike in the surrounding hills to admire the beautiful landscapes and see many traditional homes and chapels.

In summary, the Monte Alban area is full of beautiful places and attractions that are worth seeing. Not only Monte Alban, but also the city of Oaxaca, Hierve el Agua, and the village of Teotitlan del Valle are places that will surely impress you and allow you to get to know the culture and beauty of Mexico.

What is worth to visit in Monte Alban?

Food to try in monte alban

After a full day of exploring the ruins of Monte Alban, you will surely be hungry. Luckily, there are many places in Oaxaca where you can try local dishes. The most famous dish in Oaxaca is mole, a sauce made from various ingredients such as chocolate, nuts, chili, and many others. You can get it in most restaurants in Oaxaca, but it's best to go to Mercado 20 de Noviembre, where there are many stalls with traditional dishes, including mole. You can also try tamales, traditional Mexican cakes with filling, served with salsa and guacamole.

In addition to mole and tamales, you can also try other local dishes in Oaxaca. One of them is chiles en nogada, grilled peppers stuffed with meat, nuts, and dried fruits, served with pomegranate and walnut sauce. This dish is very popular during the pomegranate season, which begins in August and lasts until the end of October.

Another option is enchiladas, tortillas with meat or cheese, topped with salsa and sprinkled with cheese. In Oaxaca, enchiladas are served with traditional mole sauce, which gives them a unique flavor. You can also try tlayudas, large, crispy tortillas with cheese, beans, meat, and salsa.

In addition to restaurants, it's also worth checking out local markets, where you can try fresh fruits and vegetables, traditional sweets such as alegrías (sweet balls made from amaranth), or drinks such as horchata (a rice and cinnamon-based drink) or tejate (a drink made from cocoa and cornmeal).

Monte Alban, Meksyk

Accommodation in monte alban and surrounding areas - hotels, hostels, and homes

If you're planning to visit Monte Alban and the surrounding areas, it's worth considering accommodation nearby. There are many accommodation options in Oaxaca, including hotels, hostels, and apartments. However, if you're looking for a quieter alternative, I recommend staying in one of the villages around Monte Alban.

San Felipe del Agua, Tule, and Tlacochahuaya are villages located near Monte Alban, where you can find many charming houses for rent. These are perfect places to relax in the midst of beautiful nature and peaceful rural life.

If you prefer a more luxurious stay, it's worth considering staying at one of the hotels in Oaxaca. There are many beautiful hotels in the city center, such as Casa Oaxaca, Hotel Azul Oaxaca, or Quinta Real Oaxaca.

However, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, it's worth staying at one of the hostels in Oaxaca, such as Hostal Casa del Sol, Casa Angel Hostel, or Hostal Chocolate.


When traveling to Monte Alban and its surroundings, it's important to remember the basic rules of safety. Mexico is unfortunately associated with a certain level of crime, but proper precautions can help avoid danger.

First of all, always keep important documents and money with you, preferably in a safe in the hotel or other secure place. It's also worth avoiding lonely places, especially after dark, and not carrying valuables such as jewelry or electronics.

If you are driving in Mexico, it's worth choosing main roads and avoiding smaller, more remote roads. It's also worth using the services of local guides who know the area and can help avoid danger.

Mayan ruins in Monte Alban, Mexico

It's always important to remember basic safety precautions when traveling to Mexico, including Monte Alban and its surroundings. Avoiding lonely places, keeping important documents and money in a safe place, and using local guides are just a few examples of the precautions that should be taken.


Monte Alban is definitely one of the places worth visiting during a trip to Mexico. Not only because of its history and beautiful landscapes, but also because it is one of the most important cultural sites in Mexico. However, it is important to remember to bring comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and water, as visiting the ruins can be tiring, especially on hot days.

Finally, if you want to save some money, I recommend traveling by bus and renting a bike or using public transportation. Not only will you save money, but you'll also have the opportunity to see more local attractions along the way. It's also worth trying local street food to get a taste of Mexican culture and cuisine.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!

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