Oaxaca Day tripPosted: November 9, 2019
The pre-Columbian archeological site of Monte Alban is just a quick twenty minute bus ride from Oaxaca City, but it seems a million miles away. The bus from the city transports you away from the crowds and noise, chugging up and up towards the clouds, and eventually lets you off at the base of a vast plateau. From there you climb a little more on foot, past the vendors selling bracelets and hats and pottery, past the ticket window, to what was, thousands of years ago, the centre of Zapotec civilization.
The site is vast, and requires several hours to see all of the monuments, carved stones and other structures. The best views of the plaza and surrounding hills of the Oaxaca Valley are found at the tops of the North and South Platforms. I climbed what seemed like a million high and narrow steps to sketch these two views, but it was worth it. From atop these platforms, besides getting to practice your one-point perspective, you get an incredible sense of how much construction went into levelling the mountain to create this site. And you meet tons of other tourists who are quite content to sit and watch someone sketch while they also catch their breath at the top.