Oaxaca City, built according to a grid pattern, is a prime example of Spanish colonial town planning mixed with the colorful, ancient Mexican culture. The solidity and volume of its buildings show that these were built specifically for this earthquake-prone region.
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and located in the depression formed between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre del Sur, the city of Oaxaca is composed of two distinct cultural sites, the historic center of Oaxaca de Juárez and the Mexican ruins of Monte Alban.
Not far from the city, Monte Alban is the most important archaeological site of the Valley of Oaxaca. Inhabited over a period of 1,500 years ago, the terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds of Monte Alban were carved out of the mountain.
The archaeological site is known for its unique dimensions which exhibit the basic chronology and artistic style of the region as well as for the remains of magnificent temples, ball court, tombs and bas-reliefs with hieroglyphic inscriptions. Excellent planning is evidenced in the position of the buildings erected north to south, harmonized with both empty spaces and volumes.
The site showcases the remarkably advanced architecture of ancient Mesoamerica and as a result, today it is counted as an integral part of the ever popular, international ecotourism market. Monte Alban, meaning white mountain, is an archaeological wonder and should be part of any itinerary that includes this region of Mexico.