Monte Alban is one of the first cities in Mesoamerica as well as one of the most powerful, located 10 kilometers outside Oaxaca city at a height of 2,000 meters above sea level. The civilization started around 500 bc by the Zapotec civilization and then eventually was populated by the Mixteca culture. Monte Alban was the seat of power over the central valleys, it`s political influence extending far beyond the walls of it’s city.
San Bartolo Coyotepec
This town has become world famous for it’s hand-made black pottery. One of the most coveted qualities of their black pottery is the shiny finish given to it by rubbing it with a quartz crystal before firing it in an underground homemade kiln.
The famous alebrijes started in Mexico city but it was brought here to Oaxaca by the people of Arrazola and perfected. Practically all of the families in this town make a living by creating these wood carvings most of which are of mystical creatures painted colorfully, an art handed down from generation to generation.
Just stepping in this ex-convent is like stepping back into the 16th century. Never finished for unknown reasons, this beautiful yet ominous construction is a must see whilst here in Oaxaca.