One of the main attractions included in our itinerary in Oaxaca, México is a stop at Monte Albán. This archaeological site is one of the earliest cities in Mesoamerica: imagine walking in the same place as the people from an ancient Zapotec city, built over 2000 years ago!
Monte Albán is located about 30 minutes or so outside the city center of Oaxaca. We'll have breakfast in the hotel before heading out for this morning excursion. Upon arrival, we'll follow our guide through the site to learn more about the existing structures and also the buildings that once stood in this city in the mountains. We'll learn about the Zapotec culture and the people who once lived here while enjoying the beautiful nature scenes surrounding Monte Albán.
Travel tip: don’t forget a hat and sunscreen! It sounds simple, but it can be too easy to forget the basics when you're rushing out the hotel door in the morning.
I did remember my hat, but unfortunately, it wasn’t wide enough to cover my shoulders, so I was constantly putting on sunscreen. Bring along a small bag to pack a few items like a hat, sunscreen, and cash to buy snacks or water at the site entrance. As for what to wear, we'll be walking for a few hours in the sun with little to no shade, so wear comfortable shoes and clothes.
Remember, this tour will be given in Spanish! Since we only have a week in Oaxaca, the majority of activities are conducted in Spanish for maximum immersion opportunities.
Language tip: look up a few facts about Monte Albán before heading to Oaxaca. There are many benefits to learning about specific sites before you travel. With more knowledge about your destination, you may find you have a deeper appreciation while on the tour, as you come with a baseline understanding of the cultural or historial significance. Learning about Monte Albán in English can also help your comprehension of the Spanish tour. You’ll have some basic information about the site that can guide your understanding, even if you don't catch everything.
And if you don't understand the whole tour, that's okay! The path to language fluency involves being comfortable with the uncomfortable, such as immersing yourself in a Spanish tour, even if you sometimes feel lost. Full comprehension is not the goal. Sometimes the goal is allowing yourself (and being brave enough!) to jump right in and stretch your skills.
Want to learn more about Monte Albán? Here are a few websites to check out:
¿Qué esperas? ¡Vamos de viaje!