Monte Alban & Santa Maria Atzompa
The ruined city of Monte Albán once served as the ancient capital of the Zapotecs between 500 B.C. and 800 A.D.
At its height, more than 40,000 residents inhabited the city. Today visitors can tour the site; points of interest on the Grand Plaza include temples, palaces, bas-reliefs of human figures known as the “danzantes” (the dancers), a ball court, an observatory, and tombs that once held gold, silver, jade, alabaster and turquoise treasures (now housed at the Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo in Oaxaca City).
To the west of Monte Albán lies the town of Santa Maria Atzompa (pop. 5000). This pueblo is famed for the green-glazed pottery that many of its citizens produce. The tours offered through our Spanish language school provide you with the opportunity to view the process of making the pottery and also buy directly from the artisans.