A COMPLETE GUIDE TO MITLA OAXACA!
The Ancient Ruins of Mitla Oaxaca is the second-most important archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca and a must-see during your visit.
Mitla Oaxaca is most famous for its mosaic features which can be seen on the interior and exterior walls of the temple structure.
I have put together this complete guide of Mitla including how to get there, how much it costs and what to expect!
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WHERE IS MITLA OAXACA
The Mitla Ruins are located 43km southeast from Oaxaca City Center in the municipality of San Pablo Villa de Mitla.
Mitla Oaxaca lies in the upper end of the Tlacolula Valley which is one of three valleys that form the Central Valleys Region in the state of Oaxaca.
HOW TO GET TO MITLA OAXACA
There’s a couple of ways that you can reach the Mitla Ruins and they are either DIY or with a tour.
VISIT MITLA OAXACA DIY
If you wish to visit Mitla Oaxaca without a tour, your best option is to rent a car in Oaxaca City Center and make your own way out to this archaeological site.
The drive from Oaxaca City Center to the Mitla Ruins takes approximately 1-hour depending on traffic.
Find All ∼ Car Rentals in Oaxaca City
VISIT MITLA OAXACA WITH A TOUR
The next best option for visiting Mitla Oaxaca (and the way I did it) is with a tour.
There are countless tour companies in Oaxaca City to book a tour to the Mitla Ruins but in my experience, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which one is best.
I recommend booking a tour to Mitla Oaxaca online in advance with Get Your Guide which has great reviews and hundreds of bookings. This will save you from having to haggle for a good price with the local tour companies in the city.
The tour starts with a hotel pick-up from Oaxaca City at around 10:00 am and not only will you get to visit the Mitla Archaeological Site, but the tour also includes a visit to El Tule Tree, Hierve El Agua, Mezcal Factory and Zapotec Village before returning to your hotel in Oaxaca City at around 6:00 pm.
Book Now → Mitla Oaxaca Tour
Wandering around the Mitla Ruins
The colorful Mitla Oaxaca sign
MITLA OAXACA ENTRANCE FEE
The entrance fee at Mitla Ruins is 75 MXN per person and this gives you access to the entire Mitla Archaeological Site.
You can also find a number of small market stalls and ice cream vendors at the entrance to the Mitla Oaxaca if you wish to purchase some hand-made garments or cool off with a refreshing sorbet ice cream.
Iglesia de San Pablo (Church of San Pablo) is situated right next to the Mitla which is worthy of stopping at for a quick photo.
Small markets stalls at Mitla Oaxaca
Iglesia de San Pablo near Mitla
WHAT TO EXPECT AT MITLA OAXACA
Mitla is one of the most well-preserved archaeological sites in the Oaxaca Valley due to the dry climate which has conserved these impressive ruins for thousands of years.
The most famous feature at Grupo del Norte (the main ruins at the Mitla Archaeological Site) is the mosaic stone carvings which you can see on the outer walls and also on the interior walls inside the complex.
Inside the archaeological zone, there are two main structures that were inhabited as far back as 900 BC and it was the main religious center in the area. The site is surrounded by a fence of cactus plants and Iglesia de San Pablo (Church of San Pablo) stands prominently at the north end of Mitla.
RELATED ARTICLE → 4 WEEK MEXICO ITINERARY
Mitla surrounded by cactus plants
Inside the plaza at Mitla Mexico
MITLA OAXACA – CONTINUED
You can simply marvel at the detailed mosaics carvings on the exterior walls of Mitla Oaxaca before climbing up the stairs to the inside of the main plaza.
On the inside, you will find 6 stone columns that are said to weigh up to 18 tonnes and were once used to support the roof of the temple. From here you can enter through another doorway into the square-shaped chamber which boasts more impressive mosaic carvings on the walls.
🏠 Search All → Accommodations in Oaxaca City
The square chamber at Mitla Oaxaca
The internal walls at Mitla Ruins
MITLA ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
The second plaza that lies below the main structure at Mitla houses a couple of tombs that can be accessed via a small set of stairs that lead underground. Unfortunately, you won’t find any human skeletons inside the tombs, just a few dark chambers with carvings on the walls.
It’s a bit of a tight squeeze through the tunnel entrance to the tombs so be sure to mind your head. It’s quite damp and moldy inside which isn’t that ideal so I wouldn’t recommend spending more than a few minutes to take a quick photo and retreat for some fresh air.
Entering the Mitla tombs
Wall carvings inside the Mitla tombs
Dark tunnel inside Mitla Oaxaca
FINAL THOUGHTS OF MITLA OAXACA
If you are a history enthusiast and on a mission to explore as many Mesoamerican ruins in Mexico as you can, then be sure to add Mitla to the list.
As I mentioned earlier, I highly recommend visiting the Mitla Ruins with a tour which also includes a number of must-see tourist attractions in Oaxaca.
This particular tour was the highlight of my visit to Oaxaca and I guarantee you will enjoy Mitla as much as I did.
Book Now → Mitla Oaxaca Tour
PIN LOCATION OF MITLA
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR MITLA OAXACA
Oaxaca City has hundreds of accommodations to choose from so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Oaxaca to suit the needs of luxury travelers and budget backpackers.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: QUINTA REAL OAXACA
Mid Range: Hotel Casa De La Tia Tere
Budget: SELINA HOSTEL
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN OAXACA CITY, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
LONELY PLANET – MEXICO
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Mexico Travel Guide!
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Another great option when searching for accommodation in Oaxaca is to stay in an Airbnb which generally has some great deals!
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MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
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- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
WHAT TO PACK FOR MITLA
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 years worth of content.
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Do you have any questions about Mitla?
Join my Facebook Travel Tribe and send a message at any time for a quick response!
Before you go, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!
I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Mitla, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.