If you want the whole Backpacking México adventure, you must add the archaeological sites to your itinerary, their a huge and magical fragment of the country, your experience wouldn’t be complete without them, here are some of the ruins I visited and that I highly recommend.

-Monte Albán-

Known as the main archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca, Monte Albán is a stop that you must not disregard, it’s located approximately 6 miles away from Oaxaca city and the views are just magnificent from up there. The multiple structures hold a very distinct and diverse touch of ancient civilizations including the Olmec, Zapotec and Mixtec culture.

Getting there: you can get there by car or like me in a tour bus (this is not an actual tour, it’s more of a transportation service and you can ask around the city for them, there is plenty of options), the cost for a roundtrip was less than $80 pesos, the bus took around 30 min to get to the site. The entrance fee is around $70 pesos but sunday’s are free of charge for Mexican citizens & if you’re going with children, students or seniors don’t forget the ID’s, there’s discounts.

Time: the site it’s generally open from 8am to 5pm and I’ll say that 3 hours it’s a good amount of time if you want to explore calmly around the ruins and enter the museum.


Located approximately 30 miles away from Oaxaca city, also acknowledge as “place of the dead” and well known for it’s Zapotec origin. This site is the second major set of ruins in the state, the structures are divided in five main groups: “grupo de las columnas, de las iglesias, del arroyo, de los adobes y grupo sur.” I have to admit I absolutely adored the enchanting little town of San Pablo de Mitla,  it has a welcoming way. I had the opportunity to visit the town in their “Guelaguetza” and I just wanna say that the ice cream was ridiculously tasty.

Getting there: driving, getting a taxi or taking the “colectivo” bus are all ways to get to Mitla, I took the colectivo from Oaxaca city that leaves you just outside the entrance of the town, it took around 1 hour 30 min. I walked from the town entrance to the ruins that are just above the church like 20 min away from the town entrance, but you can also take a “moto taxi” (tiny red taxis) that charge you $10 pesos to take you to the archaeological site. Just like other parks Mitla has discounts for children, students and seniors with an official ID, and Sunday’s are free of charge for mexican citizens.

Time: the site opens daily from 8am to 5pm, Mitla is quite small so an hour and a half will do just fine to explore the different groups of ruins.


The amazing architectural structures surrounded by huge trees and jungle feels made of this site one of my favorites stops. Palenque is located in the beautiful state of Chiapas, very well known for being backpacker friendly. The energy all around the site is just indescribable, I felt extremely small-scale and at the same time part of sometime monumental. I stayed in a little cabin in the middle of the jungle just outside the archeological site and I loved it, the monkey noises at night were something else and just across the street was this pleasing restaurant/bar called “Don Muchos” where they do the most amazing dances and have live music at night (be sure to get there early because it get’s quite full and don’t forget to take cash with you).

Getting there: I arrived to Palenque by car, the owner of my Hostel in San Cristobal de las Casas had that service and because it was already late in the morning I decided to take it (if you’re driving be sure to know exactly where you’re going or take a guide with you, the road it’s not the safest from San Cristobal de las Casas to Palenque), but you can also take a bus to the city depending on where you’re at and a taxi or bus to the ruins. The cost to enter the site goes around $70 pesos, but don’t forget the ID’s for children, student and senior discount.

Time: It’s open Monday to Sunday from 8am to 5pm, Palenque it’s big and most of the structures you can actually climb, so I recommend you to have at least 3 hours in consideration to spend in the park, be sure to take comfy shoes for the jungle bits.

Palenque-Chichén Itzá-

Has to be the most famous archeological site in the country, known as one of 7 new wonders of the world. Located in the state of Yucatan, get’s a substancial amount of visitors each year. The Maya civilization left a mark on me, the level of organization and hierarchy that you can perceive just by looking at the details in each construction it’s remarkable. If you look into their history you’ll find out that they were fond of rituals and sacrifices, exceptional mathematicians, astronomers, builders and athletes.

Getting there: I arrived in Cancún by plane and rented a car to drive to Chichén Itzá but only because I was planning on visiting more places along the way, bus ride or agency tour are both great ways to get to the site. If you’re planning on renting a car the parking fee is $30 pesos and the cost to enter the park is around $240 pesos foreigners and $160 Mexican citizens (the fee is split in two and you’ll have to pay in two different windows),  for children under 13 and seniors with and ID the entrance is Free.

Time: the park opens seven day’s a week from 8am to 5pm, If you only seeing the ruins 2-3 hours would be fine (the line to enter is normally long so consider some time for that too).

I hope this information is useful for your next adventure, be sure to let me know how it goes.



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