Yagul
About
This peaceful archaeological site provides a more picturesque counterpart to its more popular sister site, Monte Alban.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles71 reviews
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Mary K
Grand Junction, CO491 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
Yagul is past Teotitlan to the souteast of Oaxaca. The site is set around a hill and more than 30 tombs have been discovered. You can climb a hill to ruins of the fortress and have a great view of the rest of Yagul. The ceremonial center is a warren of passageways, possibly for defense. I found information on Yagul before we went to Oaxaca, so we went on our own and loved the solitude.
Written 3 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pepper
Seattle, WA1,590 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
This was better than I thought it might be. The ruins are complete enough to see an incredible ball park and maize-- and the fortress like precautions of the buildings- plus the sentry system and views. No, it is not Monte Alban- but it is an important link in understanding the shift of populations over those centuries and what each group added to forward motion , art and architecture. There is a warning at the beginning of the hike- but I am not a hiker and i didn't find it daunting. There are some markers in English- but to really understand this you do need some guides- especially to see the tombs, but also just for general comprehension of the entire area.
Written 24 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KGTraveler_13
Pelham Manor, NY169 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Solo
I had asked the driver of my shared taxi to drop me at Dainzu, an archaeological site in Oaxaca connected to the Olmecs. We chatted about the site and the driver said that it wasn't in many tour books. This surprised me, since I'd read about it in my AAA guidebook. Still, when he passed the signs for Dainzu, insisting the site was further up the road, I figured he knew better than I.

He dropped me at the side of the road and pointed up a hill. "You go about a mile and it'll be there. It's worth the walk," he told me.

So, I did as he said, and after about 20 minutes I arrived at a site with signs that said "Yagul." The informational signs leading from the parking lot to the site entrance talked about a community constructed by the Zapotecs. I was at the wrong archaeological site, but from the looks of things, it seemed serendipity had just paid me a visit.

The ruins at Yagul are not in many tour books (at least not in ones I had read), so the taxi driver had been right about that. They should be, because the efforts to restore buildings and describe life of the Zapotecs is impressive. The maze-like array of structures took me back to Knossos on the island of Crete, in Greece.

After touring the many structures and surrounding grounds, I took the advice of one of the workers and climbing the semi-steep path of the small mountain that rose above the site. "You will have a great bird's eye view when you get to the top." The views from on high, and even from the level of the structures, is simply lovely. You can understand why the Zapotecs situated themselves on the hilltop.

If touring the historic sites of earlier cultures, make sure to stop at Yagul. You will be glad you did.

Written 6 June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kirk E
Santa Fe, NM989 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Couples
Only slightly less impressive than Monte Alban and nearby Mitla, Yagul goes mostly unnoticed by most visitors, making it an ideal place for solitary travelers to experience without the usual hordes of package tourists to distract them. An unmistakable air of neglect hangs over the site: guideposts and explanatory signage have been allowed to weather away to blankness, and rusty padlocks now chain the entrances to once-accessible tombs. It pays to do a little homework on the ruins before visiting to establish some context , but the physical remains are still powerfully evocative, especially the ball court (the second-largest in the Americas after Chichen Itza) and the so-called Palace of Six Courtyards, actually three adjoining residences that offer a fascinating insight into pre-Columbian domestic living arrangements (then as now, life was lived outdoors, with small quarters for occasional sleeping). It pays to make the rather strenuous trek to the mirador, which offers a birds' eye view of the aboriginal architects' spatial genius. Temperatures can get hot very quickly, so be sure to lay on the sunscreen and carry a decent amount of water. Go early for that full Ozymandias experience.
Written 15 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nationalparkslover
Raleigh, NC114 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2012 • Family
These ruins are located at the end of a nondescript side road along the highway between Oaxaca city and the much more touristy and heavily promoted ruins at Mitla. There's little signage or fanfare as you approach. No souvenir shops, taco stands or guide services.

But, oh my, the ruins and the views!!!! Yagul predates Mitla and Monte Alban and, in many ways, though far more modest and rustic in its construction, is much more interesting. The ball court, the labyrinthine ruins of the palace, and the tombs are being meticulously restored and provide an insight into what life was like in a typical rural settlement of the time. It's like a small version of Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado.

The icing on the cake, however, is the hike to the hilltop fortress above the ruins. Your reward for the steep, 25-minute climb are panoramic views of the ruins, the valley and surrounding mountains. And a breeze that is so cool and refreshing it will literally take your breath away.
It's pure magic. And chances are, you'll be among the only people there.

If we had to do this day over, we'd have skipped the overhyped tourist trap that is Mitla and spent more time here at Yagul.
Written 15 August 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WorldTravelsTandJ
Powell River, Canada477 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
Smallest of the 3 and not as well restored overall but worth seeing. Restored ball court and a few looted tombs that you can still see. Not many facilities at the site but some places within 5 minutes drive. Takes about 30 to 60 minutes and usually pretty quiet with no guides available so study up a bit online first. Pretty warm so bring water. If , like me , you are interested in Mexican Archeology, this is a quick stop after visiting Mitla so tie it into the same tour. Hierve Agul was the other thing we did the same day. Took maybe about 7 hours including tours of all 3 areas, pictures and lunch. Arranged through Viajeolgia in the lobby of Hotel Parador Alcala in Oaxaca City. $2000 pesos + entry fees. Very reasonable and convenient for us to see what we wanted , in our own time , without having to be rushed or wait for others. Great experience.
Written 14 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark S
Oaxaca, Mexico107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Solo
Not the grandeur of Monte Albán, this ruin is great for exploring, for wandering over ruins the way an archaeologist might. The views of the valley are extraordinary.
Written 14 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DudefrmAK
Anchorage, AK529 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Friends
This site is not as extensive as Monte Alban -- but it offers some very interesting features and history -- that only can be explored with a knowledgeable guide - there is no attached museum, and the interpretive signage is practically non existent.
That said, a guide will point out the way the buildings are laid out in astronomical perfection, and tell you of the ball game - a game that was facilitated by the technology developed by these "primitive" people - the creation of vulcanize rubber.
You can also learn about how the land was divided in ancient times to prevent the over utilization of resources (ancient markers still exist on the hill tops. And, if you happen to be interested in birds and ecology, you will see what the ancient landscape was like, prior to the clearing for agriculture.
Lots of bird as well!
Take water and a hat or umbrella -- there is NO shade!
Written 6 February 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

D. Aaronson
Asheville, NC677 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Family
Small compared to Monte Alban (maybe the same size as Mitla?) Yagul is about one mile from the main road and somehow that means no one visits. We were the only people at the site while we here. Signage isn't quite as good as Mitla and Alban so if you haven't been there first to learn the parts of the Zapotec city, I'd bring a decent guidebook with you. There is nothing to go into here (like at Mitla) but you can climb the hill to the fortress for great views. It is hot at Yagul, and facilities are minimal. There is a small restroom, no store, no water for sale.
Written 9 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FoodMonsterTravels
Berlin, Germany276 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Couples
This sights gives you wonderful views over the valley and is absolutely worth visiting. However, try to avoid the afternoon heat. A taxi from Tlacolula will drive you there, but ask them for a number to call and pick you up again - otherwise you will have to walk back for almost an hour, if you do not have a car, and the walk did not feel very safe to us (busy road, incredible heat).
Written 16 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Yagul, Tlacolula

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