If you are looking to visit an archeological site outside Oaxaca City and want to avoid having tchotchkes thrust into your face on the way up to the gate, you should consider visiting Yagul. First, pack some water and a snack because there isn’t anything to eat or drink at the site.
If you are sans vehicle like we are, the best way to get to Yagul is to walk south on Niños Heroes past the baseball stadium. You should see a crowd of people on the corner waiting for buses and taxis. Wait for a bus that reads “Tlacolula” and “Mitla” on the windshield. See the example below.
When the man comes around collecting pesos, tell him you are headed to Yagul and pay whatever he tells you. We paid around 16 pesos per person. A few kilometers outside of Tlacolula, there will be a sign over the highway that reads “Yagul” with an arrow pointing down a two-lane road. They should holler at you when the stop comes up, but be ready to jump off the bus. Scamper across the highway in the direction of the arrow. Be careful when crossing the road. Most vehicles are travelling at top speed.
As you take off down the road, look to the right and check out the paintings on the cliff. If you don’t feel like making the two kilometer uphill trek, you might see some guys in a green minivan who will offer you a ride for a modest fee. I recommend walking and checking out the surroundings. A ticket to get through the gate will run you about 45 pesos. If you hear gunshots, don’t be too alarmed. It’s only a firing range a short distance away. Judging by the absence of bullet holes in the north wall of the ruins, the folks who go shooting down there have good marksmanship skills. A few of the features I enjoyed were giant ant hills, massive cacti and the trail behind the complex that leads to a lookout point over the entire valley.
After hiking back to the highway, we waited on the side of the road and saw a collectivo flash its lights at us, giving us the signal there was room for three gringos in the taxi. The fare to continue on to Mitla was 10 pesos per person. After gorging ourselves at La Choza, we rode in a mototaxi for a nominal fee to where the buses pick up passengers heading back to Oaxaca City. If it happens to be Sunday and it’s still relatively early, I recommend stopping in Tlacolula for market day before heading back into Oaxaca.
inside the mototaxi
outside the mototaxi
the return bus