When it comes to tourism, the images usually associated with Mexico are the pristine beaches of Cancun and the colorful town fiestas of the interior. What visitors usually forget is that Mexico has a long and ancient history that dates as far back as before Columbus arrived in the Americas. Ancient history buffs and those who enjoy places with character, as Mexico does, offers a wide array of places that can rival even the best of Rome and Greece. One of these places is Mitla.
Mitla is the name that has been given to a site of archaeological interest located in the town of San Pablo Villa de Mitla. This town is in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. It receives its acclaim for having a number of well-tended and intact Mesoamerican buildings from the Pre-Columbian era. Actually, unlike most towns with ancient structures, Mitla is a functioning town in the present-day. The town of San Pablo Villa de Mitla has a population of just almost 8,000 and is located about 45 km from the state capital. The people in Mitla speak a Zapotec language variant. The visitor attractions of pre-Hispanic buildings are found at the town’s north end. Stone mosaics adorn these buildings, which have been an inspiration for some if the world’s most famous artists, including Frank Lloyd Wright.
Aside from the impressive buildings, Mitla also houses a small museum full of ancient artifacts. There is also a small outdoor market on Saturdays, where visitors can also buy indigenous products. There are also a number of “palenques” in the area. These are manual producers of mezcal, a drink that is produced from the heart of the agave plant. Have a drink for that authentic ancient Mexican experience!