The effect of blanching and drying air temperature on nopal pieces was investigated. Their drying behavior in a fluidized bed was studied at four different temperatures (50 ºC, 60 ºC, 70 ºC and 80 ºC). Drying curves were constructed using dimensionless moisture ratio (MR) and time; and their behavior was modeled using Henderson-Pabis, Power, Peleg and Page models. The results indicated that drying took place mainly when the period of drying rate decreased. The moisture effective diffusivity (Def) values varied from 0.818x10-7 to 3.25x10-7 m2 s-1 depending on drying conditions. The activation energy (Ea) values were: 35.85 kJ/mol for the nopal without blanching and 28.21 kJ/mol for the blanching nopal respectively. Peleg and Page´s models were found the most suitable for describing the drying behavior of nopal.