Oaxaca | Vacations and Travel to Oaxaca
If there is one place in Mexico that combines history, color, culture, folklore, archeology, cuisine, textures, viceregal architecture, and a festive, welcoming atmosphere, then it is, without a doubt, Oaxaca.
This charming city, is located in a fertile area at the foot of the legendary Monte Alban mountain. With a pleasant climate, green stone streets, and a rich culture and history, it has everything necessary to win over the hearts of visitors. Oaxaca's historic heritage can be seen throughout the city, as well as in the surrounding valleys that offer a fantastic variety of exciting outdoor adventures and experiences perfect for adrenaline junkies.
Art and Culture
Sixteen different ethnic groups live in Oaxaca, each with its own language and identity. With their own cuisines, colors, and textures, they lend the city a vibrant folkloric atmosphere, and are definitely worth learning about during your visit. A great example of this cultural heritage is Guelaguetza, a colorful festival held every July in the city, which celebrates peace and cooperation, and features all the different ethnic groups as the stars.
One day in the city isn't enough to visit all the churches and convents, museums, galleries, handicraft markets and workshops, without forgetting the most famous archeological sites in the region. A visit to Oaxaca also wouldn't be complete without a visit to the indigenous communities in the area's mountains and valleys, where you can savor delicious food and admire wonderful landscapes, as well as marvel at the creativity of the handicrafts, which have stood out since the pre-Colombian era for their ingenuity, quality, beauty, and colors. Great examples of these include "barro negro" (black clay) pottery from Coyotepec, the "alebrijes" (brightly colored folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures) from Arrazola, and the rugs from Teotitlan.
A Brief History
Even though evidence indicates that the valley where the city is located has been constantly inhabited for about 10,000 years, Oaxaca was not officially founded until 1486 by the Aztecs as a military base used to subjugate the Zapotecs. It was founded once more under the name of Antequera, by the Spanish in 1524, and was used as a base to manage the conquered territory. Oaxaca was constantly fought over by the Zapotec and Mixtec tribes, coveted by the Aztecs, and appreciated by the Spanish, the latter to the degree that the Oaxaca Valley was the only place in the Americas to be granted a Marquisate.
After the Mexican War of Independence the Nahuatl name was restored and it is now one of the best-maintained and most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. Boasting archeological sites, convents that date back to the 16th century, Baroque temples, colonial-era civic buildings and a number of museums, along with neoclassical and art-nouveau style buildings, the city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is also the state capital and the political, cultural, and commercial heart of this unique region.
- · Exquisite cuisine with pre-Colombian roots
- Famous for its viceregal religious art, its architecture, and rich cultural and historic legacy.
- Home of the Guelaguetza festival
- Rich in customs and traditions
- Known for its archeological sites
- Stands out for its wide variety of handicrafts, such as textiles, "alebrijes", and "barro negro"
- Famous for mezcal
Things to do in Oaxaca
- Admire the beauty of the convents and temples, such as the cathedral, the Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude, the Society of Jesus, and Santo Domingo.
- Explore the plazas, Casa de la Cultura, the Oaxaca Culture Institute, the main plaza, Alameda del Leon, and Palacio de Gobierno.
- Discover museums like the Graphic Art Museum, the Oaxaca Culture Museum, the House of Juarez, the Modern Arts Museum, and the Rufino Tamayo Museum.
- See the cultural beauty of the Guelaguetza Festival in July
- Savor delicious local cuisine, such as the mole sauces, quesillo, tlayudas, tamales, snow-cones, and mezcal.
- Go shopping at the markets and buy beautiful handicrafts, such as barro negro pottery and alebrijes.
- Discover the beautiful archeological sites of Monte Alban and Mitla.
- See the famous Tule Tree and take a photo.
If you're looking to enjoy an unforgettable vacation, Oaxaca invites you to delve into its traditions, customs, and delicious cuisine. Come and experience the hospitality of the welcoming local people, and discover the contagious festive spirit that this region of the Mexican southeast is renowned for.
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