Anyone who has been to Oaxaca Mexico will tell you that it is one
of their favorite destinations in Mexico.
Why do people love Oaxaca?
Lets start with the fact that its elevation (5085 ft. or 1550 m.)
makes it a nice escape from the heat along the coast. Oaxaca is a
comfortable temperate climate that is not too hot in the summer and
not too cool in the winter. That is where having a good time while
getting out and about begins.
Spanish colonial architecture with cathedrals like Santo Domingo
which they began building in 1572 and took 200 years to complete.
Not to mention the sidewalks cut from green volcanic rock or the
beautiful zocalo surrounded by historic buildings.
Then there are the festivals . . . and Oaxaca doesn't just do famous
ones like the "Day of the Dead" like no other, but they
seem to have an especially long list of festivals, celebrations and
holidays that give them another excuse to take time off work and
party. So the odds that you will find something going on while you
are here is good.
One of the most valued experiences in Oaxaca is visiting the various
Indian villages where the wares sold in the local Mercado are made
by local artisans. The most unique of these include :
- Teotitlan de Valle where they make genuine Zapotecan rugs famed
for their natural dyes and hand made quality.
- San Bartolo Coyotepec where they make the famed black pottery
from a clay found only in this area . . . They add fuel to the
fire and close the doors to infuse the pottery with carbon from
smoke and burnished the pottery with a quartz stone which gives
it a metal sheen.
Are there any ruins to see? You bet! The Oaxaca valley has been
inhabited for thousands of years. The ruins at San Jose Mogote (now
just a collection of mounds), just a few kilometers north of Oaxaca
Mexico dates back over 3 thousand years. The height of civilization
in Oaxaca can be seen at the ruins of Monte
Alban which are on a mountain overlooking Oaxaca City. Monte
Alban seems to have been the dominant city in the area from around
450 BC to 700 AD. By 800 AD, the city of Monte Alban was abandoned
while the cities of Mitla and Yagul continued
to grow and prosper (at least until the arrival or conquest of the
And don't even get me started on the food, local raw chocolate or
coffee. Oaxaca is famous for its cuisine as well.