Shopping at the Mercado :
The "New Market" is located by the second class buss station.
Here you will find a huge market place including vendors from the
surrounding Indian villages.
The "Mercado Benito Juarez" just Southwest of the zocalo
downtown still sells most of the village crafts along with fruits,
vegetables, clothing, leather goods, and jewelry. When trying to
get a bargain here, you would be well advised to dress down for the
day and remove any expensive jewelry, cameras, & etc.. You should
also be willing to make a counter offer for less than you would like
to pay -- you may then be able to negotiate a price that you will
be pleased with.
Alcala Street North of Independencia is a pedestrianized shopping
street for Mexican and Oaxacan crafts. The prices will be higher
than in the nearby villages where the individual crafts are made,
but if you don't have time to go to each village to buy a rug here
and a piece of pottery there, the convenience of having so many things
on one street may be worth the extra price.
Cathedrals to see :
Santo Domingo: 4 blocks north of
the zocalo on Alcala (no sightseeing during mass), considered to
be one of the most elaborately decorated churches in the world, dripping
with gold taken from the Indians.
Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Solidad: In 1620 an image miraculously
appeared in a box on the back of a mule. The church was then built
and the Virgin de la Solidad became Oaxaca's patron saint. The church
is elaborately decorated and has a statue of the Virgin de la Solidad
for the Catholics to pray to.
Monte Alban :
Monte Alban is built at the junction of three broad valleys on the
top of a mountain which the Zapotecs leveled off and built a great
city which once ruled the entire region. No visit to Oaxaca can be
considered to be complete without visiting Monte Alban. For more
information on visiting this archaeological site, see our page on Monte
The ancient city of Mitla was occupied until the 16th century when
the Spaniards destroyed or dismantled an Indian building in order
to use the foundation and many of the cut bricks from the original
city to build a cathedral. What we would now call the Town of Mitla
grew up around the ruins (and cathedral) which makes an interesting
contrast between a once beautiful and great city in ruins and the
current city which has never regained the stature of the pre-Spanish
era. If you have the time, this is the number two (after Monte Alban)
must see site near Oaxaca. For more information on visiting this
archaeological site, see our page on Mitla.