Is Mexico on your bucket list?
It sure is on mine. Not only because of it’s pyramids, I have always been fascinated by this country so rich in history. One of the beautiful places to see in Mexico is Oaxaca (pronounced wa-hah-kah).
Oaxaca is located 300 miles south of Mexico City and due to it’s altitude of 5000 feet above sea level the climate is mild all year round. The city was founded in 1529 and designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. You will not only love the rich culture and history but you can also indulge in delicious food and dive into a different world.
Watch this video and see for yourself!
If you love art, visit Oaxaca’s Contemporary Art Museum, known as “MACO”. It is housed in a beautiful colonial mansion on Macedonio Alcala between Murguia and Morelos street. It is one of the oldest buildings of the city and was built between the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century.
See one of the most magnificent examples of baroque architecture in the area and visit Santo Domingo church and it’s adjoining former convent. It now houses the Santo Domingo Cultural Center which includes the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, an ancient library and an Ethnobotanical garden in the area that was once the convent’s orchard.
History & archaeology
For me this would be one of the main reasons to visit Oaxaca and Mexico in general. The most majestic of Oaxaca’s ancient ruins is Monte Alban, the White Mountain. It is an ancient Zapotec capital overlooking the valleys of Oaxaca. As one of the culturally and historically significant places in Mexico it was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
28 miles southeast of Oaxaca city you will find San Pablo Villa de Mitla, home to the impressive Mitla archaeological site. Mitla was once an important Zapotec religious and ceremonial center and was designated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
Visit the markets
To really experience Mexico you cannot miss the several markets in Oaxaca. Visit the Juarez and the 20 de noviembre markets, just a few blocks away from the main square. Dive into an abundance of colors, flavors, scents and textures. Buy some black clay pottery and some alebrijes – colorful painted animal carvings – to remember the trip or enjoy a delicious meal to take home vivid memories of your journey.
Of course one festivity comes to mind immediately. The Day of the Dead or Día de Muertos with it’s sugar sculls, skeletons and thousands of flowers. But there are many more occasions to celebrate. One of them is “Gueleguetza” or “The Mondays on the Hill Festival”. On Oaxaca’s biggest festivity the different peoples of the area celebrate their pride in their customs, cuisine and culture in a grand open-air theatre. There the seven regions of the state also share their dances and flavours of the mestizo cuisine with the visitors.
In Oaxaca culinary customs have been kept alive over generations. Since you’re on vacation, why not start with the dessert? Sit in the garden of the Temple of Solitude and enjoy and delicious rose petal sorbet! If you like it more hearty, enjoy your meal with one of 7 different types of “mole”, a rich sauce made of ground chilies and a multitude of other ingredients. Try “Tejate” a cold drink made out of ground cacao, blended with corn water. Of course you also should not miss out on “Mezcal”, a spirit handcrafted in Oaxacan villages and made out of the agave plant.
You want to relax? Visit a spa
In Oaxaca you will find quiet and exclusive spa hotels to be pampered and forget about any stress of the outside world for a while. The sunny climate all year round and the beautiful lanscape will do the rest to make you feel good.
Go to the beach
The state surrounding the city is called Oaxaca as well. If you want to enjoy some beach time and not worry about anything, go and visit Chahue Beach, located only one mile from Santa Cruz Huatulco. Swim in beautifully warm waters with moderate waves or take a walk on the 1,968 feet long beach with it’s special kind of grain which makes it soft to walk on.
Have you been to Mexico?
Have you already had the chance to visit Mexico or do you still want to go? What do you think would be the most interesting part of your journey? Leave me a comment below!
This article is supported by Red Pineapple Media.
- Outdoors photo shoot with Tre - October 15, 2017
- Beach photo shoot with Kyra - February 24, 2017
- An all-rounder for travelers – The ASUS T300 Chi - May 23, 2015
Yes, I’ve been in Mexico, I spent 6 months there about a year ago. Mexico is a fascinating country and is overall my favourite so far, for many reasons: history, architecture, food, culture, people. I really missed Mexico and all its qualities as I travelled in Central America… but now I’m in Colombia and it reminds me a lot of Mexico on many aspects.
I also visited Oaxaca and Monte Alban last January. The historic part of Oaxaca is nice and rich in beautiful architecture. The site of Monte Alban is very interesting, especially because it is the crossroads of three major civilizations who inhabited pre-Hispanic Mexico. The only downside of the location is that it’s filled with expats in winter (because of its perfect weather) and you see and hear English on many occasions. Because of the size of Oaxaca, it’s not as bad as other spots in Mexico, but still a bit distracting if what you want is to immerge in the local culture.
My summary on this UNESCO combined site
At the moment I am in Mexico and I live in Cancun for a while. This weekend I travelled to Tulum, which I really recommend for those who loves the hippie style. You can visit Chichen Itza (one of the seven world wonders), the fullmoonparty (with beautiful lights on the trees), the real Mexican lifestyle, you can rent a bike and go wherever you want.. It is a Little and cozy town but still a lot to do and to see.
I’ve never been to Mexico but UNESCO sights always grab my attention. They get that title for a good reason.
A Day of the Dead you say, wow, I bet that is a lot of fun.