Is Oaxaca Worth Visiting?

Absolutely! Oaxaca is one of the most visited cities in Mexico. Its amazing cultural legacy, historic sites, culinary delights, natural beauty, ancient ruins, thriving art scene and warm friendliness make it a must-do visit if exploring Mexico. Oaxaca has something for everyone, including history buffs, foodies, art lovers, and adventurers. So pack your luggage and prepare to discover this enchanting city and its surrounding beauty.

Here’s why this enchanting destination should be on your travel list.

Oaxaca is known for its rich cultural traditions and indigenous history. The city is home to various indigenous cultures, each with their own customs, dialects, and crafts. Visitors may visit bustling markets like Mercado Benito Juárez and Mercado 20 de Noviembre, where local craftsmen sell handcrafted textiles, pottery, and other goods. The annual Guelaguetza festival, which celebrates Oaxacan culture via traditional music, dancing, and costumes, is not to be missed.

Walking through Oaxaca's historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is like going back in time. The city is full with well-preserved colonial architecture, including stunning cathedrals, convents, and plazas. The Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church, with its breathtaking baroque front and detailed interior, is a must-see. Nearby, the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, built in a former convent, has fascinating displays about the region's history and culture.

Oaxaca is commonly referred to as Mexico's gastronomic capital, and with reason. The city is well-known for its variety and tasty food, which includes popular dishes like mole, tlayudas, and chapulines (grasshoppers). Local markets, street food vendors, and fine dining establishments serve these classic delicacies. Oaxaca is also known for its mezcal, a traditional Mexican drink derived from agave. Visitors can take tours of local mezcal distilleries to learn about the production process and sample different kinds.

The region surrounding Oaxaca is rich in natural beauty, offering numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures. Hierve el Agua, a natural rock formation with petrified waterfalls and mineral-rich pools, is a stunning sight and perfect for a day trip. The Sierra Norte mountains provide excellent hiking and biking trails, where you can explore lush forests and encounter diverse wildlife. For a more relaxing experience, the nearby town of Mitla offers thermal springs and beautiful scenery.

Oaxaca is rich in ancient history, having several important archaeological sites nearby. Monte Albán, an ancient Zapotec metropolis and UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Mesoamerica's most prominent ruins. Perched on a hilltop, it provides panoramic views of the surrounding regions. Mitla, another important archaeological site, is notable for its distinctive mosaic patterns and well-preserved architecture. These sites reveal fascinating details about the region's pre-Hispanic civilizations.

Oaxaca has a thriving art scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and street art to explore. The city is home to many talented artists who draw inspiration from the region’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore contemporary art at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO) or visit the workshops of local artists. Street art enthusiasts will enjoy the colourful murals that adorn the city’s walls, reflecting social and political themes.

The people of Oaxaca are renowned for their friendliness and hospitality. Visitors are often greeted warmly and invited to participate in local customs and celebrations. Whether you're conversing with a vendor at the market or learning how to manufacture traditional crafts with a local craftsman, the pleasant and welcoming character of the Oaxacan people adds a unique dimension to your travel experience.


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