Oaxaca City – Culturally Rich & Vivid

Oaxaca is located about 300 miles south of Mexico City and the two cities couldn’t be more different. With a pleasantly mild climate, friendly people, and a fascinating history, you can spend days falling in love with Oaxaca. The city was founded in 1529 and everywhere you turn, you can see the connection to the past.

Here are just a few things to do in Oaxaca:

Explore Monte Alban

– Monte Alban is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site located in the central section of the Valley of Oaxaca. It’s one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica; inhabitation at Monte Alban dates back to around 500 BC. When you arrive, you’ll notice the different ruins of temples, plazas, pyramids and residential structures that were created by the Zapotec people thousands of years ago.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/EduardoRoblesPacheco

Shop at Mercado 20 de Noviembre

– The Mercado 20 de Noviembre is just on one Oaxaca’s many food and clothing markets. If you don’t have long in the city, it’s the best starting point to understand the cultural rhythms of Oaxaca. At the market you will find dozens of stalls with colorful signs offering Oaxacan specialties.

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Taste Local Cuisine

– Oaxacan cuisine has been praised by culinary experts throughout the world. Some must try things are mole of which Oaxaca has over 200 known preparations; Oaxaca cheese, similar to unaged Monterey Jack, you will find it used in tortas and empanadas; and chocolate, which is often made hot and with spices.

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Image Courtesy: flickr.com/UlisesEstrada

Visit the Churches

– Oaxaca has many churches that played a significant role in the city’s history. If we could only recommend a short list, we’d start with The Cathedral of the Virgin of the Assumption for its impressive Baroque façade; Santo Domingo de Guzman Church for the elaborate altar made of gold and intricately carved wood; and Basilica Menor de la Soledad, another Baroque style church that also has a museum dedicated to religious art, a garden and an outdoor theatre.

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Shannon

After receiving a degree in journalism, she pursued a career as a professional photographer that has allowed her to travel extensively. When not traveling, she lives in Atlanta where she is working on opening a photography studio and bar that's inspired by her favorite cities around the world and merges her love of food, culture and art.