Oaxaca

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Oaxaca is a city in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico.

17.056979 -96.710517
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  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
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  • Small city 5-20 hotels
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Points of Interest in Oaxaca

Oaxaca's streets have a very tranquil and organic feel to them. Much of the joy of a Oaxaca trip comes from simply strolling the downtown streets, sitting in a sidewalk cafe on the Zocalo, and soaking up the atmosphere. On your strolls, try to see a few of the outstanding local landmarks.

  • Oaxaca Mio, Zocálo Tourism Booth. Oaxaca Mio you will find information that will help navigate your time here in the city as well as other places of interest in Oaxaca; including, but not limited to Puerto Escondido and Huatulco. The map and magazine can be found at the tourism booth in the Zócalo as well as at the office, Alcalá 917.
  • Zocalo. Catch a street act, watch a clown entertain children, buy a souvenir or just people watch from a sidewalk cafe as time passes by. Most tourist attractions are near here.

Downtown Landmarks

  • Ex Convento de Santo Domingo - Alcala; open 10am-8pm daily except Monday; 50 peso admission fee, free on Sundays. Spectacular historical church that's undergone a recent renovation. Includes the adjacent Cultural Center with frequent concerts.
  • Museo Regional de Oaxaca - Alcala; next to the Ex Convento de Santo Domingo, this is a museum of regional history and culture, with exhibits on Zapotec, Mixtec, and Olmec civilizations, as well as colonial and revolutionary era history. It's most stunning highlight is the collection of treasure excavated from Tomb 7 at Monte Alban by archaeologist Alfonso Caso in the 1930s.
  • Catedral Metropolitana - Oaxaca's largest church dates from 1533 and is known for its unique interpretation of baroque style architecture.
  •    Casa de Benito Juarez, García Vigil # 609, Centro Histórico.,  +52 951 516-1860, e-mail: inah.oaxaca@gmail.com. TU - SU 10:00 - 19:00. Garcia Vigial 609. Historic childhome home of former Mexican President Benito Juarez. It's an unassuming home fitting for a man of humble roots. $42.
  •    Museo de Arte Prehispánico de México Rufino Tamayo, Av. Morelos 503 Centro,  +52 (951) 516-4750. M-SA 10:00 - 14:00, 16:00 - 19:00 SU 10:00 - 15:00 hrs. Inaugurated in 1974, this museum contains about 1,000 pieces of pre-Hispanic Mexican art originally collected and owned by artist Rufino Tamayo. The works are beautifully displayed in five exhibition rooms. The colors for each room were chosen by Tamayo, who frequently used them in his paintings. $35.
  •    Museo Textil de Oaxaca (MTO), Hidalgo 917, Centro,  +52 (951) 501-1104, e-mail: echavez@mto.org.mx. M-SA 10:00 - 20:00, SU 10:00 - 18:00. Located in an 18th century mansion restored in 2007, the Museo Textil de Oaxaca provides exhibits featuring the designs, techniques and creative processes used for the production of Oaxacan textiles. In addition, the museum regularly runs conferences and workshops. free.
  •    Oaxaca Botanical Garden, Reforma s/n esquina Constitución A.P. 367 Centro,  +52 (951) 516-5325, e-mail: jetnobot@prodigy.net.mx. M-F 9:00 - 15:30, SA 9:00 - 13:00 hrs. A former army base, converted to a large botanical garden in 1993. The garden, designed by Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo who led the project to create it, has the largest collection of living cacti and agave plants in Oaxaca. Paths take visitors though the constantly growing collections that show the rich biodiversity of Oaxacan plant life. Entrance to the garden is through guided tours only. Sign up in advance at the entrance. $50 for Spanish language tours, $100 for English language tours.
  • City Museum (La Casa de la Ciudad), Porfirio Díaz 115, Centro,  +52 (951) 516-9648. M-SU 9:00 - 20:00. Features exhibitions devoted to architectural styles, historical photographs and urban art. Two aerial photographs taken of Oaxaca in in 1990 and 2006 are embedded in an underlit floor so that visitors can walk over them and explore the changes in the city that occurred during those 16 years.

Archaeological Sites

  • Monte Alban - Monte Alban - UNESCO World Heritage List - is one of the most impressive ruins in Latin America. It has the largest set of ruins near Oaxaca city, and, as such, can become very crowded. You can book tours through most hotels in Oaxaca city, and you can also take the bus or a taxi out to the ruins. The tour guides are excellent at Monte Alban, providing more than just standard information about the ruins. Monte Alban is impressive for its huge plaza and northern and southern platforms from which you can see much of the countryside. The Zapotec people (also known as "rock people") built this site atop some of the highest mountains in the area. Unlike Chichen Itza, you can climb most of Monte Alban, but you cannot enter any tombs. To catch a shuttle, walk 4 blocks west of Mercado 20 de Novembre on 518 Fransisco Mina. Transportaciones Turística Belmex run the shuttle from the lobby of Hotel Rivera de Angel. $45 mex as of 7/2011.
  • Arbol del Tule. This tree has the largest base of any tree in the world. Legend has it that it is over 1400 years old. It is located 13 km from the city of Oaxaca on the road to Mitla.
  • Mitla is approximately 40 kilometers from the city of Oaxaca and was a very important Zapotec city and religious center. Famous for its pre-Columbian Mesoamerican buildings. Inside Tomb 1 there is the famous "Column of Life" that you can embrace to find out how many years you have left to live. Spanish is helpful here as the ruins officials can explain how to use the column correctly.
  • Yagul Although frequently overlooked in favor of more extensive ruins at Mitla and Monte Alban, the ruins at Yagul are more pastoral (and therefore more similar to its original setting) and much less overrun with tourists.

Macedonio Alcala Theater

Santo Domingo Square

Oaxaca Regional Museum

Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman

Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden

Monte Alban

Auditorio Guelaguetza

Tule Tree

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Popular events in Oaxaca in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Oaxaca

Activities

  • Fundacion En Via, Avenida Juarez 909, Centro, Oaxaca. A non-profit microfinance organization that runs tours to Teotitlan del Valle every Thursday and Saturday. They are working to fight poverty around Oaxaca and to educate travelers about the power of micro-finance. In Teotitlan, participants get to meet two groups of three women who are applying for their micro-loans. Participants hear about their lives and projects, which could be anything from weaving the beautiful rugs for which the town is famous, to making tortillas, raising chickens, making pinatas, or selling flowers in the market. At the end of the day 100% of the tour fee is given as an interest-free micro-loan to one of the two groups of women. Trips are currently run every Thursday from 1-7 and every Saturday from 9-4. 655 pesos or $50 US.
  • MOC Adventures [2] provides small week-long tours during Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca. The tours introduce people to the history of Oaxaca and the Day of the Dead by engaging them in its unique celebrations such as visiting the Panteóns (cemeteries), comprasas and other important events that take place during Dia de los Muertos.

Events

  • Oaxaca is well-known for having one of the best Dia de Los Muertos festivals in Mexico, housed in and around the large candle-lit city cemeteries.
  • Guelaguetza festival takes place in July. The Guelaguetza highlights the traditional practices of the various indigeneous cultures from the state of Oaxaca. The main days are the Mondays following July 16 (Feast Day of Saint Carmen).

The term Guelaguetza, the most important custom of the Oaxacan people, derives from the Zapotec term "guendalezaa" which means "offering, present,fulfilment" because, during colonial times, the wealthy Spanish elite had the legal right to receive the first and best of the harvest collected by the indigenous people.

Sports

  • Baseball Oaxaca has a popular and successful baseball team, the Guerreros, who play from March through late August at the Estadio del Beisbol. Tickets start at just 10 pesos. [3]
  • Rugby Rugby is played on Saturdays with the Zinacantli and Jabalies Rugby Clubs, which host the annual Torneo de Dia de los Muertos.

Food

  • Casa Oaxaca - Constitution across the street from Santo Domingo church and in the same courtyard as the Galleria Quetzalli; If you're looking to splurge on a meal that you won't be able to find in other restaurants in Oaxaca, Casa Oaxaca fits the bill. Ask for a rooftop table and enjoy the 5-course tasting menu for $32USD/person. Treat yourself to corn mushroom soup, fresh fish with tomato marmalade and succulent sorbets. The wine list is decent with some excellent Spanish wines and good local options. There is another Casa Oaxaca restaurant, in the same location as Casa Oaxaca Hotel.
  • Marco Polo - Pino Suarez 806 (located next to the Paseo Juarez), 01 (951) 513 43 08; Famous for its seafood, Marco Polo is a local favorite. Try the ceviche and the beer with chiles. There is also a smaller location on Cinco de Mayo closer to the Zocalo.
  • La Biznaga - Garcia Vigil 512, (951) 51 18 00; Dine in a covered courtyard surrounded by art and wireless web surfers. Prices are reasonable for creative Oaxacan cuisine, and the people watching is a bonus.
  • La Casa del tio Guero - Garcia Vigil 715. Centro Historico.; Typical oaxaca cuisine. They have a very cheap menu for 60 pesos (including drink and desert). It was a good deal and the food was good, all made with purified water.
  • La Red - on the corner of Bustatmante and Colon, a block south of the Zocalo. Serves fabulously fresh seafood for lunch fixed in dozens of different styles.
  • La Toscana - 5 de Mayo 614 Col Jalatlaco Telephone 513-8742. It is best to take a taxi to this restaurant because of the out of the way location. They serve the best martinis in Oaxaca and delicious seafood with italian flair.
  • Mercado Benito Juarez - From the southwest corner of the Zócalo, walk down (south) one block. The block then ahead of you on your right is one huge market of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, leather goods, and numerous other items. For ready-to-eat hot meals, and a place to sit and eat them, see Mercado 20 de Noviembre below.
  • Mercado 20 de Noviembre - the block just south of Mercado Benito Juarez, the 3rd block south of the Zócalo, is another huge market; Food stalls line the streets outside the market serving up hot, savory tlayudas and tostadas. Local women offer up chapulines (grasshopper), and you'll find countertops inside that serve up moles, soups and desserts. There are 4 entrances, at the center of each street that surrounds the market. The east-side entrance, facing C. Cabrera, has meat vendors who will cook your purchase for you right there; arguably one of the best deals on ready-to-eat meat in town.
  • Cafe Los Cuiles. Good coffee, free Wi-Fi, friendly staff, good atmosphere. Try the Café Oaxaqueña (slightly sweet, with cinnamon. Yum!) moderate.
  • Los Danzantes - located in the Santo Domingo church street ¨walking street¨ andador turistico is a comfortable and authentic mix of Oaxaca & modern restaurant, food is great. It's a beautifully designed restaurant. A bit pricey but definitely worth it for the atmosphere and food quality. Great to have a drink at night as well.

Drinks

Oaxaca is famous for at least two drinks: Mezcal and hot chocolate. The state also has a thriving coffee industry. With a few exceptions, most of the cafes are closed on Sunday.

  • Casa de Mezcal, Miguel Cabrera, south of the Zócalo. A local bar serving several mezcales as well as bottled beer and other drinks
  • Coffee Beans, 5 de Mayo,. A cosy cafe and bar selling various beers and a good selection of coffees including various flavours in both hot and cold at decent prices $16 for a beer, $12 for a coffee and a little more with flavour). Doesn't have Wifi.
  • Cafe Kioo, 409-D Garcia Vigil. Has wifi and electical outlets and is open on Sundays.
  • Casa de Mezcal, Miguel Cabrera, south of the Zócalo. A local bar serving several mezcales as well as bottled beer and other drinks

The eastern end of Mina Street (2 blocks south of Zocalo) are several chocolate shops where you can taste samples. Some of these also have cafes in the back where you can drink several types of hot chocolates. Some have free Wifi.

  • La Capilla, In Zaachila,Carretera Oaxaca-Zaachila. Excellent place to eat, They have mole and various typical meals worth the trip to Zaachila.

Shopping

  • Chocolate. Mina Street smells of chocolate and the city's most famous warm beverage is hot chocolate.
  • Mezcal. The state of Oaxaca also is well-known for its Mezcal and there are several tours that visit the distilleries.
  • Mercado Benito Juarez, C. Cabrera south of Zócalo (from the southwest corner of the Zócalo, walk one block south; the market is the whole block ahead of you and to your right). Everything from clothing and leather goods to mole, fresh fruits, flowers, and bulk grains. For meats, prices are a bit high for being unrefrigerated, you might want to try a supermarket instead. One of the few places in town to find brown rice (ask the bulk grain vendors for "arroz integrál") or cigarette lighters (check the sidewalk vendors in the area).
  • Gigante (Gigante Supermarket), C. Independencia and Periferico West (from the northwest corner of the Zócalo, walk one block north and about 8 blocks west, crossing the Periferico; you'll see the market ahead of you and to your right). One of the few places to buy fresh refrigerated meats. Other supermarket staples are of course there as well, but you may get better prices at Mercado Juarez on some items. Has lots of other stuff, like a small department store.
  •    Pochote Xochimilco. Fr, Sa 8:30AM - 3:30PM. In the park of Santo Tomás Church. Colonia Xochimilco. Handmade tortillas, tlayudas, pastries, fresh-squeezed juice, mezcal, vegetables and woven goods. The delicious prepared food makes a great breakfast or lunch and there's a sitting area to enjoy it. (There are two markets called Pochote. In late 2009 the original Pochote Market split and some of the members relocated to Santo Tomás. The others went to to Rayon #411 and Xicoténcatl.)

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Oaxaca (city) on Wikivoyage.

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