What to Do in Oaxaca
Collected by Tommy Alexander , AFAR Staff
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
The natural fresh-water springs at Hierve el Agua were incredible (and cold!). The water is very high in calcium carbonate, and the minerals have formed these natural pools and crazy waterfall-like rock formations. The dusty road was somewhat...
Carretera a Tlacolula 190 Km 17, San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Oax., Mexico
This small archaeological site is situated on a hillside about 12 miles east of Oaxaca city. The name "Dainzú" means "hill of the organ cactus" in Zapotec, although that most certainly was not the original name. The site was occupied in very early...
Av Independencia s/n, Vista Hermosa, 68247 San Agustín Etla, Oax., Mexico
Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo spearheaded the project of converting an abandoned textile mill into an arts center, which was inaugurated in 2006. The Centro de las Artes San Agustin (CASA) hosts exhibits of a variety of media, as well as courses...
Calle Porfirio Díaz 115, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca's Casa de la Ciudad is housed in a big yellow building just a couple of blocks from the Zocalo. On the ground level you'll find the Andres Henestrosa memorial library which contains over 50,000 volumes, and some rooms that are used for...
Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oax., Mexico
Lambityeco rose to prominence around the time of the decline the great Zapotec capital Monte Alban, roughly 700 A.D. The site was originally excavated in the 1960s, although some restoration work has been done since that time. Among the buildings...
2 de Abril, 8va Etapa IVO Fracc el Retiro, Santa María del Tule, Oax., Mexico
The Tule tree is estimated to be over 2,000 years old. It's not the oldest or the tallest, but at about 30 feet in diameter, it is the widest tree in the world, and it's quite impressive. The species is Taxodium mucronatum, but it's commonly known...
Calle Macedonio Alcalá 202, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The 17th century mansion that houses Oaxaca's contemporary art museum is commonly referred to as "La Casa de Cortes," although it was in fact built over a century after the death of Hernan Cortes, it is certainly lavish enough to have been worthy...
Miguel Hidalgo 917, Centro Histórico, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca's textile museum opened its doors in 2008. The museum is set in a lovely restored colonial mansion in Oaxaca city's historical center on the same grounds as the San Pablo cultural center. The museum celebrates Oaxaca's rich and varied...
Macedonio Alcalá s/n, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Housed in the former Dominican convent of Santo Domingo, the museum of Oaxacan cultures offers a glimpse at the state's history from ancient times through the colonial period, and into the modern day. The building was beautifully restored and...
Cerro de la campana, Santa María Atzompa, Oax., Mexico
On a hilltop adjacent to Monte Alban, just outside the city of Oaxaca, there is an archaeological site that has just recently been excavated. Atzompa was a satellite city of the great Zapotec capital of Monte Alban. The site provides breathtaking...
Av. de la Independencia 607, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The fact that Oaxaca is a hub of art and creativity is evident almost everywhere you look. Besides the abundance of beautiful architecture and colorful folk art and handicrafts, several important contemporary artists hail from Oaxaca, including...
Carr. Internacional, Area sin Asignacion de Nombre de Colonia, 68070 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Held every year during the last two weeks of July, the Guelaguetza festival highlights Oaxaca's diversity. Representatives of the different ethnic groups of Oaxaca state perform their traditional folk dances and throw items to the crowd that are...
2 de Abril, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
One of the traditions associated with Day of the Dead in Oaxaca is the creation of colorful sand tapestries. You'll find them all over the city throughout the week of the holiday, but in the plaza adjacent to La Soledad church, they set up some...
Calle Macedonio Alcalá, Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Oaxaca is generally made up of rather somber events. In contrast with other holidays, this is the most serious, much more so than Day of the Dead, which is often celebrated in a lighthearted way. The gravity of the...
Portal del Palacio, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Mexican Independence is celebrated on the night of September 15 and throughout the day on September 16. On the night of the 15th there are celebrations called "El Grito" (the shout or cry of independence) that take place in the plazas and main...
Plaza de la Constitución, S/N, Col. Centro Histórico, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The building in which the Museo del Palacio is housed was the main building of the Oaxaca state government until it was converted into a museum in 2008. Located on the south side of Oaxaca's Zocalo, the green quarry stone building itself is quite...
Centro, 71510 Ocotlán de Morelos, Oax., Mexico
Ocotlan de Morelos is the hometown of Oaxacan artist Rodolfo Morales (1925-2001). Morales painted a mural which depicts the various products, industries and occupations of the area, in the council hall of Ocotlan's "Palacio Municipal," the...
Allende, San Jose El Mogote, 68256 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Prior to the founding of Monte Alban, the large hill-top capital, the main center of the Zapotec civilization was in the Etla valley, west of where Oaxaca city is now. The site has several pyramid-platforms, a main square and a ball court....
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