Oaxaca Travel Guide

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The garden outside the Sto. Domingo Cultural Center

The garden outside the Sto. Domingo Cultural Center

Shawn Haley

Oaxaca is located about 500 km southeast of Mexico City on an arid highland plateau some 1700 meter above sea level.

It's a fairly big city with over half a million inhabitants, but it is still quite a relaxed city, unpretentious and friendly. The old inner city has many good examples of baroque colonial architecture dating from the 16th century. In Oaxaca you will find Mexico's most splendid churches, some of its finest museums, and dozens of well preserved municipal and religious buildings from the colonial era. And with a climate that is spring-like and pleasant year round you can be sure Oaxaca is a good destination.

The state of Oaxaca is one of the least developed regions in Mexico. This means that when you visit smaller towns in the area you might be looked upon with suspicion. The upside for you as a traveler is that lodging and dining in Oaxaca are remarkably affordable. Whatever the region lacks in resort swankiness, it more than makes up for with its quaint inns and comfortable hotels. Native cuisine is outstanding, and the region is home to mescal, a fiery native liquor similar to tequila.

The area around Oaxaca is rich with archaeological sites, of which about 800 have been surveyed. The area's main attractions are the majestic sites of Monte Alban, Mitla, and Yagul. Each lies within a 25 mile radius of Oaxaca City.

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Destinations in Oaxaca