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Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most diverse regions, rich in ancient and modern history and geography. The state’s multi-layered cultures, a mix of several Indian civilizations, have produced a daily parade of sights, sounds, and tastes that never fail to fascinate visitors. Every day, every village, and every ancient ruin offers a different view of a complex region.
Oaxaca City Was designated a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987, the capital of the state of Oaxaca has its own special flavor equal to none other, because, in addition to its artistic and architectonic treasures, different ethnicities and cultures converge in it, adding their wealth and turning in to creative and colorful city: This colonial city, founded in the sixteenth century, has an admirable urban layout, with some of the most beautiful buildings of the Spanish Baroque.
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Santo Domingo Church and the former convent are two of the top places to see in Oaxaca city. The church is one of the most magnificent examples of baroque architecture that you will see anywhere in Mexico. The former convent adjoining the church now houses the Santo Domingo Cultural Center, which includes the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, an ancient books library, a periodicals library, and an Ethnobotanical Garden in the area that was once occupied by the convent’s orchards.
Santo Domingo church is one of the finest and most lavishly ornamented baroque churches in Mexico. Construction on the complex began in 1555, but it was not completed until more than one hundred years later. The facade dates from the early 17th century and is soberer in style than the extravagantly decorated interior.
Santa María del Tule. Tule tree. The tree is one of the oldest and largest in the world and has the widest girth. It has an age of at least 2,000 years, with its existence chronicled by both the Aztecs and the Spanish that founded the city of Oaxaca. It has a height of forty meters, a volume of between 700 and 800m3, an estimated weight of 630 tons, and a diameter of about forty meters. The trunk is so wide that thirty people with arms extended joining hands are needed to encircle it. The tree dwarfs the town’s main church and is taller than its spires, and it is still growing.
Teotitlan del Valle is famous for its weavings called “laadi” in the local language, with textiles as the main economic activity. This community is known for its woven wool rugs which use natural dyes such as those obtained by the cochineal insect. These rugs can have native indigenous motifs or more modern designs.
Mitla Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, Mitla was once an important Zapotec – Mixtec religious and ceremonial center. Here you’ll find a series of structures and patios adorned with stonework mosaics. These ancient cut-stone mosaics, created by fitting together thousands of polished cut stones, are believed to date back to the last two or three centuries before the arrival of the Spanish.
One of the distinguishing features at Mitla is the reoccurrence of 14 geometric designs that are represented in the stone carvings throughout the complex. You’ll be amazed at the intricacy and detail of the carvings, especially those found in the palace building.
San Bartolo Coyotepec, Black pottery is a traditional Zapotec method of making pottery. The clay is molded and spun by hand, without the use of modern tools, then polished.
In the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec, just 12 km (7 miles) southeast of Oaxaca City, you can visit family-owned workshops where the traditions of Barro negro have been passed down from generation to generation. The actual clay that’s used to make black clay pottery is found in the valley surrounding the village.
San Martin Tilcajete Where you can experience the art of alebrije making. Alebrijes are small animal figurines that are hand-carved from the wood of the copal tree and intricately painted by hand, often with paints made from natural dyes such as pomegranate and huitlacoche (corn fungus), an ingredient you may not be familiar with until you go to Mexico. Translating to “imaginary” or “fantasy”, the word alebrije is used to describe the whimsical style of the colorfully painted creatures.
Monte Alban The most majestic of Oaxaca’s ancient ruins Monte Alban, meaning “White Mountain,” is an ancient Zapotec capital and archaeological site with a spectacular mountaintop location overlooking the valleys of Oaxaca. Monte Alban sits just a few kilometers west of Oaxaca city and received the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1987.
Mezcal Factory Oaxaca is the country’s capital of mezcal culture.
The agave spirit has been made in Oaxaca for more than 500 years, Mezcal is made in several Mexican states, but Oaxaca arguably produces the world’s best—apparently, the soil is just right. Like its cousin, tequila, mezcal is distilled from the juices of the agave (or maguey) plant; the main differences between them are that tequila uses only blue agave and a steam-cooking method in production, whereas mezcal involves underground roasting, which imparts a very smoky, earthy flavor.
Its popularity outside of Mexico is a new phenomenon.
Carretera Oriente 46
Ajijic – Lake Chapala Mexico