"Ten days of Oaxacan culture, nature, and beauty" Oaxaca de Juárez by TrinkaVT

Oaxaca de Juárez Travel Guide: 381 reviews and 1,042 photos

The city

Oaxaca is easy to navigate, rich in cultural pursuits (many free) and the accommodations are affordable. The cultural center (museo) at the Santo Domingo Cathedral is a must-see -- the architecture alone is an attraction, let alone the history of this place and its peoples. The Rufino Tomayo museum of pre-colombian art is the most beautiful I've encounterred.

You can walk most places, or easily take a bus to the villages in the valley to visit markets or artisans.

Before you leave, visit the Oaxacan Streetchildren Grassroots Center on Crespo .. leave your hearts (and pesos and school suppies) or stay and lend a hand.

Biodiversity

Oaxaca is one of the most diverse areas of the world... Number 1 in cacti, and I believe #3 in vascular plants, worldwide. Go crazy seeing it all, being respectful and taking only pictures.

Start at the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden (if politics still allows you to do so!) OR, if you have a car, drive into the mountains where bromelaids and epiphytes fill the trees. OR begin at the market, and trace the foods/seeds/herbs to their place in nature. OR, eat at any eatery and you'll be introduced to new plants on your plate! Before you leave home, read Oliver Sach's OAXACA JOURNAL, about a trip of fern fanatics to the area.

Culture

You'll be bowled over with it -- you can see the same items in the area native markets (Tianguis) that you see in the museum exhibits from centuries ago ... a continuity of utility and art This part of Mexico is wonderfully rich largely due to the indiginous people who have kept the thread true (as opposed to its neighbor to the north). Be sure to buy from the artisans or their co-ops, to assure them the profits of their labors.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Diverse and beautiful, great climate, affordable
  • Cons:The government is trying to "prettify" the place
  • In a nutshell:Bring your best YOU to this place
  • Last visit to Oaxaca de Juárez: Mar 2006
  • Intro Updated Mar 15, 2006
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