Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico


Oaxaca is a colorful colonial city with strong traditions, rich indigenous culture, enjoyable festivities, and history in every corner

About Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca de Juárez is the capital city of the state of the same name, located in a fertile valley, about 550 kilometers (341.8 mi) southeast of Mexico City, and founded in 1486 by Ahuízotl, an Aztec ruler. Oaxaca means in the nose of huajes in Náhuatl, and is one of the most attractive destinations in Mexico. The colorful folklore, music, dance, and cuisine of Oaxaca have been inherited from ancient times, traditions that are still alive.

In 1987, the historic center of Oaxaca was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It houses 1,200 monuments and its main square, also known as Constitution Square, or just Zócalo, surrounded by ancient buildings where you can walk, whose portals offer coffee shops, stores, and hotels. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, located next to Alameda de León, has different shades of green stone and is a sample of the Baroque style of New Spain, and features a collection of paintings from the 16th and 17th centuries. A few blocks to the west, there is the Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude with an impressive screenfold-shape facade. The Macedonio Alcalá Tourist Corridor is to the north of the Zocalo and is a pedestrian street with bookstores, craft shops, small squares, churches, and museums.

Santo Domingo Cultural Center is located at the end of the Macedonio Alcalá Tourist Corridor; this building houses the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures, the Fray Francisco de Burgoa Library, the Ethnobotanical Garden, and the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, whose Renaissance facade and Baroque interior date back to 1551.

Most ethnic groups inhabiting the state are present in the city of Oaxaca, reflected in a cultural richness that has been preserved through its festivities. Floral Walks are held on Lent Fridays, when young girls wander around the park in opposite direction to men, who give away flowers to those they consider the most beautiful. The one that collects more flowers will be the winner and godmother of Viernes del Llano, which is the name of this custom. During the celebration, you can listen to marimba and band music.

Undoubtedly, the most important festival in Oaxaca is the Guelaguetza, a popular cult to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, where groups representing all state regions make offerings or gifts to the city of Oaxaca. This celebration takes place on the two closest Mondays to July 16, and during these days you will find dances, music, and sports, cultural, and gastronomic activities.

The archaeological site of Monte Albán, World Heritage Site by UNESCO, lies a short distance of the city. The state of conservation of the zone is so good that it allows imagine the daily activity in the streets, ceremonies in its temples, or ball games. Its summit, where the Zapotec people dominated the landscape before any enemy invasion, is the best place to admire the area.

***The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican Peso (MXN).