"Oaxaca", derived from the Náhuatl word "Huaxyacac", means "place at the top of the guajes" due to being known as a place abundant in this kind of seed pod. Oaxaca has been evolving for more than 10,000 and is an interrupted testimony of its natural, cultural, and historic patrimony. Due to the range of services and facilities it offers, Oaxaca has become one of the favorite destinations for both national and international tourism in Mexico.
The city of Oaxaca is distinguished for the beauty and harmony of its viceregal architecture; In the center of the city, colonial churches and houses line the streets of this beautiful city. La Plaza de la Constitución or Zócalo is the heart from where the city vibrates. It is only a few paces from the pedestrianised boulevard, Macedonio Alcalá Street, that runs north to south through the centre of the city's cultural district, walking street where you will find the Museum Of Contemporary Oaxacan Art, the Public Library, old colonial houses, galleries, restaurants, and handcrafts and jewelry stores.
The Historic Center of the city offers plenty of places to visit, the famous cafes around the beautiful town square known, as in all Mexican cities, as the Zócalo; traditional hand-made ice creams in the square outside the Soledad church; the 20 de Noviembre Market; the government palace. This downtown area also boasts magnificent churches that include the Basílica de la Soledad, The Alameda Cathedral, and the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de Guzmán which is known as one of the most beautiful in south America.
The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, Museo de Filatelia, Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños and the Museum of Contemporary Oaxacan Art are just some of the fine art and cultural institutions on offer. The town is a very safe place to walk or to take a city tour.
In 1987, the United Nations declared the archeological zone of Monte Albán - the ancient Zapotec, and later Mixtec, city located on a hill just 10 minutes from the city - as part of the the World's Cultural Heritage.
The city of Oaxaca has a wide variety of places to visit and also to buy world famous handcrafts.
SAN ANDRES HUAYAPAN
This town has a XVIII century church with a baroque-style altarpiece that was restored in 1994.
SANTA MARIA EL TULE
The giant and unique willow tree called Árbol del Tule is approximately 2000 years old.
Dominican religious temple of the XVI century.
Small archeological zone.
TEOTITLAN DEL VALLE
Elaboration of wool rugs
Important Zapotec comercial center.
SANTA ANA DEL VALLE
Making of wool fabrics, sarapes, with traditional and modern designs using natural dyes.
This town holds a very interesting and colorful indigenous market every Sunday. Inside the Asunción church you can find one of the most important masterpieces of the Mexican baroque, this chapel is dedicated to the Christ of Tlacolula.
Zapotec archeological zone where you can admire the largest Juego de Pelota (prehispanic) "ball game" court in Oaxaca and the second largest in Mesoamérica besides the cliff-top Fort and the Palace Of The Six Patios.
Zapotec ceremonial centre, place of residence of the ecclesiastical power well-known for its exquisite architecture. The harmony in its buildings and the right proportion of the patios are highlighted by the extraordinary decoration of the walls.
HIERVE EL AGUA
From the city of Oaxaca take the 190 federal road to Istmo de Tehuantepec. When arriving to Mitla take a detour. Hierve el Agua has been known as a sacred place by the Zapotecs. Impressive, petrified waterfalls have been formed here by hundreds of years of cascading carboned water.
Ideal place to watch the manufacture of beautiful hand-made pieces of natural and green clay.
Old Zapotec settlement, occupied by the Mixtecs subsequently until the arrrival of the Spaniards. Above a huge esplanade Temples, patios, palaces and the Juego de Pelota court are built.
Making of the traditional alebrijes (hand-crafted, painted wooden figures) that are elaborated decorated from colors and ideas drawn straight from with the artisans imagination.
CUILAPAM DE GUERRERO
Majestic convent of the XVI century where you can see the Open Chapel the unfinished church and the ex-convent. Former Mexican president Vicente Guerrero was executed here by firing squad.
Last capital of the Zapotec empire that allows us to appreciate the extraordinary representations on its tumbs as the one known as "Señores del Infierno".
SAN BARTOLO COYOTEPEC
The main attraction is the making of the black pottery by the local artisans.
SAN MARTÍN TILCAJETE
This Village is dedicated to the making of alebrijes, wood carving figures.
SANTO TOMAS JALIEZA
The inhabitants of the village are dedicated to the elaboration of cotton weaving.
OCOTLAN DE MORELOS
One of the main attractions is the market that is held on Friday. Red-clay ceramics, knife-making and wide range of rustic cooking utensils.
Located in a small valley, the village of Etla has a XVI century temple. There are historical remains of an aqueduct which gives the place a particularity; it is famous for the elaboration of cheese and crafts made of onyx.
Built by the Dominicans in 1596 this renaissance convent stands out for the elegance of the building and its windows of gothic style.
In this church there is one of the most extraordinary opened chapels of the XVI century.
Highlighted by the impressive silhouette of the XVI century convent and the church, famous for its historical organ that is considered a unique jewel.
SAN PABLO GUELATAO
This village is located 55 Km. from the city of Oaxaca on the 155 federal road Oaxaca-Tuxtepec birth place of Benito Juárez.
IXTLAN DE JUÁREZ
Located only 5km from San Pablo Guelatao. Its best attraction is a XVII century church of the late baroque style known as churrigueresco where Saint Thomas is worshiped.
CALPULALPAN DE MENDEZ
This village is located 10 Km. from Ixtlán in The Sierra Juárez, there is a sumptuous church built in the XVII century of baroque and neoclassic style in honor of Saint Matthew.