In and around the city of Oaxaca: four travel ideas that will surprise you

Oaxaca is a multicultural state located in the southeast of the Mexican Republic. It is characterized by being an epicenter of indigenous cultures, ethnic groups and incredible landscapes created by the variety of mountainous areas and ancient seas now dried up. A must in this state is the capital, Oaxaca de Juárez, a destination where culture and history, both past and present, are still latent on the streets and in the warmth of its people.

 We are great fans of this state so here you can find our top 4 activities that you will love to do during your visit to the city of Oaxaca. However, another fundamental aspect of this destination is the gastronomy and the great variety of products, dishes and drinks that you will find in the markets, such as the market Veinte de Noviembre or the Benito Juárez market, both located a couple of blocks from the zocalo (central square).

Take a bike tour through downtown Oaxaca.

Oaxaca de Juárez is an exciting city declared a World Heritage Site due to its great cultural, architectural and gastronomic legacy. It is a colorful, friendly, artistic city with a constant schedule of cultural activities for locals and tourists alike. In addition, the city is the perfect base to visit many of the main attractions of the state, such as the ruins of Mitla and Monte Albán, Hierve el Agua and its petrified waterfall or the highlands of Sierra Norte.

Oaxaca is a city that cannot be seen in a day. Its colorful streets and the vast array of craft shops will not allow it! A great idea to get used to the historic center is to go on a bicycle tour (where you could also rent a tandem!). And together with a local guide, discover at the stroke of a pedal all the intricacies, alleys, main buildings, authentic stores and hidden legends of this great city.

Create your own alebrije in copal wood.

Oaxaca is the home of the alebrijes, a named given to fantastic animals carved in wood. However, what many do not know is that the origin of this craft is in the small town of San Antonio Arrazola, 20km from the city of Oaxaca. Here, Mr. Manuel Jiménez began to carve his dreams in 1927 as a hobbie, but little by little it became one of the most representative arts from Oaxaca to Mexico, and the world.

In Arrazola we find the Home Museum of Manuel Jiménez, where recently his sons, Isaías and Angélico, have inaugurated two exhibition halls that explain the legacy of his father. This way, visitors who arrive here are welcomed by Manuel’s family who will happily take you through the work of the fantastic wooden animals. Moreover, you can paint your own alebrije in their workshop and take it home with you, an unique piece that has been hand-carved by this family of craftsmen.

Visit Monte Albán with a historian of pre-Hispanic cultures.

Monte Alban is an archaeological site declared a World Heritage Site together with the city of Oaxaca. This is one of the most important Zapotec enclaves in Mesoamerica, founded in 500 BC on the top of a lonely mountain in the Central Valleys of Oaxaca.

Today, there are many tours that can take you to Monte Alban from Oaxaca. However, as usual, the difference will be marked by the guide that takes you through the old city and how much passion he can transmit to take you to the splendor of the Zapotec culture as you walk among the enormous ruins. Therefore, we suggest you to make your visit one to remember and ask for one of our local guides specialized in pre-Hispanic history and culture.

Hike the mountains of the Sierra Norte.

 The Pueblos Mancomunados are a network of communities in the Sierra Norte that are connected to each other, not only by a unique network of trails, but also for a common purpose: community self-management of their natural and cultural resources.

 A few kilometers from the city of Oaxaca, you can enjoy a unique natural environment and walk among several types of wooded vegetation that will vary with altitude. So, while your trip becomes an expedition accompanied by our local guides, your suitcase travels by road to meet you at the next destination. Comfort becomes an indispensable asset to be able to fully enjoy the network of Pueblos Mancomunados.

 

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