Oaxaca Tours, Vacations, Travel Packages & Experiences
Oaxaca is both a city and state in Mexico located about 480 kilometres/300 miles south of Mexico City. Oaxaca city’s pleasantly mild climate, due to its altitude of 1560 metres/5000 feet above sea level, is but one many reasons to visit. Rich in history and culture, Oaxaca is a fascinating destination where you can appreciate ancient civilizations, colonial art and architecture and vibrant cultural traditions. It is especially known for its indigenous peoples and culture as well as its prehistoric ruins, baroque churches and monasteries and indigenous markets. Two out of three Oaxaquenos descend from the Zapotec or Mixtec people, whose villages dot the valleys, mountainsides and coastal lowlands.
At the centre of colonial Oaxaca City is the Zocalo or main square which is surrounded by the cathedral and government buildings. Many of the city’s colonial-era buildings, dating from the 16th century, have been exquisitely restored and now house galleries, museums, hotels, and restaurants. Traffic-free and shaded by tall trees, the Zocalo is surrounded by elegant arcades and is the perfect place to start soaking up the Oaxacan atmosphere.
There are several museums in Oaxaca. These include the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures housed in a beautiful monastery whose greatest treasure is a Mixtec hoard excavated from tombs at Monte Alban, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Rufino Tamayo Museum with its collection of pre-Columbian art.
For shopping, State Oaxaca City specializes in different types of crafts, including ceramics, textiles, wood carvings, and tin work.
Monte Alban, an archaeological site, is located on a spectacular mountaintop setting, about 16 kolometres/10 miles west of Oaxaca City and was the capital of the Zapotec civilization from 500 B.C. to 800 A.D. It is the most important archaeological site in Oaxaca.
Oaxaca State is also known for its beaches. This includes Puerto Escondido, a former fishing town that attracts both surfers and sun worshippers. You can surf, snorkel, dive, swim, go fishing or look for turtles, dolphins and whales. By night, a busy cafe, restaurant and bar scene brings live music and a freewheeling, unpretentious nightlife Puerto Escondido's charm is that it remains a fishing port and market town as well as a tourist destination.
Another resort is Huatulco which has also been turned into a world-class resort. An important part of Huatulco’s charm is a series of 9 bays encompassing 36 beaches and numerous inlets and coves, each with its own unique setting and ecology. All are noted for their beaches of golden sand and crystal clear water and yet the bays remain delightfully unspoilt.
For nature lovers, a visit to the Lagunas de Chacau National Park will be rewarded by nature at its best with lagoons, rivers, beaches, mangroves and rainforest.