|Oaxaca, Mexico is becoming an industrial city the population is well over 200,000, the streets choked and noisy, with large numbers of people choosing to retreat here from Mexico City, resulting in an increase in property values – yet it seems set to remain easy to handle. In the colonial centre, thanks to strict building regulations, the provincial charm is hardly affected, and just about everything can be reached on foot. Provincial it remains, too, in its habits the big excitements are dawdling in a café, or gathering in the famous zócalo to stroll and listen to the town band; by eleven at night much of the city is asleep. Oaxaca, Mexico is known for its tradition of folk art, evidenced in the enchanting carved and painted animals and the hand woven rugs from outlying villages surrounding Oaxaca City.
The history of the Valley of Oaxaca extends from the Olmec influence that reached Monte Albanin the 7th century BC to the world-renowned generation of painters and craftsmen led by Francisco Toledo.
Geographically speaking, the valley, bisected to the south and west by the Río Atoyac, lies in the central region of the state, 1158 meters above sea level, with average temperatures of 18ºC and four and a half hours? drive from Mexico City. This is the site of Oaxaca City with its 200,000 inhabitants, a hill flattened at a height of 400 m by the Zapotecs-meaning "the cloud people" in their language, to build a sacred city.
Monte Alban has preserved testimonies of one thousand five hundred years of this empire, which reached its peak in approximately 800 AD. Two centuries later, the area was occupied by the Mixtecs who left traces of their magnificent craftsmanship in precious metals and subsequently founded Mitla that was still flourishing in the far east of the Valley at the time of the Spaniards? arrival. The colonial city, called Antequera, built in 1529, was for some time the second largest in New Spain, as shown by the age and magnificence of its churches and monasteries. Two of its 19th century governors became presidents who changed the country: Juárez and Díaz.
In 1987, UNESCO declared Oaxaca and Monte Albana World Heritage Site, which gives some idea of what visitors can find here; at the foot of the archaeological zone, a city preserved for centuries in which the Colonial era shines through the altarpieces and green stone of its buildings. It also contains the legacy of these two cultures that emerges in the work of its goldsmiths, potters and painters, its cuisines, music and the colorful, exuberant fiestas, streets and markets.
Stroll along the walkways that will take you to Santo Domingo past the Museum of Contemporary Art; climb up Monte Albán, watch the sunset in its enormous plaza and imagine the time when its buildings were painted red. In the evening, round off a wonderful dinner with a traditional mezcal. Make sure you remember two important fiestas: the Guelaguetza and the Noche de Rábanos or Night of Radishes.
Oaxacan potters, weavers and artisans offer a rich unknown tradition. Please learn about their workshops and journeys via www.manos-de-oaxaca.com/
‘Food of The Gods’ festival in Oaxaca, Mexico. A week long celebration in October exploring the cuisines of Oaxaca - both its pre-Hispanic roots and its exciting modern variations. Food of the Gods Festival Offers Cooking Classes • Dine-Around • Traditional Chocolate making Demonstration • Market Tour • Empanada Class • Ice Cream & Exotic Fruit Tasting • Gallery Walk & Wine Reception • • Mezcal Tasting • Craft Tour •
Puerto Escondido - home of the Mexican Pipeline, is now famous for it's world class surfing opportunities with an International Surf contest each year in November. While now famous for surfing, Puerto Escondido still maintains it's fishing village roots with wonderful eco tours, horseback riding on the beach, iguana and turtle reserves and miles of wonderful beaches to explore.
San Cristobal is one of Mexico's most authentically indigenous regions. San Cristobal is named after Bartolomé de la Casasand is located near Oaxaca. San Cristobal