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Oaxaca Things to See and Do

Oaxaca is a fun, dynamic city with a lot to offer, from nightlife and culture to history and majestic natural areas. The big attraction, of course, is the ruined city of Monte Albán, not far from downtown Oaxaca. But before you head to the ruins, be sure to check out Oaxaca itself.


The Old Town

The old town area is a labyrinth of museums, restored homes, markets and quaint cafes and restaurants. From the Zócalo, you can literally wander off in any direction and find something interesting. Head north and you’ll find the restored church of Santo Domingo, with its dazzling interior of gold leaf. To the south are the Benito Juárez and November 20 markets (which, by the way, is named for the day the Mexican Revolution began in 1910: it is open all year), organized chaos where you can get delicious Oaxaca cheese, fruits and vegetables as well as souvenirs. To the east is the San Agustín church and the Macedonio Alcalá theater. To the west you’ll find the religious museum and eventually the Monte Albán archaeological complex.


Oaxaca Museums

The museums in Oaxaca are fantastic. The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, or Oaxaca culture museum, is located in the Santo Domingo Cultural Center a couple of blocks north of the Zócalo. It is home to a number of pre-Hispanic artifacts, including the contents of the famous Tomb 7 from Monte Albán. The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, or Contemporary Art Museum, houses an impressive collection of modern art. The Xonaxi Cosana art and photo gallery is worth a visit.


Around Oaxaca

There are many things to do around Oaxaca besides the must-see ruins at Monte Albán. But if you’re still hankerin’ to see more ruins, check out Mitla, about 40 miles away to the east, on the way there, shoppers will want to hit Teotitlán del Valle where traditional wool rugs are woven on hand-made looms, just off the main road between Oaxaca and Tehuantepec.

To the north, the town of San AgustĂ­n Etla has a handmade paper industry: stock up for your scrapbooker friends back home. They also have an excellent market on Wednesdays. In fact, there are so many markets in the Oaxaca area, that you could simply spend every day checking out a new one.

To the south craft lovers will want to check out the small pueblos of San Bartolo Coyotepec, where black clay pottery is made, San Martin Tilcajete the town infamous for making the small, but brightly painted wooden figurines that are indicadent of the Oaxaca region and anyone with a passion to spend shouldn´t forget about the less-visited village of Santo Tomas Jalietza for cotton textiles hand-made on the wooden loom.

Not far outside of town, Hierve el Agua is a popular hot springs.



Other Activity pages in Oaxaca that may be of interest: Centro Historico Activities,








By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
28 Jul 2011

 
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