A 6 hour coach journey from Mexico City took us to the picturesque Oaxaca. A city filled with colourful markets, breath-taking churches and pretty streets.
Oaxaca, though calmer than Mexico City, is definitely not a sleepy place. The streets buzz with life day and night and people seem to naturally gravitate towards the center of the city, specifically the Cathedral and the surrounding zocalo, with its park and shops.
Although the Cathedral is an impressive size with intricate interiors it manages to pale in comparison to Santo Domingo. This beautiful baroque style church with a gold leaf interior has to be seen to be believed.
As you approach the church you come face to face with a crowd of clay statues of differing heights and colours. This exhibition was created by a multitude of people from the city to represent the 2501 migrants that left Oaxaca to go to USA in search of work.
Oaxaca has numerous attractions and everywhere you turn there is something that calls out to be photographed. One of the main benefits of staying in the city is the access it provides.
From Oaxaca you can take a number of tours to nearby sites and natural wonders such as Monte Alban, the former zapotec capital, Mitla, a beautiful zapotec ruin with tombs you can still visit, el Tule the home of the world’s largest tree and Hierve el Agua, a natural wonder of petrified waterfalls with pre-Hispanic irrigation systems.
For Monte Alban, do not take the tours offered, instead there is a bus that takes you there and back for a fraction of the price. We were lucky enough to stumble upon this as otherwise the tour would have been 4 times the price.
A word of warning, we were short on time and opted for a day tour to the other sites; Mitla, el Tule, a Mezcal and textile factory,and Hierve el Aqua and regretted it. If you have the time to hop from bus to bus and split the tour over a couple of days, then opt for that.
We found the tour to be too much of a squeeze with no more than an hour allowed for each site, and trust me you want to spend an afternoon not an hour at Hierve el Agua!