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OAXACA, MEXICO

Exploring Oaxaca de Juárez
by Ron Mader

OAXACA CITY WIKI

El que busca encuentra.
- Dichos

What does responsible travel look like in Oaxaca?

FLICKR ALBUM: Responsible Travel


Oaxaca City (Oaxaca de Juárez) is a fine place. Keep an eye on the weather!


Oaxaca Map

YOU ARE HERE

The city is located in the Central Valley of the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains, at 17°05'N 96°45"W, elevation: 1,550 meters or 5,000 feet.


WEATHER

Oaxaca City enjoys a pleasant climate year-round, though the hottest months are April and May. Expect a chance of rain between May and October. The rainiest months are June and July. Forecast


Weather

RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

While tourism campaigns have long touted 'destinations' -- we are simply entering a place that is someone else's home. What is responsible travel?Here's our thought: responsible tourism is treating others the way they wish to be treated. It's a variation on the Platinum Rule ... it's also common sense and good manners.

Or put another way - courtesy of the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism -- responsible tourism creates better places for people to live and better places to visit.

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OVERVIEW

A living cultural center, Oaxaca City (elevation: 1,550 meters or 5,085 feet) is an open air museum and the capital of the state of Oaxaca. Oaxacan City markets are world famous. Churches dot the city. And everyone loves the Zócalo.

NATURAL WORLD

Two branches of the Sierra Madre Occidental converge in the center of the state of Oaxaca, creating this fertile valley, which produces a variety of crops including corn, alfalfa and the maguey used to make mezcal.

Oaxaca's pleasant subtropical climate drew nomadic families to Mitla and nearby caves 10,000 years ago. Farming communities evolved in Abasolo, Tomaltepec, and El Mogote. The Zapotec kingdom Monte Albán emerged in 500 B.C.

Oaxaca is one the most exceptional regions of the world. Its cultural and environmental diversity, its role in art and artesania make the state an exceptional place to spend quality time.

CULTURAL WORLD

UNESCO declared the city a World Heritage Site.

BENITO JUAREZ TOUR

For those interested in the Benito Juárez tour, visit the following places:

Juarez Museum (childhood home)

San Felipe Neri Church (where he married Margarita Maza)
Independencia and Tinoco y Palacios

Seminario (where he studied as an adolescent)

Parque Alameda de Leon (where he planted two laurel trees)



SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS

In terms of festivities, Oaxaca is a great place for celebration.

SPRING

Holy Week (Semana Santa) is treated with great reverence.

SUMMER

A great time to visit Oaxaca City is during the summer rainy season, when the surrounding cornfields are green. Bring an umbrella! The Guelaguetza dance is performed and the baseball season is in full stride.

AUTUMN

Day of the Dead is one of the biggest holidays of the year.

WINTER

Christmas season is a joy. On the night of December 23, a long line of visitors spirals around the Zócalo to witness the Radish Night (Noche de Rábanos). People come from near and far to admire the fantastic carvings.


FOOD

Try the local comida, which includes chocolate, corn and grasshoppers.

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PARKS AND GARDENS

There are numerous gardens, plazas and parks.

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COLONIAL HISTORY

Oaxaca's name comes from a mangled version of the Aztec settlement Huaxyacac ("place of gourds"). Occupying the area as early as 1521, the Spanish established their new settlement in 1529.

Oaxaca was first called Antequera after a city in Spain, and this early name is given to numerous businesses. Antequera was re-christened Oaxaca on April 25, 1532, and the city quickly became one of the most important agricultural and trading centers in the region. It is formally known as Oaxaca de Juárez. The city is affectionately known as La Verde Antequera.

Tip: Mark your calendar. The city celebrates its 500th anniversary in 2032.


POINTS OF INTEREST

Find the Arquitos.


ENTERTAINMENT

There are plenty of entertainment options, including live music. For those with simply a thirst, consult our list of pubs and cantinas.


SPORTS

Baseball, estilo Mexicano is a popular sport. The local Guerreros baseball club plays home games between March and August. Smaller leagues play the rest of the year. There are a number of city parks that offer visitors the opportunity to hook up with locals and play pick-up basketball, soccer and rugby.

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VISITING?

LOCATION -- Oaxaca City is south of Mexico City and east of Huatulco, Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido.

 

Travel!

ACCOMODATION -- Where to stay in Oaxaca City, including vacation homes

TRANSPORTATION -- Whether you arriving by plane, bus, bike or automobile, consult our transportation guide.

INFORMATION -- If you need tips on tourism offices, book stores, libraries, banks and post offices, consult our information guide.

TIP -- Bring your umbrella (brolly) during the summer rainy season (May-September).


AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.


WORLD TRAVEL DIRECTORY - Oaxaca City is home to Bicicletas Pedro Martinez, winner of the Colibri Ecotourism Award.
MORE

SPANISH LANGUAGE SCHOOLS - Oaxaca City is home to a number of language schools: Amigos del Sol, Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, Becari and Solexico.


FLICKR

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g Oaxaca 2011
g Oaxaca
g Oaxaca Markets
g Where to eat in Oaxaca City
g Where to stay in Oaxaca City
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WIKI

g Oaxaca City
g Markets
ONLINE WIKI

FEATURES

g Mexico Cities
g City Environments


THINK SMART, TRAVEL SLOW

Do you want to get to know a different side of Oaxaca? Challenge yourself with a treasure hunt!

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PLANETA


OAXACA CITY

Things to do - 2013 - Art - Baseball - Cantinas - Chocolate - Churches - Crafts - Cuisine - Gardens - Guelaguetza - Info - Markets - Mezcal - Monte Albán - Museums - Photos - Plazas - POI - Radish Night - Recommended - Tips - Transport - Weather - Where to stay - Where to eat - Rugby - Zócalo (OAXACA CITY)

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Ron Mader


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