WHAT TO DO IN OAXACA?
Center of Oaxaca
A beautiful colonial destination, in the center of Oaxaca you can admire impressive historical monuments united to a rich indigenous tradition that is maintained through the years. Visit the Zocalo, the Cathedral, the Santo Domingo Cultural Center, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Rufino Tamayo Prehispanic Art Museum and more. Or just walk through its streets admiring the beautiful facades and sitting down to enjoy a delicious typical dish or mezcal.
San Martín Tilcajete and its Alebrijes
The Alebrijes of Oaxaca are famous particularly because the creation of Pedro Linares came to this region, however later we will explain why the term was popularized so much that nowadays these crafts are known.
The first creatures of Pedro Linares were made under the technique of paper mache, it was not until years after the first Alebrijes, that the population of Oaxaca, especially the artisans, began to use wood to carve the alebrijes and paint them with striking colors , with the pass of time people began to call them Alebrijes de Oaxaca or Alebrijes oaxaqueños.
Zaachila was one of the last important establishments of the Zapotec culture. The name of the place honors Zaachila Yoo, the Zapotec leader in the 14th / 15th centuries. Although the area is not quite explored, there is a small archaeological site where in 1962 two tombs were discovered. This site is located on the hillside, next to the church of the Virgen de Juquila. The tombs are very small, but upon discovering them they found a great variety of treasures that accompanied the human remains. The walls of the 1st tomb are decorated with impressive stone carvings with different motifs, including owls.
La Guelaguetza is simply the most important festivity in Oaxaca. It is the meeting of the eight regions of the state on the hill of the “Fortín” two Monday in July in the most colorful dance party in the country.
The beginnings of the Guelaguetza date from the Mexica conquest in Oaxaca. The Mexicas venerated the gods of tender corn Xilonen. Today, the festival is dedicated to the corn god Centeotl. Guelaguetza means to share or to give away. It also means the exchange of gifts and services.
In the Zapotec population of Ocotlan de Morelos, in the southern part of the region of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca, there is the convent founded by the Dominican Fathers which they considered themselves to be “one of the best and most capable Temples that this Province has.
San Pablo Villa of Mitla
Among the cactus rise three domes of a brilliant crimson color that majestically coexist with their ancient Zapotec past, is San Pablo Villa of Mitla. In each step you will feel the mysticism of its finely detailed walls. The rooms and columns that the Zapotec built for their dead retain their majesty among the beautiful trees of particular forms.
In the outskirts of the archaeological zone the colors of the handicrafts will catch while the smell of maguey floods the streets, waiting for you in the mezcal factories that you will be able to taste.
Santo Domingo Ocotlan
Dainzú (‘Cactus Hill’ in Zapotec) are ruins that are located twenty minutes from the city of Oaxaca on the road to Tlacolula. Dainzú is an interesting archaeological site whose pre-Hispanic village extends to where Macuilxochitl is currently located, on the other side of the highway. It is estimated that Dainzú was inhabited between around 750 BC and 1000 AD. This archaeological site consists of three excavated buildings. When Dainzú was first excavated in 1965, a low-relief gallery depicting a violent scene with ball players was found.
Cuilapam de Guerrero
Cuilapam de Guerrero seems, in the distance, a fortress dominating the valley in which it is located. They were built on a small hill with spectacular views. The wide walls of green quarry and river stones quietly keep much of the history of the meeting of different cultures: the spanish, the mixteca and the zapoteca.
To step on the golden sand of Mazunte, while the mantra of its calmed waves, with its swing of soft turquoise tonality will be like falling in paradise.
In Mazunte your days will pass slowly. You will become infected with the passivity of the waves that seem to be in no hurry to reach the shore of the beach, or the sun that calms through the sky until sunset; When the darkness arrives very slowly it seems that visual poetry wakes up in its wake because as night falls the radiant orange of the sun hides and the crickets start to come out to accompany it with their song; It is a sweetness that you can almost touch. The only witnesses will be you and the turtles that return home.
Wax candles in San Marcos Tlapozala
Guillermina, the artist and creator of these works of art, makes different sizes for different occasions. In Teotitlan, shell candles are used for many occasions (day of the dead, Christmas, baptisms, Easter). So remember that its value is not only decorative, but ritual and cultural.
The heritage of the Zapotec world reaches us through the magnificent archaeological sites designed in the Valley of Oaxaca. Of these, the city of Monte Albán stands out for its enormous importance as an economic, political and religious axis (it was the first urban complex in Mesoamerica); by its extension, almost as big as the current capital of Oaxaca; and for its long life, begun around 500 BC and concluded around 850 AD.
Oaxaca and his Artisan Muds
SAN BARTOLO COYOTEPEC
Do you know about the famous Oaxacan black mud? Well this is one of the main towns in making crafts of such famous material. When you reach it, you will find a large number of little shops with impressive pots, vases, platters and many more black clay products. In some stores they will even let you pass the workshop and there is also a Craft Plaza. You will not be able to leave San Bartolo without buying at least one piece.
GRENN CLAY OF SANTA MARIA ATZOMPA
The mud or green clay do not exist as such, what is called “green clay”, is to pottery, to which by applying a greta or glaze, results in the green tone characteristic of Santa María Atzompa, Oaxaca The potter invests without existential wear in characteristic figures of each region and represents his people in a framework of collective experiences that are at the same time his own, he knows that in his community all perform the same activity and this is, rather than repetition, the made to highlight common accents.
RED CLAY OF SAN MARCOS TLAPAZOLA
The villages in the state of Oaxaca are representative of the Zapotec population and the crafts they make. Like the town of San Marcos Tlapazola, which is famous for the red clay pottery it produces.
The women of the Mateo family are expert potters and make each piece by hand. Although they do not use a potter’s wheel, each piece they make is an exceptional work that demonstrates their great craftsmanship.
MAP OF PLACES OF INTEREST
SANTO DOMINGO OCOTLAN
CUILAPAM DE GUERRERO
SAN MARTÍN TILCAJETE
MERCADO 20 DE NOVIEMBRE OAXACA
CENTRO CULTURAL SANTO DOMINGO
EXPERIENCE OAXACA TRAVELQUEST