The traditional heart of Mexico
Oaxaca is known as the traditional heart of Mexico. Located at 5000 feet elevation, 340 miles southeast of Mexico City, its year-round spring-like climate is the perfect setting for exploring this mystical soul of Mexico. This trip has something to offer everyone with its kaleidoscope of archeological treasures of the status of Teotihuacan and Tikal, rich cultural traditions, world famous folk art, and the wide variety of typical regional foods. Oaxaca City has been declared a UNESCO cultural heritage site, owing to its fame for the beauty and harmony of its architecture, the riches of its cultural traditions, the wide variety of its typical foods and its spring-like climate throughout the year. Oaxaca City, nestled deep in the Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains, is known as the mystical soul of Mexico.
Today the state of Oaxaca holds the largest ethnic population in the country. Rich in traditions and customs, they preserve their languages and dialects, celebrate fiestas for the living and the dead, and worship nature. This special place has birthed the illustrious Mexican presidents, Don Benito Juárez and Porfirio Díaz, and the renowned artists Francisco Toledo, Rodolfo Morales, and Rufino Tamayo. Doña Rosa, the inventor of the glossy black pottery fame, is a native Oaxacan. For many of its admirers, Oaxaca is synonymous with Mexican folk art. No trip to Oaxaca is complete without some time spent exploring the region’s fascinating villages within a 50 km radius of Oaxaca city. Visit the villages where the famous glossy black pottery originates, where hand-woven wool rugs are still made from natural dyes, and where are crafted the famous wooden alberijes (animals carved from copal tree wood, whose invented name means “a different thing of confused or fantastic shape”). Often combining ancient and modern techniques, most of the region’s voluminous output comes from families that have spent generations becoming known for a particular folk art. Meet these artisans in their homes and appreciate how they weave together the riches of traditions and creativity, fantasy and practicality to produce the most exciting popular art in Mexico.
Oaxacan food fair is recognized in Mexico and throughout the world. Even the most demanding palate will appreciate Oaxaca’s famous chocolate, dried beef dishes, molés, and rose-petal or prickly-pear-fruit ice cream. Enter an extraordinary culinary world with visits to the exotic native markets and a hands-on cooking class. Immerse yourself in the ancient cultures of the Zapotecs and Mixtecs at Monte Alban and Mitla. Monte Alban, one of the first cities of the new world, is one of Mexico’s greatest archeological treasures. It shared its majesty with Teotihuacan and Tikal as the major ceremonial centers of Mesoamerica.