Oaxaca is one of Mexico's most unique and beautiful states, located in the Southwest part of the country. It is noted for its rich traditional heritage and diverse ethnic population, as well as for its artistic, cultural, and culinary treasures. Below are the top ten sights to photograph in this region.
Check out the behind the scenes travel vlog:
Música: Mounika. - "Yolo" | Chris Felix - "Bilolo", "Ayibobo", and "Bois Caïman" | Filmed with iPhone 6
1. Oaxaca City (7:23 - 9:35)
Designated UNESCO Site noted for its Spanish colonial architecture. It is filled with colorful, wonderfully preserved buildings and cobblestone streets.
2. Markets (8:18 - 8:23)
Oaxaca is known as the "Land of the Seven Moles", a complex sauce used with meat and rice. But that is not all. Oaxaca is renowned for its unique regional cuisines. The markets are a great way to try the food.
3. Mezcal Factory Tour (2:06 - 2:50)
Mezcal is one of Oaxaca's most famous exports. It is similar to tequila, only with a rich smoky flavor. Mezcal comes in many unique flavors and different aging categories including a variety that comes with a worm for added flavor. Check out the mezcal factories (like El Rey de Matatlan) where they will show you just how this liquid gold is made.
4. Textiles (1:14 - 2:00)
Oaxaca is world famous for its textiles. They are created using natural dyes and wool. The textile patterns mimic the design elements from the Mitla, an archaeological site with distinctive geometric patterns, making them distinctive from any other textiles. Check out the family owned textile houses where they will do a demonstration and showcase their rugs, traditional clothes, and other creations.
5. Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman (7:36 - 8:00)
Glorious Baroque church found in Oaxaca City. It includes lavishly ornate interior. Construction started in the 16th Century but did not complete until the 17th Century. The town cathedral is witness to all the cultural activities taking place beneath its facade, including weddings and festivals. In fact, we saw a wedding on Saturday night!
6. Árbol del Tule (0:40 - 1:10)
Botanists estimate this tree to be 2,000 years old. It is considered the largest and oldest tree in the world with a perimeter at 139 feet in circumference. It didn't even fit into one picture frame!
7. Hierve de Agua (3:50 - 4:30)
One of the most surreal landscape I have ever seen is Hierve de Agua, found about two hours outside of the city. Getting there involved driving down an unpaved, bumpy, rural road in the middle of the country side. The name translates to "place where the water boils", and contains non-thermal pools, and natural rock formations rising form the valley below including the main highlight, a petrified waterfall. It was created by minerals that pushed through limestone, depositing onto the mountain. Visitors can hike to the "waterfall" or wade around in the mineral pools. While here, you can take a swim (be sure to waterproof your camera), or you can hike to the waterfall.
8. Zocalo and Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude (8:23 - 8:36)
The zocalo is the central plaza in Oaxaca City that includes a Spanish Baroque style church, Basilica of our Lady of Solitude. The zocalo is connected by a pedestrian walkway to the other plaza, Santo Domingo. Along the zocalo are many shops and markets.
9. Mitla (2:30 - 3:46)
One of the famous archaeology sites which translates to "place of the dead". Mitla was an ancient burial and funeral ritual site for the Zapotec people, one of Oaxaca's indigenous groups. It includes one of the few surviving temples, noted for its distinctive small tile mosaic-like geometric patterns in the facade. When the Spanish arrived, they ordered the obliteration of all temples and converted the people to Catholicism, building basilicas with the materials from the Mitla temple.
10. Monte Albán (6:00 - 7:28)
Monte Albán is so amazing and should not be missed during your travels in Oaxaca. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site found about 20 minutes outside of the city. It is the first great city of Mesoamerica and dates back to 500 or 600 BCE. The Zapotec people leveled the mountains by hand (no metal tools or even wheels) to build their ceremonial center known as Monte Albán here, complete with temples or astronomical and religious purposes. Mitla and Monte Albán give you an idea of just how advanced this indigenous civilization was in its heyday.
What are your favorite sights to photograph in Oaxaca?
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