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OAXACA, MEXICO

50+ Things to do in Oaxaca City
by Ron Mader

THINGS TO DO WIKI

Entre faros no hay competidores. (There is no competition among lighthouses.)
- Dichos

2013 Mexico's all-star game May 11 and 12 @guerrerosoax @Territorioscore @LigaMexBeis #JuegodeEstrellas2013

FLICKR ALBUM: Oaxaca 2013


Oaxaca City (Oaxaca de Juárez) is located in southern Mexico. There are a number of options for a fun, learning vacation. Here's a checklist of my top recommendations! Also check out the album on Pinterest.

Keep in mind the priceless tip: think fast, travel slow.

Slow Adventures

  • Benito Juárez' Footsteps
  • Mezcal Treasure Hunt
  • Oaxaca Tree Walk
  • Water Tour

Top 10 of Oaxaca’s indigenous experiences for visitors!

  • Mercado Pochote Xochimilco (Friday/Saturday)
  • Museo Rufino Tamayo
  • Caldo de Piedra (Chinanteco goodness, don't accept knock-offs)
  • Tule Tree, Santa Maria del Tule
  • Bicicletas Pedro Martinez
  • Expediciones Sierra Norte
  • Fundación En Via
  • Archaeological sites (bonus points when accompanied by indigenous friends)
  • Grupo Lula’a (particularly when featuring Comida Ayuuk)
  • Museos Comunitarios (particularly Teotitlán del Valle, Santa Ana del Valle)


ESSENTIALS

MEET THE LOCALS
Oaxacans are ambassadors for local culture. It's easy to strike up a conversation. Ask about their favorite mole or chocolate. Talk about the weather. Compliment the fashion.

FOLLOW THE TREES
There are many beautiful, notable and historic trees in Oaxaca. Find them. Plese upload your favorite photos to our Flickr Group Árboles de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Trees).

FIND THE VIRGEN
Find the Virgen de Guadalupe in Conzatti Park.

CLIMB A HILL
Local environmentalists have formed a group to protect Fortin Hill. Climb the hill for a great view of the city.

RIDE A BIKE
There are plenty of places to spin your wheels! Rent a bike at Bicicletas Pedro Martinez, Aldama #418 and Zona Bici, García Vigil #406. Check out Mundo Ceiba's noctural adventures.

MARKET MUSTS
Oaxaca has some of the best markets in the world. Classics include the 20 de Noviembre and Benito Juárez south of the Zócalo. Be adventurous and check the labrynth of Abasto(s). One of my personal favorites is the Sánchez Pascuas. Other faves include the Friday/Saturday Pochimilco. More info on Facebook and Slideshare.

BE GENEROUS
At the market, buy something for Oaxaca friends and support the local economy. Top faves include tamales and house plants. Purchases make great gifts for locals.

BE MULTILINGUAL
Learn how to say 'delicious' and 'thank you' in an indigenous language.

EAT SOMETHING WITH HISTORY
Eat something that has a history of more than 500 years. Check out the indigenous menu!

KEEP HYDRATED
If you have a water bottle, use it and keep hydrated. Ask your hotel, language school or tour operator for a refill which is more eco than buying a new bottle.

ACTION

SAFARI
Photo safari! If you have photos of local crafts particularly those that depict animals, please upload the photos to World Crafts. Try to provide as much info as possible to help others find the treasure. If you can, include the artisan's name as well as the venue (store, workshop, market, whatever). Pics of the trees and lions in Llano Park can be uploaded to City Parks or Árboles de Oaxaca.

GET FRAMED
Take a picture of one of the famous cartereras from the 70s. Bonus points if you get a photo of yourself and add this to the Flickr Group Oaxaca Today.

DIAMOND NOTES
Baseball in Oaxaca is a great entertainment value. The Guerreros play March-July (with play-off potential in August). Tuesday-Friday games start at 7pm and Saturday-Sunday games begin at 5pm. If a double-header is scheduled, the games begin earlier.

DANCE, DANCE, DANCE
Learn to dance at the Salon de la Salsa, Lic. Verdad #108, one block east of Llano Park.

ROCK AND ROLL
The earth trembles. Check out Mexico's most recent earthquakes.

SUPPORT MICROFINANCE
Fundación En Vía is a non-profit microfinance organization working to combine the power of microfinance with the power of tourism to alleviate poverty in Oaxaca. Wiki

FOLK HERO
Learn to play the guitar.

PLAY RUGBY
Zinacantli Rugby Club practices Saturdays at the Ciudad Universitaria.

PLAY POOL
Billiards (billares) is popular all over town. Check out Billar Jalatlaco #519B 5 de Mayo in the Jalatlaco neighborhood and in the centro, Liverpool, upstairs at the corner of 20 de Noviembre and Las Casas streets.

GET WET
Swim.

MOTORIZED TWO WHEELING
Oaxaca is great for motorcyles and even has its own BMW Club. Keep a look out for the dangerous curves (curvas peligrosas)!

CLIMB A MOUNTAIN
Oaxaca has spectacular sierra and there are many places for rock climbing and mountaineering. One store that specializes in equipment is La Gran Montaña, Hidalgo #1111.

WASH YOUR DUDS
If you need to clean your clothes, there are heaps of laundrymats (lavandarias) and most hotels offer guests laundry service.

RUN
Sporting goods are available at Sport Ziga, Alcalá #205.

REPAIR THAT BALL
Take that deflated soccer ball, football or rugby ball to Tinoco y Palacios #605B.

CON CALMA

SLEEP IN
Unless you are hiking Cerro Fortin, there is little reason to get up early. Most businesses do not open until 10 in the morning.

VISIT AN ALTAR
Altars are placed in various chapels in the city churches. During Day of the Day and the week before Easter, homes and markets are also decorated. Be respectful. And it's ok to be overwhelmed. Look for church tours in English.

RECYCLE
Reuse your plastic water bottles by refilling them.

WALK SLOWLY
Think fast. Travel slow.

SLOW TRAVEL
Slow down! Buy a postcard, get a cup of hot chocolate and write to a friend. The post office is located on the west side of Alameda Park.

WALK ON WATER
Take a walk along Calzada de la República and you are actually walking over an ancient river that formerly separated the downtown from the Jalatlaco neighborhood.

GET A HAIRCUT
Getting a haircut is one of the best local experiences you'll find.

VISIT A CITY PARK
East of town is Ciudad de las Canteras, a former quarry that has been converted into a pleasant city park.

BIRD BATH
Great place for birdwatching is the window on Calle Berriozabal around 7am. The birds are keen to start the morning with a bath in the stylish fountain just in front of the window.

YOGA
Stretch your mind and your body with a yoga class. Friends recommend Casa del Angel, on the east side of Conzatti Park.

VOLUNTEER
There are several ways you can volunteer. Ask!

ART WALK
Visit Oaxaca's home to graphic arts, La Curtiduria, in the Jalatlaco neighborhood at 5 de Mayo #307. Open Monday-Friday, 10am-2pm

DANCE
Throughout the year you can enjoy a dinner show at the mini Guelaguetzas conducted in town.

TAKE A TEMAZCAL
There are several steam baths (temazcales) in the city and more in the countryside. Las Bugambilias and Casa de María have recommended service.

HEALING TOUCH
Get a massage!

HEALING TOUCH #2
Schedule a cleaning with a dentist.

SUNDAY RECITAL
Music recitals take place Sundays at the Santo Domingo Cultural Center.

FOLK ART
Support local artisans! From jewelry to rugs to wooden figures (alebrijes), Oaxaca has some of the best folk art in the world. Check out our regional craft guide.

www.flickr.com

EAT AND DRINK

STONE SOUP
Stone Soup (Caldo de Piedra) is a highlight of any serious foodie's tour. Watch the video.

TRY THE LOCAL FLAVOR
Five traditional foods to try are tlayudas, tamales, memelas, empanadas and grasshoppers (chapulines).

PASAPORTE MOLERO
Try the seven+ moles!

CARNIVORES
Try the carnes asadas in the 20 de Noviembre Market.

EAT A ROCK
Try the piedrazo, a hard-bread softened with vinegar and spices.

BUY A BANANA
Bananas are a tasty and natural treat. The variety in Oaxaca is stunning.

TRY MEZCAL
What tequila is to Jalisco, mezcal is to Oaxaca.

COOK UP A STORM
Eager to learn the art of Oaxacan cooking? Plan ahead and arrange a hands-on cooking class!

COOL DOWN
Drink a cool fruit-flavored agua and if you want something cooler yet, sample the refreshng nieves.

EAT NATURALLY
You'll find natural and organic products at markets and stores throughout the city.

BREAKFAST WITH OTHER TRAVELERS
It's easy to chat it up with fellow travelers no matter where you are. Casa Arnel has the best commons table for dining in the country.

EAT AND DRINK AT A CHOCOLATE HOTEL
If you love chocolate, you'll love Oaxaca. Walk on Mina Street and you will smell a curious mix of dust, diesel and chocolate. More chocolate tips ...

LEARN

LEARN SPANISH
Oaxaca is a great center for learning. For tips, consult our Directory of Spanish Language Schools and our Language School FAQ.

PLACES TO VISIT

LA PLÁSTICA OAXAQUEÑA
Oaxaca boasts a number of Mexico's most famous artists. View their work in the city's museums and art galleries. Openings are usually scheduled on Fridays.

PLAZA DE LA DANZA
One of the most interesting places to visit is just five blocks west of the Zócalo. Tour the complex of the Basilica, the City Hall, the School of Fine Arts (Bellas Artes) and the Plaza de la Danza. For a cool, tasty refreshment, try the famous sherbet (nieves) in the Sócrates Garden.

MUSEUM MUSTS
The city is a living museum! Step inside the Santo Domingo Cultural Center, Alvarez Bravo Photographic Center and the indigenous collection of ceramics in the Rufino Tamayo Museum.

GET ON THE BUS
Book a seat on the Tranvia (see photo) -- a city site-seeing bus with hard seats and a recorded message.


NOT JUST FOR KIDS

SPIDER ART
Local artist Boris shows kids of all ages how to make artistic creations at Alcala #902-Bis. Slideshow

BUY CRAFTS
Kid-friendly crafts include pint-sized chairs and toys.

GROWL AT A LION
You can growl at a lion any hour in Llano Park. Ask the locals what the lions are made of.

INSIDER TIPS

CHANGE MONEY
If you need banking services, there are plenty of ATMS and exchange houses near the Zócalo.

CHANGE THE WORLD
When making a purchase that involves change, bring a few coins and small bills.

CHANGE THE WORLD, PART 2
Left over change? Take it downtown and give it to the musicians. Support the arts!

WIRED
Hey Java Junkies, if you are seeking a great cup of coffee, there are several great options all over town!

WIRELESS
Looking for wireless internet? There are plenty of cybercafes. And if you are looking to eat and surf, many cafe have wi-fi.

NEARBY

VISIT THE TULE TREE
Mexico's most famous tree, and some say the world's largest single biomass, the Tule Tree (Arbol del Tule) and its environs comprise a unique natural monument.

WALK WITH THE WEAVERS
Check out family-owned workshops in the nearby towns of Santa Ana del Valle, San Miguel del Valle and Teotitlán del Valle.

DON'T STEP ON THE LIZARDS
The archaeological site of Monte Albán has been recognized as one of the world's cultural heritage sites and is a 15-minute bus ride away from downtown. Buses leave from Hotel Rivera del Angel, Mina #518. Details


AUTHOR

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


KUDOS

In town kudos and warm thanks go to Baruch Nestor Garcia for including many of these tips in his Oaxaca City Map.

FLICKR

g Oaxaca 2011
g Oaxaca Markets
b Group: Arboles de Oaxaca/Oaxaca Trees
ONLINE FLICKR

WIKI

g Responsible Tourism in Oaxaca
ONLINE WIKI

VIDEOS

b Oaxaca Flickrmeet
VIDEO


Eat Something Delicious 50th Anniversary

THINK SMART, TRAVEL SLOW

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

www.flickr.com

YOUTUBE




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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