Oaxaca is a surprising, beautiful and warm place to visit. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to a cosmopolitan mix of unique experiences and fun family activities.
1. Monte Alban
The extraordinary city of Monte Alban is one of the world’s great archaeological treasures, boasting a legacy of the advanced Zapotec culture that dominated this part of Mexico well over a thousand years ago. Today it’s the great flattened mountain top, the scale of the monuments, and the views over the valley – which are perfect for hiking tours – that impresses just as much as any individual aspect of the site. The collection is tiny, but there are some important finds on display, including carvings of the “dancers”, intricate sculptures, ceramics and some gruesome mutilated skulls, presumably victims of the Zapotecs.
Callejonadas, or the Mexican version of a pub-crawl, are a common part of the culture in Central Mexico, but Oaxaca has one too. Carve out a fun evening with a relatively early start around on a Mezcal tour. Begin at Oaxaca’s first mezcal tasting room, with small-batch, artisanal mezcals from all over Oaxaca. Continue down the road to the first bar ever built in Oaxaca at the turn of the century, where women were forbidden to enter until 100 years later. Finish at one of Oaxaca’s newest restaurants from the Chayoga Brothers, who have over 140 years of family experience in the mezcal business. Enjoy a last private mezcal tasting and a beautiful menu of Oaxacan finger foods.
3. Mexican cooking classes
Food is usually high on the list for many people who visit Oaxaca, so traditional Mexican cooking classes are a great idea. Chefs are dedicated to slow food methods. Reyna Mendoza offers a class in the nearby village of Teotitlan del Valle that is not to be missed for those interested in the indigenous Zapotec cuisine. Once you drop your stuff and visit her family’s traditional temescal and amazing outdoor kitchen, you’ll visit the nearby village market to shop for your class. You’ll return to the beautiful outdoor kitchen to prepare the food using traditional techniques – It’s a delightful, immersive experience.