The state of Oaxaca (wah-hah-kah) has a special magic felt by Mexicans and foreigners alike. Long isolated from other parts of the country by ranks of rugged mountains, it is a redoubt of a traditional, mysterious, strongly indigenous-influenced side to Mexican life that has almost vanished in more accessible regions. Oaxaca has Mexico’s most vibrant and creative handicrafts scene, its artists are in the vanguard of Mexican contemporary art, its festivities are among the most colorful and alive in the country, and its uniquely savory, spicy cuisine is starting to combine with outside influences with some spectacular results.
At the center of the state in every way stands beautiful, colonial Oaxaca city, a fascinating and hospitable cultural, geographical and political hub. Around the city extend Oaxaca’s three Valles Centrales (Central Valleys), always the center of civilization in this part of Mexico and today still full of bustling indigenous markets, spectacular pre-Hispanic ruins and villages full of creative artisans. North of here are the forested highlands of the Sierra Norte, scene of successful community-tourism ventures enabling visitors to hike, bike, climb rocks and ride horses amid some of Mexico’s most unusual landscapes. To the south, across yet more mountains, is Oaxaca’s fabulous coast, with its endless sandy Pacific beaches, waters full of dolphins, turtles and sport fish, and lagoons teeming with birds. Many of the beaches are completely empty, but there’s also a handful of beach towns and villages that will make any traveler happy – Puerto Escondido with its world-class surf; the planned but beautiful and relaxed resort of Bahías de Huatulco; and the sybarite’s delights of Puerto Ángel, Zipolite, San Agustinillo and Mazunte.
The 10 tastiest insects and bugs in Mexico
Once you get over the ew of eating spicy grasshoppers or a creamy winged-ant salsa, you’ll find some high-protein cuisine that is organic and definitely tasty. Really. For centuries it wasn’t meat that sustained Aztec warriors but protein-rich, fat-free stink bugs, mescal worms and fly eggs...
Oaxaca destination guides
Mexico's ultimate secret sauce
Digging into the varied and distinct regional cuisine is a tempting impetus for visiting to Mexico, but the signature dish of the country's culinary capital, Oaxaca, is the rich, dark, mysterious mole negro (pronounced MOH-lay)...
Discover the heart of Mexico's Aztec, Zapotec, Mayan and Spanish cultures on this two-week journey spanning ruins, pueblos and beaches. Arrive in Mexico and travel through the mad metropolis of Mexico City to the relaxed beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula, and unravel the magnificent mystery of the ancient Mexican civilisations along the way.
Real Food Adventure - Mexico
Get an authentic taste of Mexico on this luscious journey through some of Mexico’s most famous culinary regions.