The state of Oaxaca (wah-hah-kah) has a special magic felt by Mexicans and foreigners alike. A redoubt of indigenous culture, it’s home to the country’s most vibrant crafts and art scene, some outstandingly colorful and extroverted festivities, a uniquely savory cuisine and varied natural riches. At the center of the state in every way stands beautiful, colonial Oaxaca city, an elegant and fascinating cultural hub. Nearby, the forested Sierra Norte is home to successful community-tourism ventures enabling visitors to hike, bike and ride horses amid delicious green landscapes. To the south, across rugged, remote mountains, is Oaxaca’s fabulous coast, with its endless sandy beaches, pumping Pacific surf, seas full of dolphins, turtles and fish, and a string of beach towns and villages that will make any traveler happy: lively Puerto Escondido; planned but relaxed Bahías de Huatulco; and the mellow delights of Zipolite, San Agustinillo and Mazunte.
Need to know
With appealing cultural and culinary scenes and a beautiful colonial core of lovely, tree-shaded streets, Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most captivating cities. Artists and artisans alike are inspired by the area’s creative atmosphere, indigenous traditions and bright, clear light.