Introducing Valles Centrales
The countryside and villages around Oaxaca are a big part of its appeal. The city stands at the meeting point of three valleys that have been a center of civilization since pre-Hispanic times: the Valle de Tlacolula, stretching 50km east from the city; the Valle de Zimatlán, reaching about 100km south; and the Valle de Etla, stretching about 40km north. These Valles Centrales (Central Valleys) have a population that’s mostly indigenous Zapotec. They're full of fascinating archaeological sites and traditional villages and towns that stage bustling weekly markets, produce fine specialty artesanías, and celebrate their own colorful local fiestas. All are within easy day-trip distance of Oaxaca city.