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Overview

This exciting southern region centers on the fabled colonial city of Oaxaca with its a mild, dry and sunny climate and special light. Oaxaca's magical ambience is immediately evident when you stop by the city's attractive zócalo. One third of Oaxaca's population is indigenous and these peoples are responsible for the fantastic arts and crafts available in Oaxaca's markets and shops. Oaxaca city attracts an international crowd, especially artists and writers, many of whom become residents. A combination of traditional and international cuisines makes eating here a treat. Chocolate and moles are local specialties. In the surrounding ...

This exciting southern region centers on the fabled colonial city of Oaxaca with its a mild, dry and sunny climate and special light. Oaxaca's magical ambience is immediately evident when you stop by the city's attractive zócalo. One third of Oaxaca's population is indigenous and these peoples are responsible for the fantastic arts and crafts available in Oaxaca's markets and shops. Oaxaca city attracts an international crowd, especially artists and writers, many of whom become residents. A combination of traditional and international cuisines makes eating here a treat. Chocolate and moles are local specialties. In the surrounding valleys are beautiful nature spots, arts and crafts-producing villages, and ancient sites. The impressive Zapotec city of Monte Albán sits on a flattened hilltop above modern Oaxaca. Down on the sweaty coast, Oaxaca offers the fascinating matriarchal world of the Istmó de Tehuantepec, the gorgeous small beach resorts of Zipolite and San Agustinillo, the famous surf town Puerto Escondido (home of the Mexican pipeline) and the fledgling resort of Huatulco which spreads around several spectacular bays.

John Noble
About the Expert

John Noble is a coauthor of Lonely Planet's Spain, Andalucia, and Mexico as well as many other LP titles from Indonesia to Belize to Brazil.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Borders the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the U.S and between Guatemala and the U.S
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Mexican Peso
  • Research: Oaxaca state | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November to May are the cooler and drier months; the Día de los Muertos (November 2) and the Guelaguetza dance extravaganzas on two Mondays in the second half of July