Oaxaca city, Yucatan
Jump on a fast and efficient long-distance bus from Mexico City and head 289 miles (465 kms) south to Oaxaca (pron: 'wa-haka'); it'll be comfortable, take less than 5 hours and the scenery is enjoyable.
Oaxaca is one of the least spoilt, traditional Mexican cities with a lot of style and charm...
...though not many streets outside the Zocalo (city-centre) are old, tranquil, fantasy Mexico. This one, Calle Tinoco y Palacios, is more typical.
One of many stunning churches near the centre of Oaxaca, Santo Domingo de Guzman (1666 AD) is home to an Ethnobotanical Garden offering a collection of local plant species.
Another central Oaxaca church where an image of the Virgin Mary appeared inside a box, Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad (1690), specialises in outrageously lavish baroque decor.
A Mezcal cowboy joint in Oaxaca. Click for more Oaxaca Pictures
And just in case you thought Oaxaca is all about prayer and redemption there is no shortage of bars, such as this mezcal joint. Mezcal is an alcoholic speciality of Oaxaca state, a spirit not unlike tequila but made from the agave plant and traditionally sold with worms, weevils, larvae or scorpions in the bottle. Yummy.
Oaxaca City is the capital of Oxaca state and at an altitude of around 1550 m (5000 ft), thus keeping it pleasantly cool in the summertime.The impressive and well-restored ancient Zapotec site of Monte Alban is just 6 miles (9kms) east of Oaxaca if you feel the need for more antiquity.
Positively the best time to be in Oaxaca is from October 31 to November 2nd , when the bizarre, kaleidoscopic and emotional 'Day(s)of the Dead' festival takes place, a fantastic event and this city is one of the top three places in Mexico to experience it. Days of the Dead Photos.