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tashby


Jul 30, 2009, 8:44 AM

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The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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Not me......YOU!

Mexicana had a screaming deal on flights from GDL to Oaxaca this week so we grabbed a couple of tickets and will be there for five days next month. I've never been so pretty excited. I'm looking for any ideas from you experts on fun/interesting things to do and places to visit. (I know enough to look in a guidebook and make our way to the neatly piled rocks on the hill, etc.) Best day trip outside the city? Amazing food experience? Most interesting non-retail artesania encounter?

What was your favorite experience/best memory from your trip to Oaxaca City?

All suggestions greatly appreciated. Thanks!



waltw

Aug 1, 2009, 12:11 PM

Post #2 of 11 (4239 views)

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Re: [tashby] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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I've been traveling back and forth to Oaxaca City for 20 years and have lived there a total of 2 1/2 years during that time. Many of the the most memorable experiences for me have been in remote villages outside Oaxaca City, though the Zocalo in Oaxaca still holds a magical appeal and charm. I enjoy the mountainous region of la sierra. A lot of those most memorable trips, though, were by invitation from residents of remote villages returning for an annual fiesta, a wedding, or a 15 anos.

For a 5-day visit to Oaxaca City, I would recommend going to el mirador in the evening. The food we got there three weeks ago wasn't as good as I recalled, but the view, overlooking Oaxaca City in the evening, is beautiful. (The photo in the review below doesn't do it justice.)

http://www.tomzap.com/mirador.html


tashby


Aug 1, 2009, 8:51 PM

Post #3 of 11 (4194 views)

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Re: [waltw] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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Thank you! The view from up there looks magnificent in your photo. We'll be sure to head there if not for a full-blown meal, at least for a little something with the BIG view. Bet it's perfection around sunset and into the evening.

Gracias.


NinaNina

Aug 8, 2009, 8:25 PM

Post #4 of 11 (4084 views)

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Re: [tashby] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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You may already be here in Oaxaca, but I thought I'd toss in some ideas on this rather quiet thread. In Oaxaca City proper, my favorite pastimes are probably thoroughly covered in the guidebooks:

Hang out at cafes in the zocalo, go to markets (Abastos is my favorite in the city, but it's too much for some people), hit the ruins (Mitla and Yagul are my top choices, but everyone is going to nag you if you don't go to Monte Alban), go to museums (Rufino Tamayo, MUFI, Museum of Oaxacan Painters, the Contemporary Museum, Graphic Arts Institute, Manuel Bravo photography gallery, the Monte Alban Treasures of Tomb 7 museum adjoining Santo Domingo, and, my tiny favorite, the Ex-Voto collection hidden behind La Soledad cathedral) and sample the local cuisine.

Like Walt (greetings, Walt, and many thanks for your Oaxaca advice a couple years back), I find the villages enticing and accessible. Ocotlan is my favorite--Friday is market day and there is the incredible Rudolfo Morales collection next door to the market. I take every guest that stays with me there.

Enjoy your time in Oaxaca!


tashby


Aug 9, 2009, 10:48 AM

Post #5 of 11 (4051 views)

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Re: [NinaNina] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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Thanks NinaNina. We'll be in Oaxaca in early September, so I really appreciate your suggestions - especially some of the smaller museums, and most especially the ex-voto collection, which I didn't know about. The friend we're traveling with will be thrilled about that one. Gracias!


cristalhombre


Aug 9, 2009, 7:51 PM

Post #6 of 11 (4009 views)

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Re: [tashby] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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10 years ago we spent a month there........ my best experience??.....Wow so many things to do and places to see.

OK - this was great. Adjacent to the Cathedral-Santo Domingo there is a cultural center that hosts a garden. There was an evolutionary botanist - a woman from England who led a fascinating tour. I was captivated for a couple of hours as she brought plants, plant-migration and plant-evolution to "life". It was all linked to the civilizations of the area.

Very cool tour and the guide of course made it OUTSTANDING. As I recall, she was a grad student working on her PhD - Who know she might be the Dean of Ag-Education at some prestigious school by now. Impressive talk and tour!! Check it out.

David Sanchez was the local guide we hired for a wealth of history and contemporary perspective of the Oaxaca region. I believe he teaches government affairs at one of the local schools. David was recommended to us by our hosts at the Casa Colonial, a great hotel near everything. Well worth the charge!





"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."


waltw

Aug 11, 2009, 7:04 AM

Post #7 of 11 (3934 views)

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Re: [tashby] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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For a trip longer than 5 days, say two weeks in Oaxaca, I would recommend renting a car for two to three days during that time period and taking day trips out of the city.

There are ecotourism maps that are available at the tourist booths in the Zocalo that recommend a number of different "routes" detailing various interesting towns along the way. We rented a car from Hurst for three days recently and it was quite reasonable.

Hierve el Agua is a day trip you could take. It's set of natural rock formations that look like waterfalls about 70 kilometers outside of Oaxaca City. You can swim there and do some hiking. You can also drive by Mitla on the way. One recommendation would be NOT to follow signs that say Corta Via to Hierva el Agua. There are two roads to Hierva el Agua and the shortcut is neither short nor safe.

Another route is up Highway 175 towards, Ixlan de Juarez. It is a narrow and winding road up the mountain, but there are restaurants along the way, some that offer fresh trout for lunch. There are also cabanas that you can rent, as well as mountain bikes. The cabanas that looked nice were located near La Cumbre, not 40 minutes from town.

Like Nina Nina, I like the mercados. I haven't been to the one in Ocotlan for many years, but I enjoy the Sunday market in Tlacolula.


tashby


Aug 11, 2009, 5:57 PM

Post #8 of 11 (3897 views)

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Re: [waltw] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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Thanks for the additional ideas cristolhombre and waltw.

We're arriving early on a Thursday morning and flying back to Guadalajara on Monday, mid-morning. (Funny how a "5-day" trip really shrinks when you factor in the getting there and getting back.) I would like to get outside the city at some point, but with so little time, I doubt renting a car for a single day makes sense.

Unless it does!

Keeping everything in mind and bringing the ideas with us. The trip to Hierve el Agua sounds like a nice one.

Thanks again.


La Isla


Aug 11, 2009, 7:27 PM

Post #9 of 11 (3885 views)

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Re: [tashby] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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Thanks for starting this thread, tashby. A couple of friends are visiting Mexico for a couple of weeks, and, after 9 days in Mexico City, they headed off this morning for Oaxaca City. I made sure they looked over the sight-seeing suggestions given here to make their stay in one of my favorite Mexican cities even better!


geri

Aug 12, 2009, 4:38 AM

Post #10 of 11 (3860 views)

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Re: [La Isla] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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while El Mirador restaurant is truly a gem at sunset, I might forgo it during a 5-day visit, esp. in Sept. when afternoon clouds are still rolling in. You need to take a taxi there, no problem, BUT you should arrange for taxi pick-up at end. This is a better choice for those with cars.

Hierve el Aqua is one of my favorite places, but I'd suggest taking a tour (you'll see tours advertised along the tourist walkway and in agencies near the zocalo). It's fun to go by public transport, but takes a long time and a bit of "luck and know how."

Ixtlan is definitely one of my favs also. Comfortable "almost first class" buses leave from the ADO bus terminal (around 7:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) and then you can take a colectivo taxi back. Both fares are under 45 pesos. Colectivos run frequently.

A friend of mine gives a city tour which starts at the Cathedral in the zocalo at 10 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays. She donates the 100 pesos fee to a worthy cause. It's a church tour, but delightful, mysterious and yes, irreverent, historic details are woven into it. A good intro and overview of the city core.

Restauants? Galore! If you want funky atmosphere and good "real" Oaxaca food, try Tio Guero on the north end of Avenida Garcia Vigil, north of Carmen Alto church -- other side of the street.

I could write a book, but you will find plenty to do in 5 days, without really trying.

Enjoy!

geri in Oaxaca


La Isla


Aug 16, 2009, 8:36 PM

Post #11 of 11 (3775 views)

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Re: [NinaNina] The best thing I ever did in Oaxaca was...

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My friends had a fabulous time in Oaxaca and thanks one of NinaNina's many suggestions, they went to the Ocotlán market on Friday, one place (out of so many) I'd never been in the area. They had an interesting time and bought lots of hand-made items to take home for presents. Now I have another place to be sure to visit when I finally make it back to Oaxaca City "y alrededores" .
 
 
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