Museums, markets, and unique Mexican cuisine makes for an interesting Oaxaca vacation. There are many stopping points to explore the colonial cities, folklore, and natural beauty of this region.

This is the textile capital of Mexico. The Museo Textil de Oaxaca features thousands of examples, including vibrant crafts and brilliant weaved textiles crafted by indigenous cultures. Silk production was once a thriving business and there are still some artisans carrying on their trade here. In the small village of Teotitlan del Valle get a firsthand look at weaving traditions that date back to the time of the Aztecs. Dyes made from indigo, cactus fruits, and cochineal are used to create geometric patterns and motifs of arrows, zig-zags, and suns on blankets and rugs which are sold by street vendors and in workshops.

Dive into ancient history in Mitla’s ruins that pre-date the arrival of the Spanish. The mosaics here symbolize the sky, earth, and other elements of nature. Monte Alban is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a pyramid and other archaeological marvels that have been carved out of the mountain.

Oaxaca City is a fascinating cultural hub, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by mountains, a trip into the city reveals rich bougainvillea and purple flowers in bloom, adding a splash of color against the already vibrant homes and baroque churches. Pre-Hispanic, colonial, and modern architecture mingle in this pretty town. Wander through the museums, photo galleries, and plazas and stop to nibble on a tlayuda, a pizza made from crispy corn tortilla, covered with toppings like refried beans, lettuce, tomato, and shredded chicken.

The residents here love to share their cuisine and embrace life. It is not unheard of to come across a lively fiesta filled with dancing, music, and friendly locals.

The countryside in this region is known for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and horseback riding. In Sierra Norte there are hundreds of varieties of birds and butterflies, plus six species of Mexican wild cats. On the Pacific coast, the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains slope down to beach towns like Bahia de Huatulco, where travelers can relax on soft sand beaches and snorkel in one of the many beautiful bays. Experience the beauty and culture for yourself when you travel to Oaxaca, Mexico with Ker & Downey.