Oaxaca City (Oaxaca)

Oaxaca de Juárez, aka Oaxaca City, is many travelers' favorite colonial city, and for good reason: it's got the spectacular Santo Domingo Church, great museums and galleries, a broad shady plaza, and outdoor cafés perfect for postcard-writing and people-watching. Oaxaca also has a prominent indigenous population; if you go in July, don't miss the Guelaguetza, a state-wide gathering of indigenous dance groups. Add to the mix a great climate, progressive attitudes, and housing for all budgets, and you can see why so many visitors find themselves extending their stay "just a few more days"...

Inside Tip: In the market, young girls sell basketfuls of an Oaxaca staple: chapulines, or grasshoppers. Typically fried with chili and salt, the small ones are crunchy, the larger ones chewy.

Liza Prado and Gary Chandler are the authors of numerous guidebooks to Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, including Yucatán Peninsula and Cancún & Cozumel , both published by Moon Handbooks.


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