Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico

Just a few days spent in Oaxaca, Mexico as part of an immersion trip to learn Spanish.  The Spanish House – the school I take Spanish lessons at back at home – coordinates a trip twice a year with a sister school in Oaxaca.    What an amazing city, tucked in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains; it is full of history, culture, great food and even more amazing people.  Here’s just a few highlights from the trip.

Must Eats

The food in Oaxaca was absolutely amazing.  I was fortunate to stay with a host family where breakfast and lunch were provided.  Gramma made the best moles, tamales, soups, and every meal ended with a bit of raw tamarind (apparently good for the digestion.)

When I wasn’t eating at home a few of my favorite places to eat out:

  • La Biznaga on Garcia Vigil was my favorite place. Everything is good,  even refried black beans tastes better.  The vegetarian that I am, my favorite was Las Calendas, yierba santa leaves with oaxaca cheese.  mmmm, mmmm.
  • Ttlayudas, “Oaxacan Pizza,”  is a must eat.   I ate at La Olla, although I hear there are other places that are also great.
  • Moles, moles, moles.

Must Drink

  • One word:  Mezcal.  There’s no other suggestion here 🙂  I think it’s Oaxaca’s version of tequila, except with a bit more of a smokey flavor.

Must See in Oaxaca

  • Churches.  Like many towns settled by the Spanish, many many a church was built.  You can’t walk more then a block without passing one.  Unlike in other areas, however, ever church has a different character.
  • Church of Santo Dominto de Guzman

  • Museo de las Culturas
  • El Zocalo
  • Ex-Convento de Santo Catalina – very easy to miss it!  But don’t, an old convent that’s now a hotel is really cool to walk around.
  • The hike up to el Planetario – great views of the city and sunset!  Although it’s a bit of a haven for pick-pocketers after dusk.

Must See Out-of-Town

  • Monte Alban:  The capital of the Zapotec people founded in 500BC, abandoned around 500-750AD

  • Arbol de Tule – the largest tree in the world
  • Cuilapan de Guerrero

Must Learn

  • Spanish from the Spanish School:    La Protección a la Joven de Oaxaca.  This was a Spanish Immersion trip after all!  During the week I took classes at La Proteccion a la Joven de Oaxaca. My teacher, Pedro, was quite the expert in Spanish Literature.  Oh, the words you learn when you’re reading:
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