January 19, 2022

Oaxaca , much more than beaches

By Philippe Jolicoeur
Beautiful women walking through the colourful streets of Oaxaca
I love Mexico and moved there in 1997 . This is where I met the mother of my 3 beautiful children .Oaxaca is our favourite destination this week. We love Oaxaca for its great coffee, handicrafts and enchanting colonial architecture. Yes ,our factory is in Veracruz, and we absolutely love Veracruz, but Oaxaca has a special place in our hearts, because of it’s incredible culture . We will be back to you Veracruz in the near future !

We all know how beautiful Mexican beaches are , but there's so much more to Oaxaca than just beaches. The state of Oxaca is most commonly known by its famous beach towns such as Huatulco, Puerto Escondido, and Mazunte which are all extremely popular but Oaxaca City in particular has so many places of interest that it may seem daunting when you visit for your first time. If you're not sure where to go when in Oaxaca, here are some suggestions on what to see and do when in this colorful city!

Oaxaca is a city in south-central Mexico. It's known for its textiles, influenced by the local Zapotec and Mixtec cultures, as well as its food - Oaxacan cuisine is one of Mexico's most varied and colourful expressions of indigenous gastronomy.

Another thing we love about Oaxaca are its colonial buildings - the city centre is full of them. Wander around and you'll find colourful houses with wooden balconies and intricate stone carvings. Start off with something simple like visiting Santo Domingo Church (or "La Parroquia de San Pablo y Santiago"): This structure was built in 1575 by Dominican friars who also founded the town Santo Domingo de Guzmán .

Oaxaca caffeinates us with some of Mexico's best-quality coffee beans. Coffee is central to Oaxacan culture - the city hosts an annual International Coffee Festival. Pluma Hildago, about an hour up in the Sierra Madre Mountains along Highway 200 from Huatulco , is known as Mexico’s Coffee Town. It offers a perfect day trip.

Another perfect day trip is visiting the different Mezcal distilleries outside of the city . Mezcal sometimes gets a bad rap but people in the know cherish it for its smoky aroma and flavour. Traditionally, mezcal is handcrafted by small-scale producers. A village can contain dozens of production houses, called fábricas or palenques, each using methods that have been passed down from generation to generation, some using the same techniques practiced 200 years ago. This is an important difference with tequila which is nowadays mostly produced industrially. Every palenque you visit is more welcoming than the next .

One aspect of Oaxacan culture that's relatively widespread compared with other Mexican states is traditional medicine, some aspects of which are supported by mainstream science (who knew?). One of the most famous remedies is "pulque", a traditional fermented alcoholic drink made from the maguey plant. It's known to have lots of health benefits, including antibacterial, analgesic and cholesterol-reducing properties. It’s also delicious and comes in different flavours. Pineapple is my fave !

And did we mention the food? Oaxaca has long been considered Mexico's culinary capital . That says a lot when you consider the variety of Mexican cuisine. Plentiful markets overflowing with locally-grown produce make it easy to discover Oaxacan cuisine. Oaxaca is a great destination for foodies - this city's cuisine has been described as a mix of pre-Hispanic taste and new ingredients, with every dish delicately prepared and full of flavour.

The most notable aspect of Oaxacan cuisine is its variety of moles, which are a type of complex cocoa based sauces. Their origins go back to the melding of Spanish and Arabic food in Spain. The many varieties of moles, prepared with chilli peppers, nuts, spices, chocolate, tomatoes and sometimes oats or rice will impress any gourmet.

You can explore the city's colourful culture by participating in any number of traditional festivities - that's how we like to travel! Oaxaca consists of both modernized cities and local small towns creating a unique mixture between old traditions and new businesses which makes Oaxaca a culturally diverse and unique place to visit.

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