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Spotlight: Oaxaca City, Mexico | June 2022

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Welcome to the "Land of Seven Moles"

Oaxaca is also known as Oaxaca de Juárez or Oaxaca City. It is the capital (and largest city) of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Home to a vibrant community with Olmec, Zapotec, Mixtec, and Spanish roots, Oaxaca is rich in culture, cuisine, and tradition.

Oaxaca is positioned between two imposing mountain ranges, and its isolation has preserved 16 distinct pre-Spanish cultures which still exist here. Dating back to 1500BCE, this secluded haven in southern Mexico is one of the most culturally- and biologically-diverse places in the world! In fact, 50% of state’s population are non-Spanish speakers, speaking other indigenous languages.

And the cuisine?? Seven moles?? Yes!

  • Mole Negro: a black mole comprised of chocolate, dried fruit, and spices like cloves, cinnamon, cumin, and a licorice-flavored herb called hoja santa

  • Mole Verde: a green mole with pumpkin seeds, cilantro, tomatillos, and jalapenos

  • Mole Amarillo: a chocolate-free yellow sauce made from chiles, tomatoes, tomatillos and a robust spice blend (and also no dried fruit so it is spicier than most moles)

  • Mole Chichilo: a blend of beef stock and a variety of chiles

  • Mole Poblano: a red mole made from chilies blended with raisins and nuts

  • Mole Coloradito: a blend of chiles, chocolate, spices, nuts/seeds and dried fruit... but uses mashed sweet plantains to thicken (other varieties use corn or wheat flours)

  • Mole Manchamantel: a vibrant red mole based with pineapple, tomatoes and bright red chorizo sausage, the name roughly translates to "stain your tablecloth"

Highlights Include:

  • Archeological sites including Monte Alban

  • Jardin Etno-botanico de Oaxaca

  • Local markets: Mercados Organico La Cosecha & Mercado Benito Juarez & Mujeres Artesanias de las Regiones de Oaxaca

  • Animal spotting and hiking in Benito Juarez National Park

  • Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman

  • Enjoying the plazas and parks of Zocalo Oaxaca & El Llano

  • Traditional music and dancing

  • Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad

  • Museo Textil de Oaxaca

  • El Arbol del Tule (world's widest tree)

  • Oaxaca hot chocolate & coffee

  • Art & Alibrejes in Arrazola

There is plenty to explore including parks and playgrounds. The entire area has so much to offer and plenty of unique experiences such as a traditional temazcal sweat lodge ceremony, a mezcal tasting for the adults, day trip to Hierve el Agua (a natural mineral spring you can swim in, pictured below), a traditional cooking class, a paint your own alibreje tour... a little something for everyone.

Hierve el Agua mineral spring with a view!

From the mystical alibrejes (folk art of brightly colored fantastical creatures) to the ancient ceremonial sites to the pre-Hispanic languages and traditions that fill the streets, Oaxaca is an engaging destination for all ages.

Enchanting alibrejes

Sign up for our Oaxaca Pop--Up June 19-26,2022:

  • Early bird rates valid until May 15, 2022

  • Regular rates apply afterward

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