The city of Oaxaca (altitude 5070 ft.) is located in a valley between the Sierra Oaxaqueña mountains in the west and the Sierra Madre del Sur in the east. The climate is ideal. Spring like days and cool nights provide the atmosphere for one of Oaxaca´s most popular activities, sitting in the Zócalo, sipping a cappuccino and watching the world stroll by. Many archeological sites, including the famous Monte Albán, are only a short taxi or bus ride away and there are numerous Indian villages in which Zapotec and Mixtec are still spoken and the colorful markets display handcrafted folk art.
Oaxaca is famous for the Guelaguetza in mid-July, Holy Week in the spring, and the Day of the Dead in early November. We, at the Instituto, invite you to Matar dos pájaros de una pedrada (kill two birds with one stone). Learn Spanish or improve your current knowledge of the language and enjoy the unique and colorful atmosphere of Oaxaca.
Folk art, festivals and fascinating indigenous cultures make Oaxaca one of the most magical of Mexico's many colonial cities. Zapotec and Mixtec ruins and traditional rural villages lie just a few miles from the beautifully preserved center city. Though the population is over 800,000, the downtown area has remained relatively peaceful, and is especially pleasant on afternoons. Streets around the Plaza Principal, one of the prettiest public parks in all Mexico, have been closed to traffic and transformed into pedestrian malls.
Colonial haciendas house excellent restaurants featuring superb regional cuisine; some offer live music from jazz to tropical to traditional at night. Galleries and shops display an amazing array of folk art sure to tempt the most jaded shopper; most are happy to ship your purchases home. Museums in the 16th-century convents are filled with jade and gold artifacts. The colonial Santo Domingo Church houses the Regional Museum of Oaxaca, with exhibits of intricate jewelry and tableware from Monte Alban and Mitla. Replicas of the filigreed jewelry can be found in the city's shops. For those seeking the best in architecture, archaeology, art and dining, Oaxaca is a cultural paradise.