Oaxaca City Travel Guide

J. Ramos

During the XV century, before the Spanish Conquest, the Zapotecas and the Mixtecos were the two ruling civilizations in what today is the South of Mexico. When the Spaniards arrived, they were in the middle of a fight with the Mexicas over the control of the commerce with Central America. By the time the Mexica Empire was conquered, Hernan Cortes appointed Pedro de Alvarado the leader in the conquest of the South. Since neither the Zapotecas or the Mixtecos were as advanced as the Mexicas, the conquest was quick.
After that, the Dominican Friars started the evangelization and built many temples. But many indigenous died because of some epidemics, and the area had to be repopulated with African slaves.
In 1858, 37 years after the Independence, Benito Juarez from Guelatao Oaxaca became the first ever full-blooded indigenous President. He governed until his death in 1872.
Oaxaca was highly improved during the Porfiriato, the 35 years Porfirio Diaz held the Presidency. This was the time when the street lighting, the railroad and the telegraph arrived to the city, connecting it with the capital.
In the decade or 1930 the ruins of Monte Alban were discovered and in the decade on 1950 a great deal of infrastructure was developed in the state and in the decade on 1970 the cultural treasure that is Oaxaca was promoted. 

Where to Go in Oaxaca City


Camino Real Oaxaca

user rating

5 de Mayo 300

Monte Alban

expert pick

N/A Road to Monte Alban

One of the most important and best conserved pre-Hispanic ruins in Mexico.

La Biznaga

García Vigil 512

Great Oaxacan Fusion Restaurant, hip and spacious.

Bar Sagrario

Valdivieso 120

Oaxaca City Blog Posts


The Church of Santo Domingo in Oaxaca
The Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman in Oaxaca, known only as Santo Domingo, is a one of the best examples of the Baroque Architecture of New Spain in México. Its construction began around 1551 when the Government of La Antequera de Oaxaca -the old name of Oaxaca City- gave the Dominican Order a land... Read more

An Enormous and Fun-to-Visit Tree in Oaxaca: El Arbol del Tule
The Arbol del Tule is a 2000 years old cypress with a 14.36 meters diameter trunk; just so you can imagine how wide the trunk is, think of 30 people holding hands with their arms wide open forming a circle. It has the stoutest trunk in the world! In 2001 the UNESCO placed it on a tentative list of World... Read more

The Zapotec Culture in Oaxaca
There were two, really important Mesoamerican cultures in what today is Oaxaca City: the Zapotecs and the Mixtec. They were both powerful and left behind great cultural, artistic and architectonic heritages, as well as being the ancestors of some of the indigenous peoples that still live in the Oaxaca... Read more

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