Playa Ziplolite.

Swimwear is optional in this sleepy coastal pueblo, Zipolite draws a particular crowd that blends expatriate naturalists and bohemian travellers. The town consists of two main streets that peel-off into unsealed sandy roads. Small hotels and yoga studios are hidden within forest and the ocean beckons the people to rise early. Sunrise is a particularly picturesque time to walk the stretch of the sand. In the evening the streets are alive with artisans selling jewelry and assorted handmade crafts. The sound of drums, talking and the clink of glasses line the curbside where people sit around small tables drinking and eating fresh ceviche.

The surf is consistent and uncrowded, I check the waves from our thatched cabin at ‘Lo Cosmico’ and head out for a paddle. The locals ask ¿de donde eres? a friendly inquiry of where I’m from. We trade waves and cheer each other on, a welcome change from the more competitive surf breaks in in Zicatela.

After a surf, we lay in the sun and sink into the tropical vibe. It’s high season, but it’s still relatively quiet. The day drifts by, as we swim and sun ourselves dry. We nap in the cabin, escaping midday heat while swinging in our hammocks. As the afternoon calls, we walk to the ‘mirador’ to watch the sun sink into the sea.
I want to install myself here for a month in the low season. This seaside cabin in front of the nudist beach has become a Shangri-La I know I’ll long to return to when I’m gone.

Over the Mountains: Coast to the City.

The drive from the Pacific Coast to Oaxaca city is nothing less than treacherous. Within the first 20 KM, you leave behind the 30-degree coastal heat and begin to climb. Driving through tropical palms and banana trees until they transform into jungle. The climate is continually in flux throughout the journey and chills down as we arrive at “San Jose Del Pacifico.”

Breaking through the condensation 2,500M above sea level, the view of the cascading mountains looking back through the valley provides you with a friendly reminder of the road you have just travelled.

Archeological Site of Monte Alban.

Monte Albán is an ancient Zapotec metropolis, the most important site in the Oaxaca Valley and Mesoamerica. Monte Albán was founded in the sixth century B.C. on a low mountainous range that now overlooks the city of Oaxaca.

This site was one of the most important cultural and political sites to the Zapotecas, and the first state system that developed in Mesoamerica. The zone concentrated the elites of Zapoteca society, with a building dedicated to astronomical observation, all issues regarding how Monte Alban was to governed were discussed at the main plaza.

Outer Structure of Monte Alban with the mountains of the Oaxaca Valley in the background.
Monte Alban has a 360 degree vantage point of The Oaxaca Valley.

On route to Hierve el Agua.

Oaxaca, The City of Creative Rebellion.

Oaxaca city is what I imagined all of Mexico would be like before I first visited.

For lovers of fine foods, art and culture; Oaxaca city will satisfy and possibly overstimulate your senses. With artisanal markets crowded with hand-stitched clothing, rugs, hats, and woven bags – It is a paradise for those who celebrate the aura of the ‘one-off’.

The Architecture in the center of the city is influenced by a Spanish colonial style, that houses many stores and museums. The central plaza or ‘zocalo’ is buzzing, people dance while two bands simultaneously play.

Everywhere you look there is something new. Put on your best walking shoes because the traffic is terrible and not worth your time.

Visit a workshop, drink Oaxacan coffee, try Tecate – a hand made drink of the gods made from Cacao. Eat mole. Drink mezcal. Have a power nap, arise and keep going.

Artists rule this city. The museums are abundant and the history is dense and exciting. The Oaxacan weddings take over the streets during the day, horns sound and the band progresses through the main ‘calle’.

During holidays, the city doesn’t sleep. The people of all ages unite to celebrate their religious holidays. Fireworks explode, it’s exhilarating to experience the common commotion eroding the status quo. The people are happily united in revelry, the band starts up again!

I’m off rest now so I can do it all again tomorrow.  

Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: Street View.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: A young lady sells flowers in front of a church besides the market of artisanal goods.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: Temple of Saint Domingo de Guzman.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: A young girl celebrating “The Virgin of solitude” takes part in a street parade setting off fireworks in front of the city centre. This is one of the most important festivals that take place in Oaxaca city, as the Virgin of Solitude is said to be the queen of the city.
Oaxaca, Southern Mexico: Walking through the Ex convent of Saint Domingo.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: Graffiti sprayed on the main street of the city reads “We won’t adapt to this system.”
Oaxaca, Southern Mexico: A mural located in the bar La Nueva Babel.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: A young man walks the streets disguised in a devil costume.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: The main plaza or “Zocalo” is constantly full of life. From live music, people dancing, food and artisan stalls. During December this central plaza is forever buzzing with action.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: Street performers at the central plaza.
Oaxaca City. Southern Mexico: A man makes fairy floss at apart of a fair.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: Target practice at the city fair.
Oaxaca, Southern Mexico: A typical Mexican snack, Elotes, maiz or corn covered in chilli, cheese and lime.
Oaxaca, Southern Mexico: Street Scenes.
Oaxaca City, Southern Mexico: A young girl partaking in the street parade of the Virgin of Solitude.

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