Everything is colourful in Oaxaca. A city of Spanish elegance; cobblestone streets are lined with flame-red poinciana trees, candy-coloured colonial mansions and imposing 17th century baroque architecture. Shady plazas host lively, open-air markets showcasing ancestral Oaxacan craft.
Outside of the city within the valleys of the lofty Sierra Madre Mountains, are rows of spiked agave plants, the source of mezcal – tequila’s smoky cousin – for which the entire region is famed for. Deeper within the rugged landscape lie the hidden archaeological sites of Monte Alban and Mitla – UNESCO world heritage sites well worth a visit.
To the south, Oaxaca boasts a pristine stretch of Pacific coast. The secluded port town of Puerto Escondido – known for its expansive beaches and excellent surf – is one of the best spots to unwind after a few nights in bustle and colour of the city.