Everything is colourful in Oaxaca. A city of Spanish elegance; cobblestone streets are lined with flame-red poinciana trees, pastel-hued colonial mansions and imposing 17th century baroque architecture. Shady plazas host lively, open-air markets showcasing ancestral Oaxacan crafts.
Outside of the city are the valleys of the lofty Sierra Madre Mountains. Here, rows of spiked agave plants are cultivated to create mezcal – tequila’s smoky cousin – which Oaxaca is famed for. Hidden amongst the rugged mountains are the 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.