There were plenty of things to do in around Oaxaca other than learning Spanish. Here is a brief overview of some of the things that we did during our stay.
The Monastery of Santiago Apóstol
We did a trip out to the Monastery after class one afternoon, and unfortunately the tour was in Spanish, so I didn’t understand much of what they were saying, but you can find some info on wiki –
Typical Day Trip Offerings
A number of tour groups offered similar day trips that covered five main places:
- A visit to the Tule tree, Santa Maria’s 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress, the world’s thickest tree.
- A tour of the artesanal rug-making process in Teotitlan.
- A trip to the ruins of Mitla.
- Time to relax at the Hierve el Agua.
- An all you can sip mezcal tasting in Santiago Matatlan.
I didn’t take any photos of the mezcal tasting, because I was too busy trying all of the creme flavours, and ended up buying the one that tasted like peanut butter.
Located only 10km outside of Oaxaca City lies the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Monte Alban. It is set high on a ridge overlooking the city, and offers stunning panoramic views. Being the dry season, it wasn’t as green as on the postcards, but it was very impressive nonetheless.
The National Postal Museum
Another afternoon excursion post-class, this museum was really quirky and worth a look if you are into stamp collecting. I loved the courtyard at the back of the museum which had a display of all of the different stamps that featured Oaxaqueñan food, landscapes, buildings, and traditions.
We missed out on the English speaking tour of the gardens, so had to settle for the Spanish version, but it is an interesting garden, featuring many plants endemic to the area, and with medicinal properties.
But most of all…
I loved walking around Oaxaca and taking in the sights and sounds. It really is an interesting part of the world.