Oaxaca: Thoroughly Charmed

I had heard many raves from friends (and, to be honest, from random internet strangers I follow on Instagram) about Oaxaca, so I was more than a little excited to check it out. Nestled in south central Mexico, Oaxaca features an abundance of both colonial architecture and awesome food. Happily for me, it was a real treat.

One thing I loved about Oaxaca was how much activity there was out on the streets, at all times. In squares scattered throughout town – including the square surrounding the Templo de Santo Domingo, pictured below – townspeople and tourists were out in full force. It gave the city such a wonderful energy, particularly in the evenings.

Mercado Benito Juárez, Oaxaca’s bustling covered market, is a must-visit spot. I found myself coming back to this market multiple times, sometimes just to browse, and others with a specific mission in mind (buying Mexican hot chocolate, duh).

As soon as she found out I was in Oaxaca, one of my friends who had lived in Mexico for several years messaged me that I had to grab a meal at Casa Oaxaca, preferably on their rooftop. Well, done and done. And, my friend was absolutely right: the food here is can’t miss. It was too dark to get good photos of my food, but I will note that in my journal I described my octopus entree as a “flavor explosion.”

It sounds like a bit of an exaggeration – and perhaps it is – but the word I kept thinking of to describe Oaxaca was “magical,” particularly during the early evening golden hours, when seemingly everyone takes to the streets and squares to enjoy the city. Magical or not, Oaxaca definitely joins the ranks of the most pleasant towns I’ve been fortunate enough to visit.

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