The state of Oaxaca is filled with history and beautiful places. For example, I have heard that the beaches in Oaxaca are so beautiful there is no comparison with any other, sadly I did not have time to visit them over my trip. But I did visit a few tourist attractions around the city of Oaxaca. If you happen to be traveling around there I advise you to make this one day tour, I promise it is worth it.
Stop #1: Santa Maria del Tule
In the town of Santa Maria del Tule the famous Arbol del Tule (Tree of Tule)i s found. It is known for being one of the oldest trees in the world and thought to be more than 2,000 years old. With a diameter of 14.05 meters (46.1 ft), 30 people with their arms extended would be needed in order to surround it. The data is very impressive but seeing this magnificent tree in person is just sublime. To think that this same tree has seen the Spanish, Mixtecs, Zapotecs, and a lot more really blows my mind.
Stop #2: Mitla, place of rest
This stop will probably take more time than the first one because it is a large archeological site with many buildings. Mitla became the center of politic power for the Zapotecs of the valley when Monte Albán was unoccupied.
Like many pre-Columbian sites, Mitla was partially destroyed by the Spanish conquerors therefore building a catholic temple over the pre-Hispanic foundations. Luckily many of the Zapotec buildings did survive and now we have the chance to relive the history enclosed between its walls. Architecturally speaking, what caught my eye was the complex mosaic fretwork found all around Mitla. This fretwork or grecas are made with perfectly cut stones making different patterns, usually placed over the walls of buildings. The fretwork is so beautifully done that we could think they were made for a decorative motive when in reality for the Zapotecs they were considered a "symbolic teaching". There are also two tombs open to the public, this was the first time I got a chance to go inside of one. Admiring the place that for many years was filled with corpses that once aspired for an afterlife, was both fascinating and disturbing.
Stop #3: Hierve el Agua
Finally the most awaited stop (at least it was for me) Hierve el Agua. After a long road that goes through Oaxacas´s central valley we get to a set of petrified waterfalls. The name Hierve el Agua (meaning water boils) is given because of the similarity of the water springs to boiling water. The water form the springs was used to create natural baths were you can admire the waterfalls and enjoy a panoramic view.
The rock formations or petrified waterfalls are formed because of the slow runoff of water high in calcium carbonate over thousands of years.
The view is incredible and the place gives you internal peace from the moment you touch it. It is a daydream.
A place to think, create, dream, and contemplate. The perfect place to finish off a day of learning. After this last stop I would recommend you to go back to the city and eat some mole enchiladas. I believe there is no excuse to not eat mole at least once a day over your trip to Oaxaca.
Hope you enjoy it!