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Oaxaca is a state located in southern Mexico on the pacific coast just west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This area is the traditional home of the Zapotec and Mixtec people making this state contain more speakers of indigenous languages then any other Mexican state. Before the arrivals of the Europeans the Zapotec people controlled the area until they were conquered by the Mixtecs in the 13th century. These cultures developed very complex societies and built several fascinating temples, such as Monte Albán, Mitla, Guiengola and Huijatzoo. During the mid-fifteenth century the area was conquered by the Aztecs and in 1496 the Aztecs built a garrison in the area naming it Huāxyacac, which was later changed to Oaxaca by a Spanish miss understanding of the name.
After Cortez conquered the Aztec Empire, Oaxaca was given to him to govern as his reward. He quickly changed the valley with the introduction of new crops such as sugar cane and silk worms. Also diseases brought in by new settlers killed many natives. After the 1821 revolution Oaxaca remained an agriculture based economy, with very little heavy or light industry.
One of the most famous people in Mexican history, President Benito Juarez, was born and raised in a small village in Oaxaca. When he was elected into office in 1858 he was first full blooded indigenous national to serve as a head of state in all of the Americas in more then 300 years. Also many famous artists and writers have come from Oaxaca.
Today tourism is Oaxaca's main source of income. With over 250 kilometres (155 miles) of beaches, amazing colonial architecture, ancient ruins, crafts and stunning folk art, there is plenty to do in Oaxaca. The best time to visit is to catch one of the amazing local festivals.
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The state is located in the south of Mexico, bordered by the states of Puebla, Veracruz, Chiapas and Guerrero with the Pacific Ocean to the south. It has a territory of 93,967 km2, accounting for less than 5% of Mexico's territory. Here several mountain chains come together, with the elevation varying from sea level to 3,759 metres averaging at 1,500 metres. Oaxaca has one of the most rugged terrains in Mexico, with mountain ranges that abruptly fall into the sea. Between these mountains are mostly narrow valleys, canyons and ravines. Major elevations in the state include Cempoaltepetl (3,396 metres) El Espinazo del Diablo, Nindú Naxinda Yucunino and Cerro Encantado. Oaxaca's has 533 kilometres of coastline with nine major bays.
The mountains are mostly formed by the convergence of the Sierra Madre del Sur, the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca and the Sierra Atravesada into what is called the Oaxaca Complex (Complejo Oaxaqueño). The Sierra Madre del Sur runs along the coast with an average width of 150 kilometres and a minimum height of 2,000 metres with peaks over 2,500 metres. In various regions the chain is locally known by other names, such as the Sierra de Miahuatlán and the Sierra de la Garza. The Sierra Madre de Oaxaca enters the state from the Puebla and Veracruz borders in the Tuxtepec region, running northwest to southeast towards the Central Valleys region, then onto the Tehuantepec area. Local names for parts of this range include Sierra de Tamazulapan, Sierra de Nochixtlan, Sierra de Huautla, Sierra de Juárez, Sierra de Ixtlan and others. Average altitude is 2,500 metres with peaks over 3,000 metres and width averages at about 75 kilometres. The Sierra Atravesada is a prolongation of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. This range is not as high as the other two with an average elevation of just over 600 metres. Most of it is located in the Juchitán district running east-west.
The only valleys of any real size are the Central Valleys between Etla and Miahuatlan, which contains the city of Oaxaca. Smaller populated valleys include Nochixtlan, Nejapa, Cuicatlan and Tuxtepec. Small mesas contain population centers such as Putla, Juxtlahuaca, Tamazulapan, Zacatepec, Tlaxiaco and Huajuapan. The largest canyons in the state are those in the Cuicatlan area and include the Cortés, Galicia and María in the municipality of Tlaxiaco. There are a very large number of small canyons as well as ravines and arroyos of all sizes.
The mountainous terrain allows for no navigable rivers; instead, there are a large number of smaller ones, which often change name from area to area. The continental divide passes through the state, meaning that there is drainage towards both the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean. Most of the drainage towards the Gulf is represented by the Papaloapan and Coatzacoalcos Rivers and their tributaries such as the Grande and Salado Rivers. Three rivers account for most of the water headed for the Pacific: the Mixteco, Atoyac and Tehuantepec Rivers with their tributaries. Other important rivers and streams include the Tequisistlán, Santo Domingo, Putla, Minas, Puxmetacán-Trinidad, La Arena, Cajonos, Tenango, Tonto, Huamelula, San Antonio, Ayutla, Joquila, Copalita, Calapa, Colotepec, Aguacatenango-Jaltepec, Los Perros, El Corte, Espíritu Santo, Sarabia, Ostuta, Petapa and Petlapa.
With over 570 municipalities, more then any other state in Mexico, Oaxaca has a lot of cities and town.
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While the state is within the tropical latitudes, its climate varies with altitude. There are three principal climate regions in the state. The first is the hot and semi humid lands. This accounts for about 30% of the state. The next is the semi hot and semi humid regions which account for about 18%, and temperate and semi humid at about 16%. All of these climates experience a rainy season in the summer and early fall. As most of the state is over 2,000 metres above sea level, average temperature is about 18 °C, except near the coast. The coastline along with the regions of Yautepec, Putla, parts of Huahuapan and Silacayoapan are hot and relatively dry. Hot and humid climates predominate in Villa Alta, and the Central Valleys area and all others over 2,000 metres above sea level have a temperate climate. A few of the highest peaks, such as those in Tehuantepec and Putla have a cold climate. Precipitation varies from between 430 to 2,700 mm per year. The Sierra Mazteca, Textepec and other areas near the Veracruz border have rains year round. The rest of the state receives the majority of its rain during the summer and early fall. The higher elevations can experience freezing temperatures in December and January.
Oaxaca-Xoxocotlan Airport (OAX) is 10 km south of the city centre with the majority of flights to Mexico City. There are limited flights to other Mexican cities like Huatulco, Cancun, Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Tijuana. There are some international flights including one to Houston.
There are many busconnections to Oaxaca. From San Cristobal you can take a nightbus which takes about 12 hours. 1st class buses are usually operated by OCC. There are also many connections to Puebla, Mexico City and Veracruz
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Due to the mix of cultures there is some great food to be found in Oaxaca. The state is known as the "Land of Seven Moles'' because of its variety of food choices. A great variety of fruits and vegetables are frown in the central valley, while tropical fruits are found in the north and fish and shellfish dominate the cuisine along the coast. Oaxaca is also known for its amazing chocolate.
Oaxaca does not have the same nightlife as other areas of Mexico. Most of coastal areas are considered pretty tame when compared to the big party areas. The city of Oaxaca does have a pretty good nightlife.
Oaxaca is the place to drink Mezcal, a typical drink from this region. You will see the big Agave plants everywhere and from this plant they make the drink. In the Mezcal bottles you will find a worm on the bottom. Swallowing one of these worms is enough to get you really drunk.
|Aitana Hotel||Crespo, nº 313 Colonia Oaxaca Centro||hotel||91|
|Casa Angel Youth Hostel||Tinoco y Palacios 610, Centro, Oaxaca||Hostel||92|
|Casa Arnel||Aldama, no 404 Col. Jalatlaco||hotel||85|
|Casa de Don Pablo Hostel||Melchor Ocampo 412, Centro||Hostel||78|
|Casa Gigi||518 Colonia Reforma||Guesthouse||-|
|El Cortijo House Hostel||Camino a Rancho Sangre de Cristo No 818||hostel||-|
|El Quijote||Mina 511 Centro Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca.||Hostel||91|
|Hostal Casa del Sol||Constitucion 301||Hostel||-|
|Hostal del Mercado * Youth Hostel||Aldama 307 Col. Centro||Hostel||-|
|Hostal Los Amigos Oaxaca||Av Hidalgo 1011 Centro Oaxaca||Hostel||-|
|Hostal Luz de Luna Nuyoo||Avenida Juárez No. 101 Zona centro||HOSTEL||86|
|Hostal Pochon||Callejon del Carmen #102||Hostel||79|
|Hostel Alcala||Valdivieso 120, Centro||Hostel||71|
|Hostel Don Nino||Pino Suarez 804||Hostel||88|
|Hostel Mezkalito||Xicotencatl # 121||hostel||-|
|Hotel Los Pilares Hostal||Curtidurias 721A Barrio de Jalatlaco||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Mision De Los Angeles||Calzada Porfirio Diaz No,.102-D Col. Reforma||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Posada Santa Rita||constancia 107 Barrio Espinal salina cruz||hotel||-|
|Hotel Principal||5 de Mayo 208||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Villa Oaxaca||Cerrada del Panteòn # 201 San Felipe del Agua||Hotel||-|
|La Villada Inn Hostel||Felipe Angeles 204 Ejido Guadalupe Victoria||Hostel||90|
|Nizadú Hostel||5a Privada de la Noria 316. Colonia Centro||Hostel||84|
|Parador San Andres||Hidalgo 405||Guesthouse||-|
|Paulina Youth Hostel||Trujano 321 col. centro||Hostel||-|
|Posada de los Angeles||Diaz Quintas 206||Guesthouse||85|
|Posada Don Mario||Cosijopi 219 Centro||Guesthouse||85|
|Santa Lucia Hotel||Marcos Perez 307||Hotel||-|
|Saturday Inn Guest house||Los Besos 109 San Felipe del agua||Guesthouse||-|
|La Unidad Hostal||Pajaritos 119 Barrio de Jalatlaco||HOSTEL||83|
|Azul Cielo Hostel||Arteaga Num: 608 Centro||HOSTEL||88|
|Hostal Don Miguel||Avenida Hidalgo #507-B||HOSTEL||-|
|Campestre Los Sue�os||Carretera Internacional km 167 Barrio el Peazco||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Casa Hacienda El Encuentro||Privada Del Encuentro||HOTEL||-|
|Cielo Rojo Hostel||Xicotencatl 121, Centro||HOSTEL||82|
|Plaza del Carmen Hostel||Calle Matamoros 305||HOSTEL||-|
|Los Petates Oaxaca Youth Hostel||Montes de Oca #600, Colonia Santa Maria Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca||HOSTEL||-|
|Hostal Zipolite||Arteaga Núm 100 melchor ocampo núm 701||HOSTEL||-|
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