Oaxaca in southern Mexico overwhelms the eyes and delights the palate.  Rated the third best city to visit in Central and South America by Travel and Leisure Magazine, Oaxaca City showcases all of the historical periods of Mexico.  If you’re looking for a city that’s not overwhelmingly big, yet packs a huge punch in terms of activities and culture, then Oaxaca is for you.

1. Monte Albán– The ancient center of Zapotec and Mixtec culture dating back to the 8th Monte Albán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered one of Mexico’s most culturally rich archaeological sites.

2. Día de los Muertos– A national holiday in Mexico and considered one of the most important cultural celebrations in Latin America. It is believed that the spirits of the dead visit their families on October 31 and leave on November 2.

3. Mole– Oaxaca is the land of the seven moles. Taste them all until you find your favorite.

4. Alejibres – Imaginary and real creatures carved and painted in fantastic designs from the artisan’s own imagination. Alejibres are traditionally made in Oaxaca in the towns of San Martin Tilcajete and Arrazola.

5. Mezcal– Oaxaca is where some of the best mezcal’s in Mexico are made. Visit a local distillery and learn the entire production process.

6. Markets– Oaxacan markets are sure to delight. Check out Tlacolula market on Sundays where you can have barbecue for breakfast, buy folk art and see textiles made by the same artisans you’re talking to.

7. Hierve de Agua– Rock formations that look like waterfalls frozen in time and natural mineral pools for swimming.

8. Ethnobotanical Garden– Oaxaca’s indigenous peoples are known for their textiles, ceramics, cuisine, and complex use of plants. Discover the wealth of plant and animal species found in Oaxaca and how they have influenced the city’s people for more than 12,000 years at Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca.

9. Historic City Center– Founded in 1529, by a small group of Zapotec Indians, the colonial city retains its trace in the form of checkerboard with square blocks and portals on all four sides of the square.

10. Barro Negro Pottery– Black clay pottery from Oaxaca that’s distinguished by its color, sheen and unique designs. Oaxaca is one of few Mexican states characterized by the continuance of its ancestral crafts.