Oaxacan greatness is not limited to the capital. The neighboring towns have archaeological zones, colonial and Porfirian buildings, community museums, handicrafts and natural beauties, etc., to such an extent that tourist routes have been formed to make it easier for visitors to explore this vast amount of attractions.

The roots of Oaxaca flavored maguey

We invite you to taste one of the most emblematic drinks that identify the state of Oaxaca: mezcal.

Be part of a magical journey that will take you to discover the traditional process that has given worldwide fame to the distillate, whose formula, inherited by generations, is the best kept secret by Oaxacans.

Santa María del Tule

The first impression of this town is the Tree of the Tule, framed by the temple of Santa María de la Asunción, which in its main altar has the image of the Virgin of the Assumption and the Passion of Christ.

San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya

Your curiosity for art and religion takes place in the Baroque style temple built in the 16th century, valued by its carving and artistic decoration, standing out the image of San Jerónimo, Saint patron of the town.

Teotitlán del Valle

Its inhabitants produce fine textiles in traditional pedal looms, dyed naturally and with pre-hispanic and contemporaneous designs. If you are looking for wool textiles, this is the ideal place!

Tlacolula de Matamoros

Nobody can resist photographing the beauty of its market, where you find the creativity embodied in products made of clay, reed, stone, palm and textiles.

San Pablo Villa de Mitla

Delve into its archaeological zone, whose facades are considered unique in the country; visit the Temple of San Juan Apostol, erected during the 16th century.

Santiago Matatlán

The majestic maguey plants glimpse you and announce you the arrival to a town where you can get to know the mezcal factories and outlets.

Art and multicolor magic

Watch the art and creativity reflected in the fine touches given to each of the pieces made, with love and dedication, by the inhabitants of the six communities that make up the Magic Route of Handicrafts.

Witness the craft processes of great Oaxacan masters, who conserve and transmit techniques learned from generation to generation, and whose skill and talent have made shine the popular art of these localities in the Central Valleys, placing the name of Oaxaca very high and carrying the magic of our culture beyond time and borders.

Tour the communities belonging to the route, in which the different crafts -the green glazed ceramic clay or black, alebrijes, silk textiles and cotton or pieces of cutlery- utilitarian or ornamental, are a fundamental motor in the family and community economy.

In addition, savor the delicious traditional cuisine of the region, visit the museums and temples, share the simple life of the people and, above all, fill your eyes and your soul with the multicolored magic that arises from the wonderful hands of Oaxacan artisans.

Santa María Atzompa

The various glazed green clay products made by the pottery craftsmen of this community are emblematic of the beautiful ceramics of the central valleys of Oaxaca.

San Bartolo Coyotepec

Brilliant finishes of centuries-old tradition, and innovative designs of great quality and fine detail, make the black clay pieces of Coyotepec one of the most beautiful crafts of the state.

San Martín Tilcajete

The noble copal wood comes to life in the wise hands of the artisans of Tilcajete, who in the intricate shapes and designs of the polychrome alebrijes challenge the limits of imagination and creativity.

Santo Tomás Jalieza

The gentle beauty of daily life and the centuries-old Zapotec heritage shine in the colors, shapes and designs of the textiles that the women of this community make in the waist loom.

San Antonino Castillo Velasco

Multicolored silks and cottons, patience, creativity and dexterity, are essential ingredients to achieve the beautiful garments of San Antonino, eternal tradition as the immortal flower that distinguishes this community.

Ocotlán de Morelos

Beauty and strength come together in each piece of the unique cutlery of Ocotlán, in whose powerful leaves you can guess the intensity of the fire and the tradition that has forged them.

Villa de Etla: quesillo, art and traditions

Etla is the location of San José el Mogote ruins and museum for which there is more detailed information on our ‘Archaeological Sites’ and ‘Museums’ pages respectively. The ruins at Etla are of importance because they are the site of the Zapotec capital of Oaxaca before Monte Álban supplanted it, after the construction of Monte Álban Etla’s San José el Mogote site became increasingly less important until its eventual abandonment.

Etla’s Wednesday market day is also a good thing to see if you have time. More details of Etla’s market can be found on the ‘Markets’ Page of the website. Most famously however Etla is the birthplace of quesillo cheese which is a delicious white string cheese that melts in your mouth. Quesillo is so important in Oaxaca that we have given it its own page, which you can find under the ‘Food’ section. There is plenty of quesillo and other dairy products available at Etla’s market, especially on market day. If you decide to visit the market you should also consider visiting the 16th century church that is just behind it.

Near to Villa de Etla you also find the picturesque village of San Agustin Etla.

Villa de Etla

La villa de Etla is known most famously for ‘quesillo’ cheese which has been produced in the area since its conception. The market reflects this dairy emphasis and there is plenty of cheese and meat for sale. Like many other markets the market has brick and mortar installations which operate all week long; however as in the case of Tlacolula market, on market day, Etla market expands to swamp nearby streets with vendors selling their wares. The streets become awash with colourful fruits, vegetables, flowers, and many other domestic products. Etla market is also only a stone’s throw away from the Etla’s church and plaza should you need somewhere to sit down afterwards.

San Agustín Etla

This tiny community about 12 miles north from the center of Oaxaca, the capital of Oaxaca state, is known across Mexico and among foreign adventure-seekers for its Day of the Dead comparsas, rolling crowds of musicians and costumed characters.

Magdalena Apasco Etla

The inhabitants of this community of the Central Valleys preserve the creation of a wide variety of ornamental articles and pieces for construction using different stones from the region, which is one of the main economic activities of the Magdalena Apasco families. Some of the pieces have been classified as true works of art and are exhibited in galleries inside and outside of Mexico.