When you ask me, what is Mexican culture, I can tell you that you will find this in Oaxaca.
Our trip started by flying from Amsterdam to Mexico City. I am extremely happy we booked a direct flight, as this already is a good 11 hours. To regain energy we spend the night in Mexico City after which we took the bus (for another 6 hours) to Oaxaca. In the end, the 6 hours went by quick as I slept a big part of it due to my jet lag and enjoyed breathtaking views while travelling between the mountains. Also, I engaged a very interesting conversation with the bus driver who was happy to share insider Oaxaca tips.

It all started when he saw me trying to make pictures from all the beautiful views. ‘’Young lady, what are you doing?’’ He said loudly from his seat. I knew he was talking to me, as I wasn’t sitting to far from him. ‘’Taking pictures’’ I answered. ‘’Come sit next to me, you’ll have better views from here’’ while pointing to the seat next to him.

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He was such a genuinely sweet man. He even made a stop, especially for me, in a random town where he knew this taco corner that I had to try. Picture me smirking while eating my tacos on the bus, a true content person. It was my first day in Mexico and I was already experiencing nothing but warmth and kindness.

I will share some of my greatest findings, tourism and culture wise.

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While being in Mexico, I was lucky to experience Dia de la Independencia, the day that Mexico celebrates that it got back its independence after being under Spanish regime. On the night of 14 September, Mexicans come together at 11 o’ clock for ‘’El Grito’’, literally ‘’The Scream’’. The Scream into the celebration you could say. On the 15th there are parades, live music and food stands everywhere.

Just look at this amazing breakfast, I miss it every day! This was at El Socalo, a big square with many restaurants/café’s

20160921_113257One of my favourite barrios in Oaxaca is the one from the Santo Domingo Church. It’s so picturesque and typical.

I visited Casa de Juarez, where, former Mexican President, Benito Juarez lived as a kid.

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Monte Alban is one of my highlights of this trip. This archaeological site, where the Zapotecs resided, is located on a mountain overlooking the valleys of Oaxaca. Nowadays it is a UNESCO World heritage site. When you have a strong imagination like me, this location is a movie scenery, where you can truly picture ancient Mexico.

I found the Ethnobotanical Garden while wandering on Instagram and after seeing the huge cacti, I had to see it. Wow, so many beautiful plants! It’s a perfect place to take great pictures and the cacti are impressive!

As I am a big fan of modern and contemporary art, I couldn’t miss out on a visit to MACO.

The Tree of Tule is the tree with the biggest trunk in the world. It has a circumference of about 58 meters and a diameter of 14 meters. It is estimated that this tree is between 2000 and 3000 years old.
While visiting the Tree of Tule, there was an event right next to it where a group of people performed a mother earth ritual with many spectators. Wow this was a cool bonus!!!! It was to spectacular to witness this and how devoted this group was.
Once the ritual was over, local artists performed typical dance routines such as the one on the picture. where people stand on stilts and dance. I was enjoying and panicking at the same time, but these people are pro’s so everything went smoothly.

20160915_130736 Street food everywhere!

El Yano is a nice park close to the Guadalupe church.

Mercado Benito Juarez is a market divided in a food and clothing/accessories venue. This is a great place to buy souvenirs, traditional handmade pieces, shoes, anything Mexican! I bought here my wannabe Frida Kahlo outfits that I proudly rocked on the streets.

I saw so many dog walkers! I love dogs so much so I couldn’t help myself each time I saw one of those dog walkers. Luckily they all let me pet the dogs ❤ See the hairless dog? That’s a Mexican Naked dog called Xoloitzcuintli.

I opened myself up to locals, the culture and habits and this resulted in a wonderful experience. The small things are those that will stay with me forever, including some of the people I met. Whether it was a street seller, the bus driver, a waiter, there were so many people that genuinely opened up their hearts and were willing to share their love with a person they didn’t know. That’s something that will stay with me: Mexican people do many things out of pure love. It’s a shame we live in a world where sharing love out of kindness, instead of out of convenience, is often forgotten.

While writing about my time in Oaxaca, I start reliving my trip and even get emotional, in a good way. I believe that each place you visit teaches you at least one lesson. Some big, some small, sometimes you notice it and sometimes you don’t. But there is always an impact, this time it happened to be a big one for me.

I am ending this post with some more pictures. Hopefully you also can’t get enough of them 🙂

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Spot the small lizard
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I had a hard time leaving but I know that I will go back. However, this wasn’t the end of my trip, I still had a few days in Mexico City.

If you don’t want to miss out on my Mexico City adventures, keep an eye on my page!

For now, I hope you enjoyed reading about this beautiful trip. Have you been to Mexico?

My previous travel posts:
Mexico part 1