Every day I’m learning just how much Mexico is an absolutely beautifully geographically diverse country: every place I visit is even more breathtaking than the last.
This weekend I went on another Hang Out trip to Oaxaca, a state about 8 hours south of Mexico City. We left the city on Friday night, and were given 2 options: el bus tranquilo (the sleeping bus) or the #partybus. After much deliberation (we wanted to sleep that night, but we also had major fear of missing out), Laura and I ended up on the party bus and Ann on the tranquilo. We ended up having so much fun on our bus, I have no regrets about the lack of sleep and tiredness the next day.
We finally arrived in Oaxaca (pronounced Wa-ha-ka) at about 10:30am on Saturday morning, and our first destination was Hierve el Agua, a set of natural rock formations and petrified waterfalls with pools and lagoons for swimming (and taking amazing photos).
We spent the morning here, chilling in the pools, exploring the area and trying some local food, before getting back on the #partybus and carrying on Mitla, a town with some cool ruins and markets just over an hour away.
Our next stop was a Mexcal brewery, where we saw how the traditional Mexican liquor is made and we were able to enjoy countless free samples, before turning the brewery’s courtyard into a mid-afternoon dancefloor, featuring a buzzing conga line and a tense dance-off.
The day wasn’t over yet though, as we still had to visit Tule, the home of the world’s widest tree, and I can confirm, it was indeed very wide.
See? I couldn’t even get it all in one picture. Unfortunately it was guarded by a security fence and local police, so we couldn’t get a picture with us next to it for scale (though some girls did jump the fence and were swiftly chased out of the grounds, rumour has it they faced a $500 peso fine…). The tree is apparently over 2000 years old, and wider than any of the sequoia trees found in north America: 42 metres in circumference.
After all that excitement, we headed to the local market to get some dinner: most people got tacos or quesadillas, whereas I tried a Tlayuda – what can only be described as a Mexican pizza: a tortilla base with refried beans as a sauce, topped with avocado, chicken, tomatoes and cheese. It was really good – but so so messy I had to surrender halfway through.
We spent the night at a really nice hotel in Oaxaca, and had an amazing buffet breakfast to get us ready for the day. We had some time to explore the city, the centre was really amazing, the city was very traditional with lots of low-rise, colourful houses, craft markets and street food. We visited a few churches, the craft market (where I went full on gringa and bought a Mexican blouse, a painting and a purse), the food market, and we tasted some of Oaxaca’s famous chocolate in a malteada (like a milkshake).
Then we carried to to Monte Albán – a pre-hispanic Zapotec archaeological site not too far away. It was really amazing, and much vaster than I had imagined – there were so many pyramids and we were allowed to climb them, which was really cool.
Finally it was time to go home, back onto the now very quiet #partybus. We essentially raided a poor little oxxo shop on the way home (2 coaches of starving people ransacking their shelves looking for dinner in a space of 15 minutes must have been a little overwhelming for them), and finally arriving back to the city at around 1:30am. What a great weekend 🙂