During our trips to Oaxaca for Día de los Muertos (view that post HERE), we were also able to take an excursion to five surrounding villages for a day to relish in the beauty that is Oaxaca! Our five stops (aside from Oaxaca) consisted of the following sights: Arbol de Tule, a visit to a traditional carpentry shop, Mixtla, Hieve el Agua, and a visit to a traditional mezcal farm.
Oaxaca – Our humble abode for the weekend! Oaxaca was filled with so much life during the Día de los Muertos celebration. We had a mezcal tasting to learn about the creation of mezcal (a type of alcohol made from plants similar to tequila, usually made in small batches by local farmers). We were also able to view the main cathedral with attached monastery, shop among the bustling markets, and enjoy the incredible food that is signature to Oaxaca: Tlayudas, queso Oaxaca (quesillo) Oaxaca chocolate, and MOLE.
Árbol de Tule – A giant tree. We didn’t stay for longer than 20 minutes to admire the massivity of this beauty. It has the stoutest tree trunk in the world and was planted around 1,600 years ago. According to the most recent measurements in 2005, it’s circumfrence is 137.8 feet wide and 116 feet tall.
Carpentry shop – I’ve learned this for quite awhile, but usually I’m targeted by salesmen. I guess you could say I don’t have a poker face at all. Therefore, when the owner of the carpet store needed a volunteer, he eyed at me and coyly asked if I would help him for a demonstration of how they create dyes from natural resources. These carpets are incredible, and each piece of work usually takes 2-3 months to make them by hand using a loom.
Mixtla: Ancient ruins – incredible! We had an incredible tour guide that was able to give us the scoop about the ruins that were built between 900 BCE and 100 CE. These ruins were once the main religious center for the Zapotecs, and indigenous group in Mexico.
Hierve el Agua: Favorite stop off all. Petrified waterfall. Words can’t explain this place. Hierve el Agua is a set of two petrified waterfalls that have been formed over thousands of years. We were able to hike the trails around both waterfalls and some of the group also brought their swimsuits to swim in the nearby pools. The views were incredible.
Mezcal Tasting: Learned the ins and outs of artesanal mezcal.