I’m getting ready to go to Oaxaca for two weeks. My main objective is a Spanish immersion program. My other objective is good food.
Here’s my plan.
Volaris flight 326 goes direct from Guadalajara to Oaxaca in about an hour and a half. My return is also on “The Flying Schoolbus,” flight 327. I’m traveling from Sunday to Sunday, so i’ll have two full weeks in Oaxaca.
I’ve booked this Airbnb:
The apartment is about 4 blocks from the school.
The Spanish immersion school I’m attending has the highly original name Spanish Immersion School. To be honest, I didn’t do any research comparing this school with any others. I just found their website, read about them, and decided to do it.
Here’s what attracted me on their website:
Classes take place in a friendly atmosphere. In addition you may have your lessons whether at school or in your favorite cafe.https://spanishschoolinmexico.com/the-spanish-immersion-school.html
There are plenty of opportunities to meet other students and teachers. Therefore we sometimes arrange some outdoor activities for hanging out together, such as excursions and market tours.
As we are a close community, we will look after you, and give you the insider’s guide to make the most of your life in Oaxaca. All of our staff at school can help you to discover the city so feel free to ask questions.
I opted for the “Intensive Program,” which is five hours per day, five days per week. My classes will be one-on-one private lessons. They run from 9:00 to 11:30 and from 12:30 to 3:00.
Do an internet search for “Oaxaca food” and you’ll find a ton of articles from newspapers, magazines, and travel blogs about how great the food is in Oaxaca.
Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s major gastronomic, historical, and gastro-historical centers whose cuisine is known internationally. Like the rest of Mexican cuisine, Oaxacan food is based on staples such as corn, beans and chile peppers, but there is a great variety of other ingredients and food preparations due to the influence of the state’s varied geography and indigenous cultures. Corn and many beans were first cultivated in Oaxaca. Well known features of the cuisine include ingredients such as chocolate (often drunk in a hot preparation with spices and other flavorings), Oaxaca cheese, mezcal and grasshoppers (chapulines) with dishes such as tlayudas, Oaxacan style tamales and seven notable varieties of mole sauce. The cuisine has been praised and promoted by food experts such as Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless and is part of the state’s appeal for tourists.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaxacan_cuisine
If you’re a regular reader, or especially if you follow me on Facebook, you know I love to eat good food when I’m traveling. It’s not just about consumption and fueling my activities. I love learning about culture from food.
I’m definitely planning on eating a wide variety of foods while I’m in Oaxaca. I’ve made reservations at four of the top restaurants in the city
, but I’m also looking forward to checking out the street food and local markets.
Here is a sample of some of the things I’m looking forward to:
I’ve also booked “Earth, Corn & Fire: Tasting the Roots of Oaxacan Cuisine,” a food tour with Culinary Backstreets.
And I plan to try some of these street foods:
- Tlayudas, an original Oaxacan dish that is kind of a cross between a quesadilla and pizza
- Memelas, a popular breakfast item consisting of a corn tortilla with various toppings
- Empanadas de amarillo, more like a quesadilla, with a filling of masa, butter, Creole cilantro, guajillo chili and pork broth
And two markets I will be sure to visit:
Believe it or not, I’m not about the food to the exclusion of other forms of culture, especially art and architecture. I have no doubt I’ll do quite a bit of exploring, hoping to find plenty of colonial-era buildings and some art, including folk traditions as well as fine art galleries. And I’ll look out for museums of all kinds.
Here are some of the top sights described in Lonely Planet Mexico:
- Templo de Santo Domingo de Gúzman
- Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, which the book says is “one of Mexico’s best regional museums.”
- Jardin Etnobotánico
- Zócalo (AKA Plaza de la Constitución)
- Palacio de Gobierno
- Calle Alcalá (AKA Andador Turístico), a traffic-free street that Lonely Planet describes as “historic, romantic, dignified, and safe.” The photo at the top of the page is this street.
- MAPRT (Museo de Arte Prehispánico de México Rufino Tamayo)
- Espacio Zapata, an art gallery and workshop
There’s a lot more, and I probably won’t have time to hit more than a fraction of the sights I’m interested in. But it will be a fun-filled and busy two weeks!
Photo at the top of the page: User: (WT-shared) Anyludes at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons