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Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
philadelphia
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Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

I just returned from 8 days on Oaxaca with my husband and 9-year old daughter. I addressed safety and the recent killings in another post. We felt very safe the entire time. This was our first visit. We had a wonderful time, we fould Oaxaca to be a beautiful city, full of wonderful, friendly people, beautiful architecture, world class museums, good food and lots and lots of crafts.

This was our first visit to Oaxaca. One of my strongest impressions of Oaxaca was how genuinely kind the people we met were. We traveled two days with a guide who is often mentioned on this site (Antonio Z.), who was excellent. The other days we wandered about by ourselves and/or took taxis. This was our itinerary: Day 1: El Tulle, Mitla and Teotitlan Del Valle (weaving). Day 2: Coyotepec (black pottery), Ocotlan Market and San Martin Tilcajete (woodcarving). Day 3: stayed in Oaxaca city and visited the Textile Museum, the Museo Arte Prehispanico, Jurez and Artisan markets. Day 4 went to Monte Alban. Day 5 took a cooking class at Casa Crespo. Day 6 back to Monte Alban again (it's vast),Santa Domingo church and the Cultural Museum plus shopping at the craft cooperative store. Last day revisited Teotitlan plus Yagul and Dainzu.

We stayed at Hotel Azucenas, which was great, well located, clean, wonderful staff. I wrote a review of the hotel separately.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Edited: 1:23 pm, November 05, 2010
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Oaxaca
Oaxaca
Oaxaca, Mexico
Mitla
Mitla
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San Pablo Villa de Mitla, Mexico
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Oaxaca, Mexico
philadelphia
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1. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

I forgot to mention we were there for Day of the Dead and also visited 2 of the cemeteries: Xoxo at night and the Panteon General (city cemetery) in the day. Because it was Day of the Dead, there were lots of extra events in town including a really great traditional dance performance in the courtyard of the church nearest our hotel.

Oaxaca, Mexico
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2. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

Glad you all enjoyed yourselves and thanks for reporting on how safe it is here.

I'm sure you took your own excellent pictures, but you may enjoy looking at my pics & videos of some of the places you visited ~~ San Bartolo Coyotepec: anyportinastorm.proboards.com/index.cgi… , Ocotlán: anyportinastorm.proboards.com/index.cgi… , Xoxo cemetery: anyportinastorm.proboards.com/index.cgi…

If you go here, anyportinastorm.proboards.com/index.cgi… , you are liable to find other places now known to you.

Indianapolis
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3. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

I'm glad you had a great trip. I'm looking forward to my upcoming trip there! I assume you were there when the two shootings took place in the downtown historical area in front of the church? What is the tourism climate like? I know it has been popular in the past with foreign tourists. Are merchants/restaurants able to survive with the current security situation?

Oaxaca, Mexico
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4. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

Touring services as well as hotel and b & b occupancy were basically as normal for Muertos, perhaps a tad weaker than hoped for in terms of accommodation bookings. Reservations are coming in nicely, though (at least for the B & B Association members), for the balance of the winter season.

Merchants and restaurants of course feel the bite when international media including wire services report incidents of violence. Unfortunately they're not as concerned with violence in American and Canadian cities. Giving equal coverage to incidents north of the border would perhaps put matters into perspective.

At least there are the TA forums to provide balance.

Restaurants which are popular with tourists as well as residents fare better since there is less of a financial impact on them, compared to those which cater to strictly a tourist trade. Remember what happened to El Naranjo in the wake of 2006? Lodgings which rely on Mexican nationals rather than on predominantly international tourism, are impacted less.

Alvin Starkman - Casa Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast

Edited: 2:59 pm, November 08, 2010
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Oaxaca
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chicago,illinois
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5. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

I too just returned from eight days in Oaxaca. I was in the square when the two men (school union) were gunned down. I was with a group of photographers. One young lady in our group was molested and robbed by two policemen with machine guns. We had no protection because the police are running the cartel and the Embassy can do NOTHING but get you out of the country. I have traveled all over the world (Congo, Rwanda, Burma) and I felt VERY unsafe in Oaxaca. It is a beautiful place and the people are warm and wonderful; however, the country is now being overrun by young disenfranchised,uneducated men with machine guns. We saw them standing on a street corner downing shots of mezcal and beer. We saw them raid a tiny taco stand and steal the poor man's money. I called the State Dept. to report these incidences and they told me to call the Mexican Embassy. Can you IMAGINE!? Stay away from Mexico. I'm not a paranoid, neurotic traveler. I'm quite the opposite. Mexico is very unsafe. Do not go to Oaxaca

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6. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

Please read my reply on Tripadvisor. I just returned from Oaxaca. It is beautiful and wonderful but it's dangerous

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Oaxaca
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Indianapolis
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7. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

WOW! I'm surprised by your post. It upsets me that you now have a negative image of Mexico. Keep in mind Mexico is a large country and not all areas have the same issues. I travel to Guanajuato and Merida frequentl (at least 4 lengthy trips per year). I have been many places in Mexico over the last 15 yrs. Yes, things are quite different now. However, I still believe two things:

1) Americans are not specifically targeted (unless involved in unsavory behaviors).

2) Most victims of the current situation are involved in illicit behavior.

Even Mexicans are beginning to fear travels. My Mexican friends in Guanajuato refuse to go to Michoacán, where I would have readily visited until this past Friday when the 'narcobloqueos' took place outside of Morelia and Patzcuaro. I see their concern, now.

I suggest that travelers read newspapers online (but, just as in the U.S. read news with a fine tooth comb). Many people in Mexico who glorify certain areasdon't really know what is happening b/c of language barriers of obtaining news, etc. or refuse to accept it b/c they have economic interest in tourism. It kills me that many Mexicans who have earned a living on tourism are going through this.

I will continue going to Mexico. I don't feel as safe in Oaxaca as I do in other areas of Mexico, but I have not cancelled a trip based on that insecurity. Research your own hometown's crime statistics. I will tell you that I feel safer in many areas of Mexico than I do in my hometown of Indianapolis.

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8. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

That's fine. Do as you will. Americans are not specifically targeted but everyone is fair game with these thugs. The young woman was NOT involved in unsavory activity when she was molested and robbed by two armed "cops". She was returning from the Zocalo with friends at 11PM. They left her at the door of her Inn and she was having trouble with the lock. Two policemen stopped to help her and they pushed her into the courtyard and molested her. this was in the historical center of Oaxaca. Everything else I've mentioned was in broad daylight. I don't need advice about the crime rate in my area. I am a very seasoned traveler. This is a forum which I am responding to. I too feel bad for the wonderful people of Mexico. They need our tourist dollars. I'm just the messenger

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Oaxaca, Mexico
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9. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

I do have to add that I had the most wonderful time in Oaxaca. The comparsas were magical and mysterious. The preparations leading up to and the activities during the week of Day of the Dead were beautiful and rich in tradition. I adore the warmth and spirit of the people of Oaxaca. I could not have had a better time...had not all of the weird things happened.

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Indianapolis
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10. Re: Just returned from 8 days in Oaxaca!

I hope one day you return to Mexico. (Even though I do not see the security or corruption situation improving anytime soon.) Maybe try a new place other than Oaxaca.

I am sure that I would have a bitter taste in my mouth had I experienced what you did.

I am very happy, though, that you ventured to Oaxaca and weren't scared of the media reports here in the U.S.

I also appreciate your willingness not to 'sugar coat' your reviews. TA needs unbiased reports without economic agendas.

Happy future travels!

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