So you remember how you were very much impressed with Quintana Roo and its Riviera Maya a couple of weeks ago? What if I told you Quintana Roo isn’t even the most impressive state of Mexico? You would probably not believe me, would you. But hear me out, while I whisper ‘CHALLENGE ACCEPTED’.
So, people, welcome aboard this the.ego.tripper flight to the fabulous state of Oaxaca. Please fasten your seat belts, hold on to your wallets and don’t drink too much tequila. Here we go! Oaxaca state is relatively close to the Mexican capital, Mexico City. And by relatively close I mean a comfortable six hour bus drive to the capital of Oaxaca state, which is Oaxaca City. Yes I know, the Mexicans could have been more creative with their city names, but what’s done is done. The state has a huge Pacific coast line of about 600 kilometres, it has big mountains, important historical sites such as Mitla and Monte Alban and water falls.
Our first stop today is the beautiful city of Oaxaca. The city center is UNESCO’s World Heritage and you all know what that means (besides an overload of European tourists): it’s stunning! My God, the churches and squares in this town are just unbelievable. And the food! Don’t miss out on the grasshoppers! Actually this last tip is probably not the best, since Mexican food is not the best (or most diverse) in the world and the grasshoppers have no real taste, except for taste of ‘disgusting idea’ that you mind creates when seeing a grasshopper platter.
Anyway, Oaxaca City is a fun and beautiful place to stay for a few days. Oh, it even has the biggest tree in the world. Well, maybe not the biggest, but the fattest, with the thickest trunk.
But that’s a cheap argument to visit Oaxaca, there’s so much more. How bout the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban or the Mixtec ruins of Mitla? If you’re a true Indiana Jones, you’ll love these historical sites, which are also on UNESCO’s World Heritage list by the way. But true magic, you’ll find in Hierve El Agua, loosely translated as Petrified Waterfalls. Yes, petrified, as in: not dried out and stuck to the side of the mountain. If you still don’t understand: there’s no water left. It looks like water in the picture, but trust me, it’s not! But it is jawdroppingly and hauntingly beautiful, isn’t it? To be honest: it’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
A few hours south of Oaxaca City, after being sick of sitting in a van racing trough the narrow, winding and broken streets, you’ll find the minuscule town of Masunte (or Mazunte). Ow man, if this isn’t heaven on earth, I honestly don’t know what is. There are two etymologies for the name. Some sources state that Mazunte is derived from a Nahuatl phrase, ‘maxotetia’ which means ‘please deposit eggs here’. That doesn’t make any sense to me! However, older residents of the community state that it is from the word ‘mizontle’, used by locals to refer to a crab species that used to be very abundant in the area. And that’s more likely, since I almost got scared to death by a huge crab that crawled through the bathroom window, while I was taking a shit. True story.
Anyway, if you’re ever visiting Mazunte, know there’s not so much you can do over there, except for relax on the beach (which is almost private), drink a few beers, eat, hike, enjoy the sunsets, have sex with your wife, and try to outsmart mosquitoes. If you’re looking for accommodation, try the Posada del Arquitecto! And get their most expensive room, which is still ridiculously cheap by the way. You’ll get a two story bamboo tree house, with a fantastic terrace and stunning views of the small bay (yes, even while on the shitter). And if you’re looking for food, but you can’t eat anything Mexican anymore, go to the Italian restaurant which serves the best pizza’s in Mexico. Don’t ask me why.