The streets are full of life, everywhere you look you see vibrant colours, smokey markets, and people as unique as the land they call home. Oaxaca is where travellers come to get a taste of the real Mexico, the Mexico you won’t find at one of the countries many coastal resorts. There’s no Senior Frogs or beach discos, instead, you will find markets teeming with Mexican food you probably have not heard of and venues playing classic tunes while locals sip on Mezcal. This is the Mexico that will get under your skin, this is Oaxaca.
Mexico has long been known to North Americans as the place where you go to drink, party and sit, day after day on the beach. Mexico however; happens to be one of my favorite backpacking destinations! After visiting Mexico many times it has ranked at the top of my list for “favorite destinations”, however, not for the beaches, but instead for its history and people. Historic Maya, Aztec, and Colonial Spanish cities are spread throughout the country adding to Mexico’s incredibly in depth and complex history. Mexico’s landscapes are also just as spectacular; from giant blood red copper mountains to lush humid dense jungles, and vast open barren deserts that make all corners of this nation an adventure waiting to happen. Mexico’s population is currently over 125 million which makes for some incredible diversity among its people. You can still find Mayan language speakers and the descendants of Spanish explorers throughout this fast pace country. Once you leave the Yucatan you will be amazed at how cheap of a travel destination Mexico really is. Most days in Mexico I only spent around 25 USD, and that’s including those desperately important evening cervezas. So grab your backpack and head to Mexico for something other than the beach with one of my top favorite Mexican “off the beaten track” destinations.