OAXACA + DIARY PART I

TRAVEL / MEXICO

February, 2016 

 

"Para todo mal, Mezcal, para todo bien también, y si no hay remedio medio litro y medio"

 

As we head to our hotel from the airport, the taxi driver suggests we have a shot of Mezcal before and after every meal.

Puzzled by the idea of drinking something stronger than tequila at noon, we dared ask why.

"For digestion", he says. "Food here is very heavy, you don't want to get sick. Mezcal cures everything, not only your sorrows" he says with a loud laugh.

 

And so we understood, we had arrived! We were in Mexico's food and drink Capital. 

 

 

We get off almost at the center of town, in front of a beautiful blue hacienda-style house with bugambilias adorning the walls, and we are greeted by a charming man offering to take our luggage inside.

 

As we enter the lovely Hotel Azul Oaxaca, an incredile patio is uncovered. A space that seemed designed to the tiniest detail: Cactus walls, an immense statement fountain all the way in the back, and a color scheme that soothed our senses. The furniture is both fun and modern, without ever losing its Mexican feeling. The concept is unique and relaxing. The Hotel has an art gallery, but it is also an artpiece on its own.

 

The interiors scream folk culture with a contemporary twist, and it comes as no surprise that some of the most renowned artists in the State collaborated to each design 5 of the 20 rooms in this hotel: Francisco Toledo, Rubén Leyva, José Villalobos, Luis Zárate, and the Colectivo Frijol Parado, gave each of the 5 rooms a distinct individuality.

 

 

We go up to our beautifully decorated room and find a lovely note on our table next to a bottle of Mezcal, giving us a warm welcome to Oaxaca. Our first experience being greeted with Mezcal (and you better get used to it), because its a tradition to be received with a shot of Mezcal everywhere you go here! 

With so much to do, and very little time to do it, we asked the front desk to help us book our tours for the next days.

 

We explain that our priority is to see Oaxaca as locals and travelers- not tourists!

 

It was amazing to get such a personalized customer experience! They were extremely helpful in arranging a private driver to take us around the places we wanted to see at the time we deemed most convienent (7am- the early bird catches the worm!). 

 

We are sure that our experiece in Oaxaca was entirely magical from beginning to end because we got to move at the rythmn of our own drum, and were able to see the places super early in the morning (while they were crowd-free and serene). This is something to keep in mind when booking tours, it makes a big difference! And the hotel just made it possible for us not to have to worry about going about making rookie tourist mistakes.

 

 

The wonders of this boutique hotel kept surprising us, and they are worth discussing.

 

The terrace is not to be missed. Even if you are not staying here, you should definitely stop by for a nice evening drink of Mezcal or to have an authentic Oaxacan dinner. We needn't go too far to get an amazing culinary experience, it was right here at our fingertips. 

 

All we can say is that staying at this hotel made Oaxaca so much more sweeter.

 

It is our top pick of where to stay; excelling in location, ethereal services, tranquil atmosphere, and unique artistic style that stays very true to Oaxacan culture. 

 

Outstanding in every aspect! 

 

Hierve el Agua was on our top to-do list! 1 an hour and a half away from town, this serene place attracts millions of tourists every year. We can certainly understand why. As we reached our destination and got off the car, the driver tells us to hike down a 10 min walk. Quickly down our way, we start viewing the majestic mountain-range and the clear turquoise and lime-green water springs. A we get closer and closer, we can see white rock formations that resemble waterfalls (quite an impressive sight) This is caused by the calcium-carbonate minerals from the water of the springs. It really is an out-of-this-world experience. The artificial pools at the edge of the main cliff contain hot water, giving the place its name in Spanish: "Hierve el agua" ("the water boils") This is where you can swim and relax with a stunning panoramic view of the valley. 

 

This was a highlight of our trip- and that's a lot to say since the food in Oaxaca is exceptional, Hotel Azul Oaxaca was a one of a kind experience, and the richness in culture here is so incredibly vast!

 

If you visit Oaxaca you cannot skip going to Hierve el Agua. The natural beauty of this place will give you goosebumps and leave you wondering if this is real life. 

 

After taking a dip in the water, we took on a mini-adventure to explore the farthest "waterfall" in order to get a closer look at the cave-like formations.

 

Being under the caves left us with the incredible feeling of being so small compared to the monumental beauty of mother nature. An indescribable moment of peace. 

This was just the beginning of our trip and we could not believe it had such an amazing start.

 

A massive thank you to Hotel Azul Oaxaca for making our stay in this magical place extra special! 

 

If you are insterested in booking this hotel click here: HOTEL AZUL OAXACA

 

 

if you want to book a trip to Oaxaca click here: FLIGHTS

 

Stay tuned for our second part of the trip which includes many culinary adventures! 

 

Best from the magical pueblo of Oaxaca. 

 

xx Amanda + Cynthia

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