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Oaxaca is a city in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. It lies at an altitude of 1,555 m (5,102 ft), so in winter nights are cold and days are warm. In summer it's always hot and dry.

There's been a settlement here since earliest times, the first settlements being by the Zapotec and Mixtec peoples. The nearby sites of Monte Albán and Mitla are from this time, and the former is regarded as a precursor to present-day Oaxaca, and a world heritage site. The Aztecs arrived around 1440, and the current name derives from Aztec "huax yacac", meaning "in the nose of the squash", and in 1521 the Spanish led by Francisco de Orozco, looking for gold.

The Spanish laid out a colonial town in the present grid pattern in the 16th century, and in the 19th century, it grew rich from the export of cochineal, the red dye. Later development didn't much touch it, so today it makes for a charming old-time city centre.

- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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