Mitla, Tlacolula and Santa María del Tule
The ruins at Mitla are the first stop on this tour offered through the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca.
The site consists of 5 “ruin clusters,” some of which archaeologists speculate were used for ceremonial and religious purposes while others were palaces for the elite. Unique to Mitla are the greca (geometrical fret designs) found on the ruins’ walls.
The tour continues with a stop in Tlacolula. This original Zapotec village was founded around 1250 A.D. and known as Guichiibaa (“Place between Heaven and Earth”). Tlacolula’s Sunday market is one of Oaxaca’s biggest, oldest and most diverse. You also have the opportunity to see the main town church, la Parroquia de la Virgen de la Asuncion. Other special interests are the expressive sculptures, paintings and gold scrollwork found in the chapel, la Capilla del Señor de Tlacolula.
The last stop on the tour is the huge Mexican cypress tree at Santa Maria del Tule, a pueblo about 14km east of Oaxaca. The Arbol del Tule is dated at over 2000 years old, measures one hundred sixty-five feet in circumference, and is about 15 stories tall. It is said that El Tule may be the largest tree in all of Latin America.