Billy and Kaki's Adventures in Oaxaca: Monte Alban and, Of Course, Food

editor’s note: Our friends Billy and Kaki, who are fellow devotees of Oaxaca, kindly agreed to fill us in on their current trip. Kaki writes: Every time I visit Oaxaca, it’s like the first time, because it´s impossible to remember how perfect the climate is, how wonderful the colors are and how friendly the people. We arrived on New Year’s Eve too late for the special Christmas Guelaguetza but early enough to be kept awake by the firecrackers, cherry bombs, […]

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Seven Common Misconceptions about Tequila and Mezcal

A pile of agave cores, ready to be roasted for mezcal.

Tequila and mezcal are made from “cactus juice.” Agave is not a cactus, but rather a member of the botanical order Asparagales, which includes asparagus and narcissus. (Native to the New World, the genus Agave is exceedingly diverse, with well over 100 varieties in Mexico alone.) Mezcal is a type of Tequila. If you want to get down to brass tacks (and I think you do), Tequila is a variation on mezcal, or distilled agave spirits. Mexican laws about the […]

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Excerpts from Steve's Travel Journal: 1995

editor’s note: When I was in high school, my mom got a job and an apartment so I could go to school in town. Those winters, my dad, Steve Rogers (co-author of People’s Guide to Mexico) went down south on his own for the first time since he and my mom got together. In 1995, my mom gave him a journal to record his travels for us.  I know other people out there miss Steve as much as I do, […]

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Bucket List: Oaxaca's Cueva Cheve

An admission ticket (listing cost of entry) for the hot spring Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca.

The other day I was sitting comfortably by the wood stove when my lovely assistant Rich appeared brandishing a small slip of paper:   He flipped it over to show me the back, which bore the cryptic inscription:   “Do you remember those guys we met at Hierve el Agua?” Rich prodded. “They told us about a cave we had to check out?” Suddenly it all came back t me. Rich, Gina, and I had been hiking around at Hierve […]

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Oaxaca's San Felipe Campground Open Again

A view of Oaxaca mountainside, near San Felipe del Agua.

Our trials and travails finding camping in Oaxaca last year had us lamenting the closure of the popular San Felipe Campground. I’m happy to report we’ve just received word that the campground is open again, under new ownership. Located four miles north of downtown and adjacent to Benito Juarez National Park, the reopened campground features WiFi, hot showers, water and electricity at every campsite, and many sites with sewer hook-up. I posed a few questions to the new owners, Del […]

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Oaxaca Attractions

Check out for Oaxaca travel recommendations written by an, ahem, renowned Mexico expert. Also of possible interest: the three day itinerary and an overview of Oaxaca cuisine. I’m impressed by the company’s dedication to finding writers who have actually recently visited the locations in question.

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Chiles of Mexico: Pasilla de Oaxaca

A pile of dried chiles from Oaxaca.

One of the twenty-four varieties of dried chiles more or less exclusive to Oaxaca (though found in parts of Puebla), the chile pasilla de Oaxaca grows in small pockets high in the forbidding Sierra Mixe. Also known as the chile mije, the pasilla de Oaxaca is ripened on the vine and then smoked in small batches. This chile is not produced or exported on any kind of large scale. Although pasilla de Oaxaca is often described as “fruity,” the batch […]

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36 Hours in Oaxaca?

Sun sets on colonial Oaxaca.

  Just stumbled across this New York Times piece, 36 Hours in Oaxaca. Their 36 Hours in Oaxaca definitely sound more fun and original than their 36 Hours in San Miguel de Allende, which sounded a little too bougie for me. I appreciate how the Oaxaca piece starts out with Mercado 20 de Noviembre, which is what I would have done, had I been smarter. They also describe, as usual, several restaurants that I would love to check out if […]

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Little Italy in Mexico?

Grilled chicken and fresh cheese from the state of Puebla.

“I smell fresh tortillas,” I said, with the feverish conviction of a bloodhound. Rich, Gina, and I were straggling down the edge of the highway, cooking in the sun and looking for a lunch spot to kill some time while the guy at the nearby taller changed Miss Lousiane’s oil. We approached a roadside restaurant, which was painted bright green and attended by a smiling proprietor of a very old-school breed: long braids, a crisp checked apron over her flowered […]

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Road Notes: Puerto Angel to Melaque

An '87 Dodge Van in Mexico with palm trees.

If you happen to stop in at Playa Banco de Oro, stop in at Restaurante Hermanos Galinda. The proprieter, Carmen, is super nice and makes a mean fried huachinango. Plus you can camp at her restaurant. Miss Lousiane hangs out at Restaurante Hermanos Galinda Fish for breakfast!                                                     photo by Gina Dilello Restaurante Hermanos Galinda                                               photo by Gina Dilello A massive renovation of Highway 200 seems to be underway. Entire sections are being created, and some are already drivable. We were […]

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