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Nestled in the mountains of south-west Mexico, Oaxaca is a feast for the senses with its rich history of artisan craft-making, dance, its exquisite cuisine and mix of dense forest and coffee plantations.

Oaxaca City is lined with narrow streets and colonial buildings, and there is a vibrant art and music scene here as well as some of the best handicrafts in the country, which you can bargain for at its innumerable markets and tiny boutiques. Although found all over Mexico, it is likely to be here that you may try chocolate as a savoury dish – mole sauce, made with numerous varieties of chilli and bitter unsweetened chocolate, has a deep smoky flavour and is delicious served with chicken, corn tortillas and fresh salsa. In July the town also comes to life with music and dance during the Guelaguetza Festival, also celebrated in nearby traditional villages, which is a feast of indigenous dances and classic folk tales.

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