Photo Essay: Plants, Landscapes, and Landmarks in Oaxaca

by Ekua on December 12, 2010 in captured on memory card,Mexico,the natural world

After spending a week and a half enveloped in the vibrant hues of the moisture-rich Caribbean, I didn’t expect Oaxaca’s arid scenery to compare. Eventually, in different ways, I found Oaxaca’s more muted tones to be equally captivating. Oaxaca’s landscape invites you to pay closer attention to subtleties of texture and shade; to be grounded and present and ready to absorb…

Views from Monte Albán, Oaxaca’s most well known archaeological site, a quick bus ride outside of the city.

Ruins and views at Monte Alban.

Branches of El Árbol del Tule, the widest tree in the world.

Baby cacti and the intricate walls of the ruins of Mitla in the background.

At the archaeological site Yagul, the ruins were just okay, but the surrounding scenery was wonderful. Aside from the people in the day tour I was on, there were no other tourists to be found there.

Prickly pear. These were my favorite plants in Oaxaca. If you were to look at all of my photos, you’d see that I was obsessed with photographing them.

Droop of a dying cactus.

We climbed to the top of the Yagul site where we had a great view of farmland and the Sierra Norte in the distance.

A charming little garden I spotted on a walk in the city of Oaxaca.

Agave plants in Plaza Santo Domingo.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Sunee December 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm

I love your photo essays – they always give such an interesting perspective of the places you’ve visited. My favourite today is the photo of the Plaza Santo Domingo.


Ekua December 14, 2010 at 8:30 pm

Thanks 🙂


Hal Amen December 13, 2010 at 8:08 am

One of the best tree shots I’ve ever seen. Incredible.


Ekua December 14, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Thanks, Hal. I was kind of thinking it would be a tourist trap, and it was, but the tree was full of life and I enjoyed looking at it closely.


Carlo Alcos December 13, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Great pics. I was in Oaxaca last March. I cycled up Monte Alban! That was a tough one 😉

Did you get down to the coast? Zipolite?


Ekua December 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Yup, I went to the coast and stayed in Mazunte for 3 nights. I didn’t visit Zipolite itself, but did go by it when I went on a fisherman boat tour!


Andi December 13, 2010 at 2:11 pm

These pictures are INSANE!!! Love love love them! Especially the prickly pear shot.


Ekua December 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Thanks, Andi! I had a lot of fun photographing Oaxaca. I’ve always thought of myself as a tropics girl, but now I have a new found appreciation for desert plants 😉


Abbie December 13, 2010 at 6:25 pm

I think the last photo is my favorite 🙂


Ekua December 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Santo Domingo Square is pretty photogenic. Many of my favorite shots from Oaxaca are from there!


Brenna December 14, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Oaxaca is my favourite place in Mexico! My sister lived there for four years and I’d love to go back. Your photos capture it really well!


Ekua December 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Thanks 🙂 I’ve been thinking about going back non stop since I left. Definitely one of my favorite places in the world!


Lola December 15, 2010 at 8:39 am

Beautiful! Can totally feel the warmth and hot sun through them as well; sense of place.


Ekua December 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Thanks, Lola.


Pam December 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

The light in these images is incredible…nice work!


Ekua December 18, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I think all of these were taken in the middle of the day when the lighting isn’t so great, but the clouds were what made for some really cool lighting.


Marie December 16, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Thank you for the Mexico warmth on this cold December day.


Ekua December 18, 2010 at 1:42 pm

It’s probably not as cold here, but it’s pretty chilly and we’re in the middle of days of nonstop rain. I know it sounds ridiculous and dangerous, but I kinda want to hug those plants right now. I know I say this often, but let’s go back to Mexico!


Naomi December 17, 2010 at 2:04 am

One of my big travel dreams is to do an archaeological trip around Mexico, Monte Alban included 🙂 Awesome pictures!


Ekua December 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I have to admit that while I did get to 3 archaeological sites in Oaxaca, I didn’t see any others, not even Teotihuacan in Mexico City! I have to remedy that someday. From the pictures I’ve seen, the ruins in the state of Chiapas look amazing.


John December 28, 2010 at 11:46 am

Pictures looking really very beautiful, thanks for sharing it with us …………..


Ekua January 2, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures, thanks for stopping by!


Lesley July 2, 2012 at 6:25 am

Lovely. I especially dig the cactus photos, and the droopy órgano about to die. Never realized such static plants could be so animated until I visited Oaxaca; one of my favorite sites is on the bus drive over from Mexico City, when suddenly the hills are covered in stick-like cacti. Thank you for sharing!


Ekua July 2, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Thanks for checking out this post! I’m a huge fan of cacti and agave after visiting Oaxaca. They’re so fun to photograph and people do such cool things with them there! I know exactly what you mean about the road from Oaxaca to the DF… that part of the drive is incredible. Last summer when I did it, I was almost ready to ask the bus driver to pull over so I could explore that scenery some more 😛


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