South: The Crafts Route
Travelers who venture into the Valley of Oaxaca’s long, south-pointing fingers, sometimes known as the Valleys of Zimatlán and Ocotlán, can discover a wealth of crafts, history, and architectural and scenic wonders.
All are accessible by day trips from Oaxaca City by car or combinations of bus and taxi. Most reachable are the renowned crafts villages of Coyotepec, Tilcajete, Jalieza, and others along Highway 175, between the city and the colorful market town of Ocotlán (best to plan a visit to all on Friday, Ocotlán’s market day; start at Ocotlán early and work your way north back to Oaxaca City).
Another day, you can either continue farther south, off the tourist track, to soak in the feast of sights at the big market in Ejutla, or fork southwest, via Highway 131 through Zimatlán, to the idyllic groves, crystal springs, and limestone caves hidden around San Sebastián de las Grutas.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition