Oaxaca, in spite of the pedestrianised area, is quite a bustling little place, attracting a lot of tourists (and many travelling in groups). Worth identifying a quiet shady spot for yourself to escape from the crowds. The Zocalo is extensive and a great place to people watch, but not exactly quiet! The picture is of a little square immediately behind Santo Domingo - a surprising little oasis of silence, but still a great place to people watch. The colours, the food, the views, the people.
A must at the city is the...
A must at the city is the ex-convent of Santo Domingo, now turned into an incredible museum of the history of the state of Oaxaca. A beautiful building, visit the courtyard for a great natural exhibit of desert plants.
The Training New Gym, Oaxaca
If you meet a young woman in Oaxaca who works out, it's likely she works out at The Training New Gym. This gym attracts more young women because of its low cost and its aerobic classes. It's the only gym that I visited in Oaxaca that seemed to have as many women as men working out. Its hours of operation are 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM.
The gym has some cardio machines and a small weightlifting area with an adequate, but not great, selection of free weights and machines. A heavy lifter will be disappointed since no heavy dumbbells are available. I think the heaviest dumbbell was 55 pounds. This is not a serious weightlifting gym.
For day use, the cost is MX$30. Week, month, and yearly membership fees are available. Bring your own sweat towel, bottle water, and lifting glove (if you use one).
If you're a guy looking to meet local women, this might be the best gym to do so.
A Market for the Locals- Tlacolula
The Tlacolula Market is held on Sundays. It is approximately 30 KM (~20 miles) south east of Oaxaca.
This market is great to see real local culture. This is an agriculture market where a few arts and crafts are sold. However, don't go here expecting to find a huge selection of high quality arts and crafts. I think that stuff is thrown in for the occasional tourist who finds their way to the market.
The market is held in Tlacolula on its streets leading to the Zocolo and in the Zocolo. Just keep your eyes open for the church (which is worth the quick visit.)
You can get here by local second class bus, which station is located on Trujano in Oaxaca, 8 blocks west of the Zocolo.
Widest tree on earth - "El Tule"
This tree, in the village of Santa Maria del Tule, is supposed to have the largest circumference in the world: 58 metres. It's about 2000 years old and 42 metres high (not the highest or oldest).
It's only 14 kms east of Oaxaca on highway 190. I saw it as part of a half-day tour to the eastern valley.
An interesting curiosity...