Oaxaca, México

Salsa in Oaxaca

Our Oaxaca Salsa Retreat is "Best for: Artistic Expression" in Martha Stewart's Whole Living Pick your Paradise collection!

While most people associate Salsa with Cuba, Mexico does have a Salsa tradition that started with the Mambo in the early 50s when many musicians and dancers left Cuba and came to Mexico to work in the booming Mexican movie industry. The King of Mambo and his Perez Prado Orchestra are in Mexico City and are performing there to this day.

Oaxaca can now be considered the Mexican capital of Salsa with the highest amount of Salsa dancers (on1 and on2) per capita. With more than 20 Salsa schools, some of the top performers in the world are from Oaxaca. Take a look at salsaretreat's YouTube playlist Salsa Oaxaca

With so many role models and the opportunity to obtain a travel visa for accomplished performers, Salsa dancing has developed a serious following in Oaxaca, especially among teenagers. Walking through the city, you will see hole-in-the-wall dance schools with the stars of tomorrow practicing hard.

The City

Oaxaca’s size makes this city very approachable — not so big so that the center cannot be comfortably explored on foot, yet big enough to offer a variety of events and places of interest. These include various museums and art exhibitions, colonial architecture and churches, artisan markets, music and dance performances, as well as anything from streetside cafes to gourmet dining. Several of the most important archeological sites in all of Mexico are located within a day’s journey from the city, including 3 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the most famous of them being the pyramids of Monte Alban. You can find an excellent overview of what to expect in this excellent article Oaxaca the Whole Enchilada.

The city is located in a temperate highland valley where there is abundant sunshine without tropical heat. The climate means it’s very comfortable to get around this vibrant city and not too hot or muggy to dance and be physically active. During the day you can experience the city’s street life from one of the many charming sidewalk cafes or courtyard restaurants. At night you can go out to hear live music performances and. You can also find Salsa and other Latin dancing in the many bars and dance clubs around the city.

We recommend to review independent traveller feedback on TripAdvisor, where Oaxaca was listed as a top destination in 2010:

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