One of the things that was on our to do list while we were in Oaxaca was taking a tour of the ethnobotanical garden on the grounds of Santo Domingo, Oaxaca’s main cultural and archaeological museum. The garden is only accessible with a guided tour and thankfully we were able to squeeze it in on our last day in town.
The Santo Domingo museum, church, and grounds have gone through many iterations in their lifetime. The space started as a Dominican convent and then was seized by the Mexican Army and used as a training area. In 1994 the space was deemed a cultural site and the grounds underwent a major refurbishment. The result, which officially opened in 1998, is an ode to Oaxacan flora with only plants from the state represented. The care and attention to detail is astounding. Everything from the essential crops, to flowering trees, to medicinal herbs. and of course a wide variety of cacti are all living harmoniously in the compact space. They also maintain a series of aqueducts and storage pools for an irrigation system that uses 100% rainwater.
Since we went at the last minute we ended up going on the tour that was lead in Spanish, but we had a lovely guide who gave us quick overviews in English as we walked from one area to the next. We probably only got about 30% of the information but we used the time we would have spent listening to admire the size of everything and practice the micro setting on our camera.
We were so glad to have been able to squeeze in the visit and highly recommend it for anyone visiting Oaxaca.
Below are a few of our favorite pictures.
Quick Tips: Tours are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays in English and daily in Spanish. They cost 50 pesos/person.