I've taken some excerpts on Oaxaca from Wikipedia:
Oaxaca is located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre at the base of the Cerro del Fortín. The city relies heavily on tourism, which is based on its large number of colonial-era structures as well as the native Zapotec and Mixtec cultures and archeological sites. Oaxaca, along with the archeological site of Monte Albán, was named a World Heritage Site in 1987.
The city of Oaxaca has long been considered "Mexico's culinary capital." The most notable aspect of Oaxacan cuisine is its variety of moles, a type of complex sauce. Their origins go back to the melding of Spanish and Arabic food in Spain. After the Conquest, New World ingredients such as chile mulato, 'miltomate' (a small whitish wild tomato), tomatoes, peanuts, avocado leaves, and chocolate were incorporated.
While moles can be found in many parts of Mexico, Oaxaca has the greatest variety including negro (black), colorado (red), coloradito (faint red), chichilo, verde (green), amarillo (yellow), and mancha manteles (literally 'stainer of tablecloths').
As in other areas in Mexico, chocolate has had special importance here since long before the Conquest. Aside from being a foodstuff, it was also used as medicine and cacao seeds were used as money. The chocolate prepared in this city is well known within Mexico, as it is distinguished by being flavored with cinnamon, almonds and sugar and is usually prepared with hot water or milk. It is most often served in large coffee cups with a local sweet roll.
The Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo occupies the former monastery buildings attached to Santo Domingo church, and were restored in 1996 and considered to be one of the best restoration works in Latin America.
The Rufino Tamayo Museum, has an important collection of pre-Hispanic art that the painter himself collected. He donated the collection, as well as the house that is now the museum to his home state (Oaxaca) in 1974.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We had long heard about the attractive city of Oaxaca, and were keen to see a different part of the country; on this our second trip to Mexico. When we told our friend Thomas, the owner of the Casa Comtesse that we were planning to travel to Oaxaca, he got this rapturous look on his face, one we’d seen on the faces of many locals when we told them we were heading to Oaxaca after visiting the capital.
However, when we mentioned to Thomas that we were going to stay in Oaxaca for two weeks, he screwed up his face like he’d just taken a bite of a lime. When we asked him why, he said that one week there was more than enough, but that it was great to visit often, just in small doses. There wasn’t really a great deal to do after seeing the museums and art galleries.
We told him we didn’t mind, we had nothing but time, and that we would enjoy doing things at a slower pace than most tourists. He seemed to understand, knowing that we are retired and are not in any great hurry to return to the winter weather in frosty Canada.
We decided to take a luxury bus – a six-hour journey – to Oaxaca, and then fly back to Mexico City on our way out of the country. We’re very glad we did, the bus was ultra comfortable and the scenery beautiful.
We had booked into a little family-run hotel for three nights, but once we saw the room and the skylight in the bathroom, we spoke to the reception desk about staying for the full two weeks. We enjoyed our stay very much, but unfortunately I was plagued by an intense allergic reaction to the flowering trees and had to run to the pharmacy to stock up on anti-histamines and boxes of tissues.
We would have left earlier, but we had booked our flights from Oaxaca to Mexico City and on to Panama, and I didn’t relish the idea of trying to make changes over WiFi on Skype. This is something I’ve been faced with before, and I’m beginning to think that it might be the jacaranda trees that give me grief. If memory serves me well, they’ve been blooming during many of my previous trips to India and to Ethiopia, and I’ve had the same symptoms each time.
The climate and vegetation in Panamá City will be completely different, moist air and tropical plants instead of high desert vegetation. I should be fine there, only time will tell.