Oaxaca is the largest City of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is located in the Central Valleys region of the state, in the foothills of the Sierra Madre at the base of the Cerro del Fortín extending to the banks of the Atoyac River.
There had been Zapotec and Mixtec settlements in valley of Oaxaca for thousands of years, especially in connection with the important ancient centres of Monte Albán and Mitla, which are close to modern Oaxaca City. The Oaxaca valley was discovered by the Aztecs in 1440. During this time, there were several Spanish Expeditions. The first Spanish expedition here arrived late in 1521, headed by Captain Francisco de Orozco accompanied by the Aztecs. The group of Spaniards that joined the expedition of de Orozco held the first mass on the bank of the Atoyac River, and together with the other Spaniards, they chose the first mayor of Oaxaca, Gutierres de Badajoc. After the Independence of Mexico in 1821, the city became the seat of a municipality, and both the name of the city and the municipality became Oaxaca.
This 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 archaeological sites. Oaxaca, together with the archaeological site of Monte Alban was named a World Heritage Site in 1987. Oaxaca is also famous in their cultural festival called the Guelaguetza that features the Oaxacan dance and music. They also have beauty pageant for native women.