The Oaxaca region of Mexico is known for its rich culture, history, and incredible food. From museums to iconic restaurants, it's a common destination for tourists from all over the world. But it also attracts visitors to one particular tree in question. And this is no average evergreen: it is a relic of ancient history!
Located in the town square, this Ahuehuete Cypress is recognized as one of the oldest trees still standing to this day. In fact, for those looking to count its rings to see just how old it is, get comfortable. It is estimated to be over 1,500 years in age, with other theories pinning it between 2,000 to 3,000 years old! Looming in front of the local church, the Tule Tree (known locally as the Arbol Del Tule) stands at a whopping 138 feet in height and an even more impressive 190 feet in circumference. While other giant tree species like the sequoia tend to loom at the height of some office buildings, the Tule Tree is actually wider than it is tall - but impressive nevertheless!
While theories once suggested that this marvel was the product of multiple trees merging to become one, recent data analysis proves against it. This behemoth is one tree and one tree only. And it holds significant meaning to locals in the area. Thanks to the mass appeal the tree has in the tourist realm, the tree contributes to the enormous number of visitors that flock to Oaxaca each year. With tourism accounting for about 75% of the town's population employment, that's a pretty important impact! Plus, twisted into the tree's ancient trunk, many locals believe to see faces and figures, which has inspired countless folktales for generations upon generations.
Care to pay a visit? This absolute feat of nature can be found in the town of Santa Maria del Tule and is the perfect trip to add to your international bucket list. For more breathtaking pictures of this tree and the other gems the region has to offer, you can check out @oaxacaparaisocultural. But, fair warning: this page will inspire the wanderlust inside us all!