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Árbol del Tule (Tree of Tule)

Photo credit: RussBowling / Foter / CC BY
Árbol del Tule (Tree of Tule)
  • (interesting)
  • less than 1 km
  • Easy
  • Free
  • 1 hour or less
  • 1 1

The widest tree in the world

At the market, try tlayudas (fried tortillas covered with beans, lettuce, local cheese, avocado, meat and salsa) and mezcal (a strong Mexican alcoholic drink)

The Árbol del Tule is a Montezuma cypress located in the center of Santa María del Tule right in front of the church in the state of Oaxaca, approximately 10 kilometers from the capital. While it may look like an average tree on pictures, the Tree of Tule is the widest tree in the whole world with a circumference of 42 meters (138 feet) and a height of approximately 35 meters (116 feet). It is estimated to be between 1,200 and 3,000 years years old. The Tree of Tule is commonly called “The Tree of Life” due to the images of animals visible on the tree’s trunk such as the head of a deer, the head of a lion, a fish, an elephant, a crocodile and more. It is considered a sacred place by many locals.


The Legends
Many legends have been told about the tree among locals for centuries. The Zapotec people said that the tree was planted about 1400 years ago by Pechoca, the god of wind. Another belief is that leaders of powerful lands gathered and planted trees in four different points, the Tule being one of them.


Every year, on the second monday of October, the day of the Tule Tree is celebrated in dedication of the tree and locals throw a massive party around it.


The tree is located in a small village on the road from Oaxaca City (capital) to the archaeological site of Mitla, making it a great quick stop between the two. However, other than the tree, the village has other things to offer such as an artisan market located right in front of it.


Opening hours


How to get there

From Oaxaca City, buses leave from the main bus station but they can also be catched at Periférico avenue