Many visitors to the south central Mexico colonial city of Oaxaca spend only two or three full days here (aside from touring the central valley routes), not long enough to really learn about its cultural history, its contemporary greatness, and a little about its underbelly. There are indeed some detailed walking tours of the city contained in some guide books, but each of the three or four downtown routes requires a couple of hours to complete, if justice is to be done.
One tour a day is often all that tourists have the stamina to do, given the sun, the elevation and jet lag. This, then, is a down-and-dirty single touring route for those who will be in the city for only a short period of time, and want a brief overview of what there is available. It is suggested that you do the tour your first full day, in the morning, and then return to the places which pique your interest later on in your visit.