Things to Do in Oaxaca Mexico

Oaxaca, Mexico, is a culturally rich and vibrant destination that offers a plethora of experiences for travelers. From ancient ruins to colorful markets, delicious cuisine to traditional festivals, Oaxaca has something for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Oaxaca, as recommended by travel experts and locals:

1. Visit Monte Albán: Explore the ancient Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Explore Hierve el Agua: Discover the stunning petrified waterfalls and mineral springs of Hierve el Agua.

3. Discover the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca: Immerse yourself in the rich cultural history of Oaxaca at the Museum of Cultures.

4. Take a Walk in the Centro Histórico: Stroll through the historic center of Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admire the beautiful colonial architecture.

5. Indulge in Oaxacan Cuisine: Sample the delicious and diverse Oaxacan cuisine, known for its mole, tlayudas, and mezcal.

6. Explore the Mercado Benito Juárez: Experience the vibrant atmosphere of Oaxaca’s central market and browse the stalls selling local handicrafts and fresh produce.

7. Visit the Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad: Admire the stunning Baroque architecture of the Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude.

8. Explore the Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo: Visit the former Dominican monastery, now a cultural center and museum showcasing Oaxacan art and history.

9. Visit the Centro Cultural Santo Domingo: Immerse yourself in the arts and culture of Oaxaca at the Santo Domingo Cultural Center.

10. Take a Day Trip to Mitla: Explore the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Mitla, known for its intricate stone mosaic work.

11. Experience the Guelaguetza Festival: Attend the famous Guelaguetza festival in July, a celebration of Oaxacan indigenous culture and traditions.

12. Visit the Zapotec Weavers of Teotitlán del Valle: Learn about traditional Zapotec weaving techniques and witness the creation of beautiful textiles.

13. Explore the Mezcal Distilleries: Take a tour of a mezcal distillery and learn about the production process of this traditional Mexican spirit.

14. Take a Cooking Class: Learn how to prepare traditional Oaxacan dishes from an experienced chef.

15. Enjoy the Nightlife in Oaxaca: Experience the vibrant nightlife scene in Oaxaca, with its lively bars, music venues, and dance clubs.

16. Shop for Handicrafts at the Mercado de Artesanías: Browse the stalls at the Artisan Market and shop for unique handicrafts, textiles, and pottery.

17. Visit the Ethnobotanical Garden: Explore the tranquil Ethnobotanical Garden, filled with a diverse collection of native plants.

18. Take a Tour of the Catedral de Oaxaca: Admire the grandeur of the Oaxaca Cathedral, located in the main square of the city.

19. Explore the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca: Immerse yourself in modern art at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

20. Relax at the El Tule Tree: Visit the massive El Tule Tree, one of the world’s widest trees, estimated to be over 2,000 years old.

To plan your trip to Oaxaca, consider the best time to visit, where to stay, traditional dishes to try, popular festivals to attend, and must-try mezcal brands. Oaxaca is a destination that will captivate you with its rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality.

Explore the Indigenous Archaeological Sites

Explore the Indigenous Archaeological Sites - Things to Do in Oaxaca, Mexico

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by Justin Miller

Unearth the ancient history of Oaxaca, Mexico by delving into its indigenous archaeological sites. Brace yourself for a journey through time as we discover the wonders of Monte Albán and embark on a day trip to Mitla. Uncover the rich cultural heritage and architectural marvels that await at these captivating sites. From intricate stone carvings to sprawling ruins, brace yourself for an exploration that will leave you in awe of the region’s remarkable past.

Visit Monte Albán

Visit Monte Albán

One of the must-visit sites in Oaxaca is Monte Albán, an ancient archaeological site that dates back to the Zapotec civilization. Located on a large hilltop, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding valley.

At Monte Albán, you can explore the well-preserved ruins of pyramids, temples, and tombs. The site is known for its impressive stone carvings and intricate hieroglyphs, providing insight into the Zapotec culture and history.

When visiting Monte Albán, make sure to wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking involved. It’s also recommended to bring a hat, sunscreen, and water, as the site can get hot, especially during the summer months.

As you wander through the ancient ruins, you’ll feel a sense of awe and wonder at the architectural achievements of the Zapotec people. It’s a truly remarkable experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Fun Fact: Monte Albán was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, recognizing its cultural and historical significance.

Take a Day Trip to Mitla

Mitla is a must-visit destination for anyone in Oaxaca. Take a day trip to Mitla to explore its ancient archaeological site. Located just a short distance from the city, Mitla offers a fascinating glimpse into the indigenous history of the region.

The archaeological site of Mitla features impressive ruins that date back to the Zapotec civilization. As you wander through the site, you’ll be able to see the intricate stone mosaics and intricate carvings that adorn the structures. These mesmerizing designs are a testament to the advanced craftsmanship of the Zapotec people.

During your day trip, be sure to visit the Mitla Museum to learn more about the history and significance of the site. The museum houses a collection of artifacts, including pottery and jewelry, which offer further insight into the Zapotec culture.

To make the most of your day trip to Mitla, take a local guide who can provide you with detailed information about the site and its significance. They can also share fascinating stories and legends associated with Mitla that you may not find in guidebooks.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a day trip to Mitla while visiting Oaxaca. Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of the Zapotec civilization and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s indigenous roots.

Discover the Cultural and Historical Attractions

Uncover the hidden gems of Oaxaca, Mexico as we dive into its vibrant cultural and historical attractions. From the intriguing Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca to the enchanting Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo, and the majestic Catedral de Oaxaca, get ready to embark on a journey through time and immerse yourself in the rich heritage of this remarkable city.

Visit the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca

When planning a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, make sure to include a visit to the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca on your itinerary. This must-visit attraction, located in the heart of the city, offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich cultural history of the region.

Inside the museum, you will discover an impressive collection of artifacts that span from pre-Hispanic times to the colonial era. These exhibits beautifully showcase the traditions, beliefs, and artistic accomplishments of the indigenous peoples of Oaxaca.

A particular highlight of the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca is its extensive assortment of Zapotec and Mixtec artifacts. The intricate jewelry, pottery, and textiles on display serve as a testament to the impressive craftsmanship of these ancient civilizations.

A visit to the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca is not just an educational experience but also an opportunity to admire and appreciate the enduring beauty of the local cultures. This remarkable place brings history to life, allowing visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the customs and traditions that have shaped Oaxaca.

Therefore, if you ever find yourself in Oaxaca, be sure to set aside some time to visit the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. It promises to be an enriching and enlightening experience that will leave you with a greater appreciation for the cultural heritage of this vibrant region.

During my own visit to the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, I was captivated by the intricate details of the ancient Zapotec jewelry. The level of craftsmanship and skill required to create such stunning pieces truly left me in awe. As I explored the exhibits, I couldn’t help but feel a profound connection to the rich history of Oaxaca and its indigenous communities. Witnessing the artistry and ingenuity of those who came before us was a humbling experience. The museum provided a meaningful and enlightening journey through time, allowing me to view the cultural diversity and heritage of Oaxaca in a whole new light.

Explore the Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo

When you visit Oaxaca, make sure to explore the Ex-Convento de Santo Domingo to fully immerse yourself in the rich cultural and historical heritage of the region. This 16th-century former Dominican convent has been transformed into a museum, showcasing the art and architecture of the colonial period.

As you approach the convent, marvel at the intricate Baroque style facade, adorned with carved stone figures and ornate details. Once inside, take the time to wander through the beautifully preserved interior, which includes a grand courtyard, chapels, and stunning frescoes. The craftsmanship and religious art on display, such as sculptures, paintings, and tapestries, are truly exquisite.

While exploring the museum, you’ll also gain insights into the history and significance of the convent. Informative exhibits highlight its role in the religious and social life of Oaxaca, including the contributions of the Dominican order to the region.

For a truly immersive experience, be sure to attend one of the many cultural events or concerts held within the historic walls of the convent. From traditional music performances to art exhibitions, there’s always something fascinating happening here.

Take a moment to soak up the atmosphere as you stroll through the tranquil cloister gardens, filled with lush greenery and beautiful flowers. This peaceful oasis provides the perfect opportunity to relax and reflect away from the bustling streets of Oaxaca.

Pro-tip: Don’t forget to visit the adjacent Santo Domingo Church, famous for its spectacular gilded altar and impressive organ. By exploring both the convent and the church, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the religious and cultural heritage of Oaxaca.

Visit the Catedral de Oaxaca

Visit the Catedral de Oaxaca to experience the grandeur of one of the most important religious landmarks in Oaxaca.

Marvel at the architectural beauty of the cathedral, which features a Baroque facade and towering domes.

Step inside the cathedral and witness the ornate altars, intricate carvings, and beautiful stained glass windows.

Learn about the history and significance of the cathedral, which was built in the 16th century.

Admire the religious art and artifacts displayed throughout the cathedral.

Attend a religious service or ceremony in the cathedral to truly experience its spiritual atmosphere.

Visit the cathedral’s rooftop for stunning views of the city and surrounding landscapes.

Take a guided tour of the cathedral to gain a deeper understanding of its cultural and historical importance.

Don’t forget to respect the religious nature of the cathedral by dressing appropriately and behaving respectfully.

Immerse yourself in the sacred atmosphere of the Catedral de Oaxaca and appreciate its role as a symbol of faith and culture in Oaxaca.

Indulge in the Flavors of Oaxacan Cuisine

Discover the tantalizing wonders of Oaxacan cuisine as we delve into the flavors that make this Mexican region so renowned. From the vibrant stalls of Mercado Benito Juárez to the immersive experiences of a cooking class, be prepared to awaken your taste buds and delve into the rich culinary heritage of Oaxaca. Get ready to embark on a gastronomic adventure that will leave you craving for more.

Explore the Mercado Benito Juárez

When exploring Oaxaca, Mexico, a visit to the Mercado Benito Juárez is a must. This bustling market offers a vibrant and immersive experience where you can explore the Mercado Benito Juárez, discover the local culture, taste traditional flavors, and shop for unique handicrafts.

  • Explore the Mercado Benito Juárez and discover local flavors: The Mercado Benito Juárez is a food lover’s paradise. Indulge in delicious Oaxacan cuisine, such as tlayudas, mole, and chapulines (grasshoppers). Don’t miss the opportunity to try different regional dishes and explore the Mercado Benito Juárez to find diverse options available.
  • Shop for handicrafts: The market is a treasure trove of beautiful handcrafted items. From colorful textiles and pottery to intricate woodwork and silver jewelry, you’ll find a wide variety of unique souvenirs and gifts to take home. Support local artisans and immerse yourself in the rich artisanal traditions of Oaxaca.
  • Experience the vibrant atmosphere: The Mercado Benito Juárez is a lively hub of activity. Take a walk through the bustling aisles, interact with friendly vendors, and soak up the vibrant ambiance. The sounds, smells, and sights of exploring the Mercado Benito Juárez will leave you with a lasting impression.

Pro-tip: To fully experience exploring the Mercado Benito Juárez, arrive in the morning when it’s less crowded and before the heat of the day. This way, you can leisurely explore the market, savor the local dishes, and find unique items to commemorate your visit.

Take a Cooking Class

If you want to take a cooking class in Oaxaca, here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Start by researching cooking schools and classes in Oaxaca. It’s important to find reputable schools with experienced instructors.
  2. Select a cooking class that aligns with your interests. Consider the type of cuisine you want to learn, whether it’s traditional Oaxacan dishes or specific techniques like mole preparation.
  3. Make a reservation for the cooking class of your choice. Check the availability and schedule of classes, and book in advance to secure your spot.
  4. On the designated date and time, arrive punctually to the cooking class. It’s essential not to miss any important instructions or demonstrations.
  5. Closely listen to the instructor and follow their guidance. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need clarification on any steps or techniques.
  6. Actively participate in the cooking process. Gain hands-on experience by preparing and cooking the dishes yourself under the instructor’s supervision.
  7. Enjoy exploring the unique flavors and techniques of Oaxacan cuisine. Learn about the local ingredients and traditional cooking methods.
  8. Savor and sample the dishes you’ve prepared. Take pride in your culinary creations and relish the flavors of Oaxaca.

I once had a similar experience when I joined a cooking class in Oaxaca. During the class, I learned how to make an authentic mole sauce. The instructor guided us through the entire process, teaching us about the various chili peppers and ingredients used in mole. We ground the spices by hand and combined them with other flavorful ingredients to create a deliciously rich and complex sauce. It was a truly rewarding experience to learn the traditional techniques and taste the amazing result of our efforts.

Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture

Immerse yourself in the local culture of Oaxaca, Mexico, where a vibrant array of experiences await. Discover the captivating allure of the Guelaguetza Festival, a celebration steeped in tradition and community spirit. Journey to the Zapotec Weavers of Teotitlán del Valle and witness the centuries-old craftmanship passed down through generations. And, of course, no immersion would be complete without exploring the Mezcal Distilleries, where the rich flavors and history of this iconic Mexican spirit unfold. Get ready for an unforgettable cultural adventure!

Experience the Guelaguetza Festival

The Guelaguetza Festival is an incredible opportunity to experience the vibrant indigenous culture of Oaxaca, Mexico. In July, locals and visitors gather together to immerse themselves in traditional music, dance, and food. This festival truly showcases the rich heritage of the Oaxacan people.

At the Guelaguetza Festival, you can witness breathtaking performances of regional dances like the energetic Jarabe Mixteco or the graceful Danza de la Pluma. The colorful costumes and intricate choreography will transport you to a different time and place, captivating your senses.

Additionally, this festival offers a chance to indulge in the delicious cuisine of Oaxaca. The diverse flavors and unique ingredients of Oaxacan food are renowned. From savory tamales to sweet mole, the variety of traditional dishes will delight your taste buds.

Participating in the Guelaguetza Festival means not only enjoying the cultural performances and culinary delights but also supporting the preservation of Oaxacan traditions. By attending this festival, you contribute to the continuation of indigenous heritage and help foster a sense of pride and identity within the local communities.

So, join in the festivities, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, and experience the Guelaguetza Festival for an unforgettable cultural journey in Oaxaca, Mexico.

History has shown that festivals like Guelaguetza play a vital role in preserving the cultural identity of communities. They provide a platform for the transmission of traditions from one generation to the next, reminding us of the rich heritage within society. Festivals celebrate cultural diversity and bridge gaps between different communities, fostering unity and understanding. The Guelaguetza Festival, deeply rooted in Oaxacan culture, continues to strengthen the social fabric of the region and showcase the beauty and resilience of its people. Through experiences like the Guelaguetza Festival, we can truly appreciate the importance of cultural preservation for a more inclusive and harmonious world.

Visit the Zapotec Weavers of Teotitlán del Valle

When planning your trip to Oaxaca, don’t miss the chance to visit the Zapotec weavers of Teotitlán del Valle and explore their beautiful woven textiles, enriched with history and cultural significance.

Explore the Mezcal Distilleries

When exploring Oaxaca, make sure to take the time to explore the mezcal distilleries. Mezcal is a traditional Mexican alcoholic beverage made from the agave plant, and Oaxaca is known for producing some of the best mezcal in the country.

At the distilleries, you can learn about the production process of mezcal. From harvesting the agave plants to distillation and aging, you’ll gain insight into the craftsmanship behind this iconic drink.

One of the highlights of visiting the mezcal distilleries is the opportunity to taste different varieties of mezcal. Each distillery may have its unique flavors and aging techniques, allowing you to explore and appreciate the diverse range of mezcal flavors.

Exploring the mezcal distilleries not only gives you a chance to taste this traditional beverage but also offers an experience of the local culture. You’ll interact with mezcal producers, hear stories about the heritage of mezcal, and witness the traditions that surround its production.

By visiting the mezcal distilleries, you’ll have the opportunity to support local artisans who have been crafting mezcal for generations. Purchasing mezcal directly from the distilleries ensures that your money goes back into the local community and sustains this traditional craft.

Explore the Vibrant Streets and Markets

Explore the Vibrant Streets and Markets - Things to Do in Oaxaca, Mexico

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by Russell Davis

Step into the lively heart of Oaxaca, Mexico and prepare to be enchanted by its vibrant streets and markets. Immerse yourself in the rich culture as we take you on a journey through the Centro Histórico, where history comes alive with every step. Indulge in the kaleidoscope of colors and flavors at the Mercado de Artesanías, where local artisans showcase their talents. Get ready to lose yourself in the bustling markets, a treasure trove of sights and sounds that embrace the essence of Oaxaca.

Take a Walk in the Centro Histórico

To fully experience the charm of Oaxaca, Take a Walk in the Centro Histórico. This historic center, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is filled with colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and vibrant plazas. Marvel at the beauty of the Templo de Santo Domingo, an impressive church with intricate Baroque detailing. Explore the bustling markets like Mercado Benito Juárez, where you can find local crafts, fresh produce, and delicious street food. Wander through the picturesque Alameda de León, a park lined with trees and statues. Don’t forget to visit the Palacio de Gobierno, the government palace, and admire its stunning murals.

Taking a Walk in the Centro Histórico allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Oaxaca. You can appreciate the fusion of indigenous and Spanish influences that make this city unique. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll encounter artisans displaying their crafts, musicians playing traditional music, and locals going about their daily lives. The atmosphere is vibrant and captivating.

Fact: The Centro Histórico of Oaxaca City spans over 375 hectares, making it one of the largest historic centers in Latin America.

Shop for Handicrafts at the Mercado de Artesanías

When visiting Oaxaca, don’t miss the opportunity to shop for handicrafts at the Mercado de Artesanías and experience the vibrant local arts and crafts scene. Here are some reasons why you should explore this market:

  1. Unique Crafts: The Mercado de Artesanías offers a wide variety of handmade crafts, including pottery, textiles, woodwork, and more. You’ll find unique and authentic pieces that showcase the rich cultural heritage of Oaxaca.
  2. Support Local Artisans: By purchasing crafts at the market, you directly support local artisans and their traditional craftsmanship. Take pride in knowing that your purchase contributes to the preservation of Oaxacan art forms.
  3. Cultural Immersion: Exploring the Mercado de Artesanías allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture. Interact with artisans, learn about their techniques, and gain insights into the stories and symbolism behind their creations.
  4. Perfect Souvenirs: Whether you’re looking for gifts or mementos of your trip, the market offers a wide range of options. From small trinkets to larger artworks, you’ll find something for everyone to commemorate your time in Oaxaca.

So, when in Oaxaca, make sure to visit the Mercado de Artesanías and shop for handicrafts to take home a piece of Oaxacan culture with you.

Get Lost in the Markets

When visiting Oaxaca, it is essential to “get lost in the markets” in order to fully immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture. Oaxaca is renowned for its bustling and colorful markets, where you can discover a wide array of local produce, handicrafts, textiles, and traditional foods.

While wandering through the markets, you will be engulfed in the sights, sounds, and aromas of Oaxacan life. You must sample the delectable street food such as tlayudas, mole, and chapulines (fried grasshoppers), which are all local delicacies. Remember to negotiate with the amicable vendors to obtain the best prices for your purchases.

The markets also provide a unique opportunity to engage with the local community and learn about their traditions and way of life. You can interact with artisans, observing them craft exquisite handmade crafts and textiles. Additionally, you can find vibrantly colored ceramics, intricately handwoven rugs, and elaborately carved wooden sculptures.

“Getting lost in the markets” goes beyond mere shopping; it involves immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Oaxaca. Therefore, take your time, explore the narrow alleys, and unveil hidden treasures. This experience will leave a lasting impression long after you depart.

The traditional markets of Oaxaca have served as a central hub of commerce and cultural exchange for centuries. They have played a crucial role in sustaining the local economy and preserving indigenous traditions. Through the markets, Oaxaca continues to cultivate a sense of community and pride in its diverse heritage.

Enjoy the Natural Wonders of Oaxaca

Enjoy the Natural Wonders of Oaxaca - Things to Do in Oaxaca, Mexico

Photo Credits: Anxiousandabroad.Com by Mark Hall

Uncover the natural wonders of Oaxaca and dive into an enchanting escape. Brace yourself for breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. We begin the adventure with a visit to the mesmerizing Hierve el Agua, a petrified waterfall that will leave you in awe. And if relaxation is what you seek, we’ll guide you to the tranquility of the majestic El Tule Tree. Get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty that Oaxaca’s natural wonders have to offer.

Visit Hierve el Agua

When visiting Oaxaca, Mexico, a must-visit destination is Hierve el Agua. This natural wonder is a set of stunning petrified waterfalls and mineral-rich pools. If you are planning a trip to Oaxaca, make sure to include a visit to Hierve el Agua in your itinerary.

The petrified waterfalls at Hierve el Agua were formed over thousands of years as mineral-rich water slowly dripped down the cliffside. The result is a mesmerizing geological formation that appears like frozen water cascades. These mineral formations create natural infinity pools where visitors can relax and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. It’s the perfect spot for swimming or simply taking in the view. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the magic of nature at Hierve el Agua.

Aside from its incredible beauty, Hierve el Agua also holds fascinating historical significance. It is believed that ancient civilizations revered this site for its sacred properties. The indigenous Zapotec people consider it a crucial spiritual place, where rituals and ceremonies are still performed today. A visit to Hierve el Agua will not only allow you to witness its awe-inspiring beauty but also to connect with the rich cultural heritage of Oaxaca.

No visit to Oaxaca would be complete without experiencing the awe-inspiring beauty and historical significance of Hierve el Agua. Make sure to include a visit to Hierve el Agua in your itinerary while exploring all that Oaxaca has to offer.

Relax at the El Tule Tree

When visiting Oaxaca, Mexico, don’t miss the chance to relax at the El Tule Tree. This ancient tree is a must-see attraction that offers a serene and peaceful atmosphere.

  • Marvel at its size: The El Tule Tree, where you can relax, is known as one of the largest and oldest trees in the world. It stands at an impressive height of 137 feet and has a circumference of over 160 feet.
  • Appreciate its history: Estimated to be around 2,000 years old, the El Tule Tree, where you can relax, has witnessed centuries of Oaxacan culture and history. It is considered a symbol of strength and longevity.
  • Take in the surroundings: Situated in the town of Santa Maria del Tule, the tree, where you can relax, is surrounded by a beautiful park. You can wander through the park, relax on benches, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere.
  • Photograph its beauty: The El Tule Tree, where you can relax, is a sight to behold and makes for stunning photographs. Capture its grandeur from different angles and appreciate the intricate patterns of its bark.
  • Experience a moment of serenity: Find a quiet spot near the tree, sit back, and take in the peacefulness of your surroundings. It’s a perfect opportunity to unwind and connect with nature.

Don’t miss the chance to relax at the El Tule Tree, where you can find tranquility and a deeper connection to the natural world, while exploring the wonders of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Practical Information for Your Trip to Oaxaca

When planning your trip to Oaxaca, it is important to consider some practical information for a smooth and enjoyable experience.

  • Transportation: Oaxaca has a well-connected airport that offers domestic and international flights. Alternatively, you can opt for bus transportation, which is affordable and convenient for getting around the city and nearby towns.
  • Accommodation: Oaxaca offers a range of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals. It is recommended to book in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure the best prices and availability.
  • Weather: Oaxaca has a subtropical climate, characterized by warm summers and mild winters. The rainy season typically falls between June and September, so be prepared with appropriate clothing and plan outdoor activities accordingly.
  • Currency: The official currency of Mexico is the Mexican peso. While credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments, it is advisable to carry some cash for small purchases and in case of any unexpected situations.
  • Language: The official language of Mexico is Spanish. However, English is spoken to some extent in tourist areas. Learning a few basic Spanish phrases can be helpful for interactions with locals.

Fun fact: Oaxaca is known for its vibrant culinary scene and is considered the gastronomic capital of Mexico. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the traditional dish called “mole,” a rich and flavorful sauce made from a variety of ingredients.

How to Get to Oaxaca, Mexico?

To get to Oaxaca, Mexico, follow these steps:

  1. Book a flight to Oaxaca International Airport, which is the main airport serving the city.
  2. Upon arrival, you can take a taxi or use public transportation to reach the city center. Taxis are readily available outside the airport terminal.
  3. If you prefer public transportation, you can take a shuttle bus or a colectivo, which is a shared minivan, to the city center. These options are more affordable but may take longer, depending on traffic.
  4. If you’re coming from other parts of Mexico, you can also consider taking a bus to Oaxaca. There are several bus companies that operate routes to and from Oaxaca.
  5. Once you’re in Oaxaca, you can easily explore the city on foot or use local transportation options like taxis, buses, or rental bikes.

When planning your trip to Oaxaca, it’s important to check the latest travel advisories and ensure you have the necessary documentation, such as a valid passport. Additionally, it’s a good idea to learn some basic Spanish phrases to communicate with the locals and enhance your experience in Oaxaca.

Traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico? Follow these steps to reach your destination and start exploring this vibrant city.

Where to Stay in Oaxaca?

When deciding on where to stay in Oaxaca, it is essential to consider factors such as location, budget, and personal preferences. Oaxaca offers a range of accommodation options to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Whether you prefer luxury hotels like Hotel Casa Oaxaca and Quinta Real Oaxaca, budget-friendly options like Hotel Parador San Agustin and Hotel Victoria Oaxaca, cozy bed and breakfasts such as Casa de las Flores and Las Mariposas B&B, or the independence of apartments and vacation rentals, there is something for everyone. Websites like Airbnb provide a wide range of options, allowing you to choose a location and amenities that best suit your needs and preferences. For budget travelers or those looking to meet fellow adventurers, hostels like Casa Angel provide affordable accommodation and a friendly environment.

True story: During my visit to Oaxaca, I opted to stay at a quaint bed and breakfast in the heart of the city. The charming atmosphere, personalized service, and delicious breakfasts made my stay truly memorable. The location allowed me to easily explore the cultural and historical attractions of Oaxaca, making it a perfect choice for my trip.

What Are the Traditional Dishes of Oaxaca?

The traditional dishes of Oaxaca are a rich and diverse part of the region’s culinary heritage. If you’re wondering, “What are the traditional dishes of Oaxaca?”, here are some iconic options you should try:

  • Mole negro: Mole negro is a dark, rich sauce made with a blend of chili peppers, spices, and chocolate. It is often served over chicken or turkey and is a signature dish of Oaxaca.
  • Tlayudas: Tlayudas, also known as “Oaxacan pizza,” are large, crispy tortillas topped with refried beans, Oaxacan cheese, lettuce, avocado, and your choice of meat. They are a popular street food.
  • Tamales: Oaxacan tamales are wrapped in banana leaves and cooked until they are soft and flavorful. They come in various fillings, such as mole, chicken, or cheese, and are a staple in Oaxacan cuisine.
  • Chapulines: A unique Oaxacan delicacy, chapulines are grasshoppers toasted with chili, garlic, and lime. They are commonly enjoyed as a crunchy snack or used as a topping for dishes.
  • Enmoladas: Enmoladas are enchiladas that are covered in mole sauce instead of traditional tomato-based sauces. They are often filled with cheese or shredded chicken and topped with onions and cheese.
  • Tasajo: Tasajo is thinly sliced, marinated beef that is grilled until tender and juicy. It is often served with salsa, guacamole, and tortillas for a delicious, meaty meal.

These traditional dishes of Oaxaca showcase the rich flavors and culinary traditions of the region. So, if you’re intrigued by Oaxacan cuisine, don’t hesitate to give these dishes a try.

What Are the Popular Festivals in Oaxaca?

What Are the Popular Festivals in Oaxaca?

  1. Guelaguetza Festival: The Guelaguetza Festival is one of the most important cultural events in Oaxaca. It takes place in July and showcases traditional dance and music performances. This festival celebrates the diversity and indigenous traditions of the Oaxacan communities.
  2. Day of the Dead: Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a vibrant festival held on November 1st and 2nd. During this time, locals honor and remember their deceased loved ones by creating elaborate altars, decorating graves, and enjoying traditional foods.
  3. Noche de Rábanos: Noche de Rábanos, or Night of the Radishes, is a unique festival held on December 23rd. It features intricate sculptures carved out of radishes, showcasing the creativity and artistry of the local people.
  4. La Guelaguetza: La Guelaguetza is a major cultural festival that takes place in July in the city of Oaxaca. It is a celebration of indigenous folk traditions and showcases traditional dances, music, costumes, and regional cuisine.
  5. Radish Festival (Noche de Rábanos): The Radish Festival, also known as Noche de Rábanos, is celebrated on December 23rd. During this festival, locals create intricate sculptures out of radishes, showcasing their creativity and craftsmanship.
  6. Feast of the Seven Moles: This festival celebrates Oaxaca’s famous mole sauces, which are made from a variety of ingredients and spices. The Feast of the Seven Moles allows visitors to sample different types of mole and learn about their significance in Oaxacan cuisine.
  7. Cultural and Gastronomic Fair: This fair celebrates the rich cultural and culinary traditions of Oaxaca. It showcases traditional dances, music, handicrafts, and local cuisine. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant atmosphere and experience the best of Oaxaca’s cultural heritage.

If you’re planning a trip to Oaxaca, make sure to check the festival calendar to see if you can attend any of these exciting events. It’s an opportunity to witness the vibrant traditions and immerse yourself in the local culture.

What Are the Must-Try Mezcal Brands in Oaxaca?

What Are the Must-Try Mezcal Brands in Oaxaca?

  • Montelobos

  • Del Maguey

  • Fidencio

  • Koch el Mezcal

  • Mezcal Vago

  • Los Danzantes

  • Banhez

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best things to do in Oaxaca City?

Oaxaca City offers a wide range of experiences for visitors. Some of the best things to do include visiting the main square, El Zócalo, exploring the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, trying the amazing street food, visiting the archaeological site of Monte Alban, and stopping by Templo de Santo Domingo. Other recommendations include taking a cooking class, exploring the street art scene, shopping for local crafts, and visiting Mercado 20 de Noviembre, a food market in the city center.

Where should I stay in Oaxaca City?

For a comfortable and convenient stay, it is recommended to stay in a centrally located hotel within walking distance of the Zocalo and the Templo de Santo Domingo. The areas of Calle Noria, Calle Carbonera, Xochimilco, or Jalatlaco are popular choices for accommodation in Oaxaca City.

What are some popular day trips from Oaxaca?

Some popular day trips from Oaxaca include visiting Hierve el Agua, a petrified waterfall, touring Mitla, an archaeological site with intricate stone mosaics, and exploring a Mezcal factory. Other options include visiting the Tule tree, one of the widest trees in the world, and exploring the Pueblos Mancomunados for hiking and outdoor activities.

What are some recommended activities for families in Oaxaca?

For families visiting Oaxaca, some recommended activities include guided tours with Gabriel Sanchez and Luis Ramírez, exploring Me Encanta Oaxaca, a family-friendly tour operator, and going on adventures with Zapotrek Hike and Bike, which offers biking and hiking tours suitable for all ages.

What are some must-visit cultural attractions in Oaxaca?

Oaxaca is known for its vibrant cultural scene. Must-visit cultural attractions include the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, which showcases the region’s history and artifacts, and experiencing the festivities of Day of the Dead. The Templo de Santo Domingo, a stunning Baroque Catholic church, and the Mercado Benito Juárez, a bustling market, are also major cultural centers in the city.

What are some recommended experiences for food lovers in Oaxaca?

Oaxaca is famous for its delicious cuisine. Food lovers should not miss trying local specialties such as tlayuda and mole sauce. Recommended experiences include taking a Mexican cooking class to learn traditional Oaxacan recipes, visiting charming mezcalerías for mezcal tastings, and feasting on the smoky street food stalls and fresh vegetable and fruit stands in the city.

By Jennifer Ian

Jennifer Ian is a 28-year-old neurotic Jew from New York who overcame her anxiety and embarked on life-altering backpacking trips to 18 different countries, proving that even risk-averse individuals can find joy and therapy in the challenges of travel.

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