Reasons to visit Oaxaca, Mexico at least once in your lifetime

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10 Reasons Why You Must Visit Oaxaca, Mexico

Welcome, fellow travelers, to Oaxaca, Mexico – a land brimming with vibrant colors, rich history, and a culture that will ignite your senses like never before. Nestled in the heart of this remarkable country, Oaxaca beckons you to explore its captivating landscapes, indulge in its mouthwatering cuisine, and immerse yourself in its profound heritage. This hidden gem is a destination like no other, offering an eclectic blend of ancient ruins, idyllic beaches, and charming colonial towns. Brace yourself for an adventure of a lifetime as we journey through the top 10 reasons why you must visit Oaxaca.

Key Takeaways:

  • Experience the magical blend of ancient ruins, architectural wonders, and colonial charm.
  • Savor the tantalizing flavors of Oaxacan cuisine, renowned as one of Mexico’s culinary treasures.
  • Immerse yourself in vibrant traditions, including fascinating indigenous cultures and captivating festivals.
  • Embark on thrilling outdoor adventures, from hiking majestic mountains to surfing pristine waves.
  • Discover the world-famous crafts of Oaxaca, from intricate textiles to exquisite pottery.
  • Bask in the breathtaking natural beauty of Oaxaca’s landscapes, including stunning beaches and lush valleys.
  • Explore the intriguing history of ancient civilizations through mesmerizing archaeological sites.
  • Indulge in the warm hospitality of the Oaxaqueños, who will welcome you with open arms.
  • Elevate your senses with the vibrant colors, sounds, and aromas that permeate the streets of Oaxaca.
  • Create lasting memories as you partake in the vibrant traditions and celebrations unique to this enchanting region.

1. Uncover the Marvels of Monte Albán

Prepare to be transported back in time as you venture to Monte Albán, an ancient archaeological site that was once the capital of the Zapotec civilization. This UNESCO World Heritage site showcases awe-inspiring pyramids, intricate stonework, and expansive plazas that offer panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. Explore the ball courts where ancient games were played, marvel at the enigmatic glyphs carved into stelae, and imagine the bustling city that thrived here centuries ago.

2. Wander Through the Enchanting Streets of Oaxaca City

Step into the heart of Oaxaca and lose yourself in the maze of cobblestone streets lined with colorful colonial buildings. The historic center of Oaxaca City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason. Admire the stunning architecture of the Santo Domingo Church, explore the bustling markets brimming with vibrant textiles and handicrafts, and soak up the lively atmosphere of the Zócalo, the central square where locals and tourists gather to socialize and enjoy the charming surroundings.

3. Delight Your Taste Buds with Oaxacan Cuisine

Prepare to embark on a gastronomic journey like no other as you savor the delectable flavors of Oaxacan cuisine. Indulge in the legendary mole, a complex sauce with hints of chocolate and spices; sample mouthwatering tlayudas, crispy tortillas topped with beans, meat, and cheese; and treat yourself to the refreshing taste of mezcal, the iconic distilled spirit of Oaxaca. From street food to fine dining, Oaxaca offers a cornucopia of culinary delights that will leave you craving for more.

4. Immerse Yourself in Indigenous Cultures

Oaxaca is a melting pot of cultures, with vibrant indigenous communities that are deeply rooted in their traditions. Experience the magic of these cultures as you visit local villages and witness master artisans weaving intricate textiles, carving exquisite wooden figures, and crafting intricate pottery using centuries-old techniques. Engage with the community, learn about their ancient customs, and take home unique handicrafts that encapsulate the essence of Oaxaca’s rich heritage.

5. Dance to the Rhythm of Festivals and Celebrations

No visit to Oaxaca is complete without immersing yourself in the exhilarating rhythms of its vibrant festivals and celebrations. From the colorful Guelaguetza festival that showcases the music, dance, and costumes of Oaxaca’s indigenous communities, to the Day of the Dead celebrations that honor departed loved ones with elaborate altars and parades, the calendar is filled with opportunities to witness and partake in the joyous spirit of Oaxaca’s traditions.

6. Dive Into Pristine Waters and Relax on Idyllic Beaches

Escape the bustling city and find solace in the tranquil waters of Oaxaca’s breathtaking coastline. Discover the unspoiled beauty of Huatulco, a beach lover’s paradise boasting pristine beaches, hidden coves, and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Take a dip in the vibrant rock pools of Puerto Escondido, known as the “Mexican Pipeline” for its world-class surfing waves, or simply lounge on the powdery sands and soak up the sun while sipping a refreshing coconut.

7. Hike Through Majestic Landscapes

Lace up your hiking boots and embrace the spirit of adventure as you explore the awe-inspiring landscapes that surround Oaxaca. Ascend the peaks of the Sierra Norte mountains, where misty cloud forests, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant bird species await. Traverse the dramatic limestone formations of Hierve el Agua, a natural wonder that resembles petrified waterfalls, and rejuvenate your soul in the healing thermal waters. Oaxaca’s diverse terrain offers endless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to connect with nature.

8. Marvel at the Spectacular Hierve el Agua

Prepare to be awestruck as you marvel at the natural wonderland of Hierve el Agua. Nestled in the Sierra Norte mountains, this mesmerizing geological formation is a sight to behold. Encounter the “frozen” waterfalls created by mineral-laden springs that flow over the cliffs’ edge, creating an ethereal landscape that defies imagination. Take a dip in the sparkling mineral pools, bask in the panoramic views, and allow the tranquility of this enchanting place to wash over your soul.

9. Discover Oaxaca’s Living Museums

Wander through Oaxaca’s streets, and you’ll quickly realize that this entire city is a living museum. From the vibrant markets where ancient traditions are still practiced, to the countless art galleries that showcase contemporary and traditional masterpieces, Oaxaca is a haven for art enthusiasts. Explore the works of famed Oaxacan artists like Rufino Tamayo and Francisco Toledo, or immerse yourself in the world of textile art at the Textile Museum of Oaxaca. Every corner of this city radiates creativity and inspiration.

10. Experience Oaxaca’s Warm Hospitality

Above all else, it is the warmth and hospitality of the Oaxaqueños that will truly make your visit to Oaxaca unforgettable. From the moment you step foot in this captivating land, you will be greeted with genuine smiles, open hearts, and a sense of belonging. Engage in conversations with the locals, who are proud to share their traditions, stories, and love for their homeland. Allow yourself to be embraced by the spirit of Oaxaca, and you will leave with cherished memories and lifelong connections.

So what are you waiting for? Embark on a journey that will stir your soul, tantalize your taste buds, and leave you with a newfound appreciation for the beauty of Oaxaca, Mexico. Let the enchantment of this extraordinary destination capture your heart and ignite your wanderlust. Your adventure awaits!

Why go to Oaxaca, Mexico?

You must visit Oaxaca, Mexico, at least once in your lifetime because of its vibrant city full of bustling marketplaces, colorful colonial architecture, a rich history, artisan galleries and workshops in plenty, warm residents, and some of the best street food in the world.

Places to go in Oaxaca, Mexico:

  1. Oaxaca
  2. Dead Festivities
  3. El Zócalo
  4. Ethnobotanical Garden
  5. Guelaguetza Festival
  6. Hot Chocolate
  7. Hierve el Agua
  8. Local Crafts
  9. Mercado de Benito Juárez
  10. Mercado 20 de Noviembre
  11. Mexican Cooking Class
  12. Mezcalería
  13. Monte Albán
  14. Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca
  15. Ruins at Mitla
  16. Sunday Market
  17. Street Art Scene
  18. Street Food
  19. Templo de Santo Domingo
  20. The Pedestrian-Only Street

What is Oaxaca, Mexico, famous for?

Oaxaca, Mexico, is famous for its exquisite architecture, live indigenous culture, amazing Zapotec and Mixtec archaeological sites, to-die-for cuisine, and some of the most exceptional artisans in all of Mexico.

Fun Facts about Oaxaca, Mexico

  • Oaxaca is the source of corn and squash.
  • Oaxaca has a rich culinary heritage and is considered one of Mexico’s gourmet hotspots.
  • Oaxaca is Mexico’s most populous state, with a diverse population that speaks several languages.
  • Mezcal is made in this region.
  • Monte Alban, a large Mesoamerican city near the Oaxaca Metropolis, is sometimes referred to as the region’s first metropolis. Experts estimate that it was established around 500 B.C.

Why visit Oaxaca, Mexico

How big is Oaxaca, Mexico?

Oaxaca is about 85 square km or 33 square miles in size.

When is the best time to visit Oaxaca, Mexico?

The best time to visit Oaxaca, Mexico, are the months of April to May and September to October. The weather is milder, and there are fewer visitors in the spring and fall.

How many days do you need to see Oaxaca, Mexico?

A minimum of three days should be allotted to your visit to Oaxaca to see everything you want, or at least make an honest effort. You’ll need at least three days to complete this task.

What is the cheapest time to go to Oaxaca, Mexico?

The low season (flights) to visit Oaxaca, Mexico, is April to May and September to October. However, January, November, and December are the peak months.

Is Oaxaca, Mexico, an expensive city to visit?

It costs $1,237 for a solitary traveler, $2,222 to share a room with a partner, and $4,165 for a family of four to take a seven-day vacation in Oaxaca. Typical hotel rates in Oaxaca range from $37 to $197 per night, averaging $62. Most vacation rentals range from $20 to $280 per night for the entire house.

How to save money when visiting Oaxaca, Mexico?

The best ways to save money when visiting Oaxaca, Mexico are:

  • Food can be found in local markets- You can eat cheaply and stock up on goods for day trips at Oaxaca’s markets. Enjoy a healthy diet of fresh fruit, tacos, and barbecued meats while you can!
  • Eat meals from the street vendors- The city’s tastiest food is available on the streets, and it’s also the cheapest. You can save money and taste some of the tastiest food in the country by dining at street vendors. The cost of most meals won’t exceed 30 MXN.
  • Take a free walking tour- You may get a sense of the city’s culture by taking a free walking tour. Daily walking tours offered by Oaxaca Free Walking Tour provide an overview of the city. Make sure you give your guide a good tip!
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption- There is a lot of inexpensive booze available in Mexico. Still, at bars and clubs, it’s much more pricey. If you’re on a tight budget, buying your liquor from a local store is better than at a bar.
  • Don’t take a cab- Oaxaca is a great city to explore on foot, and the city’s public bus system covers most of the city’s destinations. Taxis are overpriced.

What food (and drinks) is Oaxaca, Mexico, known for?

Things you need to eat in Oaxaca, Mexico, before you die:

  • Tlayudas- consist of a large, dry corn tortilla topped with beans, tomatoes, avocado, and a variety of meats, all drenched in asiento, a thin layer of unrefined pork lard.
  • Huitlacoche Corn Fungus Tacos- Corn fungus, but “corn smut” is what I prefer to call it. Huitlacoche’s earthy, mushroomy flavor is also a texture play.
  • Enfrijoladas- Sauce, and beans on the side. In Oaxaca, the beans are cooked with avocado plant leaves, a unique technique.
  • Memelas-tortillas toasted on an enormous hot skillet with various fillings: beans, quesillo (local stringy, brined cheese), chunks of the ground pig with spices or eggs, and several sauces of differing heat levels, all piled on top of the toasted tortillas.

Visit Oaxaca, Mexico at least once in your lifetime

Is Oaxaca, Mexico, safe to visit?

You should not be afraid to visit Oaxaca; there is nothing to worry about there. For the vast majority of people, this will be a positive experience. As a tourist, you’ll be able to escape the most attractive crimes. If you’re going out late at night, be cautious, don’t trust strangers, and keep your expensive belongings hidden.

What is the best way to get around in Oaxaca, Mexico?

The best ways to get around in Oaxaca, Mexico are:

  • On foot – Oaxaca is a great city for anyone who enjoys walking around on their own two feet. If you’re not going to the adjacent ruins, you’ll probably be able to get around town on foot.
  • Bus – For 15 MXN, you can take one of the city’s many collectivos (shared taxis that follow predetermined routes).
  • Bicycle – For about 100 MXN, you may rent a bike for half a day. A half-day mountain biking tour with a guide should cost roughly 1,300 MXN.

What neighbourhoods or areas should I stay in when I visit Oaxaca, Mexico?

The best areas you should stay in when visiting Oaxaca, Mexico are:

  • Hostel Central
  • El Cielo Oaxaca
  • Iguana Hostel Oaxaca
  • Azul Cielo Oaxaca

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for food?

The best areas for food and drinks when visiting Oaxaca, Mexico are:

  • Casa Oaxaca
  • Los Danzante
  • El Destilado
  • Criollo

What are the best neighbourhoods or areas for shopping?

The best areas for shopping when visiting Oaxaca, Mexico are:

  • Wanderlust Oaxaca
  • La Casa de las Artesanias de Oaxaca
  • Los Baúles de Juana
  • Mercado de Artesanias de Oaxaca

What should I do on my first trip to Oaxaca, Mexico?

If you are visiting Oaxaca, Mexico, for the first time, you should explore the city’s historic core. As of 1987, all of Oaxaca’s downtown has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Hamberguesa is topped with a hot dog, sliced cheese, Oaxaca cheese, ham, pineapple, lettuce, tomato, and jalapeno on top of a burger bun. In 1572, work began on the Baroque Templo de Santo Domingo, although it was not completed until 1731. A 2-acre botanical garden next to the Church of Santo Domingo is a great place to spend some time. A wide variety of flora from across the state can be found in the gardens.

Is Oaxaca, Mexico, a good place for solo travel?

When traveling solo, you will surely like Oaxaca. In addition to being risk-free, it’s also a breeze to go around on your own. It’s also easy to meet other tourists and nomads in the city, as it attracts many visitors from around the world.

Is Oaxaca, Mexico, a good place to visit for a family with kids?

When visiting Oaxaca, Mexico as a family with kids, you will enjoy Oaxaca. The old city is a color, character, and accessibility treasure trove. Oaxaca, both the state and the city, features a wide variety of attractions and activities that appeal to youngsters. If you want to get away from it with your loved ones, this is the place for you. There’s also a ton of delicious cuisine to be had.

Is Oaxaca, Mexico, a good place for couples?

As a couple visiting Oaxaca, Mexico, you should expect that this isn’t your average Mexican beach wedding. Explore southern Mexican culture in Oaxaca, known for its uncrowded ruins, delicious food, handcrafted mezcal liquor, picturesque coastline, and folk art. Puerto Escondido is one of Mexico’s most private and secluded beaches.

What are the best annual events in Oaxaca, Mexico?

The best annual events in Oaxaca, Mexico that you cannot miss are

  • Guelaguetza in April
  • Día de los Muertos in November
  • Night of the Radishes in December


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