Detailed Travel Guide Oaxaca

The city of Oaxaca, officially known as Oaxaca de Juarez, is the capital of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is a place full of history, culture and traditions that make it a very popular tourist destination. Oaxaca

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The city of Oaxaca, officially known as Oaxaca de Juarez, is the capital of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is a place full of history, culture and traditions that make it a very popular tourist destination. Oaxaca is one of the most important cultural centers in Mexico. Its rich indigenous and colonial heritage is reflected in its historic buildings, traditional festivals and famous cuisine. Oaxacan food is internationally recognized for its diversity and flavor. Mole, tlayudas, chapulines (edible insects), Oaxaca cheese and mezcal are just some of the culinary delights you can enjoy in the city. It is famous for its handicraft production. You can find a variety of handicrafts such as textiles, ceramics, alebrijes (carved and hand-painted figures) and black clay.

It has beautiful natural landscapes, such as the Hierve el Agua waterfalls, the Sierra Norte with its indigenous communities and the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve. Oaxaca experiences two main seasons: a dry season and a rainy season.  The dry season generally begins in November and lasts until April. During this time, the city tends to have sunny and hot days, with maximum temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). Nights can be cooler, with temperatures dropping as low as 10°C.

Oaxaca is famous for its traditional festivals, such as the Guelaguetza, which is held in July and features traditional dances and costumes. There is also the Noche de los Rábanos, a Christmas celebration where radishes are carved into incredible figures.

Near the city are important archaeological sites, such as Monte Albán, which was the ancient capital of the Zapotec civilization, and Mitla, known for its impressive stone mosaics.

We recommend the following activities:

  • Take a Free tour in the Historic Center: They start every day at 10 am right in front of the Main Cathedral (near the Zócalo) The best way to start your experience in Oaxaca. Explore the heart of the city, walk through its cobblestone streets, visit the Oaxaca Cathedral and discover the architectural richness of its colonial buildings.
  • Visit the Templo de Santo Domingo: This impressive baroque temple is one of the most outstanding in Mexico. You can also visit the Museum of the Cultures of Oaxaca that is located inside.
  • Tour the Benito Juárez Market: Immerse yourself in the flavors and colors of Oaxaca exploring this traditional market, where you will find handicrafts, food, spices and much more.
  • Visit the Monte Albán Archaeological Zone: Just a few kilometers from the city, this archaeological site is a must-see. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views and explore the ancient Zapotec ruins.
  • Take a gastronomic tour: Discover the exquisite gastronomy of Oaxaca through a culinary tour, where you can taste traditional dishes such as mole, tlayudas and chapulin.
  • Visit the handicraft workshops: Oaxaca is known for its handicrafts, so take the opportunity to visit the workshops where textiles, black clay, alebrijes and other traditional objects are produced.
  • Explore the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden: It is a beautiful garden that houses a great variety of plants and flowers endemic to the region. You will learn about the importance of botany in Oaxacan culture.
  • Enjoy a folkloric dance show: Attend a presentation of Oaxacan folkloric dance, where you can admire the colorful costumes and energetic traditional dances.
  • Visit the Casa de Cultura Oaxaqueña: Here you can attend art exhibitions and cultural events. You can also take classes in folk art, dance or traditional music.
  • Relax in the thermal baths of Hierve el Agua: Take the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the natural hot springs, as well as the impressive travertine formations.

Oaxacan cuisine is known for its wide variety of ingredients and flavors. From traditional moles, such as mole negro, mole verde or mole amarillo, to dishes such as tlayudas, tasajo, quesillo and chapulines (edible insects). The food in Oaxaca offers a range of unique and exquisite flavors not found elsewhere and we recommend you try this locations.

  • Criollo – Innovative fusion of Oaxacan and contemporary cuisine.
  •  La Biznaga – Offers a wide variety of traditional dishes.
  •  Pitiona – Gourmet culinary proposal with Oaxacan roots.
  •  Los Danzantes – Delicious food and friendly atmosphere.
  •  Origen – Outstanding Oaxacan haute cuisine menu.
  •  Zandunga – Oaxacan food in a charming atmosphere.
  •  Azul de Oaxaca – Authentic regional food in a cozy atmosphere.
  •  Gourmand – Creative cuisine Oaxacan style.

The festivals in Oaxaca are a living sample of the rich culture and traditions of the state. They allow visitors to witness traditional dances, autochthonous music and typical costumes, providing a unique experience.

  • La Guelaguetza: Oaxaca’s most famous festival, held in July. It features folkloric dances, traditional costumes and live music, all to celebrate the cultural diversity of the region.
  • Noche de Rábanos: This festivity is celebrated every year on December 23, where radishes are carved to create impressive figures. It is a unique tradition that attracts many visitors.
  • Moles Festival: Held in October, this festival highlights one of Oaxaca’s most emblematic dishes, mole. Attendees can enjoy tastings of different types of moles and learn about their preparation.
  • Tejate and Tamale Fair: Held in May, this is an opportunity to try tejate, a traditional drink made from corn and cocoa, as well as different varieties of tamales.
  • City Festival: Held every year in April to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the city. It includes a variety of cultural events, concerts and exhibitions.
  • Feria del Mole: This festival, held in October, offers a wide range of moles to taste and buy, as well as live events and cultural activities.
  • Festijazz Oaxaca: A jazz festival held in November, where local and international artists perform in different venues throughout the city.
  • International Mezcal Fair: Held in July, this is an opportunity to taste and learn about mezcal, the traditional alcoholic beverage of Oaxaca. It includes tastings, exhibitions and concerts.
  • Festival de las Calendas: This festival is celebrated in December and consists of parades with music, dances and costumes in the streets of Oaxaca.
  • Cheese and Cheese Fair: Held in September, this fair is perfect for cheese lovers. It offers a variety of cheeses and traditional dairy products from the region.
  • Snow Festival: It takes place in May and June, where you can taste a variety of flavors of snow, a very popular dessert in Oaxaca.
  • Huapango and Dance Festival: Held in October, this festival highlights the folk music and traditional dances of Oaxaca.
  • Festival Internacional del Folclor Oaxaca: This festival takes place in July and features dance and folkloric music groups from Mexico and other countries.
  • Bread and Chocolate Fair: Held in November, this fair offers a wide selection of traditional breads and delicious artisanal chocolates.
  • Tequila, Mezcal and Sotol Fair: Held in September, this is an opportunity to taste and purchase different types of traditional Mexican distillates.

These magical towns are rich in culture and deep-rooted traditions. You will have the opportunity to learn about the art, music and traditional dances of the region, as well as discover unique festivals and celebrations that will immerse you in the authentic Oaxacan culture.

  • Huatulco: Located on the Pacific coast, Huatulco is famous for its golden sand beaches and crystal clear waters. It is an ideal destination for sun, beach and water sports lovers.
  • Hierve el Agua: This unique place has impressive travertine formations that create petrified waterfalls. In addition to enjoying the beautiful views, you can relax in the natural hot springs.
  • Mazunte: Mazunte is a quiet and charming coastal town, famous for its pristine beaches and sea turtle conservation. You can visit the Mexican Turtle Center and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
  • Capulálpam de Méndez: This picturesque mountain village stands out for its colonial architecture and exuberant nature. It is a perfect place for hiking and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings.
  • Mitla: Mitla is known for its impressive stone mosaics, a sample of Zapotec art and architecture. The archaeological site is a must-see for those interested in history and culture.
  • Santa Maria del Tule: This picturesque town is known for its impressive Tule tree, one of the widest trees in the world, over 2,000 years old.
  • Tlacolula de Matamoros: Located in the Valley of Oaxaca, this town is famous for its Sunday market, one of the largest and most colorful in the region. Here you can find local products, handicrafts and typical food.
  • San Martin Tilcajete: This town is famous for its alebrijes crafts. You can visit the artisans’ workshops and learn about the tradition and the process of creating these colorful figures.
  • San Bartolo Coyotepec: Known for its black clay production, this town is famous for its ceramic handicrafts. You can visit the workshops and purchase unique pieces.
  • San Juan Chamula: Located in the state of Chiapas, near the border with Oaxaca, this town is famous for its history and its church, where Catholic elements and indigenous rituals are mixed.

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