4 Days in Oaxaca City, Mexico – The Ultimate Itinerary

Ready to plan your journey to Oaxaca City, Mexico? Oaxaca is among the many prime Mexico journey locations, particularly for cultural vacationers and meals lovers. The Oaxaca itinerary on this article will enable you maximize your time in “The Foodie Capital of Mexico.”

Oaxaca (pronounced waa-haa-kah, in case you weren’t certain) has lots to supply guests. There are three Oaxaca UNESCO World Heritage Sites, bustling mercados, colourful colonial buildings, attractive nature, and native artisan villages, and this itinerary takes you to all of them.

Oaxaca Itinerary – The Ultimate City Guide

Ready to get to this final Oaxaca itinerary, so that you uncover the should see, should do, and should eat locations in Oaxaca City, Mexico? Let’s dive in, however don’t miss the Oaxaca City FAQ on the finish of the article, so you know the way to greatest plan your journey.

Day 1: Centro Historico & Oaxaca Zocalo

On your first day in Oaxaca City, spend a while attending to know the city’s format on this Free Walking Tour. It will provide you with an opportunity to get to know the lay of the land in Downtown Oaxaca City (Centro Historico) and the Zocalo (Main Town Square), which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Oaxaca City has a flourishing road meals tradition, so be looking out for tlayudas (additionally referred to as Mexican pizza), quesillo (Oaxaca string cheese), tetelas (triangular-shaped hand pies), tamales oaxaqueños (tamales cooked in banana leaves), nieves (sorbet), and tejate, a prehispanic chocolate and corn drink that’s served chilly, and really refreshing on a scorching Oaxaca day.

For the adventurous eaters, be sure to pattern one of the crucial well-liked Oaxaca delicacies: chapulines (pronounced chap-pull-leen-es). These small grasshoppers are bought by the kilo, and served in a bag so you may snack on them all through the day, similar to popcorn, nuts or sweet.

If Mexican grasshoppers aren’t your concept of a scrumptious snack, head to the native markets for some non-insect meals. Mercado 20 de Noviembre is part-market, part-food corridor, so you may go to every vendor and take a look at no matter you’d like, and in addition do some buying.

After consuming, head to the Zocalo (Town Square) to see the Catedral Metropolitana de Oaxaca (Oaxaca Cathedral), the most important church in Oaxaca City. Plaza de la Constitución (Constitution Plaza), the realm surrounding the church, is the proper place to loosen up on a park bench and spend a while people-watching.

Oaxaca City itinedrary botanical gardens

Next, head to the close by Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán. This sixteenth century Spanish church was made within the Baroque structure type, and a should see. Located on the temple grounds, don’t miss the Casa de la Cultura Oaxaqueña (Oaxaca Culture Museum) and Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca (Oaxaca City Botanical Gardens).

Note: This 2.5-acre backyard options Oaxaca’s native natural world, with lots of of vegetation, timber and succulents to see. It has a delicate ecosystem, so you could go to with a guided tour. They supply tours in English a number of occasions per week, for $100 MXN ($5 USD) per particular person.

Up subsequent, you’ll need to make your strategy to Calle de Macedonia Alcala, a pedestrian-only road in downtown that’s excellent for images, buying and consuming. This well-liked road is lined with colourful buildings, artwork galleries, hip bars and yummy eating places, and is a central hub of exercise in Oaxaca City.

 Oaxaca City itinedrary mole

You’re in all probability getting hungry once more by now, and because you’re in Oaxaca, you could strive the genuine Oaxacan mole (pronounced moe-lay). Here are a number of nice eating places the place you may pattern mole: Las Quince Letras, Los Danzantes and Cabuche.

Nowadays, many individuals are conversant in mole negro (black mole), there are literally seven forms of mole. These embrace mole colorado (purple mole), mole verde (inexperienced mole), mole poblano (orange mole) and mole amarillo (yellow mole) — and you’ll strive all of them in Oaxaca.

Day 2: Hierve el Agua & Oaxacan Mezcal

If you’ve ever seen images of Oaxaca City, you’ve possible seen a few of Hierve el Agua, with its petrified waterfalls and infinity swimming pools. Hierve el Agua actually interprets to “boil the water,” and although the water isn’t truly boiling, there are thermal swimming pools with mineral-rich water which you could soak in.

Located about 1.5 hours southeast of Downtown Oaxaca City, it’s greatest to move to hierve el agua early within the morning; they open at 9am. Between the mineral swimming pools and the hike right down to the underside of the petrified waterfall, there’s lots to see at Hierve el Agua, and also you’ll need to spend about 4 hours there to do all of it.

 Oaxaca City itinedrary Hierve el Agua waterfall

The greatest strategy to get there may be through rental automobile, and it’s a straightforward drive up the mountain to hierve el agua. You also can take the camioneta (shared pick-up truck), or rent a non-public taxi driver for the day. This is a superb choice in the event you aren’t renting a automobile as a result of the cab driver will anticipate you within the car parking zone, after which drive you again to your lodge once you’re completed for the day.

As one of many most-visited locations within the Oaxaca City space, Hierve el Agua will get very crowded. If you need to take some Instagram images with out every other individuals in them, get there precisely after they open at 9am so that you beat the tour buses.

In addition to the recent spring swimming pools, which the locals say have therapeutic minerals, the opposite noteworthy issues to see at Hierve el Agua are the “waterfalls.” You see quotes across the phrase waterfalls as a result of they actually aren’t waterfalls; although they do seem like it.

From far sufficient away, it seems as if water is cascading over the cliff-face, however that is simply an phantasm. This impact was created over centuries, as mineral-rich water trickled down the cliff. Over time, the minerals from these water drops gathered, and now it seems as if there’s waterfalls at Hierve el Agua.

oaxaca city itinerary hierve el agua pools

There are two waterfalls right here, a small one and a big one. You can see the small one from the highest of the hill, however for the perfect views of the big one, you’ll must hike right down to the underside. It is a comparatively simple, 1.6-mile (2.5 km) loop path that takes about 1.5 hours to finish.

When you make your manner again up the mountain, you’ll arrive on the scorching spring swimming pools. These mineral swimming pools make for the proper place to take pleasure in a soak after the hike. If your muscle mass are hurting, the mineral-rich water ought to alleviate a number of the ache.

After Hierve el Agua, you may head again to Oaxaca City to clean up for an evening out. As the capital of mezcal in Mexico, you could strive some native Oaxacan mezcals. Mezcaloteca, which is part-mezcal college, part-tasting room, is the best place to find out about it and take a look at a number of the greatest locally-made artisanal mezcal on the town. (Note: Reservations required.)

After a number of drinks, you’ll in all probability desire a good dinner in “The Foodie Capital of Mexico.” If you need to splurge, head to Casa Oaxaca. For the perfect expertise, make a reservation a number of weeks upfront for one of many rooftop tables, at what many say is the perfect Oaxaca restaurant.

Day 3: Mitla & More

oaxaca city itinerary milta

Your third day in Oaxaca begins within the Mitla pueblo magico (magic city). Never heard of a Mexico pueblo magico? This prestigious title is awarded to small cities with noteworthy traits like historic significance, distinctive cultural traditions and untouched pure magnificence. 

San Pablo Villa de Mitla, often simply referred to as Mitla for brief, a small city that has prehispanic ruins. It is exclusive for an archeological website in Mexico as a result of there’s no tall pyramids. Rather, the temples at Mitla are shorter and have intricate stone carvings and colourful geometric designs.

The phrase mitla is a Nahuatl (Aztec) phrase, and is derived from mictlán, which means “a place of the dead.” In the previous, Mitla served as a holy burial website for the Aztec, Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations, and solely vital nobles, warriors and clergy have been allowed to be buried there. 

The Mitla Ruins and metropolis of San Pablo Villa de Mitla are about an hour south of Oaxaca City by automobile. You’ll need no less than three hours to discover the buildings, ruins and the city itself. After you’re completed, you may start the drive again to Oaxaca City, however you’ll need to embrace some stops alongside the best way.

oaxaca city itinerary rey de matatlan mezcal making

The first place to take a look at is El Rey de Matatlan, a mezcal distillery the place you may see the complete farm-to-table mezcal course of. They have a free mezcal tour the place you’ll find out about every part from the agave plant harvest, to the method of truly distilling the mezcal. At the tip of the tour, you may pattern the mezcal and even purchase a bottor (or two).

Next, head to Teotitlan del Valle, a pueblo in Oaxaca. This one of many so-called Oaxacan artisan cities, that are small villages that every make only one artisan craft. In Teotitlan del Valle, they make tapetes (hand-woven Zapotec rugs), that are among the many most well-known Oaxacan handicrafts.

Many of the native grasp rug-makers open their services to excursions, so you may see the entire weaving course of. After hand-dying the wool, these grasp artisans use an enormous loom to create their hand-made rugs, and no two are equivalent. After your excursions, you may even purchase the rugs instantly from the artists, and lots of even supply transport for a further price.

oaxaca city itinerary tule tree

The closing cease is the pueblo of Santa María del Tule, residence to the well-known Arbol del Tule. The Tule Tree holds the world file for the biggest tree trunk on the earth, so that you’ll need to be sure to see it whereas there’s nonetheless daylight to actually admire how large this tree is.

El Tule is a 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress tree. It measures in at 46-feet in diameter (14 m), and takes about 30 full-grown adults with their clasped fingers and standing in a circle to wrap all the best way round it.

Day 4: Monte Alban Ruins & Artisan Villages

oaxaca city itinerary monte alban ruins

There are a complete of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Oaxaca, Mexico: 1) Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla, 2) Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley, which spans each Oaxaca state and Puebla state, and three) Historic Center of Oaxaca and Archeological Site of Monte Alban. This itinerary consists of two of the three, and on the ultimate day, you’ll go to the Monte Alban archeological website. Check out 42 Amazing Ancient Ruins of the World

Monte Alban is a very powerful of all historic ruins in Oaxaca. It is positioned simply Half-hour by automobile from downtown, and a should see on any Oaxaca City itinerary. You’ll need to head there as early as doable, so you may beat the crowds and in addition beat the warmth from the noon solar.

The Ruins of Monte Alban are positioned on prime of a mountain, and there’s mainly no tree cowl nor shade. This could make for a really sweaty outing, particularly in the event you plan to climb the pyramids. To keep away from the warmth as a lot as doable, plan to reach at 8am after they open.

To give your self sufficient time to stroll round and climb all of the constructions and pyramids, permit for about three hours at Monte Alban. From the upper elevation factors on the website, you’ll have some stellar views of the Oaxacas valley cities beneath, together with Oaxaca City.

oaxaca city itinerary Monte Alban Pyramids

After you’re completed at Monte Alban Ruins, take a look at the close by Oaxaca artisan cities so you may store for genuine souvenirs made by native crafts-people. Not removed from the ruins, head to San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca. This small village is understood for its barro negro, the well-known black pottery from Oaxaca. Also, take a look at Amazing Historical Sites In the World – That We’ve Seen

People from San Bartolo Coyotepec have been making black pottery for the reason that Fifties. The first particular person to make it was Doña Rosa. She began to shine the pottery earlier than firing it within the kiln, which gave the completed product its signature black matte end. Today, the custom continues, however it was Doña Rosa’s who put her pueblo on the map.

The final artwork city is San Martin Tilcajete, the fantastical land of the Oaxacan alebrijes (pronounced al-lay-bree-hays). Never heard of an alebrije? They are brightly-colored hand-carved wooden figures, and one of the crucial beloved types of Mexican folks artwork.

Alebrijes mix two or extra animals right into a hybrid creature, which some say serves as a spirit information, akin to a Native American totem. If you’ve seen the Pixar film Coco, the characters Dante and Pepita are each alebrijes. 

The first alerije was made by Mexican artist, Pedro Linares, who gave them the identify alebrije (a made-up phrase). His creative legacy lives on within the Oaxaca artisan city of San Martin Tilcajete, the place you may see them being made in native outlets, and purchase the very personal you alebrije.

Oaxaca City Travel: Frequently Asked Questions

Monte Alban Pyramids downtown

Where is Oaxaca City?

Oaxaca City is the capital of Oaxaca state, positioned within the Southern Mexico area. It is about 285 mile (460 km) south of Mexico City. Oaxaca state borders Chiapas state on its japanese facet, Guerrero State to its west, and Veracruz and Puebla states to its north.

About 160 miles (258 km) south of Oaxaca City, you’ll discover the Riviera Oaxaqueña (Oaxaca Riviera). There are so many seashore cities in Oaxaca to take a look at, however with a four-day itinerary, it’s simply not doable; you’d need no less than a full week to see Oaxaca City and the seashores.

How do I journey to Oaxaca City?

Oaxaca International Airport (code: OAX) is positioned about 20-Half-hour by automobile from downtown. There are only a few worldwide direct flights, however you may simply discover connecting flights via the Mexico City Airport, Monterrey Airport, Guadalajara Airport and Tijuana Airport.

You also can take the ADO bus from Mexico City to Oaxaca City. ADO is Mexico’s largest bus firm, with a fleet of luxury-class buses. There are day and in a single day journeys accessible, however some favor the in a single day journey because the drive takes 6-7 hours.

Should I lease a automobile in Oaxaca?

Getting a rental automobile in Oaxaca City is the simplest strategy to see a whole lot of websites throughout your four-day journey. To comply with the Oaxaca itinerary on this article precisely, a rental automobile is the best way to go. The greatest place to get one is the Oaxaca Airport, and you’ll choose it up proper after you land. Check rental automobile comparisons at CarRentals.com

How’s the Oaxaca climate?

Oaxaca City is a desert, so when visiting, anticipate scorching, dry days, however then cool, crisp nights. Weather in Oaxaca can differ by about 20°F from day to nighttime, so that you’ll need to pack layers, and don’t overlook to carry a jacket which you’ll use every evening when the solar goes down.

When is the perfect time to go to Oaxaca?

Though Oaxaca City is within the desert, it rains fairly closely from about May to September; although the opposite months are mainly rain-free. For the perfect climate, go to throughout the months of October to April, which is the dry season in Oaxaca.

Final Thoughts: Your Ultimate Oaxaca Itinerary

There’s a lot to do and see in Oaxaca City — one of the crucial fascinating journey locations in Mexico. On a four-day journey, you may cowl a whole lot of floor in the event you’re renting a automobile as a result of public transportation in Oaxaca isn’t tremendous environment friendly.

Keep in thoughts which you could get round by public transport, however you’ll sacrifice a whole lot of your journey time doing so. If neither choice sounds interesting, there are additionally loads of excursions, and you’ll e book them from native companies within the Zocalo when you arrive.

What from this Oaxaca itinerary caught your eye? We’d love to listen to from you, so please tell us within the feedback down beneath.

Author Bio: Shelley is a former Miami journey journal editor who ditched the workplace for the world! She has been a full time expat dwelling in Mexico since 2018 and helps vacationers plan their final Oaxaca journey via her Travel To Oaxaca website.

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