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Oaxaca, Mexico: Plan The Perfect Trip
Oaxaca is also one of the most biologically diverse states in Mexico. It is also the culinary heart of Mexico. The culinary scene in this Mexican state is impressive, traditional, experimental, delicious, and affordable. Even Travel and Leisure shared that Oaxaca is the Best City In The World for its readers. Not to mention the Afro-Mexcian cities with reggae playing in the background. No matter if you lean more towards more urban or nature experiences, Oaxaca will not disappoint.
Best Times to Visit Oaxaca
The temperature on Oaxaca varies a lot due to its several tropical and subtropical climates. Therefore, the climate is really dependent on the region and time of year. However, it tends to be warm and abundantly sunny throughout the year, except during the rainy season which extends from late June into September. A good time to visit is between fall and spring break.
Early November is a popular time to visit because of Día de los Muertos. On this day, Mexicans bring mirth, marigold, and mesmerizing pageantry into the streets of cities and villages throughout the country to honor their ancestors.
How to Get to Oaxaca
Oaxaca is best reached through Xoxocotlán International. Direct service from the United States arrives by way of Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston. Keep in mind, that if you’re heading to the beach, it’ll likely involve a transfer. If traveling to Puerto Escondido Airport you can expect layovers in either Guadalajara or Mexico City.
Where to stay:
In the capital city of Oaxaca, there are many hotels to choose from. If you’re not afraid to spend a few hundred per night, you can enjoy boutique hotels such as Hotel Casa Santo Origen, or El Callejon Hotel Boutique. More affordable modern options in the city include Hotel con Corazon, Hotel City Centro Oaxaca, and Casa Azul.
If you’d like to stay in the heart of mezcal country, book your stay at the stunning Casa Silencio. The upscale hotel is about an hour outside of Oaxaca City and features multilevel guest rooms, a spa, Michelin-caliber cuisine and mixology, and a working distillery pumping out the native liquid.
Things To Do :
Visit Afro-Mexican Towns
Black travelers who visit Chacahua will fall in love with this densely Afro-Mexican town, and its super chill, super Black vibe.
It’s nice to have reggae music blaring without it feeling performative or misplaced, or to find Afro-Mexican’s offering to braid hair on the beaches while you relax, unbothered by the usual hyper-tourist vibes.
The Costa Chica which runs from Acapulco to Puerto Ángel is widely enjoyed by Black travelers who are met with warmth and safe curiosity that leads to gorgeous cultural exchanges with Mexicans aware of their Afromestizo which runs through the land.
Travel Noire tip: Chacahua’s lagoon is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike, check out the mangroves and slowly take in the charm of this small town by boat.
Experience Oaxacan Culture Through Food
Oxaca is known for its mezcal and world-class cuisine. The city’s bustling market scene is a great place to get a taste of all the flavors. Mercado 20 de Noviembre is famous for its variety of food stalls featuring everything from baked goods and pastries to an entire aisle of roasted proteins: “El Pasillo de las Carnes Asadas.” For something smaller and more vegetarian-friendly, explore Mercado Organico La Cosecha.
For a more sit-down experience, book a reservation at either Criollo or Origen— two of the top-rated restaurants in town. If you want something experiential, but just as delicious, take a seat at Convivio, where flawless cocktails are paired alongside Asian-infused Oaxacan dishes.
Speaking of cocktails, Oaxaca is home to a distilled agave spirit called Mezcal that has been made here for centuries.
Taste Native Mezcals
In the city of Oaxaca, there are three tasting opportunities you should visit when in the city of Oaxaca.
- Mezcalería In Situ for a broad collection of bottles and emphasis on education
- El Distilado to enjoy how mezcal pairs with the local cuisine
- Selva Oaxaca to see how it mixes into artisanal cocktails
If you’re okay with driving a few hours outside the city, book a Mezcal Educational Tour with resident expert Alvin Starkman. His legendary day excursions afford you a front-row seat to the time-honored processes of the palenque. (They can be booked here.)
No matter what, make sure to save room for Lechoncito de Oro. Open nightly from 8 p.m. until…whenever. They specialize in pork tacos covered in crispy pork rinds and spicy salsa verde.
Spend Time In Nature
For seeing Oaxaca’s natural beauty, Hierve el Agua is said to be a must. These rock formations in San Lorenzo Albarradas look as if a waterfall has been frozen to the side of a cliff. There you can find hiking trails that bring you right up to the cascade’s edge.
Monte Albán is another world wonder, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The well-preserved terraced pyramids here were built by the indigenous Zapotecs. It is the second largest ceremonial site in all of Central America.
Hit Up The Coastline
Oaxaca’s coastline is over 300 miles of breathtaking tropical seas. If you’re hitting up the coast check out Puerto Escondido and Mazunte. You’ll have no trouble settling in, given the warm and welcoming vibe of the locals.
If you want to speed things up a bit, head several miles east along the coast to Zipolite for surf-worthy waves. Lastly, you can also snorkel the protected coral reefs of neighboring Huatulco National Park.
Travel Insurance For Your Trip
Before finalizing your travel plans, consider if you want to add insurance to your trip. Traveling this summer keeps proving to be a nightmare as airlines struggle with staff shortages. With any insurance, it’s crucial to do your research before paying so you know exactly what you’re buying and what it will cover.