10 Best Places to Visit in Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca is one of the most beautiful states in Mexico, with its lush green valleys, colorful colonial cities, and stunning archaeological sites. It’s home to some of Mexico’s most beloved traditions, from its vibrant Day of the Dead celebrations to its unique cuisine. Whether you’re looking for an action-packed adventure or a laid-back vacation, there’s something for everyone in Oaxaca. Here are 10 of the best places to visit in this amazing state.
1. Monte Albán
Monte Albán is an ancient city that was built by the Zapotec people between 500 BCE and 900 CE. Today, it’s one of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico and home to some of the oldest architecture in the country. Visitors can explore the ruins, which include palaces, temples, and pyramids, and learn about the ancient culture that once inhabited this area.
Mitla is another impressive archaeological site in Oaxaca, and is believed to have been the religious center of the Zapotec people. Its intricate stone mosaics and beautiful carvings are some of the most impressive in the region, and visitors can explore the ancient temples and palaces that still stand today.
3. Hierve el Agua
Hierve el Agua is a natural wonder located near the town of Mitla. It’s home to two incredible mineral springs, which have formed spectacular travertine terraces that cascade down the mountain side. The clear blue waters are perfect for swimming, and visitors can also hike along the trails that crisscross the area.
4. Tlacolula Market
Tlacolula Market is one of the largest markets in Oaxaca and a great place to experience the local culture. You can find all sorts of traditional Mexican crafts, clothing, and food here, and it’s a great spot to pick up some souvenirs. This lively market is also a great place to sample the regional cuisine, so be sure to bring your appetite!
5. San Bartolo Coyotepec
San Bartolo Coyotepec is a small town known for its unique pottery. The town’s artisans create beautiful black clay pieces that are covered in intricate designs and colorful glazes. Visitors can take pottery classes to learn how to make their own pieces, or simply browse the shops for some unique souvenirs.
6. Teotitlan del Valle
Teotitlan del Valle is another small town known for its traditional crafts. This time, it’s the weavers who take center stage, creating beautiful wool rugs in vibrant colors and intricate designs. Visitors can learn about the weaving process and even purchase some of these handcrafted pieces.
7. Cuilapam de Guerrero
Cuilapam de Guerrero is a tranquil colonial town located in the mountains of Oaxaca. Its cobblestone streets, colonial churches, and peaceful plazas make it a great spot to take a leisurely stroll and admire the architecture. It’s also home to a famous monastery, which is a popular destination for pilgrims.
8. Tule Tree
The Tule Tree is one of the most iconic sites in all of Oaxaca. This enormous cypress tree is estimated to be over 2,000 years old, making it one of the oldest trees in the world. Visitors can admire its impressive size and learn about its significance to the local people.
9. Benito Juarez National Park
Benito Juarez National Park is a stunning nature reserve located in the Sierra Madre Mountains. Its rugged terrain is home to all sorts of wildlife, from pumas and jaguars to armadillos and monkeys. Visitors can hike, camp, and even go birdwatching in this amazing park.
10. Oaxaca City
No trip to Oaxaca is complete without a visit to its vibrant capital city. Here, visitors can explore the beautiful colonial architecture, visit interesting museums, and sample the city’s delicious cuisine. There are also plenty of shops, galleries, and bars to keep you entertained.
5 Places to Avoid in Oaxaca, Mexico
Although Oaxaca is generally a safe and welcoming destination, there are a few places that visitors should avoid. Here are five places that you should steer clear of.
1. Ciudad Ixtepec
Ciudad Ixtepec is a small town located in the southern part of Oaxaca. It’s known to be a dangerous area, as it’s home to gangs and drug traffickers. Visiting this town is not recommended, as it’s not safe for tourists.
2. Highway 175
Highway 175 is a road that connects Oaxaca City to the Pacific Coast. It’s a beautiful drive, but it’s also known to be a dangerous area. There have been reports of robberies and violence, so it’s best to avoid this highway if possible.
3. La Ventosa
La Ventosa is a small village located near the city of Oaxaca. It’s known to be a dangerous area, as it’s home to gangs and drug traffickers. Visiting this village is not recommended, as it’s not safe for tourists.
4. San Pedro Amuzgos
San Pedro Amuzgos is a small town located in the northern part of Oaxaca. It’s known to be a dangerous area, as it’s home to gangs and drug traffickers. Visiting this town is not recommended, as it’s not safe for tourists.
5. La Compañía
La Compañía is a small village located near the city of Oaxaca. It’s known to be a dangerous area, as it’s home to gangs and drug traffickers. Visiting this village is not recommended, as it’s not safe for tourists.