At a Glance
When to Go
Oaxaca's international airport (OAX) receives several flights a day from Mexico City, and one daily flight from Houston. There is limited air connection from other Mexican destinations; discount airline VivaAerobus offers a few direct flights a week from Cancun and Monterrey. Bus connections are more plentiful. ADO bus company runs first-class service from the TAPO bus station in Mexico City, and frequent buses run from other Mexican destinations.
Oaxaca’s historic center is easy to get around on foot. The city plan is simple to navigate, with streets changing name north and south of Independencia, and east and west of Alcalá. Taxis are an inexpensive way to get to sites farther afield. They don’t use a meter, so it’s best to agree on a price before you get in. Taxis can be hired by the hour for sightseeing trips; or, for more information as you go, hire a guide. Public buses are cheap (6 pesos), but it can be difficult to find the routes, and there are no set schedules.
Food and Drink
The historic center of Oaxaca city and Monte Albán archaeological site were declared Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1987, but the city's living culture is as vibrant and colorful as its storied past. The indigenous markets and traditional celebrations have changed little since ancient times and offer a glimpse into Oaxaca's deep cultural traditions.
Colorful fiestas happen throughout the year, and even when there’s not a major holiday, it seems there is always something to celebrate. Some of the most representative festivals are Day of the Dead (at the end of October and beginning of November), Night of the Radishes (December 23), and the Guelaguetza festival (last half of July). Oaxaca's fiestas represent the rich and diverse cultural legacy of the Oaxacan people, and visitors are more than welcome to join in the festivities.
What the Locals Know