12 Must-Do Experiences in Oaxaca
Collected by Suzanne Barbezat , AFAR Local Expert
Venture a little off the beaten path for big rewards—tlayudas and parrilladas with a view, samples of organic mezcal, and abundant archaeological treasures.
Km. 3, Carr. Internacional, Cerro del Fortín, Faldas del Fortin, 68030 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Enjoy some of the best views of Oaxaca city while you dine on local specialties such as tlayudas and parrilladas. Come for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just for drinks. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., and the view is great any time of day. El...
Calle Porfirio Díaz 115, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
Oaxaca's Casa de la Ciudad is housed in a big yellow building just a couple of blocks from the Zocalo. On the ground level you'll find the Andres Henestrosa memorial library which contains over 50,000 volumes, and some rooms that are used for...
20 de Noviembre 512, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
The 20 de Noviembre market has a variety of food stalls where you can sample many Oaxacan specialties, but carnivores flock to the one corridor that's known as "El Pasillo de las Carnes Asadas" (the grilled meats aisle). Follow your nose to find...
Diaz Ordaz 712, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
You can find Cuish brand mezcal in a few establishments in Oaxaca city, but head to their own tasting bar located on the outskirts of the city center to learn what this brand stands for. They offer mezcal that is artisanally produced from several...
Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oax., Mexico
Lambityeco rose to prominence around the time of the decline the great Zapotec capital Monte Alban, roughly 700 A.D. The site was originally excavated in the 1960s, although some restoration work has been done since that time. Among the buildings...
Carretera a Tlacolula 190 Km 17, San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, Oax., Mexico
This small archaeological site is situated on a hillside about 12 miles east of Oaxaca city. The name "Dainzú" means "hill of the organ cactus" in Zapotec, although that most certainly was not the original name. The site was occupied in very early...
Tlacolula de Matamoros, Oax., Mexico
Tlacolula is the largest town in the Eastern arm of the Oaxaca valley. Market day in this town is on Sundays and on this one day of the week hordes of people come to town from nearby villages to buy, sell, and socialize. You'll find all kinds of...
Portal Las Flores 3, OAX_RE_BENITO JUAREZ, Centro, 68000 Centro, Oax., Mexico
This white tablecloth restaurant on the second floor above the Zocalo is more upscale than other options around the plaza. It opened in 2013, and the floor to ceiling open windows allow all diners to enjoy the views; though from farther back you...
Calle de Los Libres 212, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Oax., Mexico
These large, thick tortillas are called "tlayudas" and they're a Oaxaca specialty that you're unlikely to find elsewhere in the country. They're prepared by spreading pork fat and bean paste on the tortilla, then the Oaxaca string cheese called...
Av Independencia s/n, Vista Hermosa, 68247 San Agustín Etla, Oax., Mexico
Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo spearheaded the project of converting an abandoned textile mill into an arts center, which was inaugurated in 2006. The Centro de las Artes San Agustin (CASA) hosts exhibits of a variety of media, as well as courses...
Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
The natural fresh-water springs at Hierve el Agua were incredible (and cold!). The water is very high in calcium carbonate, and the minerals have formed these natural pools and crazy waterfall-like rock formations. The dusty road was somewhat...
Juárez Maza s/n, Central de Abasto, 68090 Oaxaca, AGS, Mexico
Oaxaca is a world culinary capital for good reason and there is no better place to indulge in all the recipes, ingredients, and traditions of the region than at Central de Abastos, Oaxaca City's main market. It's easy to accidentally spend an...
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