Explore the vast diversity of the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico.
Highs & Lows
Its beautiful sunny weather, paired with stunning views and amazing food.
This state is huuuuge, so be prepared for long bus rides.
During our travels through Central America we spent almost three months in Mexico. Despite its popularity, the touristic area of Yucatan (Cancun, Tulum etc) has not been our favorite, instead we were so surprised by the amazing spots just on the other side in southern Mexico. Everything seemed more authentic, less crowded and a nice side effect were significantly lower prices than in Yucatan area.
Amongst these spot, we visited two of our Highlights throughout our travels in the state of Oaxaca.
The area is known for its many indigenous communities which give a super special flair to the area. Almost anywhere you will see indigenous people in their colorful traditional dresses which are honestly pieces of art.
Apart from that, Oaxaca covers one of the most beautiful coastal areas of Mexico, as well as our favorite Mexican City, named just as the state itself, Oaxaca de Juárez.
On top, as if that were not enough, Oaxaca is one of the most biologically diverse states of Mexico.
Our favorite spot on the coastline of Oaxaca is Mazunte. Sadly a very bad and deadly Hurricane hit the area few months before we visited but we still wanted to give this place a try and support the economics of the area by visiting anyways. You could still tell the devastation of this terrible Mazunte is a small village right on the coast with unpaved, sandy roads and incredible beaches. For us, it offered just the perfect mix of not being crowded and overly touristic, yet offering plenty of options for activities, vegan (friendly) food spots, nice accommodations, very low crime rates etc. In short, a comfortable, beautiful place without being overrun by tourists.
Only a few walking minutes from the center/ your accommodation you will reach Playa Mazunte which on its own is a beautiful beach. There might be waves, yet without swimming far out, you can definitely have a nice swim.
In the evening, take a walk to Punta Cometa, a rock surrounded by the sea and offering an unbeatable vantage point with a panoramic view of the sea and the sunset. Also the walk towards this spot is really nice, winding its way through a little forest. You could also consider taking this walk in the morning, as you reach another beautiful beach if you follow the path further beyond the view point. The beach is called Playa Mermejita and you will most probably share it with only very few others. It’s a very wide sandy beach where you can easily spend an entire afternoon.
Last but not least, we highly recommend taking a lunch at La Colmena. They serve absolutely delicious and healthy vegan food, the portions are generous and the prices very reasonable.
After spending some days in Mazunte, we really enjoyed the cooler temperatures arriving in Oaxaca city. The climate is amazing, mostly sunny at around 25 degrees.
It’s best to explore the city by simply walking around, yet we highly recommend taking a free walking tour, to get background information and learn about the historical context of the city.
The city is beautiful and its historic centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.
Many artists and activists have settled in this city, which has visibly shaped the cityscape and its general flair.
There are a few amazing museums in the city but the one we absolutely recommend is the Museum of Cultures of Oaxaca, next to the impressive church of Santo Domingo. Next to the museum, or rather in the courtyard of its impressive building is the Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca. Here’s where people take the popular photo in-between cactuses in front of water for their instagram feed. This has definitely not been the reason for us to visit and the beautifully maintained garden with its impressive plants has way more to offer than this specific instagram hotspot. There are great photo exhibitions to be seen at Centro Fotografico, free of charge and sponsored by Manuel Alvarez Bravo.
There are plenty of incredible food spots in Oaxaca, some of our favorites were Pan con Madre, a beautiful
Apart from exploring the typical barrios, make sure to take a look at Barrio de Jalatlaco. It has a very chilled vibe, some cute organic stores, concept stores and pretty Cafés for a nice rest. Here you can stop by Santa Hierba Jalatlaco, an amazing Café and Restaurant with an incredible selection of freshly made vegan & vegetarian dishes, including many gluten-free options.
Finally, try Mole Oaxacas national dish at Hierba Dulce. Choose between a huge selection of veganized Mole dishes, you won’t be disappointed by the explosion of flavors. Additionally, this restaurant works for a good cause of supporting local women and their position in society. One more reason to visit this amazing place.
Q & A
Restaurant recommendations?Santa Hierba Jalatlaco Hierba Dulce La Colmena
Packing tips?go with soft pieces of clothes
Transportation Tips?The ride from Mazunte to Oaxaca takes around 9 hours, so consider taking a nightbus to save time during your days.
Booking details?Check Airbnb for very nice accommodations especially in Oaxaca