3-Day Oaxaca Authentic Food, Wine and Nightlife Experience for Locals

Oaxaca, Mexico

3 days

Old city streets and colorful colonial buildings in historic city center
The ancient monastery of Cuilapam
Santo Domingo Cathedral in historic city center
Colorful mexican ceramic skulls
Archaeological site of Mitla

About Oaxaca, Mexico

Discover the vibrant culture and rich history of Oaxaca, Mexico. Nestled in the heart of Mexico, Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its colonial architecture, archaeological wonders, and indigenous cultures. Explore the ancient ruins of Monte Albán, sample exquisite local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the city's thriving arts scene. The city's markets are a riot of color, offering a variety of handicrafts, textiles, and pottery. Don't miss the chance to witness the Guelaguetza festival, a celebration of indigenous cultures featuring traditional music, dance, and costumes. Oaxaca's surrounding landscapes are equally breathtaking, with opportunities for hiking, bird-watching, and exploring the ethereal petrified waterfalls at Hierve el Agua. Experience the magic of Oaxaca for an unforgettable journey.

3-Day Itinerary

Day 1

Exploring Oaxaca's Culinary Scene and Nightlife

Morning

Start your day with a visit to a Local Market in the heart of Oaxaca. Immerse yourself in the vibrant colors, aromas, and flavors of the region. Sample local delicacies and buy fresh ingredients for your Cooking class later.

Lunch

Enjoy a hands-on Cooking class where you'll learn how to prepare traditional Oaxacan dishes using the ingredients you bought at the market. Savor your creations for lunch.

Afternoon

After lunch, take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of Oaxaca, admiring the city's colonial architecture and vibrant murals. Visit a local Artisan workshop to learn about traditional crafts.

Dinner

For dinner, head to a local restaurant that specializes in Oaxacan cuisine. Try mole, tlayudas, and other regional specialties.

Evening

After dinner, explore Oaxaca's vibrant nightlife. Visit a Mezcal Bar to sample this traditional Mexican spirit and enjoy live music.

Morning

Start your second day with a visit to a local Coffee plantation. Learn about the coffee-making process and sample different varieties of Oaxacan coffee.

Lunch

For lunch, enjoy a picnic amidst the stunning natural beauty of the Sierra Norte Mountains. Sample local cheeses, breads, and fruits.

Afternoon

In the afternoon, take a guided hike through the Sierra Norte Mountains. Enjoy breathtaking views and spot local wildlife.

Dinner

Return to Oaxaca city for dinner. Try a different local restaurant, sampling dishes like barbacoa, chiles rellenos, and Oaxacan chocolate.

Evening

Spend the evening exploring more of Oaxaca's nightlife. Visit a salsa club and dance the night away to live music.

Morning

On your final day, visit the ancient Zapotec city of Monte Alban. Explore the archaeological site and learn about the region's rich history.

Lunch

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant near Monte Alban. Try traditional dishes like tamales Oaxaqueños and caldo de piedra.

Afternoon

After lunch, visit a local Textile workshop in the village of Teotitlan del Valle. Learn about traditional weaving techniques and buy unique souvenirs.

Dinner

For your final dinner, choose a restaurant that offers a fusion of Oaxacan and international cuisine. Enjoy a gourmet meal paired with local wines.

Evening

End your trip with a visit to a Rooftop bar in central Oaxaca. Enjoy panoramic views of the city while sipping on craft cocktails.

Attractions in Itinerary (9)

Local Market

1
Local Market

A bustling market where you can find a variety of local produce, crafts, and traditional Oaxacan foods.

Shopping
Cultural Experiences
Cooking class

2
Cooking class

A hands-on experience to learn traditional Oaxacan cuisine from local chefs.

Cultural Experiences
Food and Drink
Artisan workshop

3
Artisan workshop

A place where you can see local artisans at work and purchase their unique creations.

Cultural Experiences
Mezcal Bar

4
Mezcal Bar

A bar specializing in Mezcal, a traditional Mexican spirit made from agave.

Food and Drink
Entertainment
Coffee plantation

5
Coffee plantation

A tour of a local coffee plantation, where you can learn about the process of coffee production and taste fresh coffee.

Tours
Food and Drink
Sierra Norte Mountains

6
Sierra Norte Mountains

A mountain range offering hiking, biking, and bird-watching opportunities, with stunning views of the Oaxacan landscape.

Attractions
Tours
Sports
Monte Alban

7
Monte Alban

Monte Alban is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site, one of the most important ruins in Mexico.

Attractions
Monuments
Landmarks
Textile workshop

8
Textile workshop

A workshop where you can learn about traditional Oaxacan textile techniques and purchase handmade items.

Cultural Experiences
Rooftop bar

9
Rooftop bar

A bar offering a variety of drinks and a panoramic view of the city.

Food and Drink
Entertainment

Local Food and Drinks (12)

Tlayudas

Tlayudas

A traditional Oaxacan dish, Tlayudas are large, thin, crunchy, partially fried or toasted tortillas topped with refried beans, lettuce, avocado, meat, Oaxaca cheese, and salsa.

Mole Negro

One of the seven types of mole sauces famous in Oaxaca, Mole Negro is a rich, dark sauce made from chilies, chocolate, and a variety of spices, typically served over chicken or turkey.

Chapulines

Chapulines

Chapulines are grasshoppers that have been toasted with garlic, lime juice, and salt, and are a popular snack in Oaxaca.

Memelas

Memelas are thick tortillas topped with black beans, cheese, and a variety of salsas and meats, a common street food in Oaxaca.

Chiles Rellenos

Chiles Rellenos are large chili peppers stuffed with cheese or meat, battered and fried, and served with salsa, a popular dish in Oaxaca.

Oaxaca Cheese

Oaxaca Cheese

Oaxaca Cheese, also known as Quesillo, is a white, semi-hard cheese from Mexico, similar to unaged Monterey jack, but with a mozzarella-like string cheese texture.

Tejate

Tejate

Tejate is a traditional Oaxacan drink made from corn masa, cacao beans, mamey seeds, and flor de cacao, served cold and often enjoyed in the hot Oaxacan climate.

Mezcal

Mezcal

Mezcal is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave plant native to Mexico. Oaxaca is the center of Mezcal production in Mexico.

Tamale Oaxaqueño

Tamale Oaxaqueño is a traditional Oaxacan dish made from masa (corn dough) filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, or chilies, wrapped in a banana leaf, and steamed.

Chorizo Oaxaqueño

Chorizo Oaxaqueño is a type of spicy sausage made from pork, popular in Oaxaca.

Nicuatole

Nicuatole

Nicuatole is a traditional Oaxacan dessert made from corn masa, sugar, and cinnamon, and has a jelly-like consistency.

Pulque

Pulque

Pulque is a traditional Mexican alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant, popular in Oaxaca.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Oaxaca, Mexico is during the dry season, which runs from October to April. During these months, you can expect warm, sunny days perfect for exploring the city's historic sites and beautiful landscapes. The temperatures are comfortable, typically ranging between 70°F and 80°F (21°C - 27°C). Additionally, if you visit in late October to early November, you can experience the famous Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations, a vibrant and colorful tradition. However, this is a popular time for tourists, so you may want to book your accommodations well in advance. If you're interested in local culture and festivals, July is another great time to visit as the Guelaguetza festival takes place, showcasing Oaxaca's rich indigenous cultures through dance, music, and food.

National holidays

Here you can find the national calendar of all public holidays for the year. These dates are subject to change as official changes are announced, so check back regularly for updates.

DateDayHoliday Name

January 1

Mon

New Year's Day

February 5

Mon

Constitution Day

March 18

Mon

Benito Juárez's Birthday Memorial

May 1

Wed

Labor Day / May Day

July 7

Sun

General Election Day

September 16

Mon

Independence Day

October 1

Tue

Inauguration day

November 18

Mon

Revolution Day Memorial

December 25

Wed

Christmas Day

Please note that during national and public holidays, opening hours for establishments, museums, etc. may vary. Don't forget to check in advance!

How to get around

Renting a car is a popular option for getting around Oaxaca. It gives you the freedom to explore the city and its surroundings at your own pace. However, be aware that traffic can be heavy, especially in the city center, and parking can be challenging. International car rental companies are available at the airport and in the city.

Taxis are readily available throughout the city of Oaxaca. They are a convenient way to get around, especially if you're not comfortable with driving in Mexico. It's recommended to negotiate the fare before getting in to avoid any confusion.

Ridesharing services like Uber are available in Oaxaca. This can be a more convenient and sometimes cheaper alternative to taxis. You can book a ride using the app on your smartphone, and the fare is automatically charged to your credit card.

Public buses are a cheap way to get around Oaxaca. They cover most parts of the city and some surrounding areas. However, they can be crowded, especially during peak hours, and the routes can be confusing for first-time visitors.

Oaxaca is a bike-friendly city with several bike rental shops. Cycling is a great way to explore the city, especially the historic center, which is relatively flat and compact. However, be aware that traffic can be heavy, and not all streets have bike lanes.

Walking is perhaps the best way to explore the historic center of Oaxaca, which is compact and pedestrian-friendly. Many of the city's main attractions, including the Santo Domingo Church and the Zocalo, are within walking distance of each other.

Colectivos are shared taxis or minibuses that run fixed routes in Oaxaca. They are a cheap and efficient way to get around, especially for short distances. However, they can be crowded, and you may need to know some Spanish to communicate with the driver and other passengers.

Several companies offer tour bus services in Oaxaca. This can be a convenient way to see the city's main attractions, especially if you're short on time. Most tour buses offer hop-on hop-off service, allowing you to explore at your own pace.

While we strive for accuracy in our "How to get around" section, the information may not always be up-to-date or 100% accurate; we highly recommend cross-checking with local resources before your travel.

Important information

Currency$ MXN

Time zoneUTC-6

Driving sideRight

Emergency phoneAmbulance: 065; Fire: 068; Police: 060

Drinking waterOpt for bottled water

Power sockets

Power socket type APower socket type B

Voltage120 V

Things to know about Oaxaca, Mexico as a first time visitor

1

Oaxaca is located in the southeastern part of Mexico and is known for its rich indigenous culture and history.

2

The official language is Spanish, but many indigenous languages are also spoken.

3

The currency used in Oaxaca is the Mexican Peso (MXN). It is recommended to carry some cash as not all places accept credit cards.

4

Oaxaca has a tropical climate with a rainy season from June to September. The average temperature ranges from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C).

5

Oaxaca is in the Central Time Zone (GMT-6). Daylight Saving Time is observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.

6

Tap water is not safe to drink in Oaxaca. It is recommended to drink bottled water.

7

Oaxaca is known for its cuisine, particularly mole sauces and mezcal. Be sure to try local dishes.

8

Public transportation is available but can be crowded. Taxis and rental cars are also options for getting around.

9

Oaxaca is generally safe for tourists, but like any city, it's important to stay aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings secure.

10

Oaxaca's markets are a great place to buy local crafts and foods. Bargaining is common and expected in these markets.

11

It's customary to tip 10-15% in restaurants. In other services like taxis or hotels, tipping is appreciated but not mandatory.

12

Oaxaca has a vibrant arts scene, with many galleries and workshops. It's a great place to buy unique, handmade souvenirs.

13

Oaxaca celebrates many festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the Guelaguetza, a celebration of indigenous culture and traditions.

14

If you're planning to visit rural areas or archaeological sites, it's recommended to wear comfortable shoes and bring sun protection.

15

Oaxaca has a slower pace of life compared to other Mexican cities. Take time to relax and enjoy the local culture.

16

Public restrooms may charge a small fee for use. It's a good idea to keep some small change on hand.

17

Oaxaca has a good healthcare system, but travel insurance is recommended for any unexpected medical expenses.

18

The voltage in Mexico is 127V and the frequency is 60Hz. If your devices use different voltage or plug type, you'll need a converter or adapter.

19

Oaxaca is located at a high altitude, which can cause altitude sickness in some people. It's recommended to take it easy for the first few days to acclimate.

20

Respect local customs and traditions. This includes dressing modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.

Basic Spanish to know as a first time visitor

English phrase

Native phrase

Pronunciation

When to use it

Hello

Hola

Oh-la

Greeting someone

Goodbye

Adiós

Ah-dee-os

Leaving or saying goodbye to someone

Please

Por favor

Por fa-vor

When asking for something

Thank you

Gracias

Grah-see-as

When someone helps you or gives you something

Yes

See

When agreeing with someone or something

No

No

No

When disagreeing with someone or something

Excuse me

Perdón

Per-don

When trying to get someone's attention or apologizing

I'm sorry

Lo siento

Lo see-en-to

When you've done something wrong

Do you speak English?

¿Hablas inglés?

Ab-las in-gles

When you need to communicate in English

I don't understand

No entiendo

No en-tee-en-do

When you don't understand what's being said

Where is the bathroom?

¿Dónde está el baño?

Don-de es-ta el ban-yo

When you need to find the bathroom

How much does it cost?

¿Cuánto cuesta?

Kwan-to kwes-ta

When you want to know the price of something

I would like...

Me gustaría...

Me gus-ta-ree-a

When ordering food or asking for something

Help

Ayuda

A-yu-da

When you need assistance

Can I have the menu, please?

¿Puedo tener el menú, por favor?

Pwe-do te-ner el me-nu, por fa-vor

When you want to see the menu at a restaurant

Water

Agua

Ah-gwa

When you want to order water

Beer

Cerveza

Ser-ve-za

When you want to order beer

Cheers

Salud

Sa-lud

When toasting drinks

Good morning

Buenos días

Bwe-nos dee-as

Greeting someone in the morning

Good night

Buenas noches

Bwe-nas no-ches

Saying goodbye or goodnight in the evening

Packing List

  • Clothing

  • Lightweight clothing

  • Underwear

  • Socks

  • Swimsuit

  • Comfortable walking shoes

  • Sandals

  • Hat for sun protection

  • Sunglasses

  • Light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings

  • Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Deodorant

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Body wash or soap

  • Razor and shaving cream

  • Sunscreen

  • Insect repellent

  • Prescription medications

  • First-aid kit

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Travel documents and essentials

  • Passport

  • Driver's license or ID card

  • Credit and debit cards

  • Cash (Mexican Pesos)

  • Travel insurance documents

  • Hotel and transportation reservation confirmations

  • Emergency contacts and addresses

  • Electronics and gadgets

  • Smartphone

  • Charger for smartphone

  • Headphones

  • Camera

  • Charger for camera

  • Travel adapter for Mexican outlets

  • Portable power bank

  • Miscellaneous items

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Snacks

  • Travel guidebook for Oaxaca

  • Spanish-English dictionary or phrasebook

  • Notebook and pen

  • Travel pillow and blanket

  • Earplugs and eye mask

  • Tote or daypack for daily excursions

Weather Conditions

Oaxaca, Mexico is known for its pleasant climate throughout the year. However, it's important to note that the weather can vary depending on the season. The dry season, which runs from November to April, is typically the best time to visit. During this period, you can expect clear skies and warm temperatures, usually around 80°F (27°C) during the day. Nights can be cooler, dropping to around 50°F (10°C), so it's advisable to pack some light sweaters or jackets. The rainy season begins in May and ends in October. During this time, you can expect afternoon showers, but they usually don't last long. The temperatures remain warm, typically around 70-85°F (21-29°C). It's advisable to carry a raincoat or umbrella during this season. Regardless of when you visit, it's important to remember that Oaxaca is located at a high altitude. This means the sun can be quite strong, even when the temperature isn't very high. Therefore, don't forget to pack and regularly apply a good quality sunscreen, wear a hat, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Also, due to its geographical location, Oaxaca can occasionally experience tropical storms and hurricanes, especially during the rainy season. It's always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip and stay informed about any potential severe weather conditions during your stay. In conclusion, Oaxaca is a beautiful destination to visit year-round. Just remember to pack according to the season and stay aware of the weather conditions during your trip. Enjoy your visit to this vibrant Mexican city!

MonthHi / Lo (°C)Weather Overview

January

28° / 8°

January in Oaxaca is mild and dry, making it a great time for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

February

29° / 9°

February is a bit warmer but still comfortable, with little rainfall and plenty of sunshine.

March

31° / 11°

March sees a slight increase in temperature, but the weather remains pleasant for exploring the city and its surroundings.

April

33° / 13°

April is one of the hottest months in Oaxaca, but it's still a good time to visit if you don't mind the heat.

May

34° / 14°

May continues to be hot, with occasional rain showers, making it a good time for indoor activities and museum visits.

June

33° / 14°

June marks the start of the rainy season, but showers are usually brief and followed by sunshine.

July

32° / 14°

July is in the middle of the rainy season, but don't let that deter you; the rain usually falls in the afternoon or evening.

August

32° / 14°

August is similar to July, with warm temperatures and afternoon showers, perfect for morning sightseeing.

September

31° / 14°

September is the last month of the rainy season, with temperatures starting to cool down a bit.

October

30° / 12°

October is a great time to visit Oaxaca, with cooler temperatures and less rainfall.

November

29° / 10°

November is a comfortable month to visit, with mild temperatures and little rainfall.

December

28° / 8°

December is one of the coolest months, but it's still warm enough to enjoy all that Oaxaca has to offer.

Did you know?

Did you know that Oaxaca is known as the 'Land of the Seven Moles', due to its variety of this traditional Mexican sauce?

1 of 10

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Mitla

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