top of page

Unforgettable Oaxaca: Discover Culinary and Cultural Delights in Oaxaca, Mexico (in pictures)

If you are thinking of visiting Mexico, I would highly recommend you put Oaxaca on your list of places to visit. Nestled in the southern part of Mexico, Oaxaca is known for its rich indigenous culture and culinary scene. The capital city of Oaxaca is also named Oaxaca, or Oaxaca de Juárez, and is a popular tourist destination.

Mexico City to Oaxaca Map
Mexico City to Oaxaca Map

Getting to Oaxaca

Many people visit Mexico City and then visit Oaxaca for a few days before flying out. We also followed the same path: Five nights in Mexico City and then two nights in Oaxaca.

My suggestions are based on our 2-day Oaxaca visit.

Option 1: Car

You can drive between Mexico City and Oaxaca, it should take you 5-6 hours. You can rent a car from the airport or Mexico City as long as you book in advance. Plan to pay for tolls, gas and insurance. Some people stop along the way, even do an overnight stay in a small town. Most people recommend exploring the town of Puebla!

Option 2: Bus

There is a bus service that runs from Mexico City to Oaxaca. This is probably the most cost-effective option. Buses take off from TAPA (Terminal de Autobuses de Oriente) in Mexico City. Buses drop you to the city's main bus station called Central de Autobuses de Oaxaca. There are also private transfers available for those looking for more comfort.

Option 3: Plane

Fly into Oaxaca. Airport code OAX (IATA) or MMOX (ICAO). At this point, the only US airport that has a direct flight to Oaxaca is LAX (Los Angeles, CA).

We flew in from Mexico City and it was a quick flight. We chose to fly because we only had two days. The OAX airport is small, flights are limited and they often get canceled. There is a lounge but it is small, nothing fancy. We did face issues on our way back and there were some tense moments as we had a connecting flight to Los Angeles from Mexico City. So, traveler beware!

When you land in Oaxaca and need to get to your hotel, know that there is no UBER!

Two simple options here:

  • Get a taxi. Find the taxi counter, buy a pre-paid ticket

  • Get a shared transfer which is a cheaper way to travel. The van stops at multiple spots, drops people along the way

We chose the second option and it was perfectly safe! The shared ride dropped us to our hotel - Quinta Real Oaxaca, a beautiful property that was converted from a 16th century convent!

Things to Do in Oaxaca

Here are some of my suggested experiences you must do on your visit.

Watch the Guelaguetza Show at Quinta Real

One of the best way to experience Oaxacan culture is to watch the colorful, traditional Gueleguetza folk dance dinner show that is held at the Quinta Real hotel. During this performance, you will see the many sub-cultures of the state, representing the diversity of 16 ethnic groups from eight different regions.