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Oaxaca (City)

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Oaxaca - 11

Oaxaca - 11

© All Rights Reserved dontrobus

Oaxaca City having a population of around half a million people is the largest city and the capital of Oaxaca state. Located in the Valley of Oaxaca in the Madre Sul Mountains and the area is surrounded by thick forests making it a truly beautiful place. The city was originally settled by the Spanish in 1522 by Hernan Cortes. Most of the older colonial buildings are located in the city centre.

The city is home to amazing churches, colonial buildings, ruins, arts and crafts. This area is well worth exploring for its amazing sights. Don't forget to taste some of the best food in the world!



Sights and Activities

Monte Albán

Maya-ruiner paa Monte Alban utehfor Oaxaca

Maya-ruiner paa Monte Alban utehfor Oaxaca

© All Rights Reserved MadSolvIda

Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archeological site is one of the oldest cities in all of Mesoamerica, being founed in 500 BC. The city was abandoned by the 9th century although small scale re-habitation did happen over the next few centuries. Many of the later groups even used some of the tombs and temples again but for different purposes. The site is mainly on top of a hill and a good day trip from Oaxaca City. In 1987 Monte Albán was made into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The site itself is beautiful and the view from the top is amazing. From Oaxaca it is possible to book a bike trip to Monte Alban. You will be taken up by minibus and from the top you only have to go downhill. You will pass by some typical villages and you can enjoy the beatifull nature.

Andador Macedonio Alcalá

Andador Macedonio Alcalá is a pedestrian street in the city center of Oaxaca City. The street is home to several notable sights and and public places.

  • Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (Museum of Contemporary Art)
  • Plazuela Labastida
  • Parroquia de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo (Parish of the Precious Blood of Christ)


  • Santo Domingo - This is one of the most important of the many baroque style religious buildings in Oaxaca. This church has a complex set of buildings including a large sanctuary, many courtyards, cloisters and living areas that were formally part of a monastery. The monastery was founded by the Dominican order in 1572 and was an active monastery from 1608 to 1857. For the second half the 19th century the building was used by the military as barracks then returned to religious use in 1938. In 1972 the church was made into the museum of the Cultural Centre of Oaxaca and was fully restored in 1999. The church is located about half a km north of the city center.
  • Catedral de Oaxaca (The Cathedral of the Virgin of the Assumption) - Was the third cathedral to built in Oaxaca because the others were destroyed by earth quakes. Construction began in 1702 and completed in 1733. The facade of the church is made of green stone and the interior is a Neoclassical design. The altar has a statue of Our Lady of Assumption, which was made in Italy.
  • Church of San Augustín
  • Church and former monastery of St John of God
  • Church of San Felipe Neri
  • Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad - This basilica is built on a site where the Virgin Mary appeared in a box. This baroque designed church was completed in 1690 and is built with a reddish stone. In the back of the church there is a museum that exhibits many of the Virgin's dresses and statue of the Virgin of Solitude crowned with a diamond studded 2 kg solid gold crown. The church is located four blocks west of the Cethedral on Avenida Independencia.
  • Church of the Company of Jesus - This church was built in the 16th century in a baroque style. Inside the chapel is a statute of the Virgin of Guadeloupe with a prayer written under it in Spanish, English, Nahuatl and 12 other native languages of the Oaxaca area.


  • Centro Cultural de Santo Domingo (Cultural Centre of Oaxaca) - This is a great museum that home to a good pre-Columbian collection and colonial period relics. The centre is located in the Santo Domingo.
  • Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca (Museum of Contemporary Art) - Is a good contemporary art museum located in the so called Casa de Crotes, which was built after Crotes's death.
  • Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños (Museum of Oaxacan Paintors) - Is a museum dedicated to famous local painters, such as Rodolfo Morales. The museum is located north of Alameda do Leon on Avenida Independencia in a 18th century mansion.
  • Museo Rufino Tamayo (Rufino Tamayo Museum) - Is dedicated to pre-Columbian art and some of the pieces used to be in the private collection of Rufino Tamayo. One of the main missions of the museum is to prevent pieces from entering the illegal artifacts market.
  • Casa de Juárez - This museum is devoted to the life of Benito Juarez. The museum is located in an 18th century home at Garcia Vigil 609.
  • Museo Philatélica de Oaxaca (Stamp Museum)
  • Railway Museum of Southern Mexico

Other Sights and Activities

Oaxaca 2

Oaxaca 2

© All Rights Reserved Flav-Greg

  • Plaza de la Constitución (Zócalo) - Was built by Alonso Garcia Bravo in 1529, when he designed the downtown of the city. He modeled his design after looking at many different 16th century Spanish towns. The ash trees and marble fountain were added in the 18th century.
  • Portales de Ex-Palacio de Gobierno - Is located on the plaza and is now the Museo del Palacio 'Espacio de Diversidad.
  • Jardin Ethobotánico (Ethnobotanic Gardin) - Is an amazing garden and located at the corner of Reforma and Constitución.
  • Mercado Benito Juárez - Buy some flowers, handcrafts, leather goods, hats and knives at this market. The market is located at Flores Magon and Las Casas and takes up the entire block of 20 de Noviembre and Aldama streets.
  • Mercado 20 de Noviembre - Also known as the Mercado de la Comida and this is the local food market. Go try out some of the famous Oaxaca cuisine here.
  • Mercado de Artesanías (Crafts market)



Events and Festivals

  • Guelaguetza or Los Lunes Del Cerro - This pre-Columbian holiday has changed into a celebration of of the Virgin del Carmen, the city and state of Oaxaca. The celebrations is always the two consecutive mondays after July 16th. Except when the monday falls on July 18th, which is the day Benito Juarez died, then the holiday will be on July 25th and August 1st. There are concerts and festivals held the entire month of July in honour of the holiday. In the theatre that is build on the hills of Oaxaca their are many open air celebrations. The theatre offers a great view over Oaxaca.
  • Night of the Radishes - Is celebrated on the 23rd of December every year in the main plaza. Several statues are put on display of giant radishes, weighing up to 3 kilos, and grown for the event. Even though it only lasts a few hours these works of art are worth checking out.
  • Day of the Dead - Although the Day of the Dead is also celebrated in many Latin American countries except Mexico (and also in parts of Europe, Asia and Africa), the Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is most intensily celebrated in Mexciowhere where it is equal to a National Holiday. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration takes place on November 1st and 2nd, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. Although it is about the Dead, it is also a celebration where eating and partying both are common as well.




Oaxaca has a moderate climate. Yearround temperature is about 20 °C. Most rainfall is during the summer (June to September).



Getting There

VW Beetle & Graffiti, Oaxaca

VW Beetle & Graffiti, Oaxaca

© All Rights Reserved claireh

By Plane

Oaxaca-Xoxocotlan Airport (OAX) is 10 km south of the city centre with the majority of flights to Mexico City. There are limited flights to other Mexican cities like Huatulco, Cancun, Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Tijuana. There are some international flights including one to Houston.

By Bus

You can take a nightbus from San Cristobal de las Casas which takes you to Oaxaca in about 12 hours. The 1st class busses are usually operated by OCC. There are also good connections to Puebla, Mexico City and Veracruz.



Getting Around

By Foot

Within the centre it is best to everything by foot. There is a nice pedestrian area with many stores and a big shopping centre. Along the way you will pass some churches as well.

By Bike

Within Oaxaca it is a bit dangerous but outside of Oaxaca there are many places where you can get around by bike. It is definitly worth it taking a bike tour to Monte Alban.




Grab some local street food at the Mercado 20 de Noviembre. You will find many good restaurants on the main square.

Oaxaca is the place to try the famous Mexican Dish called Mole. It contains many ingredients and however everyone has it's own recipe it always contains chocolate.





Casa de Don Pablo HostelMelchor Ocampo 412, CentroHostel83
Casa Gigi518 Colonia ReformaGuesthouse89
El QuijoteMina 511 Centro Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca.Hostel93
Hostal AlebrijeCarretera Int No 14 Sans SebastianGuesthouse-
Hostal del Mercado * Youth HostelAldama 307 Col. Centro C.P. 68000 Oaxaca, Oax.Guesthouse-
Hostal PochonCallejon del Carmen #102Hostel85
Hotel La ProvinciaPorfirio Diaz No. 108 Centro HistoricoHotel-
La Villada Inn HostelFelipe Angeles 204 Ejido Guadalupe VictoriaHotel88
Mezkalito HostelXicotencatl 121Hostel-
Nizadú Hostel5a Privada de la Noria 316. Colonia CentroHostel80
Parador San AndresHidalgo 405Guesthouse-
Paulina Youth HostelTrujano 321 col. centroHostel91
Posada de los AngelesDiaz Quintas 206Guesthouse82
Santa Lucia HotelMarcos Perez 307Hotel-
Hostel AlcalaValdivieso 120, CentroHostel75
Hotel Principal5 de Mayo 208Hotel89
Hostel Don NinoPino Suarez 804Hostel87
Casa Angel Youth HostelTinoco y Palacios 610, Centro, OaxacaHostel91
Aitana HotelCrespo, nº 313 Colonia Oaxaca CentroHotel92
Casa ArnelAldama, no 404 Col. JalatlacoHotel86



Keep Connected


Internet cafe's are widely available and you generally can find one in the direct vicinity. Sometimes photocopy stores or photo processing stores will double as an internet cafe with a couple of computers. Look for signs reading "Acceso a Internet" or "Cibernautica" or "Cibercafe". Charges range from approx. US$1 an hour to US$3 an hour, depending on the location.


See also International Telephone Calls

Phone cards can be purchased anywhere and are needed for the majority of public phones. To call any number outside your region you have to dial 01 then followed by the area code. If calling a cellphone from a normal phone start with with 044. If calling cellphone to cellphone just dial the 10-digit number. To make an international call dial 00 followed by the country code then the local number. To call to Mexico, also dial 00 (most of the times) followed by the national code 52.


The Mexican postal service is operated by Correos de México. The post service in Mexico is pretty good although not very cheap. It is reliable regarding the sending of postcards, but it takes at least a week to send it to other countries (US/Canada), more so if you send it to Europe or Australia. For packages it is better to use international services like FedEx or UPS. If you are sending a package internationally with the Mexican postal service, take the package OPEN to the post office, they may want to inspect it. Seal it up at the post office. Post offices typically open from 8:00am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday, and 9:00am to 1:00pm Saturday. You will find post offices (Oficina de Correos) is almost any town or city in Mexico. To buy stamps it is best to go to the post office, although you can also get them at stamp machines, located outside the post offices, at bus stations, airports and some commercial establishments.

Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 17.058449
  • Longitude: -96.731986


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This is version 21. Last edited at 10:38 on Oct 15, 15 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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