How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico

Ancient Ruins, Food, Beaches, Mountains, Towns, Culture & More

Back to my Mexico trip! After exploring the state of Chiapas in Mexico, I explored the beautifully diverse and culturally vibrant state of Oaxaca. I traveled from Palenque to Villahermosa to Coatzacoalcos and finally to Oaxaca City in the state of Oaxaca. It was a long and tiring bus journey lasting for around 12 hours. I spend around 3 weeks staying in a small town near the city of Oaxaca. In this post, I will talk about how to plan your trip to Oaxaca and things to do. Oaxaca is a Southwestern state in Mexico and one of the most popular states for tourists. What I really liked about Oaxaca is you get to experience totally different weathers in the same month in the different parts of Oaxaca as it is blessed with high mountains and low beaches.

On the way to Oaxaca City
The small town where I lived!
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico Centro
Oaxaca City Centre

How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico Santo Domingo
Templo de Santo Domingo

Chapulines (Spicy Grasshoppers)
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico mole
Different types of mole
Abastos Market
Tejate (Made from Maize and Cocoa)
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico 20 de noviembre
The famous meat lane in 20 de Noviembre Market
A street in Jalatlaco
Panoramic view of Oaxaca City from the Guelaguetza Auditorium


Much like San Cristobal de las Casas: Churches, Museums, Food, Markets are the highlights of Oaxaca City. The most famous church is Templo de Santo Domingo. Museo de las Culturas is the museum that shouldn’t be missed. However, the famous markets are 20 de Noviembre(Treat for non-vegetarians) and Mercado de Benito Juarez but I personally enjoyed exploring Mercado de Abastos more which many deem unsafe. Feast on the local cuisine i.e. Mole, Tlayudas, Chapulines, Tejate, Hot/Cold Chocolate, Local ice creams, Mezcals and many more. About Mole: It is a Mexican sauce made from fruits, nuts, chilli peppers, spices etc.  Explore the beautiful Zocalo(city centre) of Oaxaca City and make sure to drop in at the Botanical Garden at the centre. Hike to the Guelagutza Auditorium for a panoramic view of the city. Explore the colourful neighbourhood of Jalatlaco. Rent a bicycle and explore the city and neighbouring towns of Tlalixtac de Cabrera, Santo Domingo Tomaltepec, Santa Maria del Tule etc. There are many places/towns to explore near Oaxaca City given as below:

Main Park of Santa Maria del Tule
El Arbol del Tule

How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico el arbor del tule


  • Santa Maria del Tule: The town is known for the Tule Tree i.e. El Arbol del Tule: It has the stoutest tree trunk in the world! Distance from Oaxaca City is around 11 km
Monte Alban ruins

How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico monte Alban

  • Monte Alban: A really popular touristic place and UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a large-scale Zapotec civilisation ruins located around 11 km from Oaxaca City.
Mitla Town
Mitla Ruins
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico mezcal
Mezcal (Alcoholic beverage made from Maguey)
Maguey (A Type of Cactus)
Distillation process in progress


  • San Pablo Villa de Mitla: The town is known for Zapotec civilisation ruins and mezcal (a local alcoholic beverage made from maguey) factories. Around 45 km from Oaxaca City.
Hierve El Agua


  • Hierve El Agua: A true wonder of nature. It is a set of rock formations that resemble cascades of water. Around 65 km from Oaxaca City.
Black clay Pottery


  • San Bartolo Coyotepec: The town is known for black clay pottery. Make sure to visit the Mercado Artesanal market. Around 15 km from Oaxaca City.


How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico alebrijes


  • San Martín Tilcajete: The town is known for the production of Alebrijes. They are brightly coloured folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures. Around 30 km from Oaxaca City.
Sunsets here are ♥️

How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico San Jose del Pacifico

Mushroom Handicrafts
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico mushrooms
Mushrooms in question
On the way to San Mateo Rio Honda town


My next stop was San Jose del Pacifico. It takes 3 hours to reach the town of San Jose del Pacifico from Oaxaca City. I used Colectivo as a mode of transportation. This small mountain town is located at an elevation of around 8000 ft. The town is famous for magic mushrooms. Many foreign tourists come to this town to try magic mushrooms. Apart from this, the Temazcal ceremony. It is an ancient low heat sweat lodge ceremony dating back to Mesoamerica era. What I loved about the town is its serenity, magical sunsets and my walk to the neighbouring town of San Mateo Rio Honda which lasted for a couple of hours(one way). A truly beautiful nature trail. Do not miss this trail if you are up for it. I stayed at “El Sueno Atrapado” hostel @ 120 pesos per night for a dorm bed.

Mazunte town
Mazunte Beach

How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico Mazunte

Found Indian Connection!
San Agustin town
San Agustinillo beach

Found a cave nearby
Into the Jungle
Zipolite Town
Vamos a la playa!
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico Zipolite
Zipolite beach
To the Lighthouse i.e. Faro de Puerto Angel
View from the lighthouse
Time to descend
Descend to the Panteon beach
Much needed break after a loooong walk from Mazunte
Sunset at Puerto Angel town
Puerto Angel port
Next day: On the way to Punta Cometa
Mermejita beach
Had to reach to the tip of this stretch
Getting there!
Made it!
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico Punta comets
Beautiful ♥️
On the way back
Mazunte at night
My humble abode


From the cold weather of San Jose del Pacifico, I traveled to the hot and humid weather of the beach town of Mazunte via Colectivo. It is around 3 hours long time. I really enjoyed my time at this small hippy beach town. At Mazunte, you should visit Punta Cometa to see the sunset for a magical experience. There are three beachfront at Mazunte i.e. Mazunte beach, Mermejita, Rinconcito. You can also go for a dolphins & turtles watching tour @ 250-300 pesos per person. From the town of Mazunte, I walked all the way to the town of Puerto Angel while exploring the neighbouring Towns and beaches i.e. Playa San Agustinillo, Playa Aragon, Playa Zipolite(Nude beach), Playa del Amor, Playa Panteon. I really enjoyed riding waves at the Playa San Agustinillo by renting out a small board. I stayed at Posada el higo in Mazunte @ 150 pesos a night.

Beaches of Puerto Escondido
At Punta Colorado 
Sunsets on beaches is ♥️
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico Puerto Escondido
Angelito Beach
Manzanillo beach nearby
Morning walk at Bacocho beach
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico playa Bacocho
Descend into Carrizalillo beach

How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico zicatela
Playa Zicatela: Longest beach in Puerto Escondido 

Catching the sun!
Zicatela cool cafes
How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico zicatela market
Zicatela street market

How To Plan Your Trip To Oaxaca In Mexico Bioluminescence
Night Tour Of Bioluminescence
Spicy ice cream!
And spicy Cocktail!


An hour-long ride on Colectivo from Mazunte and I was in the coastal city of Puerto Escondido. The city is famous for Surfing at the Playa Zicatela beach. Apart from Playa Zicatela, there are many beaches to explore i.e. Playa Bacocho, Playa Coral, Playa Carrizalillo, Playa Manzanillo, Playa Angelito. I really enjoyed my early morning walk at Playa Bacocho. Playa Carrizalillo is my other favourite small and cosy beach. Punta Colorada is the place to see sunset in Puerto Escondido. Head to Manialtepec lagoon to experience the phenomenon of Bioluminescence. The lagoon becomes phosphorescent due to the type of algae that lives in the lagoon but make ensure to go around new moons when there will be no moonlight reflecting on the water. It is 18 Km from the city of Puerto Escondido.

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An Indian Traveler

Hello! My name is Saurabh and I am the voice behind the “An Indian Traveler” blog. I'm a cinephile, travel writer, an avid traveler with a song stuck in my head which I keep humming till ad nauseam :)

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  1. You never fail to amaze me with your photographs, they are truly superb, and you can transport me. I hope one day I will be able to visit Mexico; it is such a fascinating country. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It must have been pretty amazing to get about and explore as you did. I’ve not tried spicy ice cream before. That would be interesting.

  3. Looks like a beautiful place to have spent time in. I’ve never been to Mexico, but I’d love to go one day x

  4. Wow so many stunning photos and great info – thanks for sharing! Mexico is on my bucket list – the culture and food looks awesome! Bookmarking this post for the future

    Laura x

  5. Incredible area! I love seeing your photos of all the natural places (those rocks that look like a waterfall are so impressive – I totally thought it was a waterfall before I read your words!) And the beaches are stunning.

    I now really want to try all the Oaxaca food too. It all looks tasty, but I have never tried so many of those dishes.

  6. Oaxaca looks absolutely stunning! Such a magical place and each photo on your post just brings me to Mexico! I am bookmarking your page for when we are able to travel again.

  7. Loved the colorful folk art Alebrijes, the black clay pottery,the colorful street houses and the stunning beaches around Oaxaca. Really a place worth exploring!

  8. I love the diversity of the landscape in Oaxaca – the mountains and beaches at your doorstep. This is one area that I haven’t visited. As a Canadian, I would often go to Mexico to escape the winters. I love being able to get into the small towns and cities to soak up the vibrancy of the culture through the shops, food and architecture. And, Oaxaca definitely offers that a whole lot more.

  9. I am glad that you shared so many things and places to visit in Mexico. Oaxaca looks fun hopping and there are so many things to do. I had no idea about mole and how it tastes. I would love to explore all these places with the ruins, all the pictures are simply superb. Great post dear.

  10. Oaxaca seems to have a bit of everything – markets, beaches, nature and ancient architecture! I love those colorful sculptures and mushroom handicrafts. I have not been to Mexico yet, and this looks a place that should definitely go into the bucket list. Your photographs are amazing! 🙂

  11. Having never been to Oaxaca Mexico it was good to get some tips on how to plan a visit. I really would not be up to a 12 hour bus trip. So I would try to look for another way to get there. But once there, it looks like we would find lots to see and do with ruins, gardens, waterfalls and beaches too. Although I would probably pass on a sweat lodge!

  12. I hope to get to Mexico one day. I am definitely adding Oaxaca to my list, those sunsets look amazing and spectacular. I also loved Monte Alban ruins as that showcases so much of history. I somehow have a fascination for ruins and old sites.

  13. Oaxaca is one of my favorite states in Mexico. It is really big, and there is so much to see and do there. You’re absolutely right that the interior where the state capital is has a totally different vibe than the coast. That tlayuda looks amazing, and you were treated to some incredible sunsets over the Pacific!

  14. Mexico has been high on my list of places to visit for a long time now. Thanks for this journey. It’s such a beautiful place. The beautiful pictures makes me want to go.