Oaxaca (pronounced Wahahka) is a state of Mexico.
- 1 Oaxaca – the capital, also known as Oaxaca de Juárez, an inland city of great history and markets.
- 2 Mazunte – a small town with a number of pristine beaches nearby. Gorgeous Pacific beach with famous Sea Turtle Museum. Lots of Italians, and Italian restaurants in town. A stop on the Pacific Coast Backpacker Route. Popular with European, North American and Mexican tourists.
- 3 Pochutla – a small town with a bus station that connects the coastal towns (Huatulco, Puerto Escondido, Puerto Escondido) with Oaxaca de Juárez.
- 4 Playa Zipolite – beautiful 2 km (1.2 mi) long beach, home to many Canadian and American expats, popular since the 1960s. Relaxed atmosphere with a dedicated stream of travelers from Europe and "hippie" Mexican college students following the Pacific Coast Backpacker route. Growing tourist destination for high-end travelers as well. Mexico's only "official" nude beach.
- 5 Puerto Ángel – small fishing town with a few hotels for tourists. Short taxi ride from Pochutla or to Zipolite.
- 6 Puerto Escondido – surfing Mecca of Mexico. Beach catering to middle class Mexican tourists, backpackers, and surfers. One of the best places to surf in Oaxaca.
- 7 San José del Pacífico – a small town high in the mountains famous for its psychedelic mushrooms
Oaxaca is one of the poorest states in Mexico. Therefore, there's a great lack of public services in the whole state. While visiting Oaxaca, you will find a lot of roads and places in poor conditions, but people tend to be friendly if you give them nice comments about their place of origin.Regardless of the lack of services, Oaxaca has much to be proud of. Its great biodiversity and cultural heritage is reflected in having almost every type of ecosystem and many monuments from different epochs, including pyramids, churches and some new buildings in the capital city. So for an open-minded visitor, there is much to learn and enjoy in Oaxaca.
Oaxaca is well-known for its cuisine. American food and travel television host has proclaimed that "as Lyon is to French cuisine, Oaxaca is to Mexican cuisine." The markets of Oaxaca de Juárez are packed with stalls operated by abuelas selling their amazing culinary creations.
- D. H. Lawrence, Mornings in Mexico. The first half of this classic collection of traveler's tales recounts the writer's sojourn in Oaxaca, while the second covers his time in New Mexico.
- Oliver Sacks, Oaxaca Journal. Written by an amateur naturalist, this delightful journal documents not only the author's quest for exotic flora but also his observations of local foods and customs.
Oaxaca is known for its linguistic diversity. Many dialects are spoken in the state, with Zapotec and Mixtec being the most prevalent. Fortunately, most speakers of these dialects also speak Spanish, even if their knowledge of the language is limited sometimes, and their accent may be difficult for some native Spanish speakers to understand.
The government is now doing a Hispanization work in all the indigenous communities in order to guarantee the knowledge of the Spanish language by every single person in the state. In Oaxaca de Juárez it's still very common to hear indigenous people who are selling some kind of merchandice talking to each other in their native language (Zapotec, Mixtec, Chontal, etc.) However, they'll always address you in Spanish, so the English-speaking tourist should make an effort to learn at least the very basics of Spanish.
Aerotucán flies from Oaxaca de Juarez to Puerto Escondido and Huatulco.
- Monte Alban - A 2,500 year old Zapotec city built atop a mountain outside Oaxaca City.
- Pacific beaches such as Puerto Escondido, Zipolite and Mazunte.
- Hierve del agua - A mineral spring with large travertine formations.
- The World Heritage Listed Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Central Valley of Oaxaca
- Santo Domingo. This beautiful cathedral is a must see of Oaxaca, attached to the cathedral is a botanical garden and museum that are both worth visiting.
Oaxaca has a very rich gastronomy that offers a wide range of dishes. Most commonly in Oaxaca de Juárez you will have the chance to eat the famous Tlayudas, a giant tortilla filled with beans and the oaxacan quesillo (wrapped cheese) and accompanied by tasajo (beef). Dauntless travelers should also try Chapulines (Grasshoppers), which are a popular dish.
Any trip to Oaxaca just wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Pacific beaches. From Oaxaca de Juárez, take any bus ADO, OCC, or local busses to San Pedro Pochutla, the regional hub and market for the coast. There aren't many attractions in Pochutla, but there are several banks and ATMs which many travelers from nearby towns come to use when ATMs in their village are out of cash. The ayuntamiento building and red and white church here are quite beautiful. From Pochutla you can catch a collectivo to Mazunte, home of the famous sea-turtle museum, or the increasingly popular Zipolite, for 7-12 pesos.