In a state known for its indigenous people and rich culture, the capital city of Oaxaca bustles with life and energy while surrounded by remnants of its illustrious past. Recognised with a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for the Monte Alban ruins, this bustling southern Mexico city offers much to explore.
Things to do in Oaxaca
Feel the energy of Oaxaca in the main city square, which is known as the Zocalo and is home to shops and casual outdoor cafes. The square is just a few minutes’ walk from Mercado Benito Juarez, the beloved city market where you can buy crafts, souvenirs, grilled meats, handmade tortillas and Mexican cheese.
Tour the Museo de las Culturas, where you’ll explore Oaxacan music, language and traditional medicine. Don't miss seeing the gold and delicately carved bones in the “Treasure of Tomb 7”. To roam through history, head out to Monte Alban with its temples, pyramids and preserved plazas from the ancient city of Zapotec.
The 16th-century Templo de Santo Domingo boasts an extraordinary domed ceiling depicting Catholic martyrs in exquisite medallions. It now holds the Santo Domingo Cultural Center's Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca and accompanying botanical gardens.
Drive 1.5 hours to Hierve el Agua, which translates in English to “the water boils”. The clifftop is full of natural, bubbling hot springs where you can relax, swim and rejuvenate. With a new burst of energy, hike to the area’s petrified mineral falls.
Getting around Oaxaca
Oaxaca is pedestrian-friendly, but you can also use buses or taxis to get around. The closest airport is Aeropuerto Internacional de Oaxaca, located about a 10-minute drive from the city centre.