When looking for experiences which will make your heart soar, visit Oaxaca on a private tour. This is possibly one of Mexico's most beautiful cities.
It is a landlocked city that is surrounded by the Sierra Madre high mountain range towards the southern part of Mexico. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has helped in the preservation of many of the spectacular historical landmarks in Oaxaca.
There is so much enjoyment and delight to be had in exploring this amazing city’s unique character, colonial buildings, archaeological sites, culture, the lagoons and lush mountains.
When it comes to organising festivals the people of Oaxaca certainly has the whole thing down to a fine art. Guelaguetza is a festival held in July and attracts travelers from all over the world. It is a festival native to Oaxaca with lots of traditional costumes, traditional dancing, music, local cuisine and a fantastic party atmosphere. Read More...
Fascinating Monte Albán Is an Excellent Place to Visit on a Guided Tour
There are fabulous places to visit on guided tour in the city of Oaxaca such as the Oaxaca Cathedral, The Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude and Iglesias de Santo Domingo to name a few.
However, just on the outer limits of the city is Monte Alban which is a historic settlement that covers some 40 square kilometers. This would be a highly recommended sightseeing tour to go on. It was an important place of worship for 2,500 years.
From where Oaxaca is located, you can easily take day tours to other smaller cities and town. The towns of Dainzu, Lambityeco and Hauijazoo have interesting sights to see such as ancient ruins and ancient tombs.
Top 10 Things to Do in Oaxaca
On a sightseeing tour of the outskirts of Oaxaca, visit the World Heritage site of Monte Alban. This is a large archaeological site that is pre-Columbian. There are ruins of pyramids, great plazas, a palace with a courtyard within it, some 170 tombs and underground passageways. Be sure to visit the Monte Alban Ruins Museums to see some of the artifacts that were found during the excavations.
Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman
Visit Oaxaca’s most famous church, the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman. Founded in 1575 this Dominican church is a great place to explore on a guided tour. On the facade, you can see stunning statues filling the niches and when inside it has gilded decoration from floor to ceiling. It is more like a palace then a church with the ornate and rustic statues and sculptures. There are many interesting things to see.
An impressive sightseeing tour to take is the Oaxaca Cathedral which is located in the city’s main square. This sturdy building and low towers were designed and built to withstand earthquakes. The King of Spain gifted its clock, which has a wooden mechanism, when the building was completed. There are many interesting things to look upon on a tour here such as the finely engraved glass windows.
Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca
When on a guided tour of the Church of Santo Domingo, be sure that a guided tour of the Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca which is located in the old convent grounds adjacent to the Church is included. There are fascinating and very beautiful plants and flowers to be seen that are all originating from Oaxaca state and have been growing here since the late 1990’s. There is an impressive collection of cacti.
Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude
The Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude, another excellent guided tour to go on when in Oaxaca. This is a 17th-century church which is located not far from the main square in Oaxaca. The front of the Basilica is stunning and the baroque style architecture is very impressive. The figure of the Virgen de la Soledad (Virgin of Solitude) is very beautiful wearing a black robe with velvet embroidery and precious gems.
Rufino Tamayo Museum
Located in an old palace near the main Square in Oaxaca is the Rufino Tamayo Museum. The artist Tamayo, who is famous in Mexico, presented the museum to the state. This is a museum where all the pieces come from the pre-classic to post classic eras and are extremely rare. 1521 is the year of the youngest piece and the oldest dates back to allegedly 1,600 BC. This museum is known as an arts museum.
The Monastery of Santiago Apostol
Take a sightseeing tour to the town of Cuilapan de Guerrero which is just 12 kilometers outside of Oaxaca. Here you will see the Monastery of Santiago Apostol and an old Church. This structure on the hillside is very large and building began in 1555. It was abandoned in 1663, but much of its structure have survived. See the three meter thick walls and murals telling the history of the order.
Zocalo and Markets
Zocalo is the name given to the main square in Oaxaca and the majority of the city’s major attractions are center around the square. There are also many cafes and seating areas. It is also where all the most important festivals take place. Another reason why the square is a popular place is the market held every Saturday. These are very lively occasions with lots of selling and buying going on.
Travel Tips for Oaxaca
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit the city of Oaxaca is not peak season, mid December to Early January, it is actually April to May and September to October, early spring and early autumn. It is still hot during the day and a bit cooler at nighttime but temperatures more comfortable and more suitable for going sightseeing or guided tours. There may be a small bit if rain during the months of September and October.
The prices of food and accommodation in the city of Oaxaca is very cheap in comparison to top tourist destinations in the United States and Europe. Sightseeing tours, guided tours or archaeological tours will vary in price depending on the time of the year. An example of prices: it costs from US$8 for an evening meal and accommodation starts from as little as US$10 a night for the most basic of hotels.
Know Before Visiting
Some travelers will need a visa to enter Mexico, be sure to check if you need one. It is advisable to book accommodation well in advance of traveling and the same applies to any sightseeing tours you want to take especially during peak season. You may avail of a better price doing this. Only drink sealed bottled water. There is certain attire etiquette expected in small Oaxacan towns so be aware of this.
The climate in the city of Oaxaca is called local Steppe climate. The month of May is the warmest month of the year where temperatures can average around 23 degrees Celsius but has been know to get as high as 32 degrees. The coldest month of the year is generally January and its average temperatures are around 17.5 degrees Celsius. The driest month is January and the wettest is June.