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Things to do in

Oaxaca

Our most recommended things to do in Oaxaca

From Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Waterfalls and Mezcal Factory

1. From Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Waterfalls and Mezcal Factory

Start your tour by being picked up in Oaxaca early in the morning by your tour guide and start the ride. Stop at Teotitlán del Valle, a village of weavers in which you will learn how they use ancient techniques to paint wool and wave rugs forming majestic designs. The next stop will be Hierve el agua, the petrified waterfalls one of 30-meter height, and another one of 12-meter height. Admire these waterfalls that are formed by carbonated water and offer beautiful views of the mountains, perfect to take great photos. Get a chance to swim in the mineral pools and take a walk with local guides and take in the spectacular surroundings of nature. The last stop is a Mezcal Factory where you will learn the process of the elaboration of the authentic mezcal and also get to taste some of the different flavors of Mezcal. To finish your tour, you will be taken back to Oaxaca.

Full-Day Tour of Oaxaca

2. Full-Day Tour of Oaxaca

Get ready to discover some of the best places of Oaxaca State. Start with a visit to Santa Maria el Tule, home of one of the most extraordinary natural beauties including the  giant tree (The Tule Tree), with a height of 40 meters and a diameter of more than 50 meters. It is said it´s more than 2000 years old, which makes it perhaps one of the biggest and oldest living things in the world. You'll then make a little stop in the small town of Teotitlan del Valle, famous for its home-made textiles. One of the day's highlights will be a visit to Mitla, which in Nahuatl means "Place of the Dead". Mitla used to be a ceremonial center of the Zapotecs and it´s now famed for its outstanding mozaics on its walls, a unique style of decorating in Mesoamerica. You'll  continue the excursion with an adventurous ride to Hierve el Agua, where you'll have the chance to see the petrified waterfalls and take a refreshing dip into the mineral baths while enjoying the breathtaking landscape. Conclude the day in the most typical way; at a mezcal distillery. Learn about the traditional production process and you won´t leave before you have tasted Oaxaca´s sacred liquor.

Oaxaca: El Tule, Mitla, and Hierve el Agua Tour w/ Transfer

3. Oaxaca: El Tule, Mitla, and Hierve el Agua Tour w/ Transfer

Starting this tour with the pick up in your hotel or aibnb, then this tour has at its first stop the worldfamous tree El Tule, the millenary Ahuehuete, is one of the biggest trees in the world weighing 509 tonnes. The next stop will be, Teotitlán del Valle, a Zapotec weavers town, in this place the weavers use ancestral techninques to make and paint the rugs, most of them are personal desings and also imitations of famous artists like Toledo, Picasso and Tamayo. The archaeological zone of Mitla its a must, this city has the most important architecture evolution achievement. Mitla means “place of the dead”. With an extraordinary decoration of borders in the walls. Actually is one the five magic towns in Oaxaca. Learn about the Mezcal process and enjoy some shots of different mezcal flavors that they offer. Hierve el agua is a short stop to know the famous petrified waterfalls where you will have (60 minutes) to enjoy this beautiful place.

Oaxaca: Traditional Oaxacan Cooking Class with Market Visit

4. Oaxaca: Traditional Oaxacan Cooking Class with Market Visit

Discover what makes Oaxacan gastronomy so renowned. Visit a local, bustling market together with a chef to shop for the freshest of ingredients. Taste the traditional flavors and learn the techniques of Oaxacan cooking as you prepare authentic dishes alongside a chef who will explain what makes them unique for the region.  Start this fully interactive class exploring the main markets of Oaxaca city accompanied by the chef who will help you to identify the best and fresh ingredients on the list. Decide what dish to prepare between two suggestions by the chef. Then, get started cooking as you learn how to prepare one of the traditional meals that proudly represent an important cultural part of the beautiful Oaxaca state. During the lesson, the chef will also explain the benefits about each of the representative ingredients of the region, and which the locals prefer for the preparation of their dishes.  Prepare additionally some handmade tortillas and typical drinks to accompany your dish, such as Tejate, Chilacayota and Margaritas with Mezcal. Feel free to ask any question you have about and, of course, enjoy your traditional meal.

From Puerto Escondido: Bioluminescent Lagoon Boat Tour

5. From Puerto Escondido: Bioluminescent Lagoon Boat Tour

Discover the beauty of the Zapotalito Lagoon at night with this boat tour with pickup and drop-off from Puerto Escondido in an airconditioned van. Venture out in search of bioluminescent life and enjoy nature's light show. Experience this wonder up close with a swim. Hop aboard a spacious and comfortable van that picks you up at your doorstep in Puerto Escondido. Relax on the 1.25 hour drive north to the Zapotalito Lagoon. After arriving to the lagoon board a boat and set off in search of the bioluminescent phenomenon. Locate the bioluminescent creatures and stop to swim with the help of a life vest. Be amazed at how the lights pop on with every move you make and how they get stuck on your clothes or hands for a while. Appreciate the incredible beauty of the night sky as you gaze up at constellations and stars from this secluded place with low light pollution. Return to the dock and head back to your accommodation in Puerto Escondido at the end of your tour. 

Puerto Escondido: Baby Sea Turtle Release

6. Puerto Escondido: Baby Sea Turtle Release

After hotel pickup from your accommodation in Puerto Escondido, travel to a pristine beach that showcases the coastal splendor of the area. On arrival, head to the turtle farm where a local guide will teach you about the work being done to protect and save sea turtles.  Learn about olive ridley, green, and leatherback sea turtles, and take some awesome pictures before releasing them. Right before sunset, gather the newborn turtles, walk them to the ocean shore and assist them on their way into the sea as you watch the sun set over the virgin sands. You will return to Puerto Escondido with magical memories!

Oaxaca: Monte Alban Guided Archaeological Tour

7. Oaxaca: Monte Alban Guided Archaeological Tour

Discover the Archeological Zone of the state of Oaxaca. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your hotel in the Oaxaca city center. Drive to Monte Albán in an air-conditioned van. Explore the ruins of the former capital of the Zapotec people, who were the dominant civilization in the area thousands of years ago. Discover the second-largest ceremonial site in Mesoamerica. Learn about the Zapotec people from your knowledgable guide. Marvel at the ancient ball court, excavated tombs, astronomical “observatory. Enjoy phenomenal views from Monte Alban. Looking out from the flat hill where the archeological site is located, you can enjoy views of the Oaxaca Valley. Visit the onsite museum and admire artifacts from the Zapotec civilization. Afterward, you will be transported back to your accommodations in Oaxaca.

From Oaxaca: Monte Albán and Art Craft Towns Day Trip

8. From Oaxaca: Monte Albán and Art Craft Towns Day Trip

Explore the archaeological area of Oaxaca built by the Zapotecs. Learn about its big plazas, truncated pyramids, and the court for playing tlachtli (a type of ball game). Hear about the underground passageways and more than 100 tombs at the site from your professional tour guide. Start your day by being picked up in Oaxaca City, and begin your journey to Monte Alban. Next, visit the town of Arrazola town and fall in love with the authentic wooden figures called Alebrijes. Watch the interesting creation process of these figures which involves carving and painting. Head to Cuilapam de Guerrero town and visit a Dominican Ex-monastery of the 16th-century, known for its unfinished basilica and prominent open chapel. End your magical tour in the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec and meet local artisans who specialize in black pottery (Barro negro). Learn about the techniques used since pre-Columbian times.

Oaxaca: Monte Alban and the Art of Oaxaca

9. Oaxaca: Monte Alban and the Art of Oaxaca

Immerse yourself in Oaxacan culture on this day trip. Visit the most important archaeological site in Oaxaca, Monte Albán, located in the majestic urban center. This area was known as the religious, political, and economic center of the Zapotec civilization. Walk around the square and explore the Site Museum.  Don't forget to bring your camera to take pictures from the top of the archaeological structures. Next, you'll visit San Antonio Arrazola, a magical place of colors and traditions, where the famous artisans will teach you how they carve copal wood. Learn the process of creating the magical figures called "Alebrijes", which represent the innovative spirit of the Oaxacan soul, part of an ancestral tradition of the Zapotecs. Finally, stop at Cuilapam de Guerrero, a Mixtec town famous for its 16th-century Dominican ex-monastery, and San Bartolo Coyotepec, a small town of adobe houses where you'll witness the process of making beautiful black clay figures.

Oaxaca: Monte Alban and Historic Villages Full-Day Tour

10. Oaxaca: Monte Alban and Historic Villages Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a tour of the extraordinary archaeological zone of Monte Alban, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987. Monte Alban, constructed on a plateau at 1,940 meters above sea level, is one of the most representative archaeological sites in Mexico. With pyramids, a court for the pre-Hispanic ball game, among many other mystical constructions, take this chance to explore cultural traces from different civilizations, such as the Olmecs, Mixtecs, and Zapotecs.  Continue to the town of Coyotepec, famous for its ceramics production, followed by a visit to the convent of Cuilapam. This Dominican convent dates back to the 16th century and was the site of the execution of one of Mexico's heroes from the Independence War, Vicente Guerrero. Finally, visit the village of Arrazola and head to a workshop to see how the famous Alebrijes (wood-carved fantasy animals) are made.

Other Sightseeing Options in Oaxaca

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What people are saying about Oaxaca

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 253 reviews

It was an amazing day. Meplorer and our guide, Edd were terrific. Not only did we taste a lot of Mezcal, but the tour was also very informative and educational. We tried 3 different Mezcal establishments - all different sizes which was great. We also had a wonderful lunch stop. Edd was extremely interesting and our driver was also great. The day was filled with laughs. I highly recommend this tour if you want to learn and taste Mezcal.

A complete and very comprehensive path on all Mezcal processing processes, from cultivation in the fields to final production. Personally I found the stop at Don Agave really interesting where Angel also explained in a pertinent way how to do a real tasting. Super recommended tour!

Excellent tour…incredible guides take care of you and are aware of you at all times…great places and excellent explanations from the guides…widely recommended

One of the best tours I've ever been on: beautiful places and very informative about history and culture.

The guide was so friendly and explains everything well. The places we visited were all worth it.