Best of Oaxaca

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Oaxaca
It’s hard not to fall for the charming city of Oaxaca. Blessed with colonial architecture, colorful fiestas and a booming arts scene, the southern Mexico beauty seems to have everything going for it. Oaxaca is also celebrated for its unique culinary traditions, from great street food to high-end dining, and the region is the homeland of mezcal, the smoky, well-aged sibling of tequila. The surrounding area also has great natural beauty and cultural variety. Just west of Oaxaca, the ancient, well-preserved ceremonial center of Monte Alban looms high above the valley, and provides a fascinating window into Zapotec and Mixtec cultures, dating back to 500 BCE. 

Previous kimkim travelers have explored Oaxaca’s deep craft-making traditions. On visits to rural communities, you can see how artisans have honed their skills (such as wood carving, ceramics and textiles) over many generations. You can also delve deeper into Oaxaca’s history on a walking tour around the historic center. Some say that Oaxaca’s greatest treasure is its culinary tradition. The best way to learn more, while tasting some of Mexico’s finest recipes, is to take a cooking class.
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Parque Labastida in the historic center of Oaxaca, Mexico
Map of Magical Oaxaca & the Pacific Coast - 10 Days
Magical Oaxaca & the Pacific Coast - 10 Days

Explore the cultural and natural highlights of Oaxaca on this ten-day itinerary around the region. You'll explore colorful marketplaces, see a 2,000-year-old tree, feel the spray of crystal-blue waterfalls, visit traditional villages in the Northern Highlands, learn how to make mole in a private cooking class, and spend the last few days on Oaxaca's idyllic Pacific beaches.

Women made up as the iconic La Calavera Catrina
Map of Celebrate Day of the Dead in Oaxaca - 8 Days
Celebrate Day of the Dead in Oaxaca - 8 Days

This festive 8-day itinerary offers visitors an intimate look into one of Mexico's biggest holidays with the Day of the Dead. You'll begin your tour the end of October in Mexico City, discovering the history behind the tradition before exploring the canals of Xochimilco and the stoney ruins of Teotihuacan. You'll end your stay in Oaxaca where you will celebrate like a local: join in processions, visit cemeteries, and marvel at elaborately decorated altars in honor of the deceased.

Street vendor selling delicious antojitos
Map of Southern Mexico Foodie Tour: Mexico City, Puebla & Oaxaca - 10 Days
Southern Mexico Foodie Tour: Mexico City, Puebla & Oaxaca - 10 Days

Discover authentic Mexican cuisine from exotic markets and fine restaurants to street food vendors and indigenous farms. This culinary itinerary is designed for the traveler passionate about learning the history and culture of Mexcian gastronomy. You will try traditional dishes from different regions of Mexico and participate in cooking workshops all the while exploring the cultural highlights of Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca.

Colorful produce in a traditional market
Map of Mexico's Culture & Gastronomy Tour - 9 Days
Mexico's Culture & Gastronomy Tour - 9 Days

On this fascinating 9-day trip in Mexico City, Puebla, and Oaxaca, you will discover traditional dishes from different regions of the country, participate in cooking workshops, and tour numerous urban and rural attractions, from archaeological sites to the country's best museums—all while meeting friendly locals along the way.

Street tacos in Mexico City
Culinary Tour Through Mexico City, Puebla & Oaxaca - 7 Days

On this food-focused tour, you'll discover authentic Mexican cuisine at marketplaces, family-run restaurants, street food stands, and indigenous farms. The itinerary isn't only about food, though: the schedule features visits to archaeological sites and other places of interest, including the pyramids of Teotihuacán and the colonial city of Puebla.

Different types of mole and spices in a marketplace in Oaxaca, Mexico
Flavors and Aromas of Mexico - 14 Days

Work up an appetite for this food-focused tour of Mexico. You'll discover authentic cuisine at marketplaces, family-run restaurants, street food stands, and indigenous farms. Take a cooking class in Oaxaca, visit a traditional farm in the highlands outside the city, go on a walking food tour in Puebla, pedal around taco stands in Mexico City—and same some room for cultural sightseeing, too, as the itinerary takes you to Xochimilco and the National Anthropology Museum, among other highlights.

A colorful street in San Miguel de Allende
Map of Mexico's Ultimate Culture Tour - 14 Days
Mexico's Ultimate Culture Tour - 14 Days

This exciting Mexican road trip covers a whopping number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites—perfect for culture enthusiasts. Starting in Mexico City, you'll visit historic colonial towns, architectural sites, nature parks, and gorgeous interiors while making your way to both coasts with free time each evening to explore markets, restaurants, and art galleries on your own. This two-week itinerary is best suited for those who like to be on the move (a private driver and transfers are included).

Other popular travel destinations in Mexico
Mexico City · Yucatan Peninsula · Valladolid · Chiapas · San Cristobal de las Casas · Merida · Puebla · Playa del Carmen · Tulum · Holbox · Guadalajara · Los Cabos · Puerto Morelos · Morelia · Pisté