Ultimate Guide to Oaxaca: Travel Tips, Best Hotels, Safety Insights, Budget travel tips and Top Things to Do for a Memorable Trip to Oaxaca, Mexico
Ultimate Guide to Oaxaca: Travel Tips, Best Hotels, Safety Insights, and Top Things to Do for a Memorable Trip to Oaxaca, Mexico

Written BySavieno

May 28, 2023

Ultimate Guide to Oaxaca

It’s time to quench your wanderlust, and what could be better than a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico? This city, which is the capital of the state of Oaxaca, is a gemstone in the heart of the country. Overflowing with cultural richness, gastronomic delights, and a stunning coastline, Oaxaca is truly a haven for travelers. But the question that arises for many is, “Is Oaxaca safe?” This article aims to answer this question along with providing practical Oaxaca travel tips for a hassle-free vacation. So, whether you’re a solo traveler planning your Oaxaca trip or a family pondering the best time to travel to Oaxaca, you’re in the right place.

Part 1: Setting the Stage for Visiting Oaxaca

Oaxaca city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a captivating fusion of indigenous traditions and colonial influences. Its unique history, vibrant art scene, and captivating landscapes make it one of Mexico’s must-visit destinations. As you travel in Oaxaca Mexico, you’ll discover the charm of cobbled streets, colorful markets, bustling town squares, and an array of architectural wonders.

Oaxaca: How Far is it From Mexico City?

If you’re traveling from Mexico City to Oaxaca, the distance might seem daunting, but it is quite manageable. The quickest way to reach Oaxaca is by air, which is a flight of approximately an hour. However, if you have more time and want to savor the beauty of Mexico’s landscapes, consider a road trip. The journey takes about six hours by car, traversing the highlands and valleys that display Mexico’s diverse geographical features.

Getting to Oaxaca

Ultimate Guide to Oaxaca: Travel Tips, Best Hotels, Safety Insights, and Top Things to Do for a Memorable Trip to Oaxaca, Mexico

Deciding how to get to Oaxaca depends on your place of origin, budget, and personal preferences. If you are traveling internationally, your journey will likely involve a flight into Mexico City followed by a domestic flight or bus to Oaxaca. If you’re already in Mexico, you can choose to fly, take a bus, or drive. The ADO bus service is a reliable choice, and if you’re arriving from SFO to Oaxaca, a connecting flight via Mexico City is your best bet.

Oaxaca Travel Guide: Best Time to Visit

To make the most of your Oaxaca visit, it’s essential to choose the right time. The best time to go to Oaxaca varies based on your interests. For beach lovers, the dry season from December to April offers sunny days perfect for lounging on the beaches of Oaxaca. For those wanting to partake in Oaxaca’s rich cultural experiences, the Guelaguetza festival in July is a must-see. For budget travelers, the shoulder months of April to June and September to November can provide great value.

Is Oaxaca Safe?

Now, onto one of the most important considerations: is Oaxaca City safe? Safety in Oaxaca, like anywhere else, can vary based on different factors such as the places you visit, the activities you partake in, and your overall vigilance. However, generally speaking, Oaxaca Mexico safety is comparable to many other tourist destinations worldwide.

It’s worth noting that crime in Oaxaca Mexico is often lower than in many other regions in the country, and Oaxaca safety has been a priority for the local government. It’s crucial, though, to stay updated about the current situation and always heed local advice.

Navigating the Accommodation Landscape in Oaxaca

One of the key aspects of any trip is finding the perfect place to stay, and your Oaxaca trip is no exception. Fortunately, Oaxaca offers a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets and preferences, from boutique hotels in Oaxaca to comfortable hostels and luxury resorts. This guide will help you discover the best hotels in Oaxaca, the best hostels in Oaxaca, and other fantastic accommodations to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

Boutique Hotels in Oaxaca: A Mix of Luxury and Culture

For travelers seeking comfort, style, and a touch of local charm, Oaxaca’s boutique hotels are a wonderful choice. These establishments often offer personalized services, uniquely designed interiors, and a cozy atmosphere that sets them apart from traditional hotels.

A standout choice is Azul Cielo Hostel, known for its colorful decor and welcoming atmosphere. Another top boutique hotel in Oaxaca is the 5-star hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca, set in a converted 16th-century convent with lush gardens and opulent rooms. For those desiring a mix of modernity and tradition, Hotel Azul is an excellent choice.

Best Hostels in Oaxaca: Budget-Friendly and Social

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If you are backpacking or looking for budget Oaxaca accommodation, hostels can provide a cost-effective and sociable environment. The best hostels in Oaxaca not only offer cheap beds but also serve as a hub for travelers to connect and share experiences.

Casa Angel Youth Hostel consistently ranks among the best hostels in Oaxaca City for its friendly staff, clean facilities, and fantastic rooftop terrace. For a more relaxed and homely atmosphere, consider the Oaxaca Ollin Hostel, which has a charming garden and a well-equipped communal kitchen.

Luxury Hotels: For a Truly Lavish Experience

If you are willing to splurge on your vacation, Oaxaca’s luxury hotels offer exceptional services, stunning designs, and world-class amenities. The best hotels in Oaxaca city for a luxury stay include Hotel Quinta Real, with its refined colonial-style architecture, and the contemporary Hotel Escondido, which boasts private plunge pools and direct beach access.

Airbnb in Oaxaca: Feel At Home Away From Home

Airbnb offers an alternative way to stay in Oaxaca, with options ranging from budget rooms to luxury villas. Staying in an Airbnb in Oaxaca can give you a more local experience and often provides more space and facilities than traditional hotels.

Whether you choose to stay in a boutique hotel, a friendly hostel, a luxury resort, or a cozy Airbnb, the crucial part is to find accommodation that suits your needs and preferences, ensuring that your Oaxaca visit is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Transportation in Oaxaca: Navigating the City and Beyond

Once you’ve arrived in Oaxaca and found your accommodation, you’re going to want to start exploring. And Oaxaca, with its vibrant culture and stunning landscapes, is a destination begging to be discovered. This section will focus on the various travel options in Oaxaca, addressing topics such as how to get to Oaxaca, safety in Oaxaca when driving, and the best ways to travel from Mexico City to Oaxaca. https://savieno.com/cars/

How to Get to Oaxaca

Oaxaca is accessible by air, road, and bus from various parts of Mexico and international destinations. The Oaxaca International Airport (OAX) is well-served by airlines, with regular flights from major cities. For a more scenic route, consider taking the ADO bus from Mexico City to Oaxaca, which offers comfortable seating and stunning views along the way.

Is It Safe to Drive in Oaxaca?

For those wondering, “is it safe to drive from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido or Oaxaca to Huatulco?” the answer is generally yes, it is safe. However, like any road trip, it requires a level of caution and preparation. Be aware of the road conditions, and always keep updated with the latest travel advisories. Car rentals in Oaxaca are plentiful and often offer an ideal way to explore the surrounding areas at your own pace.

Public Transport within Oaxaca City

Public buses and taxis are the most common modes of transportation within Oaxaca City. They’re an affordable and convenient way to move around. However, it’s essential to have some basic Spanish knowledge as most drivers may not speak English. If you prefer, you can also rent a bike to explore the city – it’s an environmentally friendly option and a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Oaxaca’s vibrant streets.

Travel from Mexico City to Oaxaca

Traveling from Mexico City to Oaxaca is quite straightforward, with various options available. For those short on time, flying is the quickest option, with several daily flights connecting the two cities. However, for those who prefer to take in the scenery, a road trip from Mexico City to Oaxaca is an unforgettable journey through diverse landscapes. Alternatively, comfortable and reliable ADO buses connect the two cities, making it a convenient choice for those who prefer not to drive.

Getting around in Oaxaca is generally safe and easy, with plenty of options to suit different travel styles. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant city streets, heading out on a road trip to the coast, or journeying from Mexico City, the journey is sure to be as memorable as the destination.

Best Time to Visit Oaxaca: Weather, Festivals, and More

Planning the perfect Oaxaca trip involves not only knowing where to go and what to do but also when to visit. Understanding the best time to go to Oaxaca will help you make the most of your trip. From weather considerations and local festivals to the best time to visit the beaches in Oaxaca, this section provides essential information to guide your travel plans.

Weather and Seasons: When is the Best Time to Go to Oaxaca?

Oaxaca boasts a pleasant climate year-round, making it a great destination at any time. However, the best time to visit Oaxaca largely depends on your personal preferences.

The dry season from October to April is generally the most popular time to visit. The weather is pleasant, and this period avoids the summer rainy season. However, if you don’t mind occasional showers, visiting during the rainy season (May to September) can be rewarding, with lush landscapes and fewer tourists.

Best Time to Visit Oaxaca’s Beaches

If your Oaxaca visit includes lounging on its beautiful beaches, the best time to visit Oaxaca’s coast is during the dry season. Destinations like Huatulco and Puerto Escondido offer sunny skies and warm temperatures, perfect for beach days and water activities.

Festivals and Events: Experiencing Oaxaca’s Vibrant Culture

Oaxaca is known for its rich traditions and vibrant festivals. One of the most famous events is the Guelaguetza, held every July, showcasing traditional music, dances, and costumes from Oaxaca’s various regions. If your travel plans are flexible, coordinating your visit with one of these cultural events can be a memorable addition to your Oaxaca trip.

Best Time to Visit for Lower Costs

If budget is a consideration, the best time to travel to Oaxaca may be during the off-peak season. While there may be more rain, you’re likely to find cheaper airfare and accommodation, making it an appealing option for budget-conscious travelers.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Oaxaca depends on your personal preferences, budget, and the activities you wish to do. By considering these factors, you can plan the perfect trip tailored to your needs.

Safety in Oaxaca: What You Need to Know

A trip to Oaxaca, like any travel destination, requires some forethought about safety. Many travelers wonder: “How safe is Oaxaca Mexico?” and “Is it safe to travel to Oaxaca right now?” This section aims to answer those crucial questions and provide useful tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable Oaxaca vacation.

Is Oaxaca Safe?

As of 2023, Oaxaca remains one of the safer states in Mexico for tourists. Crime rates are generally lower than in many other parts of the country, and travelers typically report positive experiences. That said, like any popular tourist destination, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and take general precautions.

Travel Safety in Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City, the state’s capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site, is generally safe for tourists. It’s common for travelers to enjoy exploring the city’s vibrant streets day and night. However, as in any city, it’s essential to be aware of your belongings, especially in crowded areas.

Safety on Oaxaca’s Beaches

Beaches in Oaxaca are popular tourist spots, and they’re generally safe places to relax and enjoy the sun. However, remember to protect your belongings while swimming and be cautious of strong currents or waves in the ocean.

Is It Safe to Drive in Oaxaca?

Road safety is a common concern for tourists planning to drive in Oaxaca. In general, driving from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido or Oaxaca to Huatulco is considered safe. Nonetheless, it’s always crucial to check the latest travel advisories and road conditions, especially during the rainy season.

Staying Healthy in Oaxaca

Concerns about food and water safety are common among visitors. In most restaurants and hotels in Oaxaca, it’s safe to eat and drink. However, to avoid any potential stomach upset, some travelers prefer to drink bottled water.

Budget Travel Tips to Oaxaca

Visiting Oaxaca on a budget is entirely feasible and can be a rewarding way to experience the city. With some planning, you can explore this charming region without breaking the bank. Here are some of the best budget Oaxaca travel tips for an affordable trip.


If you’re on a budget, consider staying at one of the best hostels in Oaxaca. They’re not only cost-effective but also provide a chance to meet fellow travelers. Azul Cielo Hostel is a popular choice, boasting clean facilities and a central location. Airbnb can also be an affordable alternative, offering a variety of options, from modest rooms to entire homes.

Eating Out

When it comes to dining, the best places to eat in Oaxaca can be found right on the street. Street food in Oaxaca is not only delicious but also incredibly affordable. Don’t miss out on trying a Tlayuda, often referred to as Mexican pizza, or a plate of Memelas, a traditional Oaxacan dish.

Getting Around

Public transportation in Oaxaca is cheap and reliable. Local buses, taxis, and colectivos (shared taxis) are widely available and can take you all over the city and beyond. For an authentic Oaxaca experience, try the local bus system, but be prepared for a little adventure – routes aren’t always well-marked.

Ultimate Guide to Oaxaca: Travel Tips, Best Hotels, Safety Insights, and Top Things to Do for a Memorable Trip to Oaxaca, Mexico


Many of Oaxaca’s attractions are free or cost very little to visit. The city’s stunning churches, vibrant markets, and lively plazas are open to everyone. Museums often offer reduced admission prices on certain days. Don’t forget to visit the Arbol del Tule, one of the oldest and most impressive trees in the world, located just outside of Oaxaca city.

Travel during Off-Peak Times

The best time to travel to Oaxaca on a budget is during off-peak times. Avoid high seasons like Christmas, Easter, and the Guelaguetza festival in July, when prices for accommodations can spike. The shoulder seasons—typically spring and fall—offer great weather and fewer tourists.

Plan Day Trips

Oaxaca is surrounded by fascinating towns and natural wonders. Budget-friendly day trips from Oaxaca City include a visit to the artisanal towns of Teotitlan del Valle and San Bartolo Coyotepec or exploring the ancient ruins of Monte Alban.

In summary, visiting Oaxaca on a budget is not only possible but can lead to a more authentic and rewarding travel experience. The key is to plan ahead, stay flexible, and take advantage of local resources. Enjoy your budget Oaxaca trip!

In Conclusion

While no travel destination is entirely without risk, Oaxaca is considered a relatively safe choice within Mexico. Staying aware, taking basic precautions, and keeping updated with travel advisories will go a long way in ensuring a safe and memorable Oaxaca trip.

We hope this guide has provided valuable insights into visiting Oaxaca, from the best hotels in Oaxaca and things to do in Oaxaca at night, to answering questions like “Is Oaxaca safe to live?” and “Is it safe to travel to Oaxaca?” Enjoy your Oaxaca visit!


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