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5 day itinerary for Oaxaca City, Mexico

Your guide to things to do and day trips

Oaxaca City is the perfect place for a long-weekend getaway. There are so many things to do, and great food, lively vibe, lots of arts and cultural activities and it’s a very walkable city due to the small size! I felt very safe as a woman solo traveler, and found my way around easily.  Here’s the perfect 5-day itinerary based out of Oaxaca City for a solo traveler or any food and culture loving traveler!

CLICK here for downloadable itinerary with links! Only $9.99!

And in case you need convincing–Here are some of the reasons why Oaxaca City should be on your list whether it’s for a short or long stay:

The food! I cannot even describe the magic that is food in Oaxaca.

The cultural experiences and pride

The scenery! The mountains and buildings are so beautiful!

It’s such a walkable, friendly and lively city!

4-night 5-day suggested itinerary for OAXACA city

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrival at the Oaxaca Airport is easy! At this time (Jan 2023) masks are still required in the airport. You can get a colectivo taxi to anywhere in town at a little kiosk just inside the airport before you exit. The taxi to my airbnb in the Centro was $105 pesos.

Where to stay: I stayed near Jalatlaco but a bit closer to the centro in THIS airbnb. Click here (itinerary) for a discount code for a multi-day stay.

If you have an early arrival:

Take a food tour! Try the sunset tour with Oaxaca Eats Food Tours (Download the itinerary for a discount code for $5 off your tour). The sunset rooftop tour features several stops on rooftops, with plenty of food and drink (mezcal!) and stellar views of the surrounding area. I highly recommend doing this tour on one of your first days there, not only so you have some ideas of where you might want to return, but also can talk to the guides who are great resources and give recommendations for other things to do.

Day 2: Day Trip

Take a day trip to Matatlán and Teotitlán and Zapotec ruins. This is a full day trip.

Spend a full day exploring the beauty, flavors and culture of the area. I spent the day with a local tour company (there are many to choose from. Or click here for my recommendation with contact information) which started out with a visit to Teotiltlán del Valle, a Zapotec village, to learn about traditional weaving and dying techniques. Plus a chance to shop. Don’t miss a visit to the cathedral. It is incredibly beautiful with hand made wax bouquets! From there, we went to Matatlan to visit several palenques and sample mezcal as well as pulque. It was incredible to meet the producers, to learn from them in depth about the process and to sample the best mezcal in the world!  We returned to Oaxaca City via a small Zapotec ruins site, Dainzú. The view from the ruins was stunning!

Day 3: Free City Day

Explore the sights of Oaxaca City centro by foot. I took it easy this day, going to the botanical gardens, enjoying some shopping and sitting on rooftops. Enjoy one of Oaxaca’s many incredible restaurants for dinner and later In the evening check out a local bar or club for live music and dancing! Maybe a nap is in order:) Highlights of the day included: ethnobotanical garden tour, delicious food for lunch and salsa dancing at night.

(See here for some of my shopping tips and food recommendations, plus details about the botanical gardens)

Day 4 – Explore the other neighborhoods/photoshoot

Oaxaca City is an incredibly walkable city, and there is so much to see. Explore the markets further south – the Mercado 20 de Noviembre is packed with food stalls! If you are traveling with someone you can easily share a great meal here. Don’t forget to pick up some spices to take home. Mercado Merced is beautiful as well. Head back via the colorful neighborhood of Jalatlaco. Stop for helado. Dare you try the tamarind and cricket flavor? In the afternoon until sunset enjoy a photo shoot (Click here for my photographer recommendation, contact info and a special discount on a 2-hour photo shoot.)

Day 5- Departure Day

I highly suggest making a delicious cup of atole and a temazcal experience part of your departure. This ancient Aztec cleansing ritual involves an herbal bath, a steam room and relaxation. Temazcal Oaxaca even provides a ride from the city and to the airport included in the costs! And my itinerary provides an exclusive discount!

Otehlia on the Beach

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