Oaxaca, Mexico Travel
🗣 Mexico Language
Spanish — Though you’ll hear indigenous languages in some places
💰 Mexico Currency
Mexican Peso — Exchange rates vary, but hover around $18 pesos to $1USD
📍 Top Things to Do in Oaxaca
Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, Hierve al Agua, Huatulco, Monte Alban
📍 Oaxaca Off the Beaten Path
San Pablo de Mitla, San Jose del Pacifico, Mazunte, Zipolite, Chacahua
The state of Oaxaca (pronounced wa-ha-kah) is truly one of the best travel destinations in Mexico — one many have heard of, but not enough people have visited.
Known for its famous Day of the Dead holiday celebration, Oaxaca City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the state’s capital and also the cultural epicenter. It is also known as the “Foodie Capital of Mexico.”
oaxaca travel FAQ
Is Oaxaca safe for travel?
According to experts, you are statistically quite safe while visiting Mexico; but here is a rundown of Oaxaca safety.
Oaxaca consistently ranks among the safest states in Mexico. Oaxaca City, the most popular place for tourism in Oaxaca is a medium-sized city that really feels more like a small town.
For the most part, it is safe during the day and at night; though it’s always better to err on the side of caution and not walk home alone at night. As with traveling anywhere, also follow these General Travel Safety Tips and pack these safety items for additional peace of mind.
The beaches on the Oaxacan Coast are also known to be safe. As with Oaxaca City, err on the side of caution and don’t walk around alone at night.
Check out these podcast episodes with solo female travel tips, and tips on how to Oaxaca, Mexico travel.
Is Mexico safe for solo female travel?
As this question doesn’t have a yes/no answer (I wish it did!), I do my best to answer it in depth in this blog, Safe Travel in Mexico: 20 Tips for Solo Female Travelers. However, for the most part, Mexico is actually statistically quite safe for travelers.
Mexico is a big country, and it has plenty of amazing solo female travel destinations — from the beautiful beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula and culturally-rich Southern Mexico, to the charming colonial cities in Central Mexico and laid-back Baja California — there’s a perfect place for every solo traveler in Mexico.
Top 20 Solo Female Travel Destinations: Head to this article to discover the 20 best places for solo travel in Mexico, recommended by solo female travelers who have actually visited them.
🎧 Click the links below to listen to podcast episodes with solo female travel tips.
What's the best time to visit Oaxaca?
• Oaxaca City: Unlike many places on the Earth, Oaxaca City’s temperate climate means this city is basically a year-round destination. You’ll want to try to avoid the rainy season from June-September, but during the other months you’ll enjoy warm days and cool nights.
The most popular time to visit is during Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead), held Nov. 1-2 each year. For a complete guide to visiting Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, head to the linked article.
• Oaxacan Coast: The beaches of Oaxaca have a much more tropical climate than Oaxaca City. The rainy season lasts from May-October, and the coast of Oaxaca sees a lot of rain.
The best time to visit the beaches of Oaxaca from November-April, when the temperatures are mild and the humidity and mosquitoes are at bay. This is also during the annual whale migration, when pacific gray, humpback and blue whales swim along the coast of Oaxaca to their breeding grounds.
🧳 Head to this article to download your FREE Printable packing list for Mexico travel, and get a complete Mexico packing guide — so you know what to pack for Mexico City, and what NOT to take to Mexico.
How do I travel to Oaxaca?
From there, you can catch a taxi, colectivo (small, shared van) or rental car to your accommodation.
*Note: There is no Uber in Oaxaca state.
How do I travel from Oaxaca City to the Beaches?
You have a few options when traveling from Oaxaca City to the beaches of Oaxaca:
1. Driving your rental car (6-7 hours)
2. Colectivo (8-9 hours)
3. Bus (11-12 hours)
4. Plane (45 minutes)
🚌 Head to this article for detailed information on all options.
While the physical distance from Oaxaca City to the coast of Oaxaca is only about 100 miles — the drive takes a while because it’s on a narrow, winding, bumpy mountain road, full of switchback turns and curves. For those prone to carsickness, you might want to look into the flight.
🚙💨 Looking to rent a car? Discover Cars works with several agencies in Oaxaca to get you the best price.
Is it safe to rent a car and drive in Mexico?
As the country is quite large, road trips are a great way to see a lot in a little time.
To answer the question, Is it safe to drive in Mexico — YES, it’s considered safe to rent a car and drive in Mexico, though do avoid driving at night.
Beyond that, another caveat to safety is that you’ll obviously be driving in a foreign country, and won’t be familiar with local road customs and driving laws. Head to this article for 12 Useful Mexico Driving Tips to get a better understanding of driving in Mexico.
🚙💨 Looking to rent a car? Discover Cars works with several agencies in Mexico to get you the best price.
Do I need a visa to visit Mexico?
No — U.S. passport holders do not need a visa to travel to Mexico. This is just one of the 5 Reasons Mexico is the Perfect Travel Destination for U.S. visitors.
When you go through Immigration at the airport, cruise port or land border, you’ll receive your FMM 180-Day (6 month) Tourist Card at no charge. Keep in mind that though it’s called a “card,” it’s actually just a small piece of paper.
Be sure to keep track of your FMM, as you’ll have to give it back to an Immigration officer when you’re leaving the country. If you lose your FMM, there is a $600 peso ($30USD) cost to replace it, and some paperwork you’ll need to fill out at the airport before you can leave the country.
In short: Don’t lose your FMM!
Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Mexico?
As a general rule, you’ll want to know at least a few words of Spanish when visiting anywhere in Mexico. This is both a sign of respect, and will also help you have a better trip.
If you’re wondering what constitutes “basic Spanish,” check out the infographic below — you’ll be surprised at how much you know already!
If you stick to the more touristic places where you’re headed, you should be fine with very basic Spanish. If you want to venture off the beaten path, be advised most people in the pueblos (small towns) speak little to no English.
🗣 Pro Tip: Download the Spanish Words & Phrases list below and save it on your phone as an image. This way, you have access to these most common words even if you’re off-WiFi.
Mexico Travel Podcast