Mexico is always a good idea!
Oaxaca, in a word, is magical. I lived here for several months… and now I’m going to help you live your best Oaxaca travel life!
This state has it all: ahhh-mazing Mexican food, rich indigenous history, gorgeous beaches, colorful festivals, pre-hispanic archeological sites, locally-made mezcal, beautiful nature, colonial architecture, artisan communities — and did I mention the food!?
Day of the Dead is the best time to be in Oaxaca…
What everyone wants to know:
Is Oaxaca safe for travel?
Oaxaca is quite safe; in fact, it consistently ranks among the safest states in Mexico. I lived there as a solo woman for almost 4 months, and encountered zero issues. However, I made my own safety a priority, and you should too! Check out Ep. 04 of my podcast, Janine’s Take On Solo Female Travel Safety in Mexico, where I spoke to a fellow solo female traveler about her take on Mexico travel safety.
When is the best time of year to visit Oaxaca?
Oaxaca City’s temperate climate means this city is basically a year-round destination! The crowds appear in late-October for Day of the Dead and linger through March.
As a general rule, the best times to visit Oaxaca are from April-May and September-November The spring and fall seasons tend to have fewer tourists and moderate temperatures.
The city does have a short rainy season from July-Sept., though typical of a desert climate, it usually doesn’t tend to rain much.
The beaches, however, are a different story!
You really do not want to visit the coast of Oaxaca during the rainy season of April-Oct. It rains A LOT; torrential, tropical storm rain. Ruin-your-vacation rain ☔️
Nov.-March are the best months to head to the coast, with December being the peak month for tourism.
How do I travel between Oaxaca City and the Beaches of Oaxaca?
Here’s one thing I really wish I knew before my first Oaxaca trip: Oaxaca is a pretty big state. Also, there aren’t many direct roads connecting the central part of the state to the coast! In fact, inter-state travel is a little inconvenient.
Meaning that beach and the city are not near one another! They are, however, both popular travel destinations, with Oaxaca having some of the prettiest beaches in the entire country.
Head to the Traveling to Oaxaca? Here’s Everything You Need to Know blog to see all your options for travel between Oaxaca City and the Oaxacan coast.
Do I need to speak Spanish to visit Oaxaca?
Many people visit Mexico and never utter a word of Spanish! However, as a general rule, you should know at least a few words of Spanish. Download my free Basic Spanish Words & Phrases list here! Pro Tip: Save it on your phone as an image, so you can have it handy even if you’re off-WiFi.
As far as Oaxaca goes, if you stick to the more touristic parts, 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) won’t speak any English.
What are Oaxaca's Best Things to Do?
Oh man! Where do I begin?! I lived in both Oaxaca City and on a few beach towns in coastal Oaxaca city for about 4 months, and never got bored. There’s so much to see & do… and eat! Truthfully, I get asked for Oaxaca travel planning advice a lotttt, so I made this blog which serves as a great planning aid! Head to Traveling to Oaxaca? Here’s Everything You Need to Know blog to get all my insider intel.
Do I need a visa to visit Oaxaca?
You don’t need a visa! When you go through Customs/Immigration at the airport, you’ll receive your FMM 180-Day (6 month) Tourist Visa at no charge. Be sure to keep track of this visa, as you’ll have give it back when you’re leaving the country. Check out my blog 5 Reasons Mexico is One of the Best First Time Solo Travel Destinations for more reasons Mexico is such a great option for U.S. visitors.
Is Mexico safe for travel?
I wish this question had an officially official answer, but it doesn’t. What I can definitively tell you is that I have been safe as a solo female traveler & so have countless other women! Check out my blog Mexico Solo Travel: How to be Safe and Crush It to see how I did it.
Oaxaca Travel Blogs
Day of the Dead in Oaxaca on your travel bucket list? Plan your best trip with these insider tips from someone who’s been to Dia de Muertos!
Traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico? Planning your Oaxaca dream vacation? Here’s everything you need to know about traveling to Oaxaca City & the Oaxaca beaches.
Considering a Hridaya Yoga Mexico silent meditation retreat? You’ve come to the right place for info — because I did one in Mazunte!
Mexico hidden gems & off the beaten path destinations on your travel radar? You’re in the right place, because those are my speciality!
Mexico travel podcasts
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You can also expect regular Mexico travel + Solo travel updates from me, as well as info on newly-published blogs + podcast episodes.