The city of Oaxaca has long been considered "Mexico's culinary capital." It is known for its seven moles, chapulines (grasshoppers), tamales in banana leaves, Oaxacan string cheese, hot chocolate, tlayudas (large corn tortillas) and tasajo (beef). The local drink is mezcal, made artisanally from magueys grown all over the state. A common saying is, “para todo mal, mezcal; para todo bien, también” (if everything´s bad, drink mezcal; if everything´s good, drink too!). A visit to the local market is a must for you and your guests.
The city of Oaxaca is located in the Central Valleys region, which served as a cultural, geographical and political center for indigenous civilizations thousands of years before the Spanish conquest. Remnants of these civilizations can be explored at the pyramids of Monte Alban, Mitla, and Yagul, all a short drive outside of the city. The Spanish later established Baroque churches and monasteries, giving the city its colonial feel in its historic downtown, which is an official UNESCO world heritage site. The small villages that dot the Central Valleys are known for their artisanship, focusing on pottery, rugs and wooden figurines (called alebrijes). They are also a short drive away. Museums, shops, and markets abound, creating a vibrant and enjoyable historic city center.
Getting there and away
By air: Oaxaca City´s International Airport Oaxaca-Xoxocotlan Airport (OAX) has direct flights from Mexico City, Tijuana, Monterrey and Houston, Texas. The airlines that serve this airport are Aeromexico, Interjet, Volaris, Vivaaerobus and United Airlines. The beach (Huatulco and Puerto Escondido) can be reached by daily short (40 minute) flights on Aerotucan.
By road: Oaxaca City is about 7 hours away from Mexico City via the Pan-American Highway. The best bus line that services the area is the ADO, available from the TAPO terminal in Mexico City. Travel to the beach takes about five hours via bus or suburban.