Oaxaca City, the capital of Oaxaca, is quickly becoming one of the best Mexican destinations to visit for multiple reasons; its world-renowned cuisine, its bold and colorful streets, a strong artistic community, rich history and culture, and its unique natural wonders, all of this while still remaining one of the cheapest Mexican vacation destinations.
If you never really thought much about Oaxaca city as one of your top Mexican destinations to visit, we are about to change your mind, and if you already had it on your radar, well, we hope this post will make you book that ticket. So let’s get into it…
Reasons why Oaxaca City is one of the best Mexican destinations right now
1) Oaxacan food is like no other
Oaxacan food plays a strong influence on the rest of the Mexican cuisine, a lot of delicious dishes that we enjoy all across the country—and the world— originated in Oaxaca, so visiting Oaxaca city means that you will be able to enjoy some of the best and most authentic Mexican dishes, and all for incredibly affordable prices.
As a born and raised Mexican, even I had some of the best Mexican dishes I ever ate during my trip to Oaxaca City.
2) Oaxaca is the cultural capital of Mexico
Oaxaca as a state has over 500 municipalities and over 400 individual cultures due to its biological diversity, making it the state with the biggest number of ethnic groups in the whole country.
This much diversity in one place has given room to an incredible array of cultures and traditions that you will not see anywhere else, making for one of the most authentic and enriching cultural Mexican experiences you will ever have.
3) Oaxaca City is what colorful Mexican dreams are made of
Color is the main thing that comes to mind when you think of Mexico, lots and lots of color, and that is exactly what this charming Mexican destination has to offer, from the beautiful and vibrant colonial houses that line the streets to the “papel picado”’ that delicately dangles from the lamp posts to stunning art murals spread all throughout the city, Oaxaca city is one of the best Mexican destinations to visit if that colorful Mexican postcard view is what you are after.
4) Oaxacan hand-woven textiles and stunning craftsmanship
Mexico’s characteristic colorful and vibrant culture comes alive in Oaxaca in the form of the incredible amount of artisan work that you can find in Oaxaca city, from modern ceramic pieces to more traditional and intricate hand-woven woolen rugs, hand-crafted wooden alebrijes and hand-poured beeswax candles made in tiny villages outside Oaxaca city.
Visiting Oaxaca City will allow you to learn more about the incredible processes behind some of your favorite Mexican artisan products and learn to appreciate their value as you see the hours that some of these stunning pieces can take.
5) Taste the real deal: Oaxacan mezcal
Do we need to say more?
While tequila is widely recognized around the world as the “one” Mexican liquor, the world is slowly but surely becoming obsessed with our other great alcoholic export; Mezcal, and while celebrities love to come out with their own version of our Mexican elixirs, it will never be the same as trying local artisan quality products made by families that have been doing this for generations and generations.
6) Oaxaca’s diverse flora
Oaxaca state is home to all kinds of ecosystems, from grassland to sand dunes to forests and mangroves, which means that flora is incredibly diverse in the state, and you can get a taste of it in Oaxaca city with all the beautiful trees that line the streets, the lush mountains that surround the city, and if you want to get a closer look at the variety of plants in the region you can always visit the Ethnobotanical Garden in the city center.
7) Oaxaca’s incredibly rich Zapotec culture and history
One of the most beautiful things about Oaxaca is the fact that the state is still very close to its indigenous roots, even with its hundreds of different cultures and many dialects, there was one group that came and conquered the whole state back in 1400 BC, the Zapotecs.
The Zapotecs defined a lot of what we know as Oaxacan, a lot of its heritage can be seen through the food, signs woven into wool rugs, or the design of the ruins of their ancient civilization.
8) World-class natural wonders just a short drive outside of Oaxaca City
Oaxaca’s biodiversity means that you will find no shortage of breathtaking nature, and luckily one of the most outstanding natural features of the state—and country— is just a short drive away from the capital of Oaxaca; Hierve el Agua, a small group of petrified waterfalls that are estimated to be thousands of years old, and are also one of the only two phenomenons of this kind in the whole world.
9) Oaxaca City is the best Mexican destination for coffee lovers
If you are a coffee lover like me, then Oaxaca city is definitely one of the best Mexican destinations for you.
A lot of the coffee that we consume around the world comes from a variety of Mexican states, and Oaxaca is one of those, the mountainous landscape, together with the humidity and rainy seasons in Oaxaca make for the perfect environment for coffee to grow, that is why you will find no shortage of amazing coffee shops around Oaxaca city offering locally produced coffee.
10) Oaxaca City is one of the cheapest Mexican vacation spots
Lastly, if what you are after is a cheap vacation in Mexico without compromising comfort and a good time, look no further, Oaxaca city is a favorite holiday spot for locals but still quite undiscovered by foreign tourism which is why it is still an incredibly affordable Mexican destination to visit year-round.
We hope this post helps you see why you should add Oaxaca City to your top Mexican destinations list, and hopefully, you will be able to make a trip down there to see it for yourself. Let us know if you end up visiting, or if you have any questions about this dreamy Mexican destination.
If you are convinced and ready to go, make sure to check out our complete guide to visiting Oaxaca City for everything you need to know before your trip.