Considered a real colonial jewel, the city of Oaxaca is known for its great artistic, craft, and cultural activities. As the center of important venues and festivals, Oaxaca offers a wide variety of museums and buildings, among them the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Rufino Tamayo Museum, the Cathedral, and the Temple de la Soledad. It is also world renowned for its beautiful clay handicrafts, ceramics, painted wood like the traditional alebrijes, and colorful textile pieces whose motifs are unmistakable.

Oaxaca, OAX

State: Oaxaca

17°04'04"N 96°43'12"W

Altitude: 1 meters above sea level

85.5 km²

Time Zone: Central Standard Time UTC-6

Population: 593,522 inhabitants (INEGI, 2010)

Area Code: 951

In 1987, together with the neighboring archaeological site of Monte Alban, the historic center of the city of Oaxaca was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Among the culinary delights of the city are Oaxaca cheese, tlayudas, memelitas, molotes, Oaxacan mole, and mezcal. In honor of mezcal the International Mezcal Fair is held here every year.

The festival that has undoubtedly defined Oaxaca is the Guelaguetza, a huge celebration in which, each year in July, the 16 ethnic groups gather from the eight regions of the state of Oaxaca. Accompanied by music, each invited delegation performs a typical dance and sells traditional products from their region.

Another of the great traditions of the city of Oaxaca is the Noche de los Rábanos (Night of the Radishes). On December 23 the creativity and ingenuity of Oaxacan gardeners is showcased through their creations of carved animals, human figures, saints, and great compositions related to Mexican traditions and beliefs from the radish bulbs and leaves.

With a mix of languages, traditions, and customs from both the indigenous and mestizos, Oaxaca is without a doubt a city rich in cultural, ancestral, artistic, and culinary tradition.

Getting There

The city of Oaxaca de Juárez is located in Valle de Oaxaca in the center of the Sierra Madre del Sur close to the Rio Atoyac.

The city of Oaxaca de Juarez is connected to the rest of the country thanks to the Oaxaca International Airport.

The superhighway Cuacnopalam-Tehuacan-Oaxaca connects to the city of Puebla. You can also take the highways Carretera Federal No. 190 and 131.

Distances to Oaxaca from other destinations in Mexico

  • Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca: 250 km.
  • Bays of Huatulco, Oaxaca: 280 km.
  • Heroica Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla: 320 km.
  • Veracruz, Veracruz: 395 km.
  • Mexico City, Federal District: 446 km.
  • Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas: 546 km.
  • Villahermosa, Tabasco: 587 km.
  • Acapulco, Guerrero: 599 km.
  • Morelia, Michoacán: 747 km.
  • León de los Aldama, Guanajuato: 834 km.
  • Campeche, Campeche: 976 km.
  • Guadalajara, Jalisco: 995 km.
  • Mérida, Yucatán: 1141 km.
  • Monterrey, Nuevo Leon: 1350 km.


Oaxaca's climate is subtropical.

The annual average temperature is 22°C, with a high of 30°C, and a low of 9°C.

The rainy season runs from May through September. It is the season when the days are hot and nights are cool.

During the winter the temperature drops as well as the degree of humidity which keeps the temperatures between 20°C to 9°C.

What to Pack

Running shoes, long pants, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a sweater.

In the winter a coat, scarf, boots, and gloves.

Tourist Attractions in and around Oaxaca

City Historic Center of Oaxaca (Heritage Site), Macedonio Alcalá Pedestrain Walkway, Craft Markets, November 20th Market, Oaxaca Cathedral, Teatro Macedonio Alcalá, Jardín de la Constitución Plaza, Alameda de León, El Llano Park.

Temple of San Agustín, Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzman, Temple of la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo, Temple of the Carmen Alto, Temple of the Carmen Bajo, Temple of the Soledad (Plaza de la Danza), Ex Convent of Santa Catalina de Siena, Temple Nuestra Señora de la Nieves, Plazuela del Carmen Alto.

Cerro del Fortin (Hill and headquarters of the Guelaguetza), Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden.

State Public Library, Alvarez Bravo Photographic Center, Oaxacan Institute of Crafts, Graphic Arts Institute of Oaxaca.

Museums : Rufino Tamayo Pre-Hispanic Art Museum, Museum of the Cultures of Oaxaca, Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca, Textile Museum, Museum of the Painters, Railway Museum, Crafts Museum, Philately Museum, Palace Universum Museum.

Hierve el Agua Waterfalls, Town of Teotitlan del Valle, Monte Alban Archaeological Site (and its museum), archaeological sites of Mitla and Yagul, Jalatlaco neighborhood.

Feasts and festivals in the city of Oaxaca

July: International Mezcal Fai.

July: Guelaguetza and Festival of Lunes del Cerro.

September 15 and 16: Independence Day.

November 1 and 2: Day of the Dead.

November: NoVo Festival, International Book Fair Oaxaca.

December 23: Night of the Radishes Noche de los Rábanos.

December 12: Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe