Best Places to Visit in Oaxaca
Surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and high mountains south of the Sierra Madre, Oaxaca is one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico, located in the center of the state of the same name. Showcasing a fascinating mix of Indian and Spanish elements, this UNESCO World Heritage site offers many great sightseeing opportunities. It has managed to retain its unique character and is delightful due to its many attractions. Get your camera ready – every facade and street corner is ready for serious Instagram content.
Settled as early as 6000 BC, it was part of the Aztec Empire until shortly after the Spanish arrived in 1521 and established the royal city of Oaxaca, whose name derives from the original Aztec fortress. In addition to the beautiful architecture, visitors are also drawn to the city’s rich cultural calendar; One of the highlights is the famous Guelaguetza, an indigenous festival held in July with an abundance of traditional dance, costumes, music, food and crafts.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Oaxaca and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Oaxaca
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Oaxaca:
1. Oaxaca Cathedral
Oaxaca Cathedral—Catedral Metropolitana de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción—16. Its construction began in the middle of the 19th century and lasted for about 200 years. The cathedral is located on the northwest side of the city’s main square, the Zócalo, and is notable for its solid architectural style, with two low towers rebuilt in their current style after it was destroyed in an unusual earthquake in 1931. domain.
The original clockwork mechanism, entirely carved in wood, was gifted to the church by the king of Spain when it was completed, and this is just one of the many charms of its pleasant baroque look with its fine figures and reliefs. column. The interior of this top Oaxaca tourist attraction is also worth a visit for its neoclassical influence, eight beautifully carved glass windows, and the pipe organ, some of which date back to 1712.
Address: Av Independencia S/N, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, OAX
2. Zócalo and Mercado Benito Juárez
Many of the top places to visit in Oaxaca are located in the historic center of the city, in the center of the central square or Zócalo: Plaza de Armas.
In addition to a charming orchestra, beautiful old trees and countless cafes, it is also home to some of the city’s most important festivals and events, including the colorful Fiesta de Rábanos – literally radish night. and parades take place here every December 23 until Christmas (yes, there’s even a turnip carving contest).
Another major focal point is Mercado Benito Juárez, a colorful indoor market that is particularly lively every Saturday when local Indians flock to buy and sell everything from produce and textiles to pottery and leather goods.
3. Santo Domingo de Guzman Church
The magnificent Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, a Dominican church built in 1575, is well worth your time to explore. Alongside the adjoining monastery that houses the Oaxaca Cultural Center, the impressive building is built with two-metre-thick walls and is almost completely shockproof.
This large church complex is known for its impressive baroque façade with extensive gilded decorations and glossy sculptures on its interior walls and ceiling, and a large number of sculptures on its interior walls and ceiling that give the impression of Palaces rather than churches. But this is offset by the many rustic sculptures that give the nave and chapel a distinctive Mexican hue.
Also, on the ceiling above the entrance is a vine on its golden branches magnifying 34 portraits of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, the founder of the Dominican Order, who died in 1221 (Saint Domingo de Guzmán).
Other highlights include the largest and most beautiful, the Capilla de la Virgen del Rosario (Capilla de la Virgen del Rosario), 11 chapels with their own choir and sacrament, and an ornate altar adorned with the statue of the Virgin Mary. It is believed to be Mexican Rococo.
Address: Calle Constitución #101, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, OAX
4. Monte Alban
Just 8km west of Oaxaca and easily accessible by tourist bus or taxi, the historic settlement of Zona Arqueológica de Monte Albán (Zona Arqueológica de Monte Albán) covers approximately 40 square kilometers and has been an important destination for many people for 2,500 years. in places of worship.
Located on a man-made platform 400 meters above the Oaxaca Valley, the center of the ruins is probably the oldest and most impressive pre-Columbian settlement in Latin America. Founded in the sixth century BC, the city was home to about 35,000 people at its peak.
Highlights include the imposing 200-metre-wide and 3300-metre-long Gran Plaza, the centerpiece of the archaeological site, the Juego de Pelota, some great pyramids and a palace courtyard with a nave and a cruciform tomb.
Expect to spend the day exploring the ruins and the Alban Hills Ruins Museum, which has many sculptures, ceramic figures, jewellery, and exhibits related to the site’s excavations.
5. The Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude
Dedicated to the patron saint of Oaxaca, the Basilica of Our Lady of Solitude (Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad) is made of green Canterlot, a stone native to the region, and was built between 1682 and 1690. Architectural sites in the city.
In addition to its charming courtyard built of limestone blocks, it is known for the image of the Virgen de la Soledad, whose black velvet dress is inlaid with gold and other precious stones, including the large pearl on her forehead. Also of interest is the old baroque organ, built in 1686 and still in normal use today.
Other notable churches nearby include San Felipe Neri with its many beautiful altars, San Juan de Dios with its depictions of the Indian conquests, and San Augustine, famous for its San Agustin relief on its façade.
Address: El Calvario 107, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, OAX
6. Museo Casa Juárez
García Vigil 609 This modest house, now a museum, is famous in Mexico where the venerable president Benito Juárez lived as a maid from 1818 to 1828. Do not be fooled by the rather modest exterior of the house. Inside, the complex opens onto a large central courtyard and houses the Museo Casa Juárez, a large museum containing related memorabilia (the president was actually born in nearby Guelatao in 1806).
Fun activities include exploring the museum’s depictions of 19th-century working and middle-class daily life, as well as period furniture in the dining room and kitchen. Also interesting is the Museo de la Filatelia Oaxaca, a fun little attraction with stamps and artwork by local surrealist artists, as well as a gift boat and a terrace cafe.
Address: Calle de Manuel García Vigil 609, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, OAX
7. Santiago Apóstol
12 kilometers south of Oaxaca is the small town of Cuilapan de Guerrero, once famous for its production of cochineal, a bright red dye made from the insect of the same name. Today the town is a major tourist destination, thanks to the magnificent old church and former abbey of the Apostol of Santiago.
Originally built in 1555, this massive hillside structure is known for its Renaissance façade and two interior porticoes, some of which collapsed in the earthquake, and a stone pulpit accessible by a short flight of stairs.
Although abandoned in 1663, its 3-meter-thick walls and frescoes at the entrance depicting the history of the Order have stood the test of time. The second-floor terrace with the monk cells has a wonderful view, and on the back wall, there is an interesting stone plaque with the pre-Columbian “10 reeds” calendar and the Christian inscription 1555.
8. Oaxaca Cultural Center
Centro Cultural Santo Domingo, also commonly known as the Museo Regional de Oaxaca, is housed in the former abbey church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán.
One of Oaxaca’s top attractions, this must-see destination is widely acclaimed for its colonial religious and secular exhibits alongside its excellent collections on local culture. The magnificent ethnographic collection includes clothing, masks, jewelry, ceremonial and household items from the Native American tribes of the region, as well as archaeological finds from the surrounding areas.
The highlight of the archaeological exhibit is the Mixtec treasure, found near Monte Albán in 1932, of gold, jade, turquoise and other semiprecious stones from which exquisite bracelets, necklaces, earrings, breastplates and masks are made. Historical documents and objects from old churches and monasteries are also interesting, including a renovated old Spanish cuisine.
9. Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Gardens
Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca (Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca) occupies approximately 2.5 acres next to Santo Domingo de Guzmán church and is a fun activity during the summer and spring months when the gardens are in bloom and are worth adding to your itinerary. Known for their collaborations with other Oaxaca cultural sites, a group of local artists aim to explore the vital relationship between gardens, us humans, and the plant life around us.
Paying special attention to the state of Oaxaca—its people and plants—this charming and easy-to-navigate garden occupies part of the former monastery grounds and was opened to much fanfare in 1998. Highlights include a wide variety of native species, a rescue site, herbs, and species that have been used in traditional recipes for centuries. English-speaking guides are available.
If you love botany, consider visiting Benito Juarez National Park. Just 5 kilometers outside of town, it was built in 1937 and encompasses 7,000 acres of pine and oak forests and tropical deciduous trees. There are many hiking trails to explore.
Address: Reforma Sur n, RUTA INDEPENDENCIA, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax
10. Museum of Contemporary Art & Textile Museum
The Museum of Contemporary Art or MACO – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca – is a must-see for art lovers in Oaxaca. MACO’s broad mission is to showcase contemporary art from around the world with traditional local art, including eclectic paintings by locals such as Rufino Tamayo and Francisco Toledo, as well as creations from disciplines such as graphic arts, sculpture and pottery.
The building itself is an old colonial building built in the late 1600s and is a treat to explore as part of a guided tour or on your own.
Also of interest is the city’s Textile Museum (Museo Textil de Oaxaca). Highlights of one of Oaxaca’s most popular free events include exploring the region’s colorful displays of traditional textile craftsmanship, a mix of permanent and visited exhibits, including examples from abroad, as well as workshops, lectures, films, and book collections. Comprehensive library.
Address: Calle Macedonio Alcalá 202, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca de Juárez, Oax., Mexico
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Oaxaca. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Oaxaca, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.