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“Diverse and Interesting and a little remote” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Oaxaca

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Whistler
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 helpful votes
“Diverse and Interesting and a little remote”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 21, 2009

The state of Oaxaca is very diverse. The beautiful coast includes the surf town of Puerto Escondido, and Mexico's latest tourist resort development, Huatulco. Places are uncrowded and less developed than in other parts of Mexico. The city of Oaxaca is quaint and culturally diverse and interesting.

Helpful?
Thank CarrieDWhistler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albuquerque, NM
Level Contributor
9 reviews
11 helpful votes
“Excellent Guide for Oaxaca”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2008

During a recent visit to Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico, we used the Moon travel guide to Oaxaca for our visit. Prior to our visit, we emailed a guide they recommended, Sebastiann Chino Pen, and reserved his services for 3 days during our week-long stay (in addition, he picked us up and returned us to the airport, gratis). We cannot say enough good things about Sebastiann, as he was a terrific guide. He is 100% Zapotec, the primary indigenous group of Oaxaca, and he was not only careful to learn the kinds of things we were interested in, but he ensured that our visit covered all aspects of the regional culture, history, and geography. He took us to numerous private homes of people who had items he knew we were interested in, and we then were able to get valuable behind-the-normal-tourist-scenes experiences. He even made terrific suggestions for places to visit on the days we were on our own. And the big bonus is that he speaks excellent English as he spent 4 years working in the US. He really made our visit meaningful and memorable.

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4 Thank FoothillsNM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
27 reviews
32 helpful votes
“Experience the real Mexico”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2008

At the beginning of this year I spent 3 weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico. This was my first trip to a Mexican city away from the beach, and I went there based on the recommendation of my Mexican friends. Everything they said was true, and Oaxaca is a great town to visit in Mexico. It has so much to offer, but is friendly and safe at the same time.
Because I wanted to improve my Spanish, I signed up with the local language school Becari and stayed with a family right in the center of town. Taking language lessons is a great way to meet new people, and in my Spanish conversation classes I learned a lot about the political and economical situation of Mexico. We also did an excursion to a local farmer's market, and it was very helpful to get everything explained. That's where I had the best food during my entire stay! Speaking of food, Oaxaca has the best. As I was there during festival season, I ate a lot of street food, which was absolutely delicious. There is an abundance of fancy restaurants as well, my highlight was a roof-top dinner overlooking the beautiful Convento Santo Domingo and the city.
If you are interested in archeology, Oaxaca is the place to be. There are so many sites in the vicinity that I couldn't even cover half of them in 3 weeks! The best place to go is definitely Monte Alban, towering over the city and just 20 minutes away. This is Mesoamericas first metropolis, the capital of the Zapotecs which was at it's hight at the same time as ancient Rome! Some of the jjewelry discoverd here can be seen in the museum in the Convento Santo Domingo, which is absolutely worth a visit. Allow enough time, this museum is huge! There is a beautiful botanical garden as well, and the tours are highly recommended.
To round out this vacation I took a trip to the beach, I wanted to see Puerto Escondido and the famous Pipeline surf break. I took a minivan in order to see the landscape and experience the country. On that same day there was a bicycle pilgrimage from Puebla to Huatulco, and our minivan passed lots of pilgrims riding their bicycles up the curvy roads. All in all it was 7 hours of curves, and this is not to be recommended for sensitive stomachs. Fortunately the plane ride only lasts 30 minutes and is affordable.
Puerto Escondido is a real surf town, no resorts or big developments, really laid back and friendly. The beaches are great, and it's easy to explore the vicinity and less frequented places. I wish I could have stayed longer. On the last day, the famous Pipeline wave made her appearance, and it's a sight to be seen. It's a perfectly shaped barrel wave, and you can watch the surfers going in on one side and coming out on the other, or getting wiped out. It was fun to watch.
Overall I can't think of a better vacation.

Helpful?
2 Thank salsaretreat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
7 helpful votes
“From Bahias de Huatulco to Oaxaco City”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2008

During a two week stay in Huatulco this past February I had the pleasure of taking a two day side trip to Oaxaca City. I booked this through Luis Coca in Tangolunda and found the trip to be everything that he assured me it would be.
We drove through the Sierre Madre mountains and watched the sun rise en route. Breathtaking. Breakfast at San Jose del Pacifico was truly a Mexican experience. Sightseeing highlights as we got closer to Oaxaca City were: black pottery demonstrations at San Bartolo de Coyotepec and a tour of the ruins at Monte Alban. What a vast and interesting site. The view of the city from there was amazing. Oaxaca City itself was fabulous. Wish we had planned to stay two nights so that we could have taken in more of the Zocalo and its surroundings. Did manage to tour the Cathedral and Santo Domingo Church and the Cultural Centre though. Amazing. Dinner and breakfast on the Zocalo were both very good. The Gala Hotel was quaint and very clean and comfortable. I'd recommend a room away from overlooking the square area though to minimize the noise later at night. The trip back to Huatulco the next day was also excellent. Stops at Teotitlan and a private tour of a local rug maker's home/shop was everything I'd expected. Brought back a small mat and am enjoying it every day here in cold, snowy Canada. Also stopped at a market, the El Tule gigantic tree and the ruins at Mitla where you can climb down into the entrances to two of the tombs. Dinner at the Zapata Ranch on Highway 175 outside of Mitla was very good and a tasting of their mezcal brewed on site highlighted this experience.
It's a long drive from Huatulco to Oaxaca City but well worth the trip and the extra expense. Great quality for your money. My only recommendation would be to extend the trip for longer than two days so that more time could be spent in the capital city for sightseeing and shopping.

Helpful?
1 Thank winterrelief
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburg, Texas
Level Contributor
73 reviews
105 helpful votes
“Cultural, historical and exotic city in colonial Mexico!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2008

This is a beautiful, ancient city in Mexico famous for some of the best food in the world! It's a romantic trip with lots to see -- ancient ruins of civilizations that still exist, museums, art, music, pottery-making, weavers, wood-carvers, dance, shops. The climate is cool at night, warm during the day. There are visitors from all over the world and many languages spoken wherever you are! It is safe and there are plenty of nice places to stay, from basic hostels to high-end hotels.

Helpful?
3 Thank dinabwilson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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