Things to do in Oaxaca de Juarez

Our most recommended things to do in Oaxaca de Juarez

From Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Waterfalls and Mezcal Tasting

1. From Oaxaca: Hierve el Agua Waterfalls and Mezcal Tasting

Start your tour by being picked up in Oaxaca early in the morning by your driver and start the ride. Stop at Teotitlán del Valle, a village of weavers in which you will learn how they use ancient techniques to paint wool and wave rugs forming majestic designs. The next stop will be Hierve el agua, the petrified waterfalls one of 30-meter height, and another one of 12-meter height. Admire these waterfalls that are formed by carbonated water and offer beautiful views of the mountains, perfect to take great photos. Get a chance to swim in the mineral pools and take a walk with local guides and take in the spectacular surroundings of nature. The last stop is a Mezcal Factory where you will learn the process of the elaboration of the authentic mezcal and also get to taste some of the different flavors of Mezcal. Stop for the opportunity to purchase a nice lunch. Return to your accommodation in Oaxaca at the end of your tour.

Oaxaca: El Tule, Mitla, and Hierve el Agua Tour with Mezcal

2. Oaxaca: El Tule, Mitla, and Hierve el Agua Tour with Mezcal

Experience the sights, culture, and flavors of Oaxaca on a multi-stop guided tour. Visit the town of Teotitlán del Valle to discover unique hand-made rugs and see the Mitla Archaeological Zone. Stop at the Tree of Tule and learn how to make the local mezcal drink before trying it yourself. Following pickup, stop first at the world-famous tree called the Árbol del Tule or Tree of Tule. This tree is a millenary ahuehuete, one of the biggest trees in the world weighing up to 509 tons. Next, head to the town of Teotitlán del Valle, where they use ancestral techniques to make and paint rugs, most featuring one-of-a-kind personal designs. Then, make an hour stop at Hierve el Agua to explore the famous petrified waterfalls. The Mitla Archaeological Zone is another must-see stop, so that's next on the itinerary. This city has some of the most important architectural evolution achievements. Admire elaborately decorated walls and much more. Before drop-off back in Oaxaca, learn about the mezcal (an alcoholic drink made from the sap of an agave). Get to know about the process of making this drink and enjoy tasting different mezcal flavors.

Oaxaca: Monte Alban Guided Archaeological Tour

3. Oaxaca: Monte Alban Guided Archaeological Tour

Discover the Archeological Zone of the state of Oaxaca. Enjoy the convenience of being picked up from your hotel in the Oaxaca city center. Drive to Monte Albán in an air-conditioned van. Explore the ruins of the former capital of the Zapotec people, who were the dominant civilization in the area thousands of years ago. Discover the second-largest ceremonial site in Mesoamerica. Learn about the Zapotec people from your knowledgable guide. Marvel at the ancient ball court, excavated tombs, astronomical “observatory. Enjoy phenomenal views from Monte Alban. Looking out from the flat hill where the archeological site is located, you can enjoy views of the Oaxaca Valley. Visit the onsite museum and admire artifacts from the Zapotec civilization. Afterward, you will be transported back to your accommodations in Oaxaca.

Oaxaca: Traditional Oaxacan Cooking Class with Market Visit

4. Oaxaca: Traditional Oaxacan Cooking Class with Market Visit

Discover what makes Oaxacan gastronomy so renowned. Visit a local, bustling market together with a chef to shop for the freshest of ingredients. Taste the traditional flavors and learn the techniques of Oaxacan cooking as you prepare authentic dishes alongside a chef who will explain what makes them unique for the region.  Start this fully interactive class exploring the main markets of Oaxaca city accompanied by the chef who will help you to identify the best and fresh ingredients on the list. Decide what dish to prepare between two suggestions by the chef. Then, get started cooking as you learn how to prepare one of the traditional meals that proudly represent an important cultural part of the beautiful Oaxaca state. During the lesson, the chef will also explain the benefits about each of the representative ingredients of the region, and which the locals prefer for the preparation of their dishes.  Prepare additionally some handmade tortillas and typical drinks to accompany your dish, such as Tejate, Chilacayota and Margaritas with Mezcal. Feel free to ask any question you have about and, of course, enjoy your traditional meal.

Full-Day Tour of Oaxaca

5. Full-Day Tour of Oaxaca

Get ready to discover some of the best places of Oaxaca State. Start with a visit to Santa Maria el Tule, home of one of the most extraordinary natural beauties including the  giant tree (The Tule Tree), with a height of 40 meters and a diameter of more than 50 meters. It is said it´s more than 2000 years old, which makes it perhaps one of the biggest and oldest living things in the world. You'll then make a little stop in the small town of Teotitlan del Valle, famous for its home-made textiles. One of the day's highlights will be a visit to Mitla, which in Nahuatl means "Place of the Dead". Mitla used to be a ceremonial center of the Zapotecs and it´s now famed for its outstanding mozaics on its walls, a unique style of decorating in Mesoamerica. You'll  continue the excursion with an adventurous ride to Hierve el Agua, where you'll have the chance to see the petrified waterfalls and take a refreshing dip into the mineral baths while enjoying the breathtaking landscape. Conclude the day in the most typical way; at a mezcal distillery. Learn about the traditional production process and you won´t leave before you have tasted Oaxaca´s sacred liquor.

Oaxaca: Monte Alban and the Art of Oaxaca

6. Oaxaca: Monte Alban and the Art of Oaxaca

Immerse yourself in Oaxacan culture on this day trip. Visit the most important archaeological site in Oaxaca, Monte Albán, located in the majestic urban center. This area was known as the religious, political, and economic center of the Zapotec civilization. Walk around the square and explore the Site Museum.  Don't forget to bring your camera to take pictures from the top of the archaeological structures. Next, you'll visit San Antonio Arrazola, a magical place of colors and traditions, where the famous artisans will teach you how they carve copal wood. Learn the process of creating the magical figures called "Alebrijes", which represent the innovative spirit of the Oaxacan soul, part of an ancestral tradition of the Zapotecs. Finally, stop at Cuilapam de Guerrero, a Mixtec town famous for its 16th-century Dominican ex-monastery, and San Bartolo Coyotepec, a small town of adobe houses where you'll witness the process of making beautiful black clay figures.

From Oaxaca: Monte Albán and Art Craft Towns Day Trip

7. From Oaxaca: Monte Albán and Art Craft Towns Day Trip

Explore the archaeological area of Oaxaca built by the Zapotecs. Learn about its big plazas, truncated pyramids, and the court for playing tlachtli (a type of ball game). Hear about the underground passageways and more than 100 tombs at the site from your professional tour guide. Start your day by being picked up in Oaxaca City, and begin your journey to Monte Alban. Next, visit the town of Arrazola town and fall in love with the authentic wooden figures called Alebrijes. Watch the interesting creation process of these figures which involves carving and painting. Head to Cuilapam de Guerrero town and visit a Dominican Ex-monastery of the 16th-century, known for its unfinished basilica and prominent open chapel. End your magical tour in the town of San Bartolo Coyotepec and meet local artisans who specialize in black pottery (Barro negro). Learn about the techniques used since pre-Columbian times.

Oaxaca: Mezcal Adventure

8. Oaxaca: Mezcal Adventure

During this experience, you'll be taken through the Valley of Tlacolula to Santiago Matalan. During the ride, you'll be introduced to the culture of mezcal and its geographical context. Once in Santiago Matatlán, you'll be visiting an agave plantation to learn about these plants, their life cycle, varieties, and uses. Then, visit two different mezcal distilleries to see real production going on. From a home scale family-owned business with a long tradition of making mezcal in a rustic way to another way of production more sophisticated, yet artisanal. As each maestro mezcalero gives a personal touch to every batch, each tasting on-site means immersion in the mezcal culture. Afterward, you'll make a stop for lunch in a nice and neat last distillery with a great local cuisine restaurant. By this point of the trip, you'll already know how to taste mezcal as an expert. The premium quality mezcal you’ll taste here will be great for a last toast before heading back home.

Oaxaca: Vegetarian Cooking Class with Market Tour

9. Oaxaca: Vegetarian Cooking Class with Market Tour

Tour a local market to pick up ingredients, then cook a traditional food recipe with your expert chef. Learn about local ingredients and meet producers of fresh vegetables. Pick up ingredients grown organically nearby and harvested that very morning. After touring the market, return to the kitchen for the class to prepare your dish. Learn how to prepare a delicious salad, a vegetarian main dish, and a dessert in the traditional way. After cooking, its time to share the food with everyone. Enjoy a collective meal together as you taste the rich flavors and feelings of Oaxaca.

Oaxaca: Day of the Dead Tour

10. Oaxaca: Day of the Dead Tour

This celebration is a popular ceremony in which the ancestors are invited to visit beyond the underworld. It is believed that the deceased are granted permission to visit from the beyond. Family members offer their ancestors their favorite foods and drinks on an altar adorned with yellow Mexican marigolds, dead bread, incense, sweet skulls, and in some cases, even the music of their liking. During this wonderful tour, appreciate the main pantheon, a part of this tradition, amongst the tombs, copal, music, and colors of the celebrations. People will celebrate with the souls of the dead and dance together with others of the community who wear their costumes and live the magic of the All Saints' Day festivities. This tour is only available on November 1.

Frequently asked questions about Oaxaca de Juarez

What top attractions are a must-see in Oaxaca de Juarez?

The must-see attractions in Oaxaca de Juarez are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Oaxaca de Juarez?

The best day trips and excursions from Oaxaca de Juarez are:

Hierve el Agua

Other Sightseeing Options in Oaxaca de Juarez

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What people are saying about Oaxaca de Juarez

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 167 reviews

We had such a great time with Alberto and all of the people we met along the way! It was a gloomy and rainy day but we loved the walk/hike at Hierve El Agua with a local guide (Spanish speaking). We loved the tapestry/rug shop and were able to purchase a few items. The home style lunch was one of our favorite meals of the whole trip, and, of course, the mezcal tasting was a lot of fun. It was a long day, so be prepared, but definitely worth experiencing the best of Oaxaca in a single day.

Our guide, Ivan, was very knowledgeable and attentive. We thoroughly enjoyed being invited into a private home and complex to see how cheese is made from beginning to end. The hospitality could not have been more delightful and the cheese was so delicious! The art museum was thought provoking and the paper making so interesting.

A wonderful day tour of Monte Alban, the artist Don Miguel Jimenez,, and the black pottery makers. You’d never find DonMiguel’s studio on your own. A fabulous day in a magical place!!!

Excellent, friendly. Although not a guided tour, safe transportation, amicable bilingual conversation, flexible with time and plans, definitely reccomended.

Fabulous market tour to buy all the ingredients for cooking lunch. Gerardo is an excellent guide, teacher, and chef. What an amazing experience!