Wrapping Up Our Travel Season with a Trip to Oaxaca City

Our original plan was to make Huatulco our last travel destination of the season, but that all changed when we were there and our tour guide started telling us about Oaxaca City. He talked about the food, culture, historical buildings, and within a few minutes, he had Linda sold on the idea of spending a couple of nights there before we headed back to the Riviera Maya.

Although Oaxaca City sounded nice, I wasn’t too keen on the idea of going after the guide mentioned that it was over five hours away by car. I hate long car rides.

Linda suggested that we go on the ADO bus, which has large comfortable seats and television sets. I entertained that idea only long enough to check the booking site for ADO and see that the estimated trip time was around eight hours. Nope, that wasn’t happening.

The answer came in the form of a regional airline called TAR. They offered flights from Huatulco to Oaxaca City for $1,589 pesos, or about $76 USD a person. The best part was the flight was only 50 minutes. I agreed and off we went.

Heading to Oaxaca City on TAR Airlines

Let’s start with the correct pronunciation of Oaxaca because it doesn’t sound like it looks: wah-HAH-kah. Feel free to say it aloud a few times before moving on — I’m in no hurry.

Oaxaca’s Historic Center

We followed our former guide’s advice and stayed in a hotel located in the historic center of town near the zócalo (main plaza). This area is well-known for its colonial-era architecture, much of which dates back to the early 1500’s.

I would like to be able to say that we took a lot of excursions, but the truth is that we spent both days in the historic center. There was plenty to see there and dozens of different restaurants and bars to visit. The time just flew by and before we knew it, it was time to go home.

Since I don’t have many inside tips to share for those of you who are thinking of visiting Oaxaca City, I’ll try to make up for it by posting several pics so you can at least get an idea what the area looks like.


There was always a lot of activity in the main plaza

Oaxaca is the the home of Mezcal and we tried several while we were there. Come to think of it, that could be why the time seemed to go by so fast.

Let’s Wrap This Up

We enjoyed our time in Oaxaca City but after two weeks away from the Riviera Maya, we were both eager to get home.

We couldn’t wait to walk barefoot on the cool white sand and feel the breeze coming in off the Caribbean. The more we travel, the more we’re convinced that we live in the perfect place for us.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

18 Comments on "Wrapping Up Our Travel Season with a Trip to Oaxaca City"

  1. Larry lloyd Wall | November 25, 2018 at 4:03 pm |

    Thanks for this post, now we are going for sure.

  2. Oaxaca is an amazing place. I was there many years ago and would love to go again. So much to look at, not to mention delicious food, all the things you can buy to take home, friendly people to meet in the plaza and elsewhere, I’m glad you enjoyed your trip.

    • We had a good time — and you’re right about the food. We definitely ate too much while we were there.

  3. Michael Pagliaro | November 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm |

    Almost all of your pictures are of sites a few blocks from where we live! If you come again, let us know and we will meet you two for a Margarita!

  4. OaxacaCity one of my two favorite cities to visit in Mexico with San Cristobal. Too bad that you couldn’t get to at least Monte Alban

  5. Debbie Aguirre | November 25, 2018 at 4:18 pm |

    So glad you got to see Oaxaca. We went there for 5 days 10/18. Got to see so much: Hierve El Agua, Mitla, Monte Albán, El tule, and we too stayed at main plaza hotel. It was an amazing experience.

  6. Looks like you guys had a great time. Home of mezcal? It’s on the bucket list…..

  7. Beautiful pictures, what really jumps out at me is it looks so clean! Very unlike Cozumel, where we spend most of our vacation.

  8. Great post. Thanks!

  9. LindaRose Richardson | November 25, 2018 at 5:11 pm |

    I lived in Oaxaca in 1992 and returned again several years ago. It’s a beautiful city, full of culture and color…but, hate to be the nay sayer here, when the teachers go on strike, it becomes mayhem …. the zocala vendors are shooed away while the striking teachers set up their tents to protest. It was nearly impossible to even walk to centro when a protest was occurring….ruined it for me, came back to San Miguel de Allende after 6 months…..

  10. I have a special place in my heart for Oaxaca and have been many, many times. But the strikes and bloqueos are becoming absurd. Especially when the airport is blocked. Have nearly missed flights twice because of that. Am very much on the fence about whether I will go this year or explore some other part of Mexico.

  11. Maria Cavendish | November 25, 2018 at 5:46 pm |

    I love Oaxaca! I was there for three weeks in December 2016 for a language immersion program. I made friends for life. It’s one of my very favorite places. I’ve backpacked a bunch around central and western Mexico. My next place on the list is Pátzcuaro and surroundings. I believe because I drank mezcal every day in Oaxaca, I never got a stomach thing. Glad you went

  12. Elizabeth Calvillo | November 25, 2018 at 6:23 pm |

    I enjoy your interesting and informative posts so much. Also have to say you both look great,
    Life in Mexico is suiting you well.

  13. When we lived in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca was where we went for COSTCO, Sam’s, and Home Depot. In our Toyota Tacoma, it took me just under 3 hours from P. E. and we often stayed the night to enjoy the city. Monte Alban should not be missed. I made a terrible mistake there one trip. We were walking around in Centro, and without reading properly, we bought a chocolate bar. Gobbled it down, as it was delicious, and then another. We were still walking way after Midnight, most unusual behavior for either of us . Went to the hotel, and I happened to read the label. Not a chocolate bar, but a bar of chocolate to make Hot Chocolate, 8 servings, 2 bars. I vibrated all night and slept most of the next day. Teach me! Oh, and the 7 Moles ! Fantastic food .

  14. We love Huatulco and someday when visiting will stay Oaxaca. The food in Huatulco was wonderful
    if you have chance they make a lovely roast chicken baked in clay. We visited some the bays, beautiful and clean. I enjoyed that it has not fully blossomed to a big tourist area yet.
    When we first started vacationing in Playa Del Carmen 20 years ago, 5th avenue was quaint and more local, the hotel strip was not developed with all the mega resorts and I loved it that way. Now
    there are so many big chain restaurants and coffe places just like back home. Many local businesses closed…. so sad. But the beach and ocean are my favourite in Playa. I just hope
    that local culture and businesses can survive the tourist demand. Mexico has some of the warmest people you can meet.

  15. Judy Harrison | November 26, 2018 at 2:00 pm |

    I so appreciate all of your information regarding retiring and traveling in Mexico. Recently retired due to a new heart condition, which has sped up my retiring in Mexico and giving me a new concern. I currently am looking at Puerto Morelos and feel being close to Cancun would be positive for healthcare. Do you have any information on quality cardiologists in the area or thoughts on the matter? Thank You Again!

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