The city of Oaxaca (Oaxaca de Juárez) is located in southern Mexico, in the mountains of the Sierra Madre del Sur, and is the capital of the province of the same name. Oaxaca was founded by Spanish settlers in 1532 during the colonial conquests. Then Oaxaca was called Antequera. The city received its current name only in 1832, and from 1872 it became officially known as Oaxaca de Juarez in honor of the national hero of Mexico, Benito Juarez, who was born nearby. Check 3rjewelry for other cities and countries as well as geography in North America.
How to get to Oaxaca
There are two main bus terminals in Oaxaca – Terminal de Autobuses de Primera Clase, where luxury companies UNO and ADO GL, first class companies ADO, OCC and second class company Cuenca are based. In the second terminal, Terminal de Autobuses de Segunda Clase, second-class companies are based: Fletes y Pasajes and Estrella del Valle / Oaxaca Pacífico, operating long-distance routes. There is also a third terminal, Sur Bus Station, where Sur and AU are based.
Tickets are sold at the box office located in the city center:
- on Calle 20 de Noviembre 103 (working hours: Mon-Sat from 10:00 to 22:00; Sun from 8:00 to 16:00);
- at Valdivieso 2 (working hours: Mon-Sat from 10:00 to 22:00; Sun from 8:00 to 21:00).
Buses departing from the Terminal de Autobuses de Primera Clase to the coast of Oaxaca follow a long route through the city of Salina Cruz. There are also faster ways to get to the coastal cities of Puerto Escondido (fare 200-400 MXN, travel time 6 hours) and Poshutla – by minibuses along highway No. 131 and No. 175, respectively. Express Service organizes bus service to Puerto Escondido 9 times a day from 5:00 to 21:00, Tran-sportes Villa del Mar – 6 times a day from 6:30 to 17:00.
Highway 135D branches off from Highway 150D, which connects Mexico City and Veracruz. The road runs from the northern part of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains to the city of Oaxaca. The road tax will cost 430 MXN and the trip will take about 5-6 hours. For unknown reasons, some sections of road #135D are numbered 131D. Highway 191 through Huahuapan de León is an alternative and free road, but the journey will take a couple of hours longer.
Car rental prices range from MXN 600 per day with unlimited mileage. You can rent a car at the following locations:
- Alamo. Located at the airport. Working hours: mon.-sat. from 8:00 to 20:00; Sun. from 8:00 to 19:00.
- Located on de Mayo 203. Working hours: mon.-sat. from 8:00 to 20:00; Sun. from 8:00 to 19:00.
- It’s rent a car. Located at de Mayo 315.
- Located at the airport. Working hours: from 7:00 to 19:00.
There are regular direct flights to Oaxaca Airport from Mexico City (journey time 1 hour) – at least 5 times a day from Mexicana, twice a day from Click Mexicana and Aeroméxico Connect, and daily from Aviacsa.
Continental flights operate 4 times a week from Houston and Texas. Click Mexicana has flights to Tuxtla Gutierrez and Merida. A/c Avolar flies to Cuernavaca and Tijuana, a/c Alma de México to Guadalajara and Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
On small planes, accommodating from 7 to 13 passengers, you can make a dizzying half-hour flight over the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, located on the coast of Oaxaca. A ticket to Huatulco will cost about 2000 MXN one way, and a ticket to Puerto Escondido will cost 1500 MXN with Aerovega and 2200 MXN with Aerotucán.
The fare on city buses is 8 MXN. Juárez buses depart from Terminal de Autobuses de Primera Clase to Juárez and Melchor Ocampo streets, located 3 blocks east of the main square of the city, Zócalo. Buses Tinoco y Palacios or JP García go to Tinoco y Palacios, 2 blocks west of Zócalo.
Buses running between the Terminal de Autobuses de Segunda Clase and the city center travel through congested streets – and traveling on them is as fast as walking to the center.
A taxi for a trip around the city will cost 40-60 MXN.
A traditional dish of Oaxaca cuisine is Xóchitl, a soup made from squash, squash flowers, and corn. The dish can be tasted at the María Bonita restaurant, located on Alcalá 706B north of the city centre.
To taste delicious Mexican cuisine, you should go to the Los Danzantes restaurant. They specialize in duck dishes, and they also have their own brand of mezcal, a traditional Mexican drink made from fermented agave juice.
Casa Oaxaca serves excellent duck tacos with mole sauce and venison tamales. The restaurant is located in the city center on Constitución 104A. A small restaurant, La Olla, specializes in Oaxaca delicacies, from cactus tacos to shrimp cooked in spicy sauce (camarones a la diabla). The restaurant is located on Reforma 402.
Entertainment and attractions of Oaxaca
In the city, of interest is the church Ex Convento de Santo Domingo, built between 1570 and 1608, formerly a Dominican monastery. As in other earthquake-prone regions, the church of Santo Domingo is surrounded by thick stone walls.
Between Porfirio Díaz and Tinoco y Palacios is the Mercado Sánchez Pascuas open-air market.
Not far from the church is the Museum of History and Culture Museo Regional de Oaxaca with collections covering the Zapotec, Mixtec and Olmec civilizations, as well as the colonial and revolutionary periods of history. One of the impressive collections is a collection of jewelry discovered during excavations at Monte Alban in tomb number 7 in the 1930s.
In Oaxaca, you can visit the house-museum of the national hero of Mexico, Benito Juarez – Casa de Benito Juarez. Benito was born in the modest Zapotec village of Guelatao, located 60 km northeast of Oaxaca. The parents died when the child was 3 years old, and at the age of 12, Benito found work in the home of bookbinder Antonio Salanueva in Oaxaca. The master saw great potential in the boy and helped him get an education. The Salanueva house retains a bookbinding workshop and several Benito memorabilia. The museum is open to visitors from Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 18:00, from Saturday to Sunday from 10:00 to 17:00. The entrance fee is 43 MXN.
The Rufino Tamayo Museum of Art, with a collection of pre-Hispanic items, was donated to the city of Oaxaca by its most famous artists, Rufino Tamayo. Museum hours: Mon.-Wed., Sat. from 10:00 to 19:00, break from 14:00 to 16:00; Sun. from 10:00 to 15:00.
Neighborhood of Oaxaca
One of the main attractions of Oaxaca is the archaeological site of Monte Alban, located 9 km from the city and designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monte Alban is located on a low mountain range in the Oaxaca Valley and is a pre-Columbian settlement. Monte Alban was founded in 500 BC. e. Zapotec Indian peoples and was the first city of Mesoamerica.
The second most important archaeological complex of the Oaxaca region is the settlement of Mitla, located 40 km from the city of Oaxaca. Unlike Monte Albán, towering on top of a mountain, the city of Mitla was built in a low valley. The archaeological excavations of Mitla can be divided into two parts: the northern one, where the church of San Pablo is located, built by the Spaniards in the 16th century, and the southern one, the main structure of which is the palace, often called the hall of columns. The perimeter of the palace is 37 by 6.4 meters and is surrounded by 6 columns made of volcanic stone. Previously, these columns supported the roof. Not far from the palace are the tombs where the high priests and rulers of the Zapotec civilization were buried.
9 km from Oaxaca in the town of Santa María del Tule (Santa María del Tule) grows El Árbol del Tule tree with the thickest trunk in the world. In 2011, the tree was included in the provisional list of World Heritage Sites.