Hierve el Agua, natural rock formations in the Mexican state of Oaxaca

Why you should visit Oaxaca | Pro Club Bd

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  • For everything bad, mezcal and also for everything good
  • Not just another day at the beach

Travelers from around the world have long flocked to popular vacation destinations in Mexico like Cabo San Lucas and Cancun. With more flight options and international connections, the southern state of Oaxaca is quickly gaining traction as a more authentic must-see destination.

The Oaxaca coast offers miles of scenic beaches to soak up the sun. At the same time, the vibrant capital is rich in art, history, cuisine and culture. To top it off, Oaxaca’s landscape and climate is incredibly diverse. Visitors will find everything from steamy tropical jungles to dense and temperate pine forests, located at an altitude of almost 2500 meters in the same small state. There really is something for everyone!


The magic of Oaxaca

There are over 16 different officially recognized indigenous languages ​​that are actively spoken in the state of Oaxaca. In addition to their language, each of these diverse ethnic groups has also retained its own unique identity and traditions. This was further encouraged by the geographic fragmentation resulting from the rugged terrain. Oaxaca is criss-crossed by 3 mountain ranges, creating communities that are tight-knit yet unique.

The people of Oaxaca are warm and welcoming. When visiting Oaxaca City, be sure to take a day trip to at least one of these indigenous villages for a true cultural experience. Don’t miss the opportunity to shop for beautiful, handmade art and textiles.

  • San Martin Tilcajete: This municipality is an epicenter for traditional Alebrije design. Skilled craftsmen carve the figures from sacred wood and then paint them with colorful Zapotec designs.
  • Teotitlan del Valle: Find the most amazing woven textiles straight from the source. The local families in this region have been passing on their intricate weaving and design skills for centuries.

See also: Swim in Oaxaca’s “infinity” pools at the famous frozen waterfall

For everything bad, mezcal and also for everything good

The English translation of the popular Oaxacan proverb (para todo mal, mezcal y para todo bien, tambien) reflects the affinity with the region’s spirit. Mezcal is synonymous with Oaxacan culture, as more than 70% of all mezcal is produced in the state.

Like tequila, mezcal is derived from the agave plant. It undergoes a unique distillation process, but it’s still done using traditional methods and not mass-produced, making it a more sustainable spirit. Mezcal’s growing popularity on the international culinary scene is giving local Palenques a major economic boost in one of Mexico’s poorest states. Although mezcal can officially come from a handful of Mexican states, Oaxacan mezcal is unanimously considered the best. It’s a must see when traveling in Oaxaca!

There are many educational tours and guided tastings where travelers can learn all about the production process and meet the local “mezcaleros”. Otherwise, just try the wares at almost any bar or restaurant. Here’s a quick crash course to get you started:

  • Mezcal is for sipping, not shooting.
  • The accompanying slices of orange are meant to clear the palette between sips (not used as a chaser).
  • For the uninitiated, mezcal blanco (rather than reposado or añejo) can offer a smoother, lighter introduction.


Not just another day at the beach

The coastal towns of Oaxaca’s coast have some very special characteristics that set them apart from other beach vacation destinations. There are no malls or fast food chains, and eco-friendly/boutique accommodations are preferred to flashy resorts or high-rise hotels.

Get up close and personal with baby sea turtles

The Oaxacan coast is internationally renowned for sea turtles and ranks among the top five nesting areas in the world! Some of the species that live on Mexico’s Pacific coast even come to the beaches around the coastal towns of Mazunte and Puerto Angel for an annual “arribada.” During this spectacular event, tens of thousands of sea turtles come ashore at once to lay their eggs.

This entire stretch of coast has implemented special sea turtle conservation efforts and sanctuaries, such as the Palmarito Sea Turtle Rescue. Both governmental and non-governmental organizations work closely with local communities to focus on monitoring, breeding productivity, data collection, ecosystem protection and public education.

In Puerto Escondido, you can visit the Vive Mar Conservation Cooperative and help release baby sea turtles into the sea.

  • Costs: 100 peso donation (about $5) per person to release a cub
  • location: Bacocho Beach, in front of the (and only) public beach access
  • Hours: 5pm daily, Monday – Saturday

The Mexican Pipeline

Also known as “The Mexican Pipeline,” Zicatela Beach is located in the coastal enclave of Puerto Escondido and is home to some of the biggest waves in the world. Even if you’re not an experienced surfer, you can still soak up the beach vibes and enjoy the show! During the swell season (May to September) surfers from all over the world come to Zicatela to test their skills. Grab a coffee and get to the beach early while the offshore winds are at their strongest to see the best tube riding action.

** Please note: Zicatela is for experienced surfers ONLY. Those looking to rent a board or take surfing lessons should head to a more suitable beach nearby, such as La Punta or Carrizalillo. **

See also: 8 reasons to make Mexico your first vacation abroad

Arrival to Oaxaca

There are three major airports in Oaxaca (Oaxaca City, Huatulco and Puerto Escondido). Oaxaca and Huatulco serve more direct international routes, while most flights arriving in PXM come through Mexico City. For those traveling overland or exploring more of Mexico, numerous first-class bus routes offer a comfortable and relatively inexpensive way to travel.

The state of Oaxaca offers something for every taste, interest and budget. Come with a spirit of adventure. Buen viaje!

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