I’m an Oaxaca based photographer who loves to discover the hidden gems of my home and share them through my blog and social media. I love to document what this land is made of but I also just enjoy traveling. Getting in touch with locals is the best way to learn about new destinations.
Locals tend to open up with people who show them respect and to those who are interested in their culture. This helps me create better stories through my photography. I consider myself to be curious which is why I’m always moving onto the next place searching for wonders and experiences.
Explore the Hidden Gems of Oaxaca
Oaxaca has it all: hidden gems, gorgeous architecture, delicious gastronomy, vast traditions, interesting history and the warmest people on earth. The kindness of the people is something that you will notice straight away. Everyone who comes here will leave having a new Oaxacan friend.
Travelers will find a connection with their passions in Oaxaca. This is a place for people who like both relaxation and adventure. Many people come to this state every year to get immersed in the culture with cooking classes or graphic art workshops. No one ever leaves disappointed with Oaxaca.
For history-lovers, Oaxaca is where you can learn about the pre-colonial era. Oaxaca was the home of the Zapotec and Mixtec people who made this area their home creating impressive sites such as the Monte Alban, Mitla and Yagul. These archaeological sites are a delight to all visitors.
My Two Favorite Places in Oaxaca
There are two places that I consider to be my favorite places in Oaxaca. One is the historic downtown area of Oaxaca City with its colorful houses and cozy atmosphere where you can just wander and enjoy a couple of treats.
The other spot I love is located one hour from Oaxaca City called Hierve el Agua. It’s a set of astonishing waterfalls. Actually, there are only two of its kind in the world: these ones and the waterfalls in Pamukkale.
Hierve el Agua is a great place to disconnect and get in touch with nature. Here you can hike, swim or just relax and admire the spectacular view from the top of the mountain. It’s an ideal spot for a day trip from Oaxaca City.
Best Hidden Gems of Oaxaca
A couple of incredible hidden gems in Oaxaca that a lot of people miss are the traditional markets like the one in Tlacolula de Matamoros (45 minutes drive from Oaxaca City) and the small waterfall set amongst the hills that forms a quiet river called Las Salinas de San Baltazar Guelavila.
Also, two other nice hidden gems to see in Oaxaca City are the neighborhoods of Xochimilco and Jalatlaco. Both are quiet and colorful with awesome houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Once you arrive, make sure you try the coffee and some traditional sweets at the shops.
Food Scene of Oaxaca City
We have all types of hidden gems for food-lovers in Oaxaca – from small markets to world-class restaurants by famous chefs. My suggestion would be to check out the following spots: La Mezcaloteca for mezcal tasting and Tierra del Sol Casa Restaurante for local flavors with a contemporary twist.
Other great places include: breakfast at Itanoni which is based around corn culture, Origen where flavors and creativity match perfectly creating one of the best contemporary food scenes in Oaxaca, Las Quince Letras for traditional food and La Olla for spectacular food and rooftop views.
Another thing that everybody should try is the simple pleasure of a tlayuda on a street stall. This is a local favorite and I promise you will enjoy it too!
Need to Know Before you Go
First of all, book everything in advance. Oaxaca is getting more popular. A cozy and quiet place that I highly recommend is City Centro Oaxaca in the Jalatlaco neighborhood. It’s located just a few minutes walk from the downtown area. City Centro has amazing furniture and accessories.
If you’re in the state during the 20th of July, 2021 then make sure you check out the incredible Guelaguetza – the largest folk festival in Latin America held in Oaxaca City and nearby villages. The celebration features traditional costumed dancers who are separated into groups of different genders.
Another must-attend festival is the famous Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) which is being held in Oaxaca from the 31st of October, 2020. This festival will delight all lovers of culture, food, parties and photography. The unique costumes and makeup worn by locals makes for unique photos.
The rainy season occurs from late May until mid-October – so keep that in mind when making plans. Lastly, when trying local food just go easy on the spicy dishes. You might think you can handle spice but some Oaxacan dishes are next level! But don’t let that put you off the food.
Thanks for reading my blog on the best hidden gems of Oaxaca. I hope to see you traveling here in the not too distant future. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or would like more information on Oaxaca.