First time in Oaxaca

Old Sep 5th, 2002, 12:50 PM
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First time in Oaxaca

Greetings, everyone -

I have enjoyed reading everyone's posts about this wonderful region in Mexico, and would like to ask a few questions to those of you that are familiar with it.

My husband and I are planning on visiting Oaxaca in early November for about 8-10 days, and would greatly appreciate some feedback on the following:

1. How's the temperature this time of year? Is it still shorts weather? Also, I understand that nights can be cool, but how cool is it? Does it mean long pants and sweaters?

2. We would like to stay within walking distance to the zocalo, and prefer the smaller hotels/B&Bs that are decorated in the traditional style, or in renovated colonial buildings. We would also prefer rates under $100. I read many good things on this board about Las Bugambilias, and it is a definite contender. Does anyone know anything about Hostal Casa San Felipe? Their web site looks great, but I know that can be deceiving. Are there other hotels equally as good as these, or better? Which would you recommend? I'm hoping for lodgings that are charming, and clean, with a nice staff. Do not need many amenities, as I plan to spend most of the time sightseeing.

2. I would also like to visit a nearby beach while in the area. Which would you recommend? I prefer to be on a nice beach that is swimmable (we're not surfers!), and well situated. Can anyone also recommend a nice place to stay? Is there anything else to do but go to the beach, i.e., is there an interesting town nearby? Finally, how much time should I allocate for the beach? Is 2-3 days enough? I prefer to spend the bulk of our time in Oaxaca city, as there seems to be so much to see and do, and would like the beach just to relax for a couple of days.

Thank you in advance to everyone for any information you can provide. And sorry for the long post!



Old Sep 5th, 2002, 01:33 PM
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Lucky you, Elizabeth. Oaxaca is my favorite place in Mexico. The temperature is pretty much always wonderful. In November it should be warm enough for shorts in the day. I would take one very light summer sweater or jacket or shawl for evening, but you might not even need it.

There are lots of charming places to stay but they fill very quickly. If you are arriving on Nov 1 or 2 you may have a real problem getting a hotel at all, as this is "Day of the Dead" and Oaxaca is a very popular destination. After about the 5th you shouldn't have a problem. I can't really recommend anywhere specific, sorry.

Have you looked a a map? Oaxaca is not near the coast at all. How are you planning to get from Oaxaca to the coast? If by plane, then you might very well go almost anywhere on the Pacific coast of Mexico.
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 05:26 AM
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Thanks, Marilyn, for your response.

I had hoped to be around for Day of the Dead, but don't think I'll be able to make it. I would most likely be arriving the week after, and assumed that I would not have a hard time finding lodgings then. I am glad to hear, though, that the weather will still be warm, and will pack accordingly.

As for the beach, I know Oaxaca is inland and had read about it's 3 beaches on the coast: Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel & Huatulco beach. I was hoping to get feedback as to which one was the nicest, and had the better hotels, or better tourist infrastructure. I was planning on flying there, so I guess I could technically go to any beach along the coast, but thought it would be best to stay within Oaxaca state given my short time there.

Have you been to any of these?
Old Sep 6th, 2002, 10:49 AM
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I have not been to any of the 3, but I do have an impression which I'll offer for what it's worth:
Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel I think are like Zihuatenejo 25 years ago. Somewhat developed but nothing like PV or Acapulco.
Huatulco I thought was being developed by big money as the next major resort.
But really, I could be completely wrong!

Why don't you post a separate thread asking about those 3 resorts? Or do a search and see what comes up on each.

Please do post after you go and let us know how it was. We may go to Oaxaca at Christmas, but if I don't get busy there won't be any air tickets or hotel rooms left.
Old Sep 9th, 2002, 11:46 AM
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I go to Oaxaca City twice a year and the weather is generally wonderful. You should expect warm days and cool nights. However, I was there in July and it was raining and cold- so you never know for sure. Likewise, I have been quite hot in January. So come prepared, but it should be really nice. Regarding shorts, should be fine during the day. If you head out into the country you might prefer not to wear them. As you get away from tourists shorts are not normal attire. Also on buses pants are better. Better to wear what locals wear. Can't help with B&B's much I always stay in very inexpensive places. Many people have told me Las Golondrias is very nice. It is a few blocks from the Zocalo. Likewise I have heard that the Hotel Azucenas is nice. It is right up by the Basilica de Soledad. The beach- Puerto Escondido is 5-8 hours by bus. Laid back and cheaper. Some reports of nighttime robberies on the bus routes there. Even the first class bus for this destination departs from the 2nd class terminal by Abastos market. It is possible to take Suburbans from various departure points around town. They are a lot faster, you need to ask around to learn where they depart from. Tourists usually don't take them. Huatulco, 9-12 hours on an extrememley winding route. Buy bus tickets at American Express by the Zocalo or at the first class. Buy tickets a day or two in advance! They sell out a lot. Lots of people fly to the beach, 45 min to Huatulco if they can afford it. The buses are certaininly interesting though. Yes 2-3 days at the beach is enough to get a taste of it. I would prefer to be in the Oaxaca valley anyway. You will really enjoy all the towns, markets and ruins. Monte Alban- 1/2 day trip from town. Ocotlan for the Thursday markets you pass by Coyotepec too. If you are in to a marathon trip you can go to Mitla on a Sunday, then back to Tlatcolula for the Sunday market, then to Teotitlan de Valle, and back to Oaxaca. You should have a great time. This area is extrememley interesting and diverse.
Old Sep 10th, 2002, 05:03 AM
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Thanks, Dunbya!

I plan to fly to Huatulco, since I don't have enough time to go by bus. Do you know if I should purchase the ticket before arriving in Mexico, or is it easy enough to do once I am in Oaxaca City? I'm kind of hoping that a local travel agency can hook me up with a little package. Do you know of any good ones in town?
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 10:47 AM
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There is a travel agency on the north side of the Zocalo which a lot of Mexican folks use. The reason I have taken the bus to Huatulco, however, is the price for airfare seemed really high when I checked around Oaxaca city. I am wondering if a travel agent in the states could not get you a better deal- I don't know. Also, as far as I know American Express at the corner of the block on the south east side of the Zocalo is good for tavel arrangements- at least for first class bus tickets and hotel reservations. There are also Aeromexico and Mexicana offices all around within a few blocks of the Zocalo. I would check a few places to see if there are any deals. Last, I wold still recommend a surburban. I would think you could get to Huatulco in 5 hours or less. As I said before most tourists don't use them. I have only been able to find where they depart from through help of local folks. If you speak Spanish you could probably do this. Whatever you do- have fun!!
Old Sep 19th, 2002, 04:43 PM
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Hi Elizabeth,
We are going to Oaxaca on October 4 - October 12. We booked B&B Casa Colonial.
Frommers recomed this accomodation especially for the first time visitors. According to the owner it's 7 min walking from the Zocalo. Will see how good it's. You can write me directly after October 15. Will tell you all about.
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