Oaxaca in May?

Apr 4th, 2002, 12:47 PM
  #1  
Karen
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Oaxaca in May?

I'm considering a trip to Oaxaca in May and would love to hear impressions of the destination from anyone who has traveled there. I'm torn between Oaxaca and San Juan, PR.
 
Apr 5th, 2002, 09:11 AM
  #2  
marilyn
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I absolutely loved my two trips to Oaxaca, which were to Oaxaca City, not the beach areas. This is a beautiful city about 6000 feet high with little or no manufacturing, so the climate is delightful. The Centro Historico is a beautiful 16th century colonial area with two walking streets and the best zocalo in Mexico (no cars allowed).

There are wonderful restaurants, and this is one of the best craft areas in Mexico. Over 50% of the population are indigineous peoples, and many of the villages specialize in a certain craft, including weaving, pottery, and wood-carving. The ruins on Monte Alban are also nearby.

As to hotels, there are a variety of accomodations ranging from B&Bs or small hotels ($35 TO $70), to the resort-like Hotel Victoria on a hill overlooking the town (around $150-$200) and the Camino Real, a lovely oasis in the heart of the historic district with beautiful gardens and pool (around $250) in a converted convent.
 
Apr 6th, 2002, 05:02 AM
  #3  
Karen
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Marilyn:
Thank you for your response. I am considering staying at Las Golondrinas or Hostal de la Noria, with maybe a weekend at Camino Real. Where did you stay?
 
Apr 7th, 2002, 04:55 PM
  #4  
bamboo
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I went to Oaxaca with my husband last May, and had a wonderful time. Reading about the history and culture of the place was especially interesting and it built up the anticipation for the trip. Then finally getting there and seeing everything was wonderful. Oaxaca is a wonderful place. I learned so much and felt that I was seeing the true faces of Mexico. There will always be a place in my heart for Oaxaca.

We stayed for a week, and took several guided day trips to surrounding areas. I highly recommend doing this. I wish I had also planned a trip to Huatulco, or to more surrounding areas. We did feel that we had more time than we had realized, and we could've used it to explore more.

We stayed at the Hostal de la Noria, and I *highly* recommend it. My first choice was Camino Real, but it was too expensive for us (over $200/nite). We did visit the hotel for the Guelaguetza (sp?) show, which was great. And we walked around the hotel grounds which was beautiful.

The Hostal de la Noria was clean, decorated in Oaxacan style (wood carvings, indiginous silver, weavings, etc), had ample space, and the staff was professional and very friendly. The location is great - within walking distance of the zocalo. The staff there told us about the day trip tours, which we enjoyed very much. You can buy the tickets right there at the front desk, one day in advance. And the tour bus picked us up in front of the hotel. At the front desk, on the wall, there was a signed letter from Jimmy Carter, saying thank you for a wonderful stay. That was kinda cool, knowing that the former Pres. Carter had stayed in this very hotel. This hotel is defnitely on the upper-end of lodging in Oaxaca, and we did feel a bit spoiled being there. But it was a very nice, cool oasis coming in from a hot day of exploring the markets, walking around, etc. We made lots of use of the bar which is in a nice, airy high-ceiling atrium.

Hope that helps.
 
Apr 7th, 2002, 08:10 PM
  #5  
Karen
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bamboo:
Thanks so much for your detailed reply. I too had my heart set on Camino Real, but when I inquired about the rate I found it outrageous and definitely beyond our budget. I am very happy to hear your experience at Hostal de la Noria was a positive one. I shall make my reservation with confidence -- thanks!
 
Apr 8th, 2002, 08:39 AM
  #6  
marty
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I've driven & bussed between Mexico City & Oaxaca City several times, & Oaxaca is the best! Being a budget traveler, I was able to find good hotels for as little at $10/nite. The Hotel Monte Alban on the plaza is very nice, with large rooms furnished with antiques & all the amenities. Rent a car & drive to the surrounding villages & ruins. You can fly to the beaches at Puerto Escondido etc for relaxed, untouristy beach life.
 
Apr 8th, 2002, 09:36 AM
  #7  
marilyn
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On my first trip we stayed at Las Bugambilias, a B&B around the corner from the Camino Real. Great location, clean rooms. Breakfast in the dining room was interesting, chatting with the owner and other guests. This is a converted family home with an excellent restaurant, La Olla, in the front of the property.

We also stayed at the Hostal de la Noria, if that is the colonial hotel near the zocalo (there is another property on the outskirts of town with a similar name). This was lovely, quite a bit above Las Bugambilias, but much more expensive ($165 VS $70 if memory serves).

You can sometimes get a good rate at the Camino Real, on the travelnow.com site. I once got $165 through that site, though I wasn't in the end able to make the trip. A place I would consider when I return is the Hotel Victoria, with gardens and pool, which would be very nice to have in May I would think. You can walk down to the zocalo pretty easily, though up is harder, but the hotel has frequent shuttles plus cabs are cheap.

In my experience you usually get the cheapest rate quotes if you fax the property directly for a rate quote.
 
Apr 8th, 2002, 05:50 PM
  #8  
bamboo
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I'm looking over my travel notes from my Oaxaca trip, and am reminded of how I booked my hotel. I used the services of www.oaxacainfo.com (they are excellent) - they have online hotel deals that change periodically. We booked the Hostal de la Noria for $617 for 7 nights (this was May 2001). I just checked out the site again (see http://www.oaxacainfo.com/coupons.htm), and although their current promotions don't include Hostal de la Noria, there is one going on now for Camino Real at $140/nite. Be sure to read all the fine print (dates, minimum # of nites, etc).
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 08:43 AM
  #9  
Karen
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Thanks for the great tips, everyone. I remain undecided on the hotel ... maybe prices will go down as my departure date approaches. Hostal Del La Noria and Las Golondrinas are at the top of the list. Anybody day trip from Oaxaca to one of the resort towns? Is it worth the trip?
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 10:38 AM
  #10  
marilyn
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If you mean the beach towns, I think it's too far for a day trip, maybe a 5-6 hour bus ride?
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 07:54 AM
  #11  
Gregg
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I just got back from a few days in Oaxaca. It was wonderful. We stayed at the Camino Real, which is expensive, but, we believe worth it. Service was professional and warm and it is walking distance of almost everything. We took private tours to Monte Alban, the Jiminez family of carvers and Josefina Aguillar with Arnoldo Mendoza, which turned out to be no more expensive than a group bus tour and much, much more personal and well worth it. We found that there is very little English spoken, but everyone is friendly and very helpful. I think you'll love the city and its people.
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 01:07 PM
  #12  
dubba
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All months are good to go to Oaxaca. In may it might rain a little. I always stay at really cheap places, but I have talked to people over and over who like las golandrias a lot. There are lots, and lots of really nice places all over the city.
 
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