Oaxaca travel tips


Dec 27th, 2002, 08:11 AM
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Oaxaca travel tips

Hello, my wife and I are renting a car in mexico City and driving down to the Oaxaca area. How long is the drive? Can anyone suggest villages/ruins/beaches to visit in that province? Small 'sympatico' hotels and delicious restaurants? We don't like crowds and Mac Donalds and are more interested in the Mexican people and their customs. Thank you...
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Dec 27th, 2002, 09:03 AM
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Oaxaca is a big state so this is a big question. After you clear traffic in Mexico City you can probably make it to Oaxaca City on the new highway in about 5 hours. In my mind Oaxaca is still the real Mexico and you will have abundant opportunities to encounter local folk. There are many indigenous groups in various town which you will encounterie, Zapateco, Mixteco, etc. Oaxaca City is a wonderful colonial city which you will enjoy. I stay with friends so I can't recommend a hotel, but there are many nice places downtown. Many recommend Las Golondrias. There are lots of restaurants too. I like Regio which is a ways from the center. It is a few blocks east of the first class bus station and they grill beef at your table. Great if you like meat. You can easily stay busy around Oaxaca City for a week. Visit the various surrounding towns on market days- Etla Wednesday, Ocotolan Thurday, and particularily Tlatcolula on Sunday. With the Tlatcolula trip you can combine a visit to the runis at Mitla, the ruins at Yagul and a stoo in Teotitlan del Valle to look at hand woven carpets and a stop in Tule to see the Tule tree. Also the ruins of Monte Alban above Oaxaca city a wonderful.To get off the beaten path head south on the pan am highway from Oaxaca City. At the outskirts of town turn left opposite the Benito Juarez monument. Then 1 1/2 hours through the mountains to Guelatao and Ixtlan. Beautiful scenary and no tourists. One question- If you want to experience Mexican life you can do everything you describe using buses. It will be cheaper and you will see lots of culture. Take a first class line "Uno" from Mexico City then take all short trips on second class, and trips to the beach on first class. A guide like "Lonely PLanet" will tell you how. Personally I would not want to worry about a car in some of the more obsure destinations. Anyway, assuming you drive it is about 5 hours from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido. A great laid back beach town. A word of warning, there have been some robberies reported on the route, via Ocotlan. The first class buses take a longer Route because it is safer. I would recommend daytime travel only and have your passport and tourist card in order. The military roadblocks have been moving around lately, you may or may not encounter a checkpoint. Tourists driving themselves in these areas is still unusual. There are serveal more small beach towns liek Zipotle. Huatulco is differrent. It is attempting to be a high end resort area. If you go south from Oaxaca City it is about 9 hours via Mitla. There are several expensive hotels. I do like the bays of Huatulco they are beautiful. I love Oaxaca it is great and there is a lot to do, look at this wensite for some additional info: http://www.mexconnect.com/ Have a great time.
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