Oaxaca Travel Diary + Guide

Monday, June 3, 2019

Now that I am back from my second back-to-back trip this month {May was exhausting!} and Austin baby shower weekend is over I can finally find some time to whip up this Oaxaca Travel Guide. If I could say anything about his wonderful Mexican magical town is that WE LOVED IT and you must make some time to visit. It is colorful, inexpensive and lively...what else could you possibly wish for on an ideal vacation spot?


* All images by Casa Sabina Airbnb listing

I'm going to go ahead and own it right away...I somehow did not take a single image of the Airbnb we rented for this trip. Blame it on my pregnancy brain or blame it on us never staying on Airbnb's but I somehow missed it. We stayed at this property and you can see right away by the price that Oaxaca is cheap. The location was ideal as we were able to walk everywhere and always felt safe.  We usually retrieved back to our apartment between 1:00 and 5:00 PM to rest because the sun was scorching hot and we did not want to be out and about around those hours.

We really enjoyed having a large apartment to ourselves. It was really nice to wake up and make our own coffee to enjoy in the terrace. I personally like the privacy that comes with renting properties but my husband likes the comfort of hotels, so I think it's going to be a while before I am allowed to go this route again. That being said, there are some great hotels around the city. We plan on going back to Oaxaca someday and when we do we will try Quinta Real Oaxaca or Hotel De La Parra.


Favorite part of my Travel Guides, always. We found Oaxaca to be extremely inexpensive and delicious. We visited a few places that were just hole in the wall locations, discovered them while roaming around searching for food. We never had a bad meal in Oaxaca and it was often under $20.00 dollars for both of us. Here are a few of the highlights:

Pan Dulce from Panaderia Bamby
We made a pit stop here before heading out for a day of exploring. It was around 7:30 AM when we stopped by Bamby and got freshly baked warm conchitas. They are absolutely creamy and delicious and worth every calorie.

Rooftop Dinner at Pitiona 
Menu is very creative, had nopal 'pasta' followed by a grilled seafood platter meant to share. This restaurant is considered on the fancier side for Oaxaca. We had an appetizer, the seafood platter, dessert, agua fresca for me and two beers for my husband and it was under $100 bucks. Location and style of the restaurant is gorge! 

Tasting Dinner Menu at Criollo
Carlos found this one on his own. The restaurant has this uber cool organic vibe to it, with an open kitchen and white wash walls everywhere. Unfortunately they had a plumbing issue and we sat at a different section of the restaurant, we still had a wonderful time dining under the stars and enjoying the breezy night. Menu is tasting only at about $90 dollars a person. So worth the visit. Reservations are required. 

Fresh Fruit at Hierve El Agua Waterfalls
Once we were done with our little Hierve El Agua visit {more on that below] we headed to stands around the park to get a snack. We drank cool coconut water straight from the source and then the lovely lady sliced the cocount and added lime, chilli and salt for us to enjoy. Such simple and refreshing food. Loved every second of it. 


There is so much  to do within  the town of Oaxaca or even just outside! We usually found ourselves exploring early in the morning and then going back to our apartment at noon. Once the super hot hours were over we would go outside again to enjoy our afternoon. 

Textile Museum
Favorite museum we visited during this trip. I am fascinated by Oaxacan textiles and was able to learn about the history and regions of each embroidery style. The museum itself is small but gorgeous and inspiring. There's a coffee shop next door perfect for cooling off after your visit.

Santo Domingo Ex-Convent
This is sitting right next to the Church of Santo Domingo and it is impossible to miss. It is absolutely gorgeous and airy and has rotating exhibits. Some terraces have views of the Botanical Garden towards the back of the building. Takes a while to go through every room {this place is HUGE} but it is worth the time.

Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca
This is one of the places I had on my must-see list. We actually did our maternity pictures here {cannot wait to get them!} and it was just as beautiful and special as I imagined. Entrance is free but you must have a guide with you at all times.

 Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman
A true architectural gem. There are no words to describe the interior of this church. The interior is decorated with over 60,000 sheets of gold leaf. They do keep it quite dark and we walked in during service so I could not quite get good pictures, but even then, I don't think I would have done justice to the beauty of this place. It is pretty central in the city and hard to miss. Entrance is free.

Monte Alban Ruins
We did a morning tour of Monte Alban and Hierve El Agua Waterfalls at the same time. There are plenty of tours being offered in the city but they include A LOT of extra activities that we did not care about {visit to Mezcal factories, a near by town and a special trees}. Due to my pregnancy I have to do things 'in episodes' as I like to call it. So a full jammed packed day is not really an option for me. We decided to hire a private driver for the day and he took us to both locations, we paid $110 dollars and it included the really nice driver, a spacious van with AC and cold water. We were able to see both parks in about 4 hours instead of the typical 8-hour day tour. Because the longer tours are fuller they do cost less, starting at about $30 dollars per person.

Monte Alban itself was beautiful. We were there right when they opened so it was pretty empty. Perfect time to visit since mornings are cooler in Oaxaca. The space itself is not very large, we were able to walk it all and even go on top of some of the structures. The price of the ticket does include an entrance fee to a small museum and really clean restrooms.

 Hierve El Agua Petrified Waterfalls
This was high on my list of places I wanted to see. The petrified waterfalls are a very impressive sight. This natural phenomenon occurs because water is over-saturated with calcium carbonate and other minerals so it 'freezes' in place. There's also a smaller section with pools where you can splash cool water to refresh after the small hike. Be aware, the rock formations are slippery and you are not allowed to get in the water if you are wearing sunblock {we were unable to}.

There is shopping pretty much everywhere you look, from the market to the side streets and small boutiques. Feel free to bargain with people, they are always ready to negotiate a good offer. 


Must have items while in Oaxaca:
  • SUNBLOCK {Hubs got his arms sunburned just from walking around the first day}
  • Sunglasses
  • Straw Hat
  • Big tote {you'll need it for all your purchases}
  • Comfortable shoes {I was fine wearing leather sandals and sneakers}
  • Light clothing
  • Har ties {you'll want that hair up after walking around for a while}
  • Workout leggings {for Monte Alaban and Hierve El Agua, quick drying and protected my legs from mosquitoes}. 

Hope you enjoyed my guide. Feel free to reach out of you have questions!

Until next time! 


  1. This all looks absolutely stunning and the food looks amazing!


  2. Hey #SCSister ! There's something about the Church of Santo Domingo that's so beautiful to me ! You took some amazing pictures.

    1. Thank you! I love taking pictures, it makes me happy :)

  3. Oh my word, this looks amazing!! I need to add this to my bucket list of places to go!

  4. You totally should, it's so cheap!

  5. so many stunning places to see there! Need to add this to my travel list- thanks for sharing!


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