Oaxaca is often overlooked as a vacation destination in Mexico, sitting in the shadow of resort towns like Cancun and Tulum, but this southern city has a ton to offer. It’s famous for mezcal production, but you don’t have to be a booze enthusiast to have a good time here. Whether you’re looking for history and culture, Mexican cuisine, outdoor adventure or just a relaxing getaway, here are some of the best things to do on a one-day tour of Oaxaca.
How to Plan the Perfect One-Day Tour of Oaxaca's Culinary and Cultural Scene
Start your day with breakfast at one of Oaxaca City’s many delicious cafes. Café del Jardín is one of the best in the city, serving traditional Mexican dishes with a modern twist (be sure to try the huevos rancheros).
After breakfast, walk over to the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán, one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The church was built in the 16th century and is known for its ornate Baroque architecture. Keep the cultural tour going with a visit to Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, where you can learn about the history and culture of the region.
For lunch, check out El Destilado, a restaurant specializing in mezcal, a type of Mexican liquor made from agave plants. In addition to mezcal tastings, they also serve traditional Mexican food with a modern twist. After lunch you can head to visit Monte Albán, an ancient archaeological site that was once an important center of Zapotec culture. The site includes several pyramids and temples, as well as an on-site museum with artifacts from Monte Albán’s long history.
Walking the main square, called the Zocalo, is also a must. This is the heart of the city, and it’s a great place to people watch and soak up the atmosphere. You’ll also find some of the city’s most important historical buildings here, including the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Palace of Government.
Cap off the day with dinner at Criollo, an elevated restaurant serving traditional Mexican food, before heading to Zocalo to explore the city’s nightlife.