Oaxaca has a unique flavor because, in addition to its artistic and architectural treasures, different cultures converge in the city, making it one of the most creative and colorful cities in Mexico.
In this beautiful city, ethnicities and cultures intermingle, giving life to traditions, crafts, and unique flavors in the world.
Founded in the 16th century, its buildings are great examples of New Spain’s Baroque: churches and chapels appear everywhere, most of them built in green quarry, the Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzmán perhaps being the most superb example of its architecture.
But today, Oaxaca is also a cosmopolitan city, with Mexican haute cuisine restaurants, mezcalerías, and exquisite popular art boutiques (including alebrijes, embroidery, and black pottery). In addition, in its surroundings, mysterious archaeological sites and natural wonders such as Hierve el Agua can be discovered.
It is a region of rich biodiversity where its four varieties of climate make it a very interesting place for nature lovers. Here you will find mesophilic forest for hiking, interpretive hiking, flora and fauna observation. You can ride a bike, rappel, and zip line. The Cerro de Cuachirindoo viewpoint awaits you with an unparalleled view of the town of Ixtlán and its surroundings; or the Los Pozuelos viewpoint where you will have an impressive panorama, if you are lucky you will be able to see the Pico de Orizaba. Do not lose sight of the Gruta El Arco, house of swallows and bats.
This magical mountain town gives you the opportunity to listen to marimba, enjoy its cobbled streets and get closer to traditional medicine through treatments, cleanings, massages, and temazcal baths. If you are interested, go to the Center for Traditional Indigenous Medicine. If you prefer to know the surroundings, we suggest the “Y route”, either by bike or on foot you can walk through the wooded surroundings surrounded by orchids, bromeliads, and deer. Paraje los Sabinos is another place where stillness invites you to a moment of relaxation. We suggest you visit the Cueva del Arroyo caves where you will find a rhinoceros head and other peculiar formations. If you want to spend a moment of great intensity, walk along an eight-kilometer path of the old royal road in Cerro Pelado.
It is one of the best places to admire the Milky Way, as long as weather conditions allow it. Surrounded by pine and oak forests, the Cascada Velo de Novia waterfall with a drop of 12 meters and the Cueva de Los Ladrones and its underground river await you. If you are with your family or friends, visit the Daniel H. Alavez Bicentennial Ecological Park to go hiking and horseback riding while you learn about the activities that the community carries out to preserve its environment.
It is a destination that you cannot miss, especially if you are looking to refresh yourself. Here rocks, canyons, waterfalls, and splendid views of the surrounding valley await you. If you are very daring, you will want to enter the Cave of the Serpent, between the noises of bats, slippery rocks, and total darkness. Another option is to go to the waterfalls. For those who like to walk, the visit to the cave paintings takes you through unsuspected paths.
Have you ever dreamed of touching the clouds? Well, the place where that is possible exists and is called San José del Pacífico, a destination among the mountains full of magic. Located in the southern highlands of Oaxaca, this town at 2,5000 meters above sea level is a must for travelers heading to Zipolite and Mazunte.
In San José del Pacífico you will find impressive panoramic images since it is surrounded by clouds and trees. However, one of the reasons for its fame is the mushrooms that grow in the vicinity of the forest. The consumption of mushrooms in the region dates back to ancient times: the Zapotecs used them for rituals of self-knowledge and religious revelation.
In contemporary times, numerous Mexican and foreign travelers have taken on the task of rediscovering this healing tool. During the 1960s its consumption became popular thanks to the shaman María Sabina.
Currently, during the rainy months that go from June to September, San José is filled with visitors who want to enter the world of the spirit. Because the region is governed by uses and customs, its consumption within the locality is guaranteed.
To have a real experience, you can start by wrapping yourself up with one of the ponchos and sweaters woven by the artisans of the region. As in almost every point of Oaxaca, in this magical place, you can also taste a delicious mezcal accompanied by dishes of regional cuisine. If you are a lover of Italian food, we recommend you visit La Taberna de los Duendes, a place with unique flavor.
You can take advantage of the surroundings and perform a complete ritual, starting with a purification in the temazcal. To have better contact with nature you can go for a walk or go on a mountain bike tour. We recommend taking the road between San José and San Mateo for a great hike. When you reach San Mateo, stop for a locally brewed beer in this little village full of friendly people.
There is also the option to ride a zipline while in San José, but mostly, this place is all about the calm and relaxation while watching the clouds roll in at about 3 PM every day. This little village only stretches a couple of blocks with a handful of restaurants and shops.
Among the lodging options are comfortable cabins from which you can contemplate the journey of the clouds through the hills. You can even find cabins on Airbnb!
Take cash, there are no ATM machines in San José del Pacifico.