oaxaca city & huatulco

I knew we would love Oaxaca since planning this trip, but actually being here surpassed all of my expectations. Oaxaca is definitely the food, art, and cultural epicenter of Mexico. We absolutely love it, and have been thinking of ways to move here since visiting!

We took a shuttle from Panajachel to Tapachula, Chiapas. From Tapachula, we took an overnight bus to Oaxaca City, which was about 13 hours. It was a rough bus ride, but worth it when we arrived Sunday morning in Oaxaca City. It is such a charming place! You can’t walk a block without seeing an art studio or museum.

Sunday we went to the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. It was really neat to see because it was attached to a cathedral. We wandered in there for a few hours. It reminded me of the Museo de Antropología in Mexico City. We also walked around and went into a few random museums we found on the street–one was a photography museum that I ended up loving!

On Monday, we got out and ATE our way through Oaxaca. We stopped at all of the street vendors for aguas, ice cream, and chapulines (fried and flavored crickets!). We wandered through the market and got tlayudas, carne, and pan. Not that we don’t love Guatemala, but the food doesn’t even compare. I would recommend eating at the two markets–20 de noviembre, and Benito Juarez. Oaxaca (and Mexico in general) is known for its food for a reason. You can’t beat Oaxacan cheese. Everything is bursting with flavor. We were definitely happy campers! That night Jon went out for tacos and they were some of the best tacos we have had. We got al pastor, carne, and pig ear. Surprisingly good!

Tuesday we ate at the most incredible place–El Fortincito. It was definitely the best mole negro I have ever had. I got chilaquiles with salsa verde and Jon got the mole. We were in food heaven. We actually ended up going back there Thursday morning and it was so good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to Oaxaca City. After breakfast, we went to Monte Albán. It was incredible! Similar to Teotihuacan, it was the most powerful city in the southern region back in the day. It never ceases to amaze me how people built places like this. We spent most of the day there, climbing the pyramids and admiring the view.

Wednesday we went to Tule and Mitla. Tule is known for having the biggest (widest, not tallest) tree in the world. It was pretty cool to see it in person! It is definitely impressive. It was on the way to Mitla, so we thought it would be worth a stop. Mitla was another archaeological ruin, and it was different from other ones I have seen because of how colorful it is.

Wednesday night, Jon took me to Casa Oaxaca, a nice Oaxacan-infusion restaurant on a rooftop. It was right by the cathedral and Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, so the ambiance was perfect. We had tlayudas, black bean soup, an appetizer with rabbit (really good!), duck tacos, and mole negro. For dessert we had a lemon tart that was carmelized on the outside. So delicious! There were even fireworks that we could see from the rooftop. It was a pretty perfect night!

Thursday we ate one last time at Fortincito (I had the best huevos rancheros and chorizo of my life), then got on a shuttle to Huatulco. It was a long 7 hour shuttle ride through winding mountain roads. We were both happy when that ride was over.

Friday was our only full day in Huatulco, so we went to the beach and snorkeled! It was so fun. I had never been snorkeling before, so Jon convinced me and I am glad we did. We enjoyed the sun, got some food and horchata, and relaxed on the beach.

Saturday we mostly packed and got ready to leave on our night bus (ugh–not the most fun but worth it for the trip). We did have time to go to the Mazunte Turtle Conservatory, which was fun to see. The drive along the coast was stunning. I would love to come back and stay in Mazunte and do a trip to Puerto Escondido. I guess we will just have to come back!

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