Ways For Travel

Discover the Best Neighborhoods in Oaxaca for an Unforgettable Stay

Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a mesmerizing city in Mexico known for its rich culture, vibrant colors, and mouthwatering cuisine. When visiting Oaxaca, choosing the right neighborhood to stay in is crucial to make the most of your trip.

Whether you’re looking for a bustling city vibe or a serene beachfront getaway, Oaxaca has it all. In this article, we will explore the best neighborhoods and areas to stay in Oaxaca, taking into account their unique features, accommodation options, attractions, and local experiences.

Oaxaca City Center

If you want to immerse yourself in the heart of Oaxaca, the city center is the place to be. Known as the Zocalo or downtown Oaxaca, this area has a lively atmosphere with its buzzing markets, historical sites, and vibrant cultural scene.

Here are some highlights of staying in the

Oaxaca City Center:

Accommodation Options: The city center offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses. You can find charming boutique hotels near the Zocalo or opt for modern hotels with rooftop terraces overlooking the city.

Attractions: The

Oaxaca City Center is home to some of the city’s most renowned attractions, including the Santo Domingo Church, the Oaxaca Cathedral, and the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. Strolling through the streets, you’ll encounter colorful buildings, colonial architecture, and beautiful courtyards.

Food Tours: One of the highlights of staying in the city center is the abundance of food options. Oaxaca is known for its delicious cuisine, and taking a food tour is a great way to sample traditional dishes such as mole, tlayudas, and chapulines (grasshoppers).

You can explore the local markets, try street food, and learn about the culinary traditions of Oaxaca. Live Music and Salsa Dancing: In the evenings, the city center comes alive with live music and salsa dancing.

You can visit cozy bars and restaurants that offer traditional music performances or join salsa classes and dance the night away.

Puerto Escondido

For those seeking a beachfront paradise,

Puerto Escondido is a must-visit destination. Located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, this beach town is world-famous for its excellent surfing conditions and laid-back vibe.

Here’s what you can expect from staying in

Puerto Escondido:

Beachfront Accommodation: From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious beachfront resorts,

Puerto Escondido offers a variety of accommodation options with stunning ocean views. You can wake up to the sound of crashing waves and enjoy easy access to the beach.


Puerto Escondido is a surfing mecca, attracting surfers from around the world. Playa Zicatela is known for its powerful waves, making it perfect for experienced surfers.

If you’re a beginner, head to Playa Carrizalillo, which offers smaller, more manageable waves. Local Market: The Mercado Benito Juarez is the central market in

Puerto Escondido, where you can find an array of fresh produce, seafood, and local crafts.

It’s a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and taste traditional snacks such as tlayudas and empanadas. Exploring Beaches: Aside from surfing,

Puerto Escondido boasts other stunning beaches worth exploring.

Playa Manzanillo is known for its crystal-clear waters, while Playa Bacocho offers tranquility and solitude. You can also go on boat tours to discover hidden beaches and snorkel in the pristine waters.

Neighborhoods with Unique Features

While the city center and

Puerto Escondido are popular choices for tourists, there are other neighborhoods in Oaxaca that offer unique features and experiences. Here are two neighborhoods worth exploring:

Barrio de Xochimilco: Located near the city center, Barrio de Xochimilco is the oldest neighborhood in Oaxaca.

It’s known for its vibrant textile production and traditional weaving. You can visit local workshops and learn about the intricate processes involved in creating beautiful textiles.

The neighborhood is also home to cozy cafes, street art, and delicious street food. Taking a walking tour is a great way to uncover the hidden gems of Barrio de Xochimilco.

Reforma: If you’re looking for a residential neighborhood with a more tranquil atmosphere, Reforma is an excellent choice. This neighborhood is known for its beautiful colonial architecture, tree-lined streets, and charming cafes.

You can explore the neighborhood on foot, admire the colorful facades, and indulge in local cuisine at the neighborhood’s restaurants. Don’t forget to climb the hills of Reforma for breathtaking views of the city.

In conclusion, choosing the right neighborhood to stay in Oaxaca is essential to make the most of your visit. Whether you prefer the vibrant city center, the relaxing beachfront of

Puerto Escondido, or the unique features of neighborhoods like Barrio de Xochimilco and Reforma, Oaxaca offers something for everyone.

Each neighborhood has its own charm, attractions, and local experiences to offer, ensuring a memorable and enriching stay in this captivating city.

Neighborhoods for Quiet and Local Experiences

While Oaxaca is known for its bustling city center and lively beach town of

Puerto Escondido, there are also neighborhoods that offer a more peaceful and local experience for those seeking tranquility. These neighborhoods provide a chance to immerse yourself in the everyday life of Oaxaca’s residents while enjoying the serenity of quieter streets and local eateries.

Here are two neighborhoods that offer a quiet and authentic experience.

Barrio de la Noria

Located just a 15-minute walk from the

Oaxaca City Center,

Barrio de la Noria is a neighborhood that provides a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas. Known for its laid-back atmosphere, this neighborhood offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the local residents.

One of the highlights of

Barrio de la Noria is its local eateries. Here, you’ll find small family-owned restaurants and casual street food stalls serving traditional Oaxacan dishes.

From tlayudas to memelas and tasty empanadas, you can indulge in the flavors of Oaxaca without the crowds and tourist prices. The welcoming and friendly locals will make you feel right at home, and you might even get the chance to experience traditional Oaxacan hospitality firsthand.

In addition to its culinary delights,

Barrio de la Noria offers easy access to the main attractions of Oaxaca City. A 15-minute walk will take you to the Zocalo, the central square of Oaxaca City, where you can visit the historical sites, explore the local markets, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

Staying in

Barrio de la Noria allows you to have the best of both worlds tranquility and proximity to the city center. Another advantage of choosing

Barrio de la Noria as your base is its budget-friendly accommodation options.

You’ll find guesthouses and small hotels that offer comfortable rooms at affordable prices. By staying in this neighborhood, you can stretch your budget and have more funds to indulge in Oaxaca’s unique experiences, such as taking cooking classes, visiting local art galleries, or exploring nearby archaeological sites.

San Jose del Pacifico

For a truly tranquil and off-the-beaten-path experience, head to

San Jose del Pacifico. Situated in the mountains of Oaxaca, this small mountain town offers a refreshing retreat from the busy city life.

The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving in

San Jose del Pacifico is the fresh mountain air. The cooler climate and stunning mountain views make this town a paradise for nature lovers and those seeking peace and quiet.

Whether you want to go for a hike, meditate on a mountain peak, or simply relax in a hammock as you take in the breathtaking scenery,

San Jose del Pacifico has it all. There are various hiking trails in the area, ranging from short and easy walks to more challenging treks for the avid adventurer.

Exploring these trails will lead you through lush forests, panoramic viewpoints, and cascading waterfalls. The diversity of flora and fauna in the region is awe-inspiring, making it a perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

In addition to its natural beauty,

San Jose del Pacifico is known for its unique experiences. One of these is the opportunity to learn about and experience the traditional rituals of the local Mazatec community.

The Mazatec people have a deep connection to nature and use traditional plants and herbs for spiritual purposes. You can participate in traditional ceremonies and learn about the rich culture and traditions of this indigenous group.

Accommodation options in

San Jose del Pacifico range from cozy cabins to eco-lodges, providing a rustic and immersive experience in nature. This mountain town is an ideal destination for those seeking solitude, a connection with nature, and a break from the fast-paced world.

In conclusion, Oaxaca offers a range of neighborhoods that cater to different preferences and interests. For those seeking peace and quiet,

Barrio de la Noria provides tranquility while still providing easy access to the city center.


San Jose del Pacifico offers a mountain retreat with fresh air, stunning views, and a chance to immerse yourself in nature and indigenous culture. Whichever neighborhood you choose, you’ll surely experience the authenticity and warmth that Oaxaca is known for.

Tips for Staying in Oaxaca

When planning your trip to Oaxaca, choosing the right accommodation is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your stay in this fascinating city.

Reading Online Reviews

Before booking accommodation in Oaxaca, it’s essential to read online reviews. This will give you insights into the quality of the accommodation and the experiences of previous guests.

Pay attention to reviews that mention cleanliness, comfort, and helpful staff. This information is instrumental in determining whether the accommodation meets your expectations.

Remember that personal preferences can vary, so consider a range of reviews to get a balanced perspective.

Breakfast Inclusion

When choosing where to stay, consider whether the accommodation offers complimentary breakfast. Starting your day with a nourishing meal not only provides energy but also saves you time and money.

Many hotels and guesthouses in Oaxaca offer a variety of traditional breakfast options, allowing you to experience the local cuisine while fueling up for a day of exploration.

Proximity to Zocalo

If you want to save on transportation costs and have easy access to attractions, consider staying within walking distance of the Zocalo. The Zocalo is the main square in Oaxaca City and serves as a hub for cultural events, markets, and historical landmarks.

By staying nearby, you can take leisurely walks to explore the city’s vibrant streets, visit museums, and experience the lively atmosphere of Oaxaca. Staying in Hostels vs.


When choosing your accommodation, consider your preferred travel experience. If you’re a solo traveler or looking to socialize with fellow travelers, staying in a hostel can be a great option.

Hostels offer communal areas where you can meet like-minded individuals, participate in social activities, and gain insider tips from fellow travelers. On the other hand, if you prefer a more quiet and private experience, hotels provide a comfortable sanctuary where you can relax and unwind after a day of sightseeing.

Bringing Earplugs

Oaxaca is a lively city with a vibrant nightlife. If you’re a light sleeper or sensitive to noise, consider bringing earplugs to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.

Some neighborhoods, especially those closer to bars and nightlife, may have street noise that can be disruptive during the late hours. With earplugs, you can reduce noise disturbances and wake up refreshed for your daily adventures.

Participating in Tours

To enhance your experience and gain local knowledge, consider participating in tours during your stay in Oaxaca. Local guides can provide valuable insights into the history, culture, and traditions of the region.

Whether it’s a guided walking tour of the city center, a cooking class to learn traditional Oaxacan recipes, or an excursion to cultural sites and landscapes, organized tours offer a convenient and informative way to explore Oaxaca.

Planning for Seasons

Oaxaca experiences distinct wet and dry seasons. The wet season, from June to October, brings occasional rainfall and can be slightly cooler.

The dry season, from November to April, offers warm and sunny weather. When planning your trip, consider the season and pack accordingly.

Keep in mind that during the Christmas and Easter holidays, Oaxaca attracts a higher number of tourists, so it’s advisable to book accommodation in advance.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Oaxaca

Safe Neighborhoods

Oaxaca is generally considered a safe city for travelers, with a low crime rate compared to other Mexican cities. However, there are still some neighborhoods where caution is advised, especially at night.

The Zocalo area, Barrio de Xochimilco, and Reforma are among the safest neighborhoods to stay in Oaxaca. As with any destination, it’s always wise to use common sense and take basic precautions to ensure your safety.

Walkability of Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a highly walkable city, with many of its attractions located within a compact area. Exploring the city on foot allows you to soak in its vibrant atmosphere and discover hidden gems that may not be accessible by vehicle.

The streets are lined with colorful buildings, boutique shops, and local markets, making every stroll a delightful experience.

Best Neighborhood in Oaxaca

The best neighborhood to stay in Oaxaca ultimately depends on your preferences and interests. The Zocalo area, with its central location and proximity to major attractions, is often considered the most convenient for tourists.

However, other neighborhoods like

Barrio de la Noria and

Puerto Escondido offer unique experiences and a more local vibe. Consider your priorities, such as access to attractions, tranquility, or proximity to the beach, when choosing the best neighborhood for your stay.

Best Hotels in Oaxaca

There are several highly recommended hotels in Oaxaca that cater to different budgets and preferences. GRANA B&B is a charming bed and breakfast located near the Zocalo, offering comfortable rooms and a delicious breakfast.

Hostal Central is a popular choice for budget travelers, offering affordable dormitory and private room options. Ticuchi Hostal combines affordability and comfort, with a rooftop terrace that provides spectacular views of the city.

These are just a few examples of the many excellent accommodation choices in Oaxaca, ensuring a comfortable and memorable stay. In conclusion, selecting the right accommodation and considering various factors such as online reviews, proximity to attractions, and personal preferences will contribute to a wonderful stay in Oaxaca.

By following these tips and considering your travel style, you can find a neighborhood, hotel, or hostel that suits your needs, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of this enchanting city.

Popular Posts