A beautiful stone pyramid while looking out at the valley beyond with greenery all around at Monte Alban.

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19 Best Oaxaca Tours For Food, Mezcal, History & Fun In 2024

Curious to the best Oaxaca tours to take for your upcoming trip? There are so many great tours in Oaxaca to experience ranging from food, mezcal, history, culture, and more.

It can be overwhelming to decide which tours to go on, especially when you have limited time during your stay.

I have taken a number of Oaxaca food tours in addition to walking tours, exploring food markets, visiting pyramid ruins, touring palenques, and more on two long stays in this incredible city.

Oaxaca is known as one of the top foodie destinations in the world for its over-the-top delicious food and mezcal. So, it makes sense to take a tour and dive a little deeper into what makes them so special.

The same goes with the history and unique cultural experiences that can only be found in Oaxaca, Mexico. In my opinion, the best way to learn about Oaxaca City and its surrounding areas is to take a guided tour with a local who can share a version of Oaxaca that would otherwise be missed.

Note sure where to start?

Explore The Overall Top 3 Tours In Oaxaca

#1 Top Pick

⭐️ 4.5 of 5 (485 Reviews)

Hierve el Agua, Tule Tree, Mitla, & Mezcal Tour

✅ 12 hours

✅ 2,000+ old tree

✅ Local guide

#2 Pick
Monte Alban in Oaxaca Mexico

Monte Alban Half Day Tour

✅ 5 hours

✅ UNESCO World Heritage Site

✅ Hotel Pickup & Drop-off

#3 Pick
Group of people in a cooking class in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Flavors of Oaxaca Cooking Class

✅ 4.5 hours

✅ Shop at Local Market

✅ Small Group

Here are the best Oaxaca tours to take for every traveler’s interest!

Amazing Oaxaca Tours For First Time Visitors

Tasty Oaxaca Food Tours

Walking through a smoky aisle where meats are grilling on a street food tour in Oaxaca.

1. Authentic Oaxaca Food Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5 hours | ✅ Book it!

Taking a food tour in any city is the best way to understand the local cuisine and try new foods.

But in Oaxaca, a food tour is a must as it is the gastronomical capital of the world!

This is the perfect tour for anyone that likes to eat delicious traditional foods with a local guide. Sample over 20 dishes from various food stalls and markets in a small group setting.

Learn about the authentic meals, fruits, vegetables, drinks, and more that Oaxacans treasure in their cuisine. You’ll get the chance to try foods that can’t be found anywhere else!

The best part is smelling the most exotic aromas and eating where the locals do.

Don’t miss this 5-hour walking tour of Oaxacan markets and street food adventure!

Important Info

Tour Size: Max of 8 individuals

Start Time: 9:00 am

Starting Point: The Italian Coffee Company

Not Included: Gratuities and alcoholic beverages

Other: Not appropriate for vegans or vegetarians but if needed alert guide ahead of time.

“This is a great tour. Betsaida is an enthusiastic host and oh my gosh we ate so much food, I had to stop finishing every portion or I wouldn’t have made it to the end, and I am not a dainty eater. Definitely come on an empty stomach! She also gave us a lot of information about the city and its history so it was more than “just” a food tour. Recommended!” -Robert_H (Read more reviews)

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A delicious taco that is rolled from a food stall on a food tour in Oaxaca, Mexico.

2. Earth, Corn & Fire: Tasting The Roots of Oaxacan Cuisine

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5.5 hours | ✅ Book it!

Searching for a small group food tour to dive into the foods that local Oaxacans enjoy the most?

This 5.5-hour walking food tour is the perfect way to spend your day exploring the most important corn-based foods and drinks that are special to Oaxaca.

Delight in mouthwatering Tlayuda (Mexican pizza), tacos, different moles, pastries and more…

Tasting the Roots Oaxacan Cuisine tour will take you to the 3 main markets in Oaxaca’s city center and numerous food stalls.

Come hungry and book this memorable food tour centered around corn!

Important Info

Tour Size: Max of 7 individuals

Start Time: 10:00 am

Starting Point: Mercado de la Merced on Avenida José María Morelos

Not Included: Gratuities and alcoholic beverages

“Luis was an absolutely amazing tour guide. He answered any and all questions we had. He took us to several markets and even to some spots where tourists don’t usually go. We walked around the city and tried so many traditional Oaxacan foods. I can not recommend this tour enough. It was the perfect way to sped out first day in Oaxaca.” – Sarah_j (Read more reviews)

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The beautiful Chiles en Nogada dish with a stuffed poblano chile covered in a white sauce, red pomegranate seeds, and cilantro at a restaurant in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

3. Oaxaca Eats Restaurant Food Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4 hours | ✅ Book it!

The Oaxaca Eats Downtown City Food Tour is one of the few tours on this list that I have done twice and for good reason.

Unlike the two previous food tours that take you to markets and food stalls, Oaxaca Eats takes you to the best restaurants in the historic section of Oaxaca City.

Over a course of 4 hours, you will get to sample foods and drinks from 4 different top restaurants that are known for stellar Oaxacan cuisine.

Each time I went on the tour, I was more than impressed with the selection of places to eat and the foods chosen.

In fact, they are some of the restaurants in Oaxaca that I would recommend to any person traveling to Oaxaca!

Even better is that the owner Lorena Rubio is a local Oaxacan women who has the best guides that truly make you feel you are out enjoying a meal with friends.

In addition, you will learn so much about how the foods intertwine with the culture and history of Oaxaca.

Important Info

Tour Size: Small group

Start Time: 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, or 4:00 pm

Starting Point: Calle Macedonio Alcalá 501 across from Santo Domingo Church

Not Included: Guide gratuity and extra alcoholic beverages

Other: Can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free requests.

“This Oaxaca food tour was perhaps the best food tour we have ever been on! The food was amazing and our guide Rocío Santos was wonderful. Too much food and mezcal!!! We had such a lovely evening. This is not a typical food tour as we went to a number of high end local restaurants serving regional food and mezcal. Can’t recommend it enough!!!” -dpliskin (Read more reviews)

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Dona Vale making fresh memelas in a market in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

4. Tour Central de Abastos Market

⭐️ RATING: 4.95/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours | ✅ Book it!

One of the most exciting things to do in Oaxaca City is to visit Central de Abasto Market spanning four square kilometers and houses 20,000 vendors!

In fact, it is one of the biggest markets in Latin America and not somewhere you want to go without a guide as it is easy to get lost.

The market is bustling, chaotic, vibrant, and can easily overload your senses but in a good way.

It is an impressive complex of vendors selling every type of food, ware, and service you can imagine.

Javier is an excellent and very knowledgeable local guide who REALLY knows Central de Abasto Market. I really enjoyed learning so much information about Oaxacan customs and history.

He’ll take you to try awesome street food such as tacos, memelas, agua fresca, chocolate, and mole. Plus, you’ll even get to visit a food stall made famous in a Netflix show!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 7 individuals or private group option

Start Time: 9:00 am

Starting Point: Basilica de Nuestra Soledad

Not Included: Guide gratuity, extra beverages, or extra items from vendors

Other: Can accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free requests.

“Javier was AMAZING! I only had one other person on my tour and we quickly became friends. Javier takes you all around the market and shows you his family favorite businesses. You can tell everyone absolutely adores him and the food is incredible! You’ll learned so much about local traditions and cuisine in a natural/conversational way.” – Shannon (Read more reviews)

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Best Day Trips From Oaxaca

Looking back across at the first petrified waterfall and pools in stark white at Hierve el Agua.

5. Hierve el Agua, Tule, Mitla, Mezcal Full Day Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  12 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you are looking to get outside of Oaxaca City and see some spectacular sights, then this tour is for you!

It is a very long day but packed with all the top attractions directly east of Oaxaca in the area known as Valle de Tlacolula.

All the sights are off the 190 commonly referred to as the “mezcal route” for the number of distilleries in the area but also the Pan-American Highway that runs from Alaska to Argentina.

You’ll get to hike and see gorgeous pools over petrified waterfalls, stand under a 2,000+ year old tree, walk among ancient ruins, and sip mezcal…

Besides visiting Monte Alban, this is one of the best Oaxaca day trips not to miss!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 14 individuals

Start Time: 8:00 am

Starting Point: See booking details on where to meet

Not Included: Guide gratuity, extra food, drinks, or souvenirs

Other: There is some hiking at one stop that is considered moderate. Bring water & sunscreen.

“This trips packs in so many great sights. It is a long day but worth it to see so much. Our guide Pavel was excellent, very knowledgeable and kept us interested the whole time. Hierve El Agua was the highlight for me for but all of the stops were really good.” – Miss_R (Read more reviews)

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View of the pyramid ruins on a Monte Alban tour in Oaxaca, Mexico.

6. Monte Alban Half Day Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  5 hours | ✅ Book it!

Of all the tours in this list, a day trip to Monte Alban is a must. Monte Alban is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most incredible examples of ancient pyramid ruins in all of Latin America.

I have been to the ruins in Mexico City, Tulum, Coba, Cholula, and more and without a doubt Monte Alban is the most beautiful.

Standing at the top and looking out over the pyramid ruins, your jaw will drop at the sheer magnitude and architectural wonder that it is.

On the tour you will learn all about the history of Monte Alban and how it was a huge metropolitan city for the Zapotec civilization dating back to 2,500 years ago.

You will get some free time to roam the different areas of the grounds, take photos, and relax.

There are a few pyramids that you can climb up but make sure to watch your footing and wear shoes made for walking.

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 30 individuals

Start Time: 8:00 am

Starting Point: Pickup at your hotel

Not Included: Guide gratuity, food, or drinks

Other: The sun is intense so bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat.

“Our guide Antonio had a deep knowledge of archeology, culture and history. He gave substance to this great site.” – Liz_K (Read more reviews)

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Ex Convento de Cuilapam de Guerrero with several arches and beautiful stonework, one stop on a long day trip from Oaxaca, Mexico.

7. Monte Alban, Arrazola, Cuilapam & San Bartolo Full Day Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  8 hours | ✅ Book it!

As I previously mentioned, visiting the pyramid ruins of Monte Alban is not a landmark to skip when in Oaxaca.

But if you have a full day, this tour is a great choice as you get to see the ruins of Ex Convento de Cuilapam de Guerrero, colorful Mexican folk art, and the top-quality craftsmanship of black ceramics in addition to Monte Alban.

On my first trip to Oaxaca, I only visited Monte Alban but on my more recent visit I had the opportunity to take this tour to see all of these sites and I am so glad I did!

The abandoned convent ruins are quite peaceful with architecture that makes you take notice.

Whether you are an art lover or not, seeing how alebrije’s (Mexican folk art) and black ceramics are made in their respective villages is impressive. They make unique souvenirs to bring home too!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 20 individuals

Start Time: 8:00 am

Starting Point: Pickup at your hotel

Not Included: Guide gratuity, food, or drinks

Other: The sun is intense so bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and a hat.

“Gabriel was a great guide with lots of knowledge of everything Oaxaca. Highly recommend this tour if you are doing a short trip to Oaxaca to really make the best of your time here.” – Stephanie P (Read more reviews)

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Top Oaxaca Walking Tours

The beautiful Templo Santo Domingo church seen on a Oaxaca walking tour in the historic area.

8. Historic City Center Walking Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  ~2 hours | ✅ Book it!

On my first day in a city, I always like to take a walking and/or food tour. That way I can get a feel for the city, its culture, and get a quick orientation to what there is to see.

On this historic city center walking tour, you will get to learn about Oaxaca’s history while seeing the most iconic landmarks in the city center.

Over a course of two hours, you will visit the iconic Templo Santo Domingo and several other sites important to the Mexican and Zapotec cultures

I really enjoyed this tour as it gave me a good foundation of understanding the history and culture of Oaxaca and the surrounding valleys.

In addition, you’ll get to try a traditional local drink and find out great places to eat!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 8 individuals

Start Time: 4:00 pm

Starting Point: Central gazebo in the Zocalo

Not Included: Guide gratuity, food, or extra drinks

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, water, and sunscreen

“This was a great way to start exploring Oaxaca the day I landed. I could not have enjoyed this tour more and the guide was friendly and super knowledgeable.” – Betty_C (Read more reviews)

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Walking between two walls of cacti on each side of a dirt path at El Jardin Etnobotanico de Oaxaca.

9. Oaxaca Culture, Textiles, & Food Walking Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  7 hours | ✅ Book it!

The previous tour is a great introduction of Oaxaca City but if you have a full day, this tour combines the best of history, culture, food, markets, and crafts.

A bonus of this tour is that it includes visiting the Botanical Garden which only offers tours in English once per day. And you can only visit on a tour, not by yourself.

The botanical garden in Oaxaca is actually an ethnobotanical garden meaning it focuses on how the plants are used in food, medicine, textiles, and culture.

Plus, you get to explore the Zocalo, nearby markets, Santo Domingo Church, the Textile Museum, and have a delicious lunch.

This is a full day of walking so make sure you have comfortable shoes and a water bottle!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 10 individuals

Start Time: 8:00 am

Starting Point: Jaguar Yuu Coffee Shop

Not Included: Guide gratuity, extra food, or drinks beyond the lunch included

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, water, and sunscreen

“Loved loved the tour. We met up early with our guide thus avoiding the big crowds. Highlights for me were definitely the textile museum and the incredible food that Oaxaca of course is known for. I really enjoyed the botanical garden as well and wished I could’ve brought some plants home with me!” – TripAdvisor Reviewer (Read more reviews)

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Walking down the charming pedestrian-only Calle Alcala with colorful buildings in downtown Oaxaca, Mexico.

10. City Tour With Markets, Museum & Chocolate

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4.5 hours | ✅ Book it!

For those looking to get in as much history and attractions in a half day, this is another fantastic walking tour to go on.

The main attractions you’ll visit are Santo Domingo Church and the Museum of Cultures of Oaxaca.

The museum is next door to the church in what was a previous convent. Today it is a wonderful museum highlighting the treasures of tomb #7 from Monte Alban.

Visiting two markets and the Zocalo (main square) are part of this tour led by a local guide.

The markets are the best places to try foods and drinks that are from Oaxaca! It also helps to figure out which food stalls are the best to eat with help from the guide.

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 20 individuals

Start Time: 10:00 am

Starting Point: Pickup at your hotel or meet at Quinta Real Hotel

Not Included: Guide gratuity, food, or drinks

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, water, and sunscreen

“Great overview of Oaxaca and you really can’t beat the price! The guide’s English was perfect and we walked around town talking about all things Mexico and Oaxaca related. From the Zocalo and it’s impressive cathedral to the markets and the Oaxaca Regional Museum, this tour should not be missed!” – Bandit (Read more reviews)

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Oaxaca Mezcal Tours

If you want to explore a detailed guide on how mezcal is made, the top mezcal tours to take, and what to know about visiting a palenque, read Oaxaca Mezcal Tour: The Best Guide To Touring A Palenque + Tours.

A field of agave plants of all sizes with colorful flags overhead at a mezcal distillery on a mezcal tour in Oaxaca.

11. The Mezcal Journey

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  6 hours | ✅ Book it!

A visit to Oaxaca isn’t complete without sipping some mezcal and exploring what makes this spirit something to appreciate!

Prior to my first trip to Oaxaca, I had never tried mezcal and was hesitant to drink it as I’m not a big fan of tequila.

What I didn’t know is that although there are some similarities between the two, they are very different. Personally, I really like mezcal, easier to drink, and I’ve never had a hangover from it!

On this mezcal journey, you will get to visit a mezcal distillery in Oaxaca to see how mezcal is made from start to finish. Using traditions spanning years, you’ll see the process hasn’t changed much.

You’ll get the chance to sample different varieties of mezcal and see how artisanal mezcal differs from what you might have had in the past.

From there you will get to walk among the agave fields and see the fruit that is essential for making mezcal.

And finally, end with the day with a great Oaxacan meal paired with more mezcal!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 10 individuals

Start Time: 11:00 am

Starting Point: Templo de San Matías Jalatlaco in Jalatlaco neighborhood

Not Included: Guide gratuity

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, and sunscreen

“Such an amazing experience! Ricardo was an excellent host and engaged the entire tour in every second of the mezcal distilling process. Getting to actually do some of the tasks was a definitive highlight!” – Calvin_C (Read more reviews)

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Two rows of huge barrels of cooked agave at a family-owned mezcal distillery in Oaxaca.

12. Ultimate Hierve el Agua Hike & Mezcal Tasting

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  12 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you love hiking, seeing gorgeous natural wonders, and mezcal then this is the tour for you!

It’s a full day tour but well worth it for the experience. You’ll get to start off the day hiking Hierve el Agua which are breathtaking pools of water over petrified waterfalls.

From a distance, it looks like water is cascading down resembling a waterfall but up close you can see it is hardened limestone. This is one of two places in the world to see this phenomenon, the other is in Turkey.

After taking in Hierve el Agua, you’ll hike to an off the beaten track waterfall (a real one) that you can swim under.

Then rounding out a perfect day of exploring you’ll visit a family-owned mezcal distillery for some mezcal tasting!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 10 individuals

Start Time: 6:00 am

Starting Point: Macedonio Alcalá 802, Centro, Oaxaca de Juárez

Not Included: Guide gratuity, extra food, or drinks beyond breakfast and mezcal tasting

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, water, and sunscreen

“We tend to avoid bus tours and tourist crowds, but still want to take in the beauty of local sites. That’s why were were so happy to come across Carlos’s hike. We got to Hierve el Agua early before the tourists and had the place to ourselves to take photos and go for a swim. It was much more enjoyable than having to fight the crowds. We also beat the heat by starting our hike early. The most amazing part was reaching the waterfall at La Salina which had no tourists, no locals and was this incredible hidden gem, again to ourselves.” – Alla_R (Read more reviews)

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Pots of cooked agave on outdoor ovens distilling fresh mezcal into a large bottle at a mezcal distillery in Oaxaca.

13. Gastronomy Experience: Culture, Food & Mezcal

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  ~7 hours | ✅ Book it!

What I love about this tour is it is private and customizable if you want to tweak what you are doing. This was the second trip that I had the chance to take a tour with Rosario and her awesome guides.

Looking to sip the best Oaxaca mezcal? Rosario or one of her guides will take you to a mezcal distillery where you can see first hand how mezcal is made, the difference between wild and cultivated agave, and what makes artisanal mezcal unique.

There will be ample time to see the agave fields, take photos, and sample plenty of mezcal. Next you will delight in a six-course traditional Oaxacan meal and mezcal to pair with it.

At the end of this tour, you will have a solid understanding and appreciation for all the hard work that goes into mezcal production.

What’s more, the guide will take you to a village to see how wool rugs are made. I didn’t think I would enjoy this, but it was extremely fascinating to see how they are created!

Important Info

Tour Size: Private small group

Start Time: Flexible start time, a private tour

Starting Point: Hotel pickup

Not Included: Guide gratuity

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, and sunscreen

“What an amazing trip to Mezcal Country! Both guides were tremendous and full of interesting and insightful information. From the Tule Tree, to the weaving and dying demonstration at Teotitlan de Valle, to a Mezcal tasting and a absolutely delightful lunch….this was Oaxaca personified! Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a great full day excursion.” – Jonathan_M (Read more reviews)

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Oaxaca Experience Tours

A delicious hot chocolate served in a small clay bowl in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

14. Full Day Zapotec Village Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  9 hours | ✅ Book it!

So much of what makes Oaxaca a distinctive region within Mexico and from the rest of the world is the influence of the Zapotec culture.

On this tour you’ll get the chance to visit a Zapotec village outside of Oaxaca City to see how the traditions of artisans are still done today.

This tour stands out as you get to spend the day with Cesar, a local Oaxacan and his family in sharing the Zapotec culture.

The tour will teach you how things are made from scratch ranging from dishes, clothing, chocolate, and mezcal all using ancestral techniques.

Plus, you will be spoiled to eat a delicious homemade breakfast and lunch!

Important Info

Tour Size: Private small group

Start Time: 8:30 am

Starting Point: Hotel pickup

Not Included: Guide gratuity, extra food, or drinks beyond the breakfast & lunch included

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, and sunscreen

“I’m so glad I booked this tour! I wanted an authentic Oaxacan experience and we got it for sure. There wasn’t a tourist anywhere. The food was delicious, the artisanal tours were fun and educational. The chocolate making experience was a highlight I will never forget. Cesar is a warm, humble and conscientious tour guide. His family was welcoming and kind. I felt like I was visiting old friends. I would recommend this tour to anyone looking to experience what real life is like outside the city center. Book now! You won’t regret it.” – Emilia_J (Read more reviews)

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A large art mural with two indigenous people in yellow with a bright turquoise background in Xochimilco neighborhood on a art bike tour in Oaxaca.

15. Oaxaca Street Art Bike Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  ~4 hours | ✅ Book it!

All those that enjoy art will find this street art bike tour to be a great way to spend 4 hours in the morning.

Oaxaca has a ton of art in general, but street art is in abundance and quite impressive to see. The two neighborhoods that I loved exploring for street art were in Xochimilco and Jalatlaco.

In total, the tour will take you biking to three neighborhoods including the two I just mentioned.

Since these are good sized neighborhoods and a little spread out from each other, biking is an efficient way to get around easily.

Besides seeing a ton of epic art murals, you will get to learn a lot about Oaxaca’s history and culture!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 12 individuals

Start Time: 9:00 am

Starting Point: Bicibella Oaxaca in city center

Not Included: Guide gratuity

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring water, and sunscreen

“Could not recommend this trip more! Loved exploring Oaxaca’s colorful and character-filled streets from the bike and with a wonderful tour guide.” – Mary_M (Read more reviews)

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An art mural of a female skeleton with a garland of flowers, holding a shot of mezcal and a skeleton dog surrounded by flowers in Jalatlaco on a street art Oaxaca walking tour.

16. Oaxaca Art Walk Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  4.5 hours | ✅ Book it!

Art and chocolate? Need I say more? This tour will take you through the colorful neighborhood of Jalatlaco on foot searching for eye-popping art murals, visiting art studios, and galleries.

Whether you are into art or not, seeing how local artisans use ancestral techniques to make art, crafts, and textiles is pretty amazing. Each individual on the tour will even get to take home a piece of artwork as a souvenir!

You’ll learn all about cacao and why it is an important staple in Oaxacan food and drinks. Sipping a cacao beverage is a divine treat to end a fun tour…

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 14 individuals

Start Time: 9:30 am

Starting Point: Taller Bambú in Jalatlaco neighborhood

Not Included: Guide gratuity

Other: Wear comfortable walking shoes, water, and sunscreen

“Margo is knowledgable and personable, a winning combination for a tour operator. The tour began with a visit to the print workshop of Abraham Torres, which opened my eyes to the intricacies of printing, and gave me an understanding of how widespread it is in Oaxaca. We walked and learnt the background of many of the works of street art – very interesting , and finished with a delicious surprise visit to Chimalapa Cacoa.” – Sheindl_R (Read more reviews)

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Fun Oaxaca Cooking Classes

A beautiful plate of black mole over turkey and a plantain on the side in Oaxaca.

17. Flavors of Oaxaca Cooking Class

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  ~4.5 hours | ✅ Book it!

Eating delicious Oaxacan food is one thing, but learning how to make different traditional dishes from a local is even better. That is if you like to cook!

Taking a Oaxaca cooking class is an excellent way to see what ingredients are used and the techniques that go into making dishes such as mole, tamales, and fresh tortillas.

On this small group cooking class, you will get the opportunity to visit a local market to gather ingredients before coming back to make tasty dishes.

Unlike some classes where you just watch, you will be involved in making what you will eat.

At the end of the workshop, sit down to enjoy the Oaxacan meal you helped prepare!

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 15 individuals

Start Time: 10:00 am

Starting Point: Casa Crespo

Not Included: Chef gratuity

Other: Come with an appetite!

“Emily was a fabulous teacher! Her passion for sharing her culture and culinary knowledge. Our tour of the market was incredible as was the meal she helped us create. I would recommend this course (and Emily) to anyone visiting Oaxaca.” – Kristin_S (Read more reviews)

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Tetelas made with different color corn (yellow, blue, and pink) cooking on a large comal in Oaxaca.

18. Traditional Cooking Class w/ Minerva Lopez

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  ~6 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you truly want to know how the local people cook their meals in Oaxaca, then spending 6 hours with Minerva Lopez is a must.

Minerva is a local Oaxacan women that invites you into her home to learn how her and her ancestors cook their favorite dishes.

But in addition, you will get to share this experience with her family and acquire an understanding of the Oaxacan culture and how food is integral to it.

Prior to cooking, you will accompany Minerva to a local market to shop for the ingredients and then take part in making a starter, a few main dishes, and a dessert!

Beyond this being a memorable experience, you’ll get to take home all the tips, techniques, and knowledge of how to make authentic Oaxacan dishes.

Important Info

Tour Size: Maximum of 10 individuals

Start Time: 9:00 am

Starting Point: Location communicated via Whatsapp

Not Included: Gratuity for Minerva

Other: An experience you won’t forget!

“Great time meeting Minerva as well as that day’s fellow students – some of whom were cooks themselves – all were ‘foodies’. Roll up your sleeves for this experience; the reward will be a delicious meal and plenty to drink.” – Joseph_M (Read more reviews)

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

A large tortilla cooking on a huge comal with yellow mole sauce on the tortillas, herbs, and squash blossoms in Oaxaca, Mexico.

19. Oaxacan Vegetarian Cooking Class

⭐️ RATING: 5/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  ~4 hours | ✅ Book it!

Although the other classes can make some accommodations for vegetarians, this class is designed specifically to make all vegetarian dishes.

Personally, this class isn’t one I have taken as I love all foods including meat but if you don’t it’s nice not to have to worry if you can eat anything.

You’ll go with the cook to buy all the necessary fresh ingredients before coming back to make a delicious starter, main dish, and a dessert!

Important Info

Tour Size: A private experience for you and your group

Start Time: TBD

Starting Point: Etnofood

Not Included: Gratuity for the cook

“I enjoyed going to the market and trying new fruits and vegetables. Martin was very knowledgeable about the food and trees always telling us what they were for and how to use them. The cooking part was fun too and then we all sat together for a family style meal.” – Jillian_M (Read more reviews)

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Best Places To Stay In Oaxaca City

Over 2 trips and a total of 4 weeks in Oaxaca, I stayed in various hotels all of which I really enjoyed. My favorite was Casa de Arte as far as comfort, incredible restaurant, and décor but its location is a little bit north of the downtown historic area.

All of the other hotels listed here are in the heart of the historic section and in walking distance to all the top sights. You can’t beat their prime location!

Hotel Oaxaca Real

Hotel Marques Del Valle

Otro Oaxaca, Designs Hotel

Hotel Los Amantes

Casa Antonieta

Parador de Alcala

Hotel La Casona de Tita

Note: If you are planning to visit for Day of the Dead or Independence Day, book your hotel way in advance especially if you want to stay in the central part of town. For Day of the Dead book a year out.

Tip: Be aware that if you are staying along or within a block of the Zocalo (main square) it can be very loud if you are a light sleeper. With ear plugs no problem!

A shop filled with beautiful handmade black pottery items for sale in San Bartolo outside of Oaxaca.

Need Transportation Once You Land?

Upon arriving at the Xoxocotlan Airport (OAX) in Oaxaca, arrange for a car pick up to take you to your hotel! No need to wait for an available taxi.

On my first trip I had to wait over 30 minutes before a collectivo (group taxi shuttle) filled up and of course I was the last drop-off.

But on my second trip I scheduled this transport shuttle and they were waiting saving me a lot of time. I was able to get to my hotel faster which is a perk after a day of traveling…

Book Your Hotel Transport Shuttle!

FAQs About Oaxaca, Mexico

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Oaxaca?

Overall the best months to visit Oaxaca are April, May, June, September, October, and November. The weather is nice and with the exception of festivals, it isn’t too crowded.

During the winter months of December – March, the temperatures will be slightly cooler and drier. It is also the busiest time of the year. So, expect more crowds and look into booking hotels and tours in advance.

The summer months are the wettest with rain a daily occurrence usually ending in September. For most days it will only rain in the late afternoon or evening and not interfere with sightseeing!

How Far In Advance Do I Need To Book Tours In Oaxaca?

If you are thinking of taking a tour on a weekend, I would recommend a week or two ahead of time. But if you are coming during peak seasons such as Independence Day or Day of the Dead, book a month out to make sure you reserve a spot.

Is Oaxaca City Worth Visiting?

Yes! Oaxaca is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its colonial architecture, cobblestoned streets, outstanding cuisine, top-notch mezcal, history, culture, and the friendliest people.

How Many Days In Oaxaca Is Enough?

I suggest spending a minimum of 4 days in Oaxaca but recommend staying a full week. This way you can take advantage of exploring the best places to visit in Oaxaca, go on tours, and enjoy several unforgettable meals.

Oaxaca isn’t a city you want to rush but rather experience at a slower pace and give in to its alluring appeal…

What Is Oaxaca Most Famous For?

Oaxaca is known as the gastronomic capital of the world making it a must-destination for anyone who appreciates exceptional food.

It is also famous for the Day of the Dead festival, mezcal, archeological ruins, colorful decor, and the warmest people!

🤩 Book The #1 Tour In Oaxaca Today!

Before you go…

Several of these tours are centered around food and cooking class experiences as Oaxaca is known for its incredible food scene!

If you want to learn about the different foods to try when in Oaxaca, make sure to give my post on all the traditional foods of Oaxaca a read…

Hand weaved wool rugs in all colors, sizes, and patterns in a village outside of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Got Travel Insurance?

Don’t leave home without travel insurance as you never know what might happen on a trip! It is always when you least expect it that something can go wrong like getting sick, in an accident or cancellation of some sort.

Get a no-obligation quote from two trusted travel insurance companies for peace of mind on your next trip! I have used both companies on numerous occasions and trust them for myself and my family.

SafetyWing Travel Insurance

World Nomads Travel Insurance

Looking For More Travel Inspiration?

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Vanessa Shields

Vanessa Shields is the founder of Traveling Ness helping people with trip ideas, itineraries, travel planning, and boosting confidence for female travelers to take a solo trip. She has been a travel writer and content creator since 2019.

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