Cheap Flights to Oaxaca
Xoxocotlán International Airport (OAX) is located near the southern tip of Mexico. It's close to the laid-back atmosphere of Oaxaca, a region full of cultural attractions, festivals and historic sites, such as the ancient ruins of Monte Alban. Despite its small size and single runway, many direct commuter jet-sized flights are available that will help you sidestep a stop in Mexico City. It's also a convenient place to hop connecting flights to other parts of Mexico and Latin America.
Fly to Xoxocotlán International Airport
When booking flights to Oaxaca, be sure your passport is current and will not expire during your trip. Xoxocotlán International Airport is small, with only three gates, so customs is not a tedious experience. The airport receives traffic from Aeromexico, Mexicana, Azteca and United Airlines, among others. Facilities in the terminal are simple, with a single waiting area for all flights. There are also ticket counters, a gift shop, ATMs and a bank on the lower level where you can exchange currency. The airport is located about 6 miles from the city of Oaxaca, and taxis are available to take you to your final destination for a reasonable fee of $15, including tip.
Attractions in Oaxaca
While in Oaxaca, it's worthwhile to take a day trip to the ruins of Monte Alban, an ancient religious site that is very well preserved. You may also enjoy downtown Oaxaca's Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, a very elaborate church that dates back to the 1500s. Culture buffs should stop in at the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca right next door. This museum has artifacts dating from the region's ancient history right up to the present day.
Visitors who enjoy the outdoors will be able to find places to ride horses, take hikes or ride bicycles. Many organizations offer guided outings at reasonable rates.
Most travelers enjoy staying in the downtown area, which has a wide range of accommodations that range from luxury suites in historic buildings to modern hotels. Hostels and inns are also plentiful.
Hints and Tips for Visiting Oaxaca
The most important cultural festival on Oaxaca's calendar is the annual Guelaguetza, a folk dance festival with open-air staging that takes place in July. At the end of October, Oaxaca hosts a very festive Day of the Dead that features parades, performances and sand paintings in the streets. Music is an important part of Mexican life, and Oaxaca has plenty of it, with traditional music, world music and reggae featured in several of the city's live venues.
Mexican cuisine is widespread here. You'll find tortillas stuffed with meat or seafood, tamales and, for the more adventurous, crunchy chapulines (roasted grasshoppers). An average dinner for two costs about $35.
Oaxaca's climate is temperate throughout the year, with summers typically hitting the mid-80s and winters that rarely drop below the 50s. The city is not a wealthy one, but the standout cuisine and culture continue to draw more and more sightseers. Be sure to book hotels and flights well in advance, especially if you're traveling between October and March.