Are you planning to travel to Oaxaca, Mexico? Oaxaca is one of our favorite states to travel in Mexico, not just because of the beauty and diversity, but to also meet amazingly talented Mexican artists! Here are some tips and info on Oaxaca from us at El Interior to better prepare you for your trip.
1) Learn more about Oaxaca before your trip:
Consult the Oaxaca Tourism Office website at http://www.oaxaca-travel.com/guide/index.php?lang=us
This is an English-language reference resource. The Tourism Office also offers a list of events, attractions and background for the places we will visit and others you might want to see on your own. They also provide maps and brochures of the State of Oaxaca. Most staff members speak English. Also, you can consult the Oaxaca Times, a monthly newspaper for tourists, which is published in English. It can be found online at http://www.oaxacatimes.com .
We would also urge you to consult the excellent background presentations on the Historic Center of Oaxaca (where we will be lodged), Monte Alban and Mitla. These are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. More information can be found at http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Oaxaca and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Alb%C3%A1n .
More information on the pre-Columbian ruins of Mitla is listed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitla
The Tiacochahuaya Cathedral is a most unique 16th century church and home to an extensive colonial art collection and famous organ. The latter can be seen and heard at
2) Money Matters: Banks, Currencies and Credit Cards
The United States dollar is widely accepted but if you have any other type of currency. we recommend exchanging it at money-exchange offices during your stay. We recommend exchanging an amount equivalent to $100 once you arrive in Oaxaca. You will have access to automatic tellers. Bancomer ATM’s provide PLUS and CIRRUS systems and offer menus in both Spanish and English.
Generally, you can exchange traveler’s checks or cash at money-exchanges. Though dollars are accepted everywhere (and preferred), we recommend using pesos or credit cards during your stay.
Prices posted in pesos are printed thus: $25.00 M.N. “M.N. means Moneda Nacional” [National Currency] or pesos paper currency.
The major credit cards accepted are American Express, VISA and MasterCard. When you register at the hotel, you will be asked for a credit card for additional charges, and then asked to sign a blank voucher. This is common practice and should not be viewed with suspicion. When you close your account, they must hand you the voucher for elimination, unless the hotel services have been charged to your card by prior authorization.
3) Staying Healthy
Visitors who are not used to spicy Oaxacan foods or have different eating habits might suffer some form of intestinal difficulty. We only eat at established restaurants that meet high hygienic standards. We recommend drinking from purified water bottles, since tap water is not potable and should not be ingested.
In order to avoid stomach troubles simply follow these guidelines:
• Always wash your hands before meals
• Beware of consuming foods from street vendors
• Drink only bottled water
• Do carry medicines, such as Imodium, to treat an upset stomach
• Take it easy the first few days
• Try to nap during the afternoon
• Tequila and Mezcal should be treated with the utmost respect
In case of a problem, you will find pharmacies well-stocked with suitable medicines. Our hotel is within blocks of the hospital district, several of which offer medical services on a par with US hospitals.
Before leaving home, check with your insurance company about coverage in Mexico.
Immunizations (vaccine shots) are not necessary to travel from the United States into Mexico.
Now, let’s enjoy the delicious Oaxacan food and drink!
4) What to pack
In Oaxaca, light clothing is appropriate for almost all occasions. In general, the climate in Oaxaca is warm, except in the evenings, where it is necessary to wear a sweater. There are few taboos or customs regarding “appropriate dress code” for most circumstances, except that shorts or Bermudas must not be worn inside a church.
Don’t forget to pack:
An extra pair of reading glasses or contacts
Comfortable walking shoes
Dollar bills (for gratuities)
A pocket-size Spanish/English dictionary
Camera and extra batteries
A spirit of adventure and good sense of humor
A good book
Small electric devices such as chargers for cells, laptops or hair dryers
Note: The electric current in Mexico is 110 volts, same as in the United States
5) Telephone Calls and Internet Connections
Calls from hotel rooms are often quite costly; however, and depending on your cellular carrier and service, you should be able to buy a local SIM card so that you can use your cell phone to call back to the United States. You can also make collect calls or use an international calling card that can be bought in most any store. You can make long distance telephone calls from almost any public telephone in the City of Oaxaca. Ask the hotel operator about any charges or fees before making a telephone call.
• National Long Distance: 01 + Telephone Number
• International Long Distance to the US: 001 + Telephone Number
• International Long Distance to other countries: )) = Country + Telephone Number
Any tips that we missed? Comment them below to help us keep this post up to date! Have a wonderful trip!