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Magical Towns of Oaxaca: The Top 5 Must-Visit Magical Towns of Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a state in Mexico that is home to 5 wonderful Magical Towns, each with a unique cultural, historical, and symbolic richness. These towns stand out for preserving ancestral traditions and offering authentic experiences to visitors.

Towns You Absolutely Must Visit

Each of these towns we will present to you next has its particular charm and possesses a magical atmosphere that transports you to bygone times. From their colorful cobblestone streets to their traditional festivals, these Magical Towns invite you to immerse yourself in the richness of Oaxacan culture. Exploring these destinations offers you the opportunity to discover local craftsmanship, taste delicious gastronomy, and enjoy the warmth of its people. These enigmatic towns of Oaxaca are true treasures that allow you to delve into the essence and magic of this fascinating region of Mexico.

San Pablo Villa Mitla

San Pablo Villa Mitla from Oaxaca

Mitla is a charming town in the central valleys of Oaxaca, where you can find the impressive Hierve el Agua waterfalls, which, despite their name, are not made of water but of rock, due to the petrification of minerals suspended in the flow. You can enjoy bathing in a natural pool and marvel at the ancient irrigation system and terraces built by the Zapotecs over two millennia ago.

You can also visit the archaeological site known for its viceregal buildings. We have the Church of San Pablo, built on a Zapotec complex, where one of the pre-Columbian platforms became a courtyard. Its four domes, three octagonal and one circular, enhance its architectural beauty.

You can’t leave Mitla without tasting its culinary delights. We recommend trying the liver with eggs, as well as the famous moles that have made the region of Oaxaca famous.

Mitla offers you a unique combination of natural wonders, archaeological sites, and authentic flavors.

Huautla de Jiménez

Huautla de jiménez from Oaxaca

Huautla is one of the most recognized towns in Oaxaca, known as the birthplace of María Sabina, a famous healer and known as the “Mushroom Priestess.” Located in the Mazatec Sierra, Huautla is considered the epicenter of shamanic tourism and has been visited by celebrities like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones.

This town has a rich cultural history and was inhabited by the Mazatecs, one of the main cultures of Oaxaca. It is also part of the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, recognized by UNESCO as a natural heritage site since 2018.

Among its tourist attractions are the Casa Museo de María Sabina, the Cathedral of San Juan Evangelista, the San Sebastián Caves, the Coffee Plantations, and the Cerro de la Adoración. Huautla is also known for its craftsmanship, where you can acquire regional costumes, artisan jewelry, huipiles, and quexquémitls.

When it comes to gastronomy, you can enjoy tamales de tesmole, goat broth, yellow mole, roasted bone mole, chayote with egg, and scallion tamales. To refresh yourself, you can’t miss trying the sour atole, a traditional drink made from fermented corn.

The distance between Oaxaca and Huautla is approximately 241 km, with an estimated travel time of around 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Capulálpam de Méndez

Copulálpam de Méndez from Oaxaca

Capulálpam de Méndez, located in the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca, stands out for its rich musical, medicinal, and gastronomic tradition, as well as its beautiful architectural landscape and natural surroundings.

The indigenous musical genre “jarabe” awakens a true passion among the inhabitants of Capulálpam, who enjoy it and pass on their enthusiasm to tourists.

In this town, you will find a recognized Traditional Medicine Center, which attracts visitors from all over the state and the country due to the reputation of its natural treatments, which include cleansings, massages, temazcal baths, and other traditional practices.

For outdoor fun lovers, the Los Molinos Recreational Center offers activities such as rappelling on a 60-meter rocky wall and a 100-meter zipline that crosses the river from a height of 40 meters. The Cueva del Arroyo is also a point of interest, with fascinating rock formations and opportunities for climbing and rappelling on its walls.

The parish church of San Mateo, famous for its work in yellow quarry and its 14 altarpieces. We recommend panoramic views, the viewpoints of El Calvario and La Cruz, where you can observe orchids and birds.

In gastronomy, we have mole chichilo, prepared with different types of chilies and peas. The typical breakfast includes tlayudas and tamales cooked in traditional anafres.


Mazunte from Oaxaca

Mazunte is a charming coastal town in Oaxaca, captivating visitors with its beautiful beaches, ecological activities, and vibrant festivals.

The tropical climate of Mazunte invites tourists to shed their clothes and enjoy the beaches of the town and its surroundings, such as Zipolite, Punta Cometa, San Agustinillo, and Puerto Ángel. Houses are built in harmony with the environment, and on its main beach, there are hotels that offer all the necessary amenities for an unforgettable vacation. In the past, the olive ridley and olive turtles were in danger of extinction due to uncontrolled commercial exploitation. However, in 1994, the Mexican Turtle Center was established, marking a shift towards ecological tourism and silver in Mazunte.

The center boasts an impressive aquarium and organizes exciting turtle hatchling release ceremonies that have been bred from eggs collected on the beaches. Mazunte is known for its lively festivals held throughout the year. Zipolite beach is one of the few nudist places in the country and is the scene of gatherings where participants enjoy concerts, theater, yoga, and other clothing-optional events. The International Jazz Festival, held during the last weekend of November, combines music and environmental activities, creating a charming encounter between music and ecology.

In Mazunte, you can delight in delicious fresh seafood, but you will also find culinary specialties from the interior, such as the famous Oaxacan mole.

Santa Catarina Juquila

Santa Catarina Juquila from Oaxaca

Juquila, its name finds its roots in Nahuatl “Jukilla,” which means “Place of the beautiful legume,” although its correct denomination is “Xiuquilla,” which translates as “Place where blue quelite abounds.”

The Sanctuary of the Virgin Inmaculada de Juquila is the fifth most visited place by Catholics in Mexico, which is not surprising since the Virgin has been venerated since 1719. It is celebrated on December 8th. During this celebration, the faithful descend to two pools to bathe as a devotional act during their visit. It is a very important religious destination within the Magical Towns of Oaxaca.

You can explore the Juquila Faith Route, which crosses three regions of the state of Oaxaca: the Central Valleys, the Southern Sierra, and the Coast.

You can also visit the Chorro Conejo, an impressive natural waterfall approximately 30 meters high, surrounded by a pine forest and with three pools.

There is the natural spa Río Olla, where cold water allows you to listen to the birdsong while you relax.

Regarding gastronomy, Juquila offers delicious dishes such as tlayudas, pickled pork feet, pozole, and chicatanas. Atole, water chocolate, or immerse yourself in typical regional drinks, such as El Lorito, Juquila en llamas, and Miss Juquila, all prepared with mezcal.

You can’t miss visiting the craft workshops of Juquila, where you can turn pieces of wood into beautiful sculptures of virgins.

Disfruta las raíces del mezcal, la bebida espiritual más antigua de México desde Quiegolani.

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