I am happy to report that Oaxaca is booming and packed with tourists this high season. I attribute this very strong increase in tourism and interest in the city to a lot of great international press about Oaxaca, American Airline’s new direct daily flight to Oaxaca from Dallas, Texas and just the word of mouth enthusiasm about the state of Oaxaca.
New, very nice restaurants and boutique hotels are opening up every day and, as always, cultural attractions abound both in the city of Oaxaca as well as throughout the state. Lent is underway and the city and countryside are, as is much of Mexico, adorned with beautifully blooming jacaranda trees. This is always a thought-provoking time of year as the color associated with Lent is purple, which happens to be the same color as the jacaranda blooms. Every Friday afternoon and evening, Stations of the Cross processions are encountered in almost every colonia throughout the city.
But there is more to the state of Oaxaca than Oaxaca City. I recently visited several towns on the Oaxacan coast, incuding beautiful expat center Puerto Escondido, as well as Mazunte, San Agustinillo, Huatulco and many of the places in between.
Mazunte was hopping as was neighboring San Agustinillo, which was celebrating its annual feast day. I stayed in Huatulco with my good friends Brooke and Richard Gazer who own the beautiful Agua Azul B&B. I also enjoyed delicious fish tacos at El Güero on La Bocana Beach.
Huatulco is officially called Las Bahias de Huatulco because it is built around nine beautiful bays. In Huatulco, every vacation and living option is available, from the economical to the most luxurious imaginable. During one of Brooke’s very enjoyable breakfasts in Agua Azul’s beautiful palapa dining room, which overlooks Bahia Conejos, she told me about a botanical garden just an hour north of Huatulco called Hagia Sofia. The existence of such a place reminds me that after 35 years of living in and traveling around this wonderful country, I never go anywhere without discovering something new and amazing!
You should also know that the biosphere of Oaxaca is one of the most diverse in the world and a major tourist attraction. Driving the approximately 200 miles from the tropical coast of Oaxaca to the Mixteca Alta, you will pass through pine-covered rain forests in the Sierra Sur, the semi-arid central valley of Oaxaca, which is a bit over 5,000 ft. above sea level, to the spectacular rainbow-colored, semi-desert surrounding Santo Domingo Yanhuitlan, the center of a UNESCO Geo Park.
With all of this surrounding us, no wonder Oaxaca City and the state of Oaxaca are booming this season!