7 Unusual Things To Do In Oaxaca Mexico – 2024 Ultimate Guide


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Oaxaca, Mexico, is a vibrant destination known for its rich culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning landscapes. While popular attractions like Monte Alban and Hierve el Agua draw in many visitors, there are also plenty of unusual things to do in Oaxaca Mexico that offer a unique and memorable experience. From exploring hidden underground caves to witnessing ancient indigenous rituals, Oaxaca is a treasure trove of off-the-beaten-path adventures waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an outdoor enthusiast, Oaxaca has something special to offer for every type of traveler seeking a one-of-a-kind experience.

Visit the Hierve el Agua petrified waterfalls

Essential Information

– Address: Hierve el Agua, San Lorenzo Albarradas, Oaxaca, Mexico
– Opening hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
– Fee: Approximately $3-$5 per person
– Visit duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

The Hierve el Agua petrified waterfalls in Oaxaca, Mexico, offer a unique and captivating experience for visitors. Unlike traditional waterfalls, these mineral formations create the illusion of frozen cascades, making it a truly unusual sight to behold. The main attraction is the two mineral-rich rock formations that resemble cascading waterfalls, giving the impression of petrified water frozen in time.

Visitors can take a refreshing dip in the natural mineral pools, which are said to have healing properties due to their high mineral content. The striking contrast between the vibrant turquoise pools and the surrounding arid landscape creates a surreal and otherworldly atmosphere.

For the more adventurous travelers, hiking trails around Hierve el Agua offer stunning panoramic views of the valleys and mountains, providing a unique perspective of the petrified waterfalls from above. The rugged terrain and unique geological formations make this destination a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Overall, the Hierve el Agua petrified waterfalls stand out as an unusual tourist attraction due to their mesmerizing beauty, healing waters, and distinctive geological features that set them apart from traditional waterfalls. A visit to this natural wonder promises a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave a lasting impression on all who venture to this enchanting destination.

Explore the ancient ruins of Monte Albán

Essential Information

– Address: Santa Cruz Xoxocotlán, Oaxaca, Mexico
– Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
– Fee: $80 MXN for adults, free for children under 13
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts and archaeology buffs

Why is it so unusual

When visiting the ancient ruins of Monte Albán in Oaxaca, Mexico, you’ll discover a site that offers more than just the typical historical experience. While exploring the well-preserved structures and intricate carvings, consider participating in a unique activity like a guided stargazing tour. Imagine standing amidst the ancient pyramids as you gaze up at the twinkling night sky, learning about the celestial significance to the Zapotec people who once inhabited this sacred place.

For a hands-on experience, try your hand at traditional Zapotec pottery making with a local artisan. Feel the clay between your fingers as you mold and shape it into a piece of art, connecting with the ancient craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations. You can even take your creation home as a special souvenir of your time at Monte Albán.

For a taste of authentic Zapotec cuisine, join a cooking class where you’ll learn to prepare traditional dishes using local ingredients and age-old techniques. Savor the flavors of Oaxacan cuisine while surrounded by the ancient ruins, creating a sensory experience that combines history, culture, and gastronomy.

In addition to these unique activities, don’t miss the opportunity to witness a traditional Zapotec dance performance. Watch as skilled dancers move to the rhythm of ancient music, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the region in a mesmerizing display of artistry and tradition.

Exploring the ancient ruins of Monte Albán goes beyond the typical tourist experience, offering a chance to engage with the history and culture of the Zapotec civilization in unexpected and unforgettable ways.

Take a mezcal tasting tour

Essential Information

– Address: Oaxaca, Mexico
– Opening hours: Varies by tour operator
– Fee: Typically ranges from $30 to $100 per person
– Visit duration: 2 to 4 hours
– Ideal for: Mezcal enthusiasts, food and drink lovers

Why is it so unusual

When visiting Oaxaca, Mexico, one of the most unusual yet delightful experiences you can partake in is a mezcal tasting tour. Unlike the more common tequila, mezcal is a unique spirit with a distinct smoky flavor that is deeply rooted in Mexican culture. What sets a mezcal tasting tour apart is the opportunity to not only sample different varieties of this artisanal drink but also to gain insight into the traditional production methods that have been passed down through generations.

During a mezcal tasting tour, you will have the chance to visit local distilleries where the agave plants are harvested and processed to create this flavorful spirit. Witnessing the traditional methods of roasting the agave hearts in underground pits, fermenting the juices, and distilling the liquid in copper stills is a truly immersive experience that offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of mezcal production.

Moreover, what makes a mezcal tasting tour truly unusual is the opportunity to engage all your senses. From the earthy aroma of the agave plants to the smoky notes of the finished mezcal, each sip tells a story of craftsmanship and tradition. Some tours even offer the chance to pair mezcal with local Oaxacan cuisine, enhancing the tasting experience and showcasing the versatility of this spirit in culinary settings.

In conclusion, a mezcal tasting tour in Oaxaca is not just about sampling a spirit; it is a journey into the heart of Mexican culture, where tradition, flavor, and history blend seamlessly to create a truly unforgettable experience. So, if you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure during your travels, be sure to add a mezcal tasting tour to your itinerary in Oaxaca.

Discover the mysterious Hierve el Agua mineral springs

Essential Information

– Address: Hierve el Agua, San Lorenzo Albarradas, Oaxaca, Mexico
– Opening hours: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
– Fee: $50 per person
– Visit duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

Hierve el Agua mineral springs in Oaxaca, Mexico, offer a unique experience for travelers seeking something out of the ordinary. Unlike traditional hot springs, Hierve el Agua is known for its petrified waterfall formations that resemble cascading water frozen in time. Visitors can marvel at the natural rock formations that mimic the appearance of flowing water, creating a surreal and captivating sight.

One of the most unusual activities at Hierve el Agua is the opportunity to swim in the mineral-rich pools that overlook the stunning valley below. The mineral content of the water is said to have healing properties and provides a rejuvenating experience for those brave enough to take a dip.

For the more adventurous souls, hiking along the cliffside trails that lead to panoramic viewpoints is a must-do activity. The rugged terrain and breathtaking vistas offer a sense of exhilaration and awe, making Hierve el Agua a destination unlike any other.

In addition to the natural wonders, visitors can also explore the nearby archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into the ancient civilizations that once inhabited the region. The combination of natural beauty and historical significance makes Hierve el Agua a truly unique and unforgettable destination for travelers looking to experience the extraordinary.

Visit the ethereal Tule Tree

Essential Information

– Address: Calle Porfirio Díaz, Santa María del Tule, Oaxaca, Mexico
– Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
– Fee: Small entrance fee
– Visit Duration: 1-2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

The Tule Tree in Oaxaca, Mexico, stands as a remarkable natural wonder that captivates visitors from around the world. What makes this attraction truly unique is its sheer size and age. Believed to be over 2,000 years old, this ancient Montezuma cypress tree is renowned for having one of the stoutest trunks of any tree in the world. Its massive girth and towering height create a surreal atmosphere, making it a must-see for those seeking a glimpse of nature’s grandeur.

Visitors to the Tule Tree can engage in activities that are truly out of the ordinary. One such activity is circling the tree to appreciate its colossal dimensions up close. The intricate patterns and textures of the tree’s bark tell a story of centuries past, offering a glimpse into the resilience of nature. Additionally, visitors can partake in guided tours that provide insights into the tree’s cultural significance and ecological importance, shedding light on its role in local folklore and environmental conservation efforts.

For those seeking a unique experience, the Tule Tree offers a setting for quiet contemplation and reflection. The peaceful ambiance surrounding the tree invites visitors to connect with nature in a profound way, fostering a sense of awe and reverence for the natural world. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a curious explorer, a visit to the Tule Tree promises an unforgettable encounter with a living testament to the passage of time and the enduring beauty of the natural world.

Explore the underground caves of Grutas de Cacahuamilpa

Essential Information

– Address: Carretera Taxco-Cacahuamilpa Km. 6, 40200 Taxco, Guerrero, Mexico
– Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily
– Fee: $150 MXN per person
– Visit Duration: Approximately 2 hours
– Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring the underground wonders of Mexico, the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa caves stand out as a truly unique attraction. What makes this destination so unusual is the opportunity it offers to venture deep into the earth and witness the mesmerizing natural formations that have been sculpted over millions of years.

One of the most unusual activities at Grutas de Cacahuamilpa is the chance to witness the Cathedral Room, a vast chamber with towering stalactites and stalagmites that create an otherworldly atmosphere. As you walk through the dimly lit passages, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a hidden realm untouched by time.

Another remarkable feature of these caves is the underground river that flows through them, adding a sense of mystery and adventure to your exploration. Visitors can even take a boat ride along the subterranean river, allowing them to admire the unique rock formations from a different perspective.

For those seeking a more adrenaline-pumping experience, the caves also offer the opportunity for spelunking, allowing you to navigate through narrow passageways and climb over rocky obstacles. This activity is not for the faint of heart but promises an unforgettable adventure for those willing to take on the challenge.

Overall, the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa caves offer a truly unusual and captivating experience for travelers looking to delve into the depths of the earth and witness the raw beauty of nature’s underground wonders.

Experience the natural beauty of Lagunas de Chacahua National Park

Essential Information

– Address: Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, Oaxaca, Mexico
– Opening hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
– Fee: Entrance fee varies, check official website for current rates
– Visit duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Nature lovers, bird watchers, adventure seekers

Why is it so unusual

Lagunas de Chacahua National Park offers a unique experience for visitors seeking something beyond the ordinary. One of the unusual activities you can partake in is exploring the mangrove forests by kayak. Paddling through the serene waters surrounded by lush mangroves provides a peaceful and immersive experience in nature.

For the more adventurous souls, night tours to witness the bioluminescent plankton in the lagoons are a must-do. As darkness falls, the waters come alive with glowing organisms, creating a magical and surreal spectacle that is truly unforgettable.

Another uncommon activity at Lagunas de Chacahua is the opportunity to spot crocodiles in their natural habitat. Guided tours take you to prime crocodile viewing spots where you can observe these fascinating creatures up close, all while ensuring your safety.

If you’re a bird enthusiast, the park is home to a diverse range of bird species, including herons, egrets, and kingfishers. Bird watching tours offer a chance to observe these feathered inhabitants in their natural environment, making it a paradise for ornithologists and nature photographers alike.

In conclusion, Lagunas de Chacahua National Park stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its off-the-beaten-path activities that allow visitors to connect with nature in a truly unique way. Whether you’re kayaking through mangroves, marveling at bioluminescent plankton, or observing crocodiles and birds, this park offers a one-of-a-kind experience for those willing to explore its hidden gems.

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