Best Time to Visit Oaxaca (in 2023)
The best time to visit Oaxaca is generally during the dry season, from October until April. The rainy season is from May until September and can also be a good time to visit Oaxaca to avoid crowds.
At the end of the day, there are many factors to consider when figuring out when you want to visit Oaxaca, Mexico. If sightseeing is your main priority, you may want to consider visiting Oaxaca in the rainy season because tour prices will be more affordable and many tourist attractions will be far less crowded.
However, if you want to visit Oaxaca to lounge on the hot sunny beaches, one of the best things to do in Oaxaca, then you should consider traveling to this lively state during the dry season. In this article, we’ll dive into the nuances of the best time to visit Oaxaca. Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
- When is the Best Time to Visit Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Travel Seasons
- Oaxaca Weather and Climate
- Tips for Visiting Oaxaca
- FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Oaxaca
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When is the Best Time to Visit Oaxaca
The best time to visit Oaxaca is from October until April, when the region generally experiences its best weather. The state of Oaxaca sees little to no rain at this time, meaning all beaches and tourist attractions are open and bustling with activity.
Whenever you choose to visit the culturally-rich state of Oaxaca is a good time. There are delicious eateries, archaeological ruins, and salsa fiestas happening year-round in Oaxaca, rain or shine. Here’s a breakdown of when to visit Oaxaca based on your preferences.
When to Visit Oaxaca for Good Weather
You will find the most agreeable weather in Oaxaca, Mexico from October to April.
There is typically no rain during this time, allowing you to explore the state without limitations. The days in Oaxaca City (Oaxaca de Juarez) are usually in the 80s but you will need a jacket for the nights, which sometimes drop to 50 degrees.
The dry season is the best time to visit the beach towns in Oaxaca like Puerto Escondido and Mazunte, although the humidity will be higher at this time. Although the days may only be in the high 80s, the humidity levels can sometimes reach 80-100%.
When to Visit Oaxaca for Cheap Prices
If you want to visit Oaxaca, Mexico on a budget, then you should avoid traveling during the Christmas holidays, when accommodation prices often double in price. The Oaxaca rainy season is the best time to visit the state for cheap prices.
The dry season, from October to April, is by far the most popular time to visit Oaxaca, Mexico, and tourist prices are on the rise. Not only will you save on accommodation during the rainy months, but you will also save big time on Oaxacan tours and restaurant food.
Check out these affordable Oaxacan hostels to save some serious cash while exploring this awesome Mexican destination.
When to Visit Oaxaca for Sunny Beach Days
Visit Oaxaca’s Pacific Ocean beaches during the dry season from October-April. This is when the state experiences its driest weather, and when taking a dip in the ocean is the most alluring.
If you’re interested in catching some of the best waves Oaxaca has to offer, I suggest visiting from early January-early March, the high season for surfing. Serious surfers hit the waves at beaches like Mazunte, Zipolite, and San Augustin.
Although the dry season has the most pleasant weather for enjoying the Oaxacan beaches, you can also visit during the low season to avoid the beach crowds. Every square inch of sand is usually covered with tourists on popular Oaxaca beaches during the peak season, adding to the allure of visiting in the rainy season.
When to Visit Oaxaca for Families and Kids
There’s never a bad time to visit Oaxaca with the family. There are vibrant festivals, colorful walking tours, and open beaches year-round in Oaxaca.
It’s incredibly simple to travel with kids in Mexico, as most accommodation options allow kids. The dry season is the most popular time to travel with kids to Oaxaca because the weather is more enjoyable at this time.
Some popular activities to do with kids are exploring the Monte Alban ruins, taking a trip to Santa Maria del Tule to see the world’s widest tree, and learning about handicraft production at the Oaxaca textile museum during the temperate weather months of October-April.
When to Visit Oaxaca to Avoid Crowds
May-September are the best months to visit Oaxaca if you want to save money and avoid the crazy crowds in Oaxaca City, an increasingly popular tourist destination.
These unpopular, rainy months can be viewed as the best time to visit Oaxaca because you can see more tourist sites without crowds and splurge on fancy meals with the money you’ll be saving on accommodation.
Visiting during the rainy season in Oaxaca, Mexico can be a hit or miss. Many tourists stay away at this time to avoid unpleasant weather but other travelers only have the summers available for vacation.
If you are looking for the ultimate Oaxaca getaway without any crowds whatsoever, I recommend traveling during the rainy season to lesser-known places like San Jose del Pacifico and Teotitlan del Valle.
When to Visit Oaxaca for Day of the Dead Celebrations
The Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de Los Muertos, is celebrated from late October until early November. Some celebrations may start as soon as early October in Oaxaca, but this varies.
This huge cultural event is celebrated from October 31 until November 2. You will find costumed parades lining the cobblestone streets, decorated graves, and muertos symbology all over the state at this time.
Oaxaca City is the best place to view these celebrations. Because this is the area with the densest population in Oaxaca, Mexico (and the most cemeteries) there are more Dia de Los Muertos celebrations in Oaxaca City than in any other area of the state.
Oaxaca Travel Seasons
- 🏖️ Beach Lounging – January-March welcomes the best weather for lounging on the beach, working on your suntan, and learning how to surf. Popular beaches include Puerto Escondido, Mazunte, Huatulco, and Zipolite.
- 🥃 Mezcal Tasting – While you can sip on Oaxaca’s most famous drink any season, it’s best experienced when paired with a sunny day at the beach or an outdoor mezcal ranch tour. Check out these top mezcal tours in Oaxaca for an unforgettable tasting experience during the dry season.
- 🥾 Hiking – The dry season is the best time to get to know the Oaxacan countryside. Take advantage of the dry weather and explore the hiking trails just outside of the city. One of my favorite hikes in Oaxaca is Picacho, located just outside of Teotitlan del Valle. While this hike is fairly straightforward and easy, it’s still one of the coolest hikes in Mexico.
- ✝️ Semana Santa (Holy Week) – Semana Santa is a big celebration in Mexico. Known in the U.S. as Easter, this event is celebrated by most locals at most churches around Oaxaca, Mexico. You may encounter Semana Santa celebrations in the form of a religious procession leading up to a church, or gatherings at Monte Alban, the Zapotec ruins site.
- 🍴 Festival del Mole – Mole was invented not too far away from Oaxaca in the state of Puebla, right next to Mexico City. The festival del Mole is celebrated in May in Teotitlan del Valle, one of the quaintest pueblos in Oaxaca. Try the rich flavors of this Mexican dish and let your tastebuds run wild.
- 🥃 Feria del Mezcal – Enjoy a weeklong fair that celebrates the importance of the national drink of Oaxaca, mezcal. The Feria del Mezcal is held in late July and showcases over 70 mezcal brands and hosts an array of live bands.
- 💃 Guelaguetza Festival – You must attend at least one cultural event while in Oaxaca, Mexico. This celebration is an indigenous event that displays folklore dances, traditional music, and plenty of mezcal tastings.
- 🇲🇽 Independence Day/ Grito de Dolores – Independence Day is one of the biggest celebrations in Mexico. Be sure to visit a bar on September 16 to celebrate with some locals. Large crowds also gather in the main square on the 15th to ring in Independence Day with the governor’s Grito de Dolores, a famous, historic cry that signified the beginning of Mexico’s independence.
- 💀 Dia de Los Muertos – Perhaps the biggest celebration in all of Mexico, Dia de Los Muertos is a cultural celebration not to be missed when you visit Oaxaca City. This is the plateau of Oaxaca culture and celebrations honoring the dead can be experienced from early October until early November with parades and costumes.
- 🎄 Christmas Decorations – Oaxaca is big on celebrating Christmas. Experience the main plaza come alive during the holidays with extravagant light displays and holiday-themed treats.
Oaxaca Weather and Climate
Oaxaca has a sub-tropical climate. Oaxaca City is located in Southern Mexico and sits in a valley surrounded by the Sierra Madre mountain range. The climate here is generally pleasant year-round if you don’t mind rainy summers. The area is the coldest from December-February, despite it being the dry season.
Oaxacan mountain areas are temperate and sub-humid above 3,300 feet. Average temperatures range from the low to high 60s and the rainy months (May-September) can drop even lower. Be sure to always be prepared with a jacket when exploring the Oaxaca mountains, one of the Mexico packing list essentials.
May-September receives 70% of Oaxaca’s total rainfall. The beach areas experience moderate temperatures at this time. The Oaxaca beach areas average 80 degrees during the day and about 70 degrees at night during the winter months of December and January. Humidity can reach upwards of 80% at this time.
Tips for Visiting Oaxaca
The first thing most travelers ask themselves when booking Oaxaca flights is “is Oaxaca safe?” Safety is the most important aspect to consider when traveling anywhere. Check out your country’s official travel advisory before you book an Oaxaca trip to be up-to-date with the latest safety measures of the state.
Reserve Accommodation Ahead of Time
There are so many great places to stay in Oaxaca, many of which book to capacity during the peak season. Reserve your accommodation at least a few days ahead of time so you aren’t stranded when you get to your Oaxaca destination.
A good rule of thumb is to always read hotel reviews before you seal the deal on one. Hear what recent travelers have to say and avoid any unwarranted surprises.
Look for the Best Deals on Tours
One of the best Mexico tips is to wait until you’re at your destination to book a tour. Most tours are marked up by a crazy percentage online. If you want to save as much money as possible, wait until you’re in Mexico to book any tours.
FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Oaxaca
What is the rainy season in Oaxaca?
The rainy season is from May-September in Oaxaca. Although this is the summer and experiences some of the hottest annual temperatures, Oaxaca may be more humid at this time due to the rain.
How many days do you need for Oaxaca?
You will need at least three days to scratch the surface of exploring Oaxaca. This is one of the biggest states in Mexico with so many things to do and sights to see. 1-2 weeks is a more reasonable timeframe to explore the state more in-depth, but 3 days is good enough to explore Oaxaca City.
What is the hottest month in Oaxaca?
Is 5 days in Oaxaca too much?
5 days is a good amount of time to explore Oaxaca City and the surrounding areas. Anything less than 5 days is inadequate because the state is so huge. Plan for 5-14 days if you want to fully explore the best sites in Oaxaca.
That’s it for this guide on the best time to visit Oaxaca! If you have any Oaxaca questions, be sure to let me know in the comments and give our guide on Mexico safety a read before you board your flight.
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