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San Martín Tilcajete, Oaxaca

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A couple of dozen artisan display their alebrijes just west of church.

The sitio for camionetas to Ocotlán is on the main road into town across from the mercado.

The sitio for colectivos to the city of Oaxaca is on the main road into town on the eastern edge of town.

In the city of Oaxaca, the sitio for colectivos is five blocks south of the Zócalo at Artista 107.

Second-class ordinario buses heading north or south on highway 175 between Oaxaca and Ocotlán will stop at the intersection with the main road into the village of San Martín Tilcajete. From there, it's a ten minute walk to the alebrije shops and market, or take a mototaxi.

In Ocotlán, colectivos and camionetas depart for San Martín Tilcajete (Mex$8) from the sitio on Cuauhtémoc. From the northwest corner of the Zocalo, walk north on the main road into Ocotlan for one block, turn left on Corregidora, and then continue for one and a half blocks until you come to Cuauhtémoc, marked by a sign to the parking lot. Turn right and walk fifty meters until you come to the parking lot.

Azucena Zapoteca, Oaxacan Restaurant ($-$$$), Alebrijes
The husband and wife team of Jacobo and Maria Angeles Ojeda run a first-rate restaurant and gallery on the side of highway 175, right at the turn off to the village of San Martín Tilcajete, making it a fine place to stop for lunch or to peruse for alebrijes — the colorful wood sculptures the village is known for. The kitchen serves up a large selection of delicious Oaxacan staples, priced for every budget, with very generous portions. Most days the sculptures and painters are working outside in front of the gallery. So you may as well dine outside and watch them while they're creating their whimsical figures. The family also runs a small gallery in the village (Jacobo Angeles Ojeda, Calle Olvido No. 9), with even more alebrijes to choose.

  • On the east side of highway 175 at the turnoff to San Martín Tilcajete (KM 23.5); daily 8 am - 7 pm; phone (951) 524-9027, (951) 510-7884; www.tilcajete.org
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