Tours — Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
Tours offer a convenient way of visiting a place, especially when pinched for time, by avoiding many of the inevitable hassles that come with self-organizing an excursion. What's more, many reputable outfits offer outings with a myriad of bents — cultural, archaeological, ecological, and outdoor adventure. In Oaxaca, guided tours go just about anywhere and do just about anything imaginable in the city, the valleys, the surrounding sierras, and all the way to the Pacific coast, lasting anywhere between half a day to several days.
Expect short half-day valley tours to cost around Mex$200 and longer full-day tours to cost around Mex$250-350. Typically, admission fees and meals, particularly when restaurants or cafés are readily available, are not included. Multi-day tours cost much more, depending on activities and length.
In general, when choosing a tour company, it's best to stick with an outfit specializing in one or two things; presumably, it'll do them well. If a company claims it can do many things, chances are it'll be mediocre at them all.
This listing of tour companies, although not complete, comes from recommendations by other travelers. In fact, word of mouth is the best way to determine if a tour is right for you — talk to other travelers, ask at the front desk, check with Spanish Language schools, or visit the tourist information office. Also, make sure to check the listings in this guide for tours in places of interest, since most do not have a presence in the city.
Furthermore, travel agents sometimes put together their own tours or can book them through tour companies. Lastly, consider hiring a private guide. Even though they cost more than tours, expenses can be shared with other travelers.
Academic Tours in Oaxaca • Tours • (E)
Located just over a mile north of the Zócalo in the Lomas del Crestón neighborhood, west of Colonia Reforma, Academic Tours specializes in putting together customized tours with a focus on the the state's cultural and historical heritage, including walking tours of the city's colonial center. Its website has detailed information on tours, lectures, and prices.
Ecoturixtlán • Outdoor Adventure Tours • (G)
Ecotourist cooperative run by the village of Ixtlan de Juarez in the Sierra Norte mountains. Activities and amenities include hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding along pine- and oak-forested trails; cabins with fireplaces; and a restaurant that serves traditional Oaxacan food. In Ixtlan de Juarez the office is at Av. 16 de Septiembre, corner of Revolución in front of city hall, 951-553-6075.
- Rayón 608, east of Manuel Doblado; South of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Fri 8 am - 2 pm & 4 - 7 pm, Sat 8 - 11 am; phone 951-514-1104; www.cdi.gob.mx/ecoturismo/oaxaca_ecoturixtlan.html; email@example.com.
Rancho Buenavista • Outdoor Adventure Tours • (H)
From its headquarters, a ranch twenty minutes outside the city in full view of Monte Albán, Rancho Buenavista leads guided rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking outings in the valleys and Sierra Norte and to the Pacific coast, as well as mountaineering expeditions outside of the state to the summits of the Pico de Orizaba, La Malinche, and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes. A stay at the ranch is in itself a worthwhile experience, with comfortable cabañas (Mex$300, or pitch a tent for only Mex$50), nearby hiking trails, and interesting villages within walking distance. Their website has detailed information on outings and accommodations.
- 5 de Mayo 204, north of Morelos; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon-Fri 10 am – 1 pm & 4 – 8 pm; phone 951-501-2282; cell 951-439-9629; www.ranchobuenavista.com.mx.
Tierraventura • Tours • (J)
Run by a multilingual German an Swiss couple, Tierraventura operates guided ecotours and workshops throughout the state focused on cultural exchanges, traditional medicines, ecological awareness, and hiking. Their website has detailed information on tours, workshops, and prices.
- Abasolo 217, one block east of Reforma; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Fri 10 am – 2 pm & 4 – 6 pm; phone 951-501-1363; www.tierraventura.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turismo El Convento • Tours • (K)
Provides airport pickup service, half- and full-day tours of the city and the valleys, and private group tours. Drivers and guides who speak English, French, German, or Italian are available upon request.
- 5 de Mayo 300, north of Murguia; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; phone 951-516-5791, 951-516-1806; cell 951-149-8243; www.oaxacaexperts.com; email@example.com.
Viajes Turisticos Mitla • Tours • (L)
Runs tours to many valley sites. Main office is at Hotel Rivera del Angel; satellite office at the Hostal Santa Rosa (Trujano 201, corner 20 de Noviembre, one block west of the Zócalo, 951-514-7800 or 951-514-7806). Notable is their inexpensive shuttle to Monte Albán, with multiple daily departures from the Hostal Santa Rosa, call 951-516-6175 or drop by to make reservation.
- Alcalá 407-18, Santo Domingo Plaza, upstairs; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; phone 951-516-1005; www.oaxacainfo.com/oaxaca-tours.htm.
- Bravo 210A, west of García Vigil; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; phone 951-514-3271, 951-514-3628; www.xochitlan-tours.com.mx; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- North side of the Zócalo at the Hotel Marqués del Valle; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; phone 951-514-6962.
- 5 de Mayo 412, north of Bravo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; phone 951-516-0512, 951-514-5086; email@example.com.
Bicicletas Pedro Martinez • Outdoor Adventure Tours, Bike Rental • (O)
Runs half- and full-day guided bike tours for all levels in the city and the valleys and multi-day trips to the sierras and the Pacific coast. Also runs guided hikes and mixed tours of hiking and biking. Costs vary, starting at Mex$430 for city bike tours and topping off at Mex$4250 (all inclusive) for the four-day trip to Puerto Escondido. All guided trips have a two person minimum. Bike rentals are available for Mex$120 per day, includes helmet, lock, tools, and map. The shop also sells new and used bikes, as well as a full line of accessories.
- Aldama 418, east of Díaz Ordaz; South of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 9 am - 7 pm; phone 951-514-5935; www.bicicletaspedromartinez.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zona Bici • Bike Tours, Bike Rental • (B)
Conducts half-day guided bike tours for all levels in the city and the valleys (Mex$330, all inclusive, two person minimum, reserve a day ahead, bring passport). Bike rentals are available for Mex$120 per day, includes helmet, lock, and tools. The shop also sells new and used bikes, as well as a full line of accessories.
- García Vigil 406, north of Abasolo; North of Independencia, Centro Histórico; Mon - Sat 10 am - 2:30 pm, 4:30 - 8:30 pm; phone 951-516-0953; www.bikeoaxaca.com; email@example.com.