A Mexican Oasis: A Weekend in Oaxaca

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Advisor - Nicole Cueto
Curated By

Nicole Cueto

  • Oaxaca

  • Arts & Culture

  • Active Travel

  • Mexico

  • Weekend Getaways

  • Outdoors

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Food

cactus plants in front of a door of a white building
Curator’s statement

Nestled in the Sierra Juarez mountains, Oaxaca is a sight to behold. A relatively small, colonial Mexican town, Oaxaca (also the name of the state in which it sits) is full of colorful facades, delish food options and some of the country’s richest history. A weekend in this central Mexican province is exactly what the soul needs.

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Day 1: Quick getaway — retreat in Oaxaca

A colorful street with people walking in Oaxaca.

If you’re planning a quick getaway, there’s plenty to do in this short period. Arriving on a Thursday, you’ll check into Flavia Hotel just outside of the center of town, perched on a hillside. This design-forward hotel by architect João Boto Cæiro, is truly a feast for the eyes. The modern, yet eclectic multi-level space is a retreat all its own. With an open-air indoor/outdoor dining room and bar that overlooks the infinity pool, you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time here overlooking Oaxaca below.

Each room is designed differently and architecturally unique. Elements of stone, woven textiles and artisanal furnishings envelope each room. As a boutique hotel, there are limited guest rooms, but if you’re lucky enough and the “Bunker” room is available, do yourself and favor and book it! With a stone oval-shaped bathtub smack in the middle of the room and a round cutout in the ceiling to cast a beam of natural light over it, you won’t regret staying in this stunner.

Once you’ve settled into your hotel, make your way into town for an afternoon of local discovery and culinary indulgence. Tour the small, magical streets of Oaxaca stopping into PugSeal for a view of another design friendly hotel. Grab a coffee at one of the many boutique coffee shops, make your way to the square to visit the Cathedral and ultimately find yourself at Casa Oaxaca for a truly beautiful dining experience. Make sure you book a rooftop table.

After dinner, stroll the streets and find yourself among the locals at Sabina Sabe, a cozy cocktail bar where you’ll imbibe some lovely libations. But don’t drink too much, you’ll have a full itinerary for the next few days.

Day 2: Friday bliss — Hierve El Agua & culinary delights

A view of petrified waterfalls in Oaxaca.

On Friday morning, wake up bright and early to make your way to the ever-so-popular bakery and restaurant, Boulenc, before your trek to Hierve el Agua. Doors open at 8:30AM, but people start lining up before. While no one loves waiting in line, this one moves fast and it’s so worth it. Once breakfast is over, make sure to stop next door at their standalone bakery to grab some snacks for the road.

Your journey to Hierve El Agua, whether via private transfer or group tour, will be about a two hour car ride, but the vistas are beautiful along the way. Hierve El Agua is one of the world’s only petrified waterfalls, surrounded by small dipping pools overlooking the valley below. Consider spending anywhere between 1-2 hours here (unless you’re an avid hiker,) as you’ll want to make your way back to town by 3:00PM to rest and get ready for your final evening in Oaxaca center.

In the early evening, you’ll head back into town to tour the vibrant neighborhood of Jalatlaco - an artsy, bright area with tons of street art. There are plenty of shops, bars and places to eat, but don’t tempt yourself - you’ll want to save space for the best meal of the trip.

As you wander the sunset-lit streets observing the locals enjoy their surroundings, it’ll be hard to not want to stop every few steps. But you’ll want to make your way to Criollo, a boutique B&B and impressive dining destination.

What doesn’t look like much from the street, turns into a magical oasis behind four walls. An open air dining room and dimly lit bar off to the side, is what you can expect at Criollo. As music plays in the background, low voices can be heard chatting across tables, but the ambiance is pleasant and welcoming. Before you know it, you’ll be greeted with a seven course tasting menu that might change your life. But make sure you wash it down with the whiskey and mamey cocktail, it’s definitely a crowd pleaser.

After a sun-drenched and long day followed by a delicious dinner, you’ll probably want to enjoy some R&R in your awe-inspiring accommodations to prepare for your journey the next day. Feel free to stop by Flavia’s pool-side bar for some live music and a quick nite cap to close it all out.

Day 3: Casa Silencio retreat — mezcal & luxury

Lines of agaves in a field.

For your next full day, you can enjoy sleeping in and take advantage of your last morning at Hotel Flavia, including a chilaquiles breakfast by the pool before you head out to your next fabulous find: Casa Silencio.

Casa Silencio is a mountainside oasis nestled deep in the valley among endless rows of agave plants. A small batch distillery, Casa Silencio is a six-suite luxurious hideaway that makes you feel like you never want to leave.

When you arrive to Casa Silencio, you’ll be greeted with an incredibly delicious welcome cocktail made from their top-shelf mezcal. You’ll be escorted to one of the six uniquely designed rooms where you’ll be blown away by the design and attention to detail. Focused on natural elements like stone, wood and glass, these rooms are truly a design-enthusiasts dream.

Here you can relax and unwind, but don’t get too comfortable, you’ll be heading to an incredible mezcal tour and tasting. During this tour and tasting, you’ll be escorted around the property by the manager and mezcal expert. Here, he’ll show you the process from beginning to end, explain their sustainability model and bring you to 53-foot long communal table where you’ll be greeted by the most intricately (and intentionally) designed bites - a feat that took nearly eight months to perfect. Later, you’ll be seated at the most beautiful, candlelit five-course meal you’ve ever experienced overlooking the mountains at sunset. A more special, intimate experience, there is not.

Overall, Casa Silencio is exactly that, quiet. It’s a place to rest, retreat and connect with nature and yourself, all while doing so in the most intimate and beautifully designed setting. Once you wake up from your dreamy retreat the next day before heading back to Oaxaca City to head home, you’ll feel well rested and connected. It’s the perfect way to end a truly remarkable journey full of history, culture, food and experience.

Need to Know

For more Mexico travel tips, check out this guide to Mexico City by Fora Advisor Catarina Rivera, Local Vegetarian Food, Art History & Culture Guide in Mexico City.

Advisor - Nicole Cueto

Travel Advisor

Nicole Cueto

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Oaxaca and our longer series on travel to Mexico.