Insider's Guide to Oaxaca

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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4 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

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  • Location:Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Duration:4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

Zaachila Market, Cuilapam and Arrazola Tour from Oaxaca

This tour will introduce you to the Zapotec culture and Spanish colonial history of Oaxaca as you visit several traditional towns outside the city. Meet your friendly local guide for a half-day tour of the region, including Cuilapam de Guerrero, Villa de Zaachila and San Antonio Arrazola. You’ll visit the Cuilapam Convent, browse for fascinating wood-carved figures called ‘alebrijes’ in Arrazola and delight in the sights and sounds of the Zaachila Market. Round-trip hotel transport by air-conditioned coach is included.


  • Half-day tour of Cuilapam, Zaachila and Arrazola from Oaxaca
  • View the 16th-century basilica at the Cuilapam Convent in Cuilapam de Guerrero
  • Walk around the Thursday market in Villa de Zaachila to find unique local delicacies
  • Step foot inside local artisan workshops to see how traditional woodcarvings are made in San Antonio Arrazola
  • Hear onboard commentary from your experienced local guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off from your Oaxaca hotel included

What You Can Expect

Zaachila Market, Cuilapam and Arrazola Tour from Oaxaca

Zaachila Market, Cuilapam and Arrazola Tour from Oaxaca

After your 10am hotel pickup, relax aboard the air-conditioned coach. Your half-day sightseeing tour with a local guide begins in the small town of Cuilapam de Guerrero, located appproximately 6 miles (10 km) south of the city of Oaxaca.

You’ll visit an unfinished basilica of the 16th-century Cuilapam Convent, a prominent Dominican structure for the traditional townspeople, who celebrate the saints throughout the year. Hear about the history of its capilla abierta, or open chapel, which was used to convert indigenous people to Catholicism during the colonial era.

Re-board your coach for Villa de Zaachila, located south of Cuilapam. The Zapotec capital until the Spanish conquest, Zaachila includes an unexplored archeological site. The locals retain many pre-Columbian traditions and customs – including indigenous music, dance and food – at the famous Thursday open-air market, which covers much of the town center.

Enjoy the colors and flavors of the Alarii Market on the east side of the zócalo (public square), where nearly 100 stands serve bread, chocolate and a variety of fresh meats. Here, you can stop for a quick lunch or beverage; try a snack of tasty peanuts (cacahuates) or fresh sugarcane – with or without the hot sauce (own expense).

Your final stop is the tranquil town of San Antonio Arrazola, known for its wooden carvings called alebrijes, sculpted from the copal tree. As you walk around, meet local artisans and admire the world-renowned folk art whose figures depict a fantastic zoology of mythical creations.

After your tour, re-board the coach and head back to Oaxaca city for drop-off at your hotel around 2:30pm.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Wonderful guides with historic and current insights. very engaging and fun. Market we was sensory overload with beatifull sights and sounds

3 star rating: Worth doing March 2014

The tour was very interesting, but the guide was quite grumpy. One of the other people on our bus had several questions which were generally met with a curt "no sé" or "I don't know". Not knowing is fine - the curt way of cutting off the questions of a traveler was not.
It was a 4-hour tour, and mid-way through when an older lady asked about using the facilities before re-boarding the van she was met with an eye-roll and a reminder that everyone would be waiting for her so she should hurry. Again - the sentiment was reasonable but the customer service was not. This could have been a lovely tour with a different guide.

From USD $ 31.99

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Tour code: 6181ZAAC


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