About Oaxaca

Why consider real estate in Oaxaca?

mapThe state of Oaxaca is located in southeastern Mexico and makes up 4.8% of Mexico’s land with a surface area of 95,364 square kilometers (36,320 square miles). It is bordered by the states of Puebla and Veracruz to the north, Chiapas to the east, Guerrero to the west, and the Pacific Ocean to the south.

Currently, Oaxaca is the second most expensive city in Mexico to buy a house, just behind Puerto Vallarta and preceding Acapulco. You may be wondering, why is Oaxaca so expensive? Oaxaca is a tourist destination with a rich history and vibrant culture. Furthermore, Oaxaca is in the perfect location for the best weather and gorgeous and diverse landscapes. Come and enjoy the clear water of the beaches and the peaceful, cool mountains. Last but not least, most of Oaxaca’s territory is “communal” or “ejidal” which lessens the amount of private property to be sold. The market prices offer an attractive return on investment if you choose the right property. In our portfolio, we have beautiful properties starting at just $100,000 USD.

The cost of living and medical expenses are the most important factors that retirees must consider when deciding where they would like to retire. These costs are much lower in Mexico, Florida, and Arizona, which are some of the most popular places for retirees to settle. In Oaxaca, there are many internationally recognized, high quality medical services and facilities.

If you would like to see the complete list of Mexican cities and prices, click here: Forbes most expensive cities in México

If you are interested to learn where Mexican cities are placed against other expensive cities, click here: Most expensive cities in the world

Composition

The state of Oaxaca has around 3.8 million inhabitants (more than 300,000 people living in the city and 650,000 in the suburbs [data from 2014]). Oaxaca is the most diverse state in Mexico. The mountains are more than 3,000 meters high. The caves, tranquil forests, sunny valleys, and the beaches make this state truly unique and an extremely popular tourist destination. Because of its diverse ethnic population, Oaxaca is rich in traditions and customs.

Every year, thousands of sea turtles come to the coast near Puerto Escondido and Huatulco Bay. Tourists come from all over the world to spend holidays and vacations in the warm waters of Oaxaca.

Oaxaca is divided into seven regions: La Cañada, La Costa, La Sierra (Sierra Norte and Sierra Sur), La Mixteca, El Papaloapan, El Istmo, and Los Valles Centrales. The capital of the state, Ciudad Oaxaca de Juárez, is located in Los Valles Centrales.

Cultural diversity

diversityThe indigenous population is made up of 16 different ethnic groups, 22 languages, and 150 dialects. This is unquestionably an important asset for the preservation of the traditions and cultures in the state.

 

 

 

 

Weather

weather

Oaxaca boasts a pleasant climate throughout the entire year. It is hot and dry in the Pacific coastal region with some moisture coming from the sea.

Average temperatures:

  • Spring: 25°C  (77°F)
  • Summer 28°C  (82°F)
  • Fall 22°C  (72°F)
  • Winter 16°C  (61°F)
  • The coast has an average temperature of 27°C (81°F)
  • The capital has an average temperature of 22°C (72. °F)

It is important to mention that most of Oaxaca is not contaminated. Therefore, Oaxaca has a vast selection of vegetation and a variety of extraordinary landscapes to explore and discover.

International connection

internation-connectionThe southern city of Oaxaca de Juárez has its own international airport which can be reached by non-stop flights from San Antonio and Houston. From virtually all major cities in the US and Canada, there are only two flights that you need to take to get to Oaxaca; the first leg into the southern US or Mexico City and the final leg directly to Oaxaca.

There are also non-stop flights from many North American cities into the Pacific resort town of Huatulco. This enables expats to arrive in the state of Oaxaca with only one flight and then relaxing on the beach before flying, driving, or taking public transportation to the state capital!

Oaxaca is unique in the fact that the closest large city, Puebla, is about four hours away and Mexico City is even further. Because of this, Oaxaca has been able to develop its own modern, cosmopolitan network of goods and services providers because residents simply cannot drive to a large city on a whim for all of their needs because of the time and distance that is required to do so.

Culinary experience

food

Oaxaca is often referred to as the gastronomical capital of Mexico. It is the land of seven moles (a spiced sauce, including chocolate!) and quesillo (stringy cheese that comes in a ball shape). Oaxaca boasts the most delicious tamales in Mexico, el chocolate atole (a drink made from ground corn and cacao beans), el café de olla (coffee that has been traditionally prepared in earthenware pots with cinnamon), el pan amarillo (a bread baked with egg yolk), and any kind of food made with corn.

Oaxaca features many continental and fusion style restaurants with a uniquely Oaxacan flavor. There are Thai, Chinese, Moroccan, Italian, and regional Oaxacan eateries located throughout the state. There is an extensive network of bars, mezcalerias, clubs, cinemas, and popular supermarket chains including Sam’s Club, Walmart, Suburbia, and Liverpool.

With a population of over 300,000 people, the city is able to support such retail establishments which many other smaller cities cannot. All the while, Oaxaca retains its old world charm and indigenous flare.

Safety

In recent years, travel advisories and warnings issued by the US State Department have more or less accurately portrayed the issues of cities, states, and regions of Mexico where drug-related violence has been commonplace. Essentially, border towns, a couple of coastal areas, and other specific locations have been noted for these problems.

However, Oaxaca has not been among any of these cities mentioned.

Arts and crafts

Oaxaca is one of the places recognized by UNESCO as a historic patrimony, a gem of colonial architecture, and a place where artists, writers, and other creative people can enjoy the many art galleries, musical events, great bars, and gourmet restaurants. Talented painters such as Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Toledo, and Rodolfo Morales participated in the cultural expansion of the city.

Beaches

The beaches of Oaxaca are located well away from Oaxaca City: 8 hours by bus, 6 to 7 hours by car, or just 30 minutes by air. The drive to the beaches is an incredibly beautiful and unforgettable experience.

You can fly to Huatulco or Puerto Escondido from Oaxaca City. Flying makes the journey effortless, easy, and relieves any worries about road conditions. If you need a car, you can rent one in Huatulco or Puerto Escondido. The driving time from Huatulco to Puerto Angel to Puerto Escondido is approximately one hour from each destination to the next. Plan a beach road trip for a truly unique vacation!

The coast of Oaxaca (at least for now) has remained of of Mexico’s relatively untouched beach areas. At this point in time, the Oaxacan coast has managed to preserve its natural beauty.

The Oaxacan coast used to be one of the sea turtle’s worst enemies, but lately it has become a savior for this endangered species. The coast of Oaxaca is one of the few remaining places in Mexico where you can see these majestic creatures on a regular basis.

Huatulco

The natural beauty of the nine bays of Huatulco and the surrounding area provided the perfect starting point for the Mexican government to try to duplicate the success of other popular resorts. They have built an international airport and a nearby city, La Crucecita, to house the workers.

The government has also enticed major hotels and private investors into the Huatulco area to develop beautiful golf courses, beachside promenades, marinas, and luxury residential neighborhoods.

Bahías de Huatulco is one of Mexico’s newest planned resort complexes. Although still in development stages, this incredible location offers some of the most beautiful bays and beaches throughout the country.

The dream is still progressing although a bit slower than originally planned, but that has its benefits. The slow process is keeping the area from becoming overly popular too fast. Huatulco is still in the early stages of development which is a bonus to visitors who are looking for the latest beach destination that is not yet overcrowded.

The summers are hot and humid here which will keep this area a bargain paradise during the summer season. In the winter, the weather is no less than spectacular! The incredible beauty of the beaches combined with balmy days, warm water temperatures, and cool evenings will surely entice many visitors from the colder northern climates to come visit and enjoy the wonderful climate.

Water sports will occupy much of your time in Huatulco, and there is certainly no lack of water related activities to try here. Great scuba diving spots and sport fishing are close to the shore and all of the other water sports you would expect at a world class resort can be found here. Snorkeling in some of the most protected bays is downright incredible!

If you golf, you are sure to enjoy the alluring Tangolunda Golf Course, an 18 hole (72 par), championship course designed by Mario Schjetnan. The course is exquisitely blended into the surrounding jungle offering an incredible experience. The course features a spectacular waterfront green on the 13th hole. The Tangolunda Golf Course also has very nice tennis facilities which, like the golf course, are open to the public. Most of the hotels in Huatulco also have tennis courts, but as a general rule, they are reserved for guests.

Nightlife is more or less restricted to the bars and discos of the major hotels, although the nightlife scene in La Crucecita ahs improved to the point of becoming worth a look! Shopping, banking facilities, and the many restaurants here make spending a late afternoon or extended evening in La Crucecita a great alternative to the hotel disco scene of Huatulco.

It seems inevitable that in time Huatulco will become a success thanks to the natural beauty that the project had to work with. For those seeking an undiscovered beach paradise, this just might be the place you have been searching for!

Puerto Angel

Puerto Angel is one of those incredibly tranquil and extremely beautiful fishing villages that still manage to exist in Mexico. Reminiscent of a far-off port somewhere in the south Pacific, this area is really a step back in time back to the 60’s and 70’s era of the hippies who have flocked here for decades.

As in any town with a small population (under 4000), Puerto Angel lacks most of the amenities associated with modern resorts. There are only a few hotels here, most of which are fairly basic. You will not find any fancy restaurants here, but there is certainly no lack of great food! Fresh seafood of all kinds is of course the local specialty. The overall atmosphere of Puerto Angel is very laid-back and hopefully will remain that way for years to come.

Fishing is still very much a part of everyday life in Puerto Angel as evidenced by the daily gathering of fishermen at the small pier on the main beach. There is an active panga fleet which is also a source of much of the local food supply. These small boats can be rented for fishing or snorkeling trips directly from the beach, on the pier, or from a local travel agent. Marlin, sailfish, wahoo, snapper, grouper, dorado, and snook are all caught locally, not too far from shore. If you manage to get lucky, you can have your catch prepared at one of the beachside restaurants!

Located a short walk or a boat ride from the main beach is Playa Panteón, a pleasant swimming beach with palapa style restaurants lining the beach. This is a favorite with the locals, especially on weekends, when it can get somewhat crowded with families out enjoying the pleasant atmosphere. This is a beach where you could easily awake from a peaceful nap and think you have been transported to a remote island while you were asleep. Not bad…not bad at all!

Playa Zipolite, the semi-famous hippie and nudist beach, is just a short distance west of Puerto Angel. Beware of the strong undertow. This is a beautiful but dangerous beach. Swimming here is not recommended to any but the strongest, most experienced swimmers. The beach is lined with funky restaurants, bars, and rustic, hostal type accommodations. You can rent a hammock, a room, or a place to hang your own hammock at very reasonable rates. If you are offended by nudity (which is not legal in Mexico, but is tolerated by the locals here), then stay clear of the west end of Zipolite. There are some nice places to stay in this area and some great places to eat, but you will have to hunt for them. All in all, for most people, the main beach area at Puerto Angel will most likely prove to be the best option.

Manzunte

If Puerto Angel is tranquil, Playa Manzunte is sound asleep. “Sleepy” is a perfect description for this tiny fishing village located just five miles west of Zipolite on a fairly decent paved road. Manzunte consists of two separate beaches: Agustinillo and Manzunte.

This little stretch of beach is what many beach lovers dream of; there’s not a luxury resort in sight. It’s just one of the most pleasant beaches on the entire coast. The beach stretches approximately one and a half miles and is safe for swimming most of the time. If there are no big waves, the snorkeling can be absolutely incredible.

Pangas can be rented from the beach for fishing or snorkeling expeditions. Sunsets here are usually no less than breathtaking and provide visitors and locals with a fitting finish to what was “just another beautiful day in paradise.”

Manzunte still has a small but active fishing fleet that provides fresh fish to the local residents and the few small restaurants that line the beach. It’s possible to a truly memorable meal and try the catch of the day at most of these small eateries. This area used to rely on the slaughter of turtles that flock to these pristine beaches. When the Mexican government outlawed this practice, it upset the livelihood of many of the area’s residents. The tourism that has replaced the turtle industry is slowing bringing a bit of relief to the locals. Centro Mexicano de Tortuga, a sea turtle museum, hatchery, and research center dedicated to saving the turtles has been established here and is open to the public.

A tour with a guide (some of which speak English) is possible and at a very reasonable price. Afterwards, lunch and a few cold beers at one of the local restaurants will give a small boost to the local economy.

The accommodations are pretty basic, although there is a rumor of a new B&B that may up the quality standards. Nightlife is almost nil. Drinking on the beach to candlelight, or if there are enough revelers on hand, one of the restaurants might just stay open until 9 PM. Coming from Zipolite, you’ll see a sign on the left at the entrance to Agustinillo that reads “hamacas y cabañas.” This is the local hammock factory. They turn out a very nice and colorful product — a perfect souvenir to commemorate your vacation in Manzunte!

Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is yet another fishing village, but this one has started to spring to life. With a population of around 30,000, Puerto Escondido has managed to retain much of its original small town charm. The town has seen much growth in recent years. It is actually divided by the main coastal highway, so many tourists will not even notice much of the growth.

The main beach, Playa Principal, remains for the most part, the same as it has been for years. This beach is lined with fishing boats, palm trees, and beachside restaurants. It can get very crowded on weekends as families from the outlying areas come to the beach to relax and swim.

Much of the growth in Puerto Escondido is the result of the incredible surf break that attracts surfers from all over the world. The Mexican Pipeline at Playa Zicatela is what draws the surfers, especially during the summer months. Playa Zicatela is located just east of Playa Principal.

With an excellent swell, this is one of the best surf spots in Mexico that never fails to draw large crowds in and out of the water when the waves are big. This is a very dangerous spot for casual swimming because of the riptides and the raw power of the waves. This beach is best left to the experienced surfers. Even if you’re not a surfer, it’s still fun to watch them!

Puerto Escondido has a couple of beautiful, well-protected coves that are slightly away from the main tourist routes. Puerto Angelito and Playa Carrizalillo can both be reached by car but are more easily reached by boat from Playa Principal. Both beaches offer safe swimming. Puerto Angelito is lined with quaint seafood restaurants. Relax and spend an entire day exploring the beach town!

Playa Zicatela

Playa Zicatela stretches east for miles. The area near the town where surfers tes their skills is lined with hotels, cafes, restaurants, stores, and beachside palapa bars. This area is popular with foreign tourists. Although nightlife here is spotty, you will often find late night parties on the beach.

The farther east you go, the more deserted the beach gets. You can rent horses on Playa Zicatela to ride along the stretch of gorgeous, golden sand.