If we only had 2 weeks: Mexico itinerary (Oaxaca state)

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state - zicatela beach

Sometimes, I use affiliate/sponsored links with my recommendations, which if bought through might earn me a few pennies at absolutely no extra cost to you. This helps with the cost of keeping this site alive so I can continue to guide you on your travels. Please remember that I would never ever ever recommend anything I don’t or wouldn’t use myself. Big thanks to each and every one of you who have trusted my recommendations so far! Lozzy x


Can you cover a whole state with a 2-week Mexico itinerary? Mmmm no, especially not in a state as packed with natural wonders and fun stuff to do as Oaxaca, but if you plan properly you can have a pretty good crack at travellers’ favourites. I’ll tell you how!

I’ll also run you through the best time to go to Oaxaca state, and what to do after this 2-week Mexico itinerary if you have a little longer in the country.

Oaxaca is one of the most vibrant and culturally-rich states in Mexico, centring of course around the state capital city, Oaxaca de Juárez. It offers a wonderful combination of lush mountains, cactus-lined farmland and sandy-beached coast.

The fact that it borders the states of Veracruz, Puebla and Chiapas means that those on a longer trip can find adventures in pretty much any direction after completing their 2 weeks itinerary in Oaxaca.

The nice thing about Oaxaca is that it’s not over-touristed yet, and a lot of the hot spots are shared by domestic tourists, too. It’s a breath of fresh air for anyone who didn’t like the Americanisation of places like Cancún and Tulum.

I’m going to start this 2-week Mexico itinerary for Oaxaca state in the city of Oaxaca, as that’s where the majority of people are likely to be able to get to from their previous destination. Most flights coming into this part of the country connect in via Mexico City, and if you don’t manage to get a flight connection it’s very easy to get a bus from Mexico City to Oaxaca.

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state - tlacolula market

After reading this 2-week Mexico itinerary for Oaxaca state, you may also want to have a skim of:

Travelling around is fairly easy, but does need a bit of planning as buses and flights to certain destinations fill up quickly in peak season. If you don’t fancy using the local ADO public bus service (which is very high quality, by the way, and can be booked ahead of travel, here), there are always tourist shuttles and private transfers to be had.

Car hire in Mexico is also pretty reasonable, but be warned that the roads aren’t always perfectly tarmac-ed, and drivers in this part of the country tend to ignore the lines and imagine 2 extra lanes on the highway.

What’s the best time to go to Oaxaca state?

There are a couple of things to plan your 2-week Mexico itinerary in Oaxaca around. Firstly, USA school holidays bring in hordes of tourists from the States, so things get a lot busier around Christmas, Spring Break (March/April) and Summer.

Secondly, this part of Mexico is in the tropics, and there’s no beautifully-warm gain without pain, which in this case means hurricanes. Oaxaca is unfortunately at risk of hurricanes from both the Caribbean and the Pacific; hurricane season is at its peak in September to October, and August often sees some really strong storms.

With all this in mind, lots of people believe that the best time to go to Oaxaca, Mexico is in the November-December shoulder season.

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state - zicatela beach

2-week Mexico itinerary for Oaxaca state

Here’s a quick run-down of my suggested 2 week Mexico itinerary in Oaxaca with recommended places to stay; below I’ll tell you more about what to do in each of these destinations.

Turn your phone to the side to fit everything in!
DayDestinationWhere to stay on a budgetWhere to stay in luxury
1Oaxaca de JuárezCasa Angel for sociable vibes, Azul Cielo for something more hippyPug Seal Hotel
2Oaxaca de Juárez
3Oaxaca de Juárez
4Oaxaca de Juárez
5Oaxaca de Juárez (or travel day if you’re not getting a night bus)
6Puerto EscondidoBonita Escondida in La Punta – you need to book fairly early as it gets full quicklyVivo Resort to be really looked after!
7Puerto Escondido
8 Lagunas de ChacahuaCabañas La Isla ChacahuaNot much luxury here, I’m afraid! There were some beautiful cabañas called Porã Chacahua, but these appear to be temporarily closed. Keep an eye out!
9Lagunas de Chacahua
10Lagunas de Chacahua

Casa Mazunte Tierra Viva

Casa la Ola
14Return to Oaxaca or Mexico City

What not to miss in your 2-week Mexico itinerary for Oaxaca:

Days 1-5: Oaxaca city (Oaxaca de Juárez)

A fair bit of time in your itinerary has been dedicated to this city, which can either be a buffer if you need to recover after a travel day or just give you that extra time to really slow down and appreciate where you are.

There is plenty to see in Oaxaca city itself, from markets to basilicas to world-renowned restaurants and one-of-a-kind gardens. Check out all there is to do in Oaxaca city here.

Don’t just stay within the urban areas, though, much of the beauty of this area lies an hour or so out. You won’t struggle to fill your time with all the Oaxaca day trips out there.

If you happen to find that the Oaxaca stint in your 2-week Mexico itinerary falls on a Sunday, don’t miss heading out to Tlacolula market, and under no circumstances should you pass on a visit to Hierve el Agua.

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state

Days 6-7: Puerto Escondido

Get yourself down to the coast for the end of your first week in Oaxaca! You can either take an ADO night bus to arrive on day 6, or get a private tourist shuttle / fly during day 5.

I’m not going to lie, Puerto Escondido isn’t my favourite town in Mexico, but I think if I had stayed in different areas I would have had a much better experience of it. Backpackers usually stay in La Punta for much more Tulum-esque traveller vibes (you know, poke bowls and vegan pancakes). Less budget-constrained visitors tend to stay in the higher-end resorts and hotels dotted around the coast.

I stayed in both the bustling town centre and the dusty-roaded limbo area around Mercado de Zicatela, neither of which were particularly fun or safe-feeling. Learn from my mistakes!

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state - la punta beach puerto escondido

Anyway, what do to with your time here… There’s actually quite a lot!

You can join the masses (seriously, at least 50 people in a line) releasing baby turtles at sunset on Playa Bacocho every night, relax on the gorgeous shores of Playa Coral, sail out for some dolphin- and whale-watching, go surfing (check the wave level and safety of the bay you’re going to; there are some huge waves in Puerto Escondido but I met some very disappointed surfers during my time here), kayak the mangroves, shop for tie-dye crop tops in the many boutiques of La Punta strip, see the magic of bioluminescence (but don’t swim in the lagoons – there are crocs!) or party all night long.

Every month or so, Puerto Escondido hosts a techno rave in either the jungle or a faraway beach until 10am – tickets are around $40 USD and the event is pretty banging. You’ll see posters up all around town if it’s on.

The best thing you can do though – and pretty much the only reason I haven’t recommended just skipping Puerto Escondido altogether – is to get on a day-trip with Pierre, the guy who runs Puerto Escondido Tours.

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state - puerto suelo horse riding puerto escondido

Pierre is a Frenchman who got ‘stuck’ in Puerto Escondido during the pandemic and spent his time building up relationships with the locals in the areas just outside of the town. After a bit of trial & error, he gradually found the ranch with the best-treated horses, the beach bars with the best views, and the locals with the best knowledge to create tours that people can actually enjoy without feeling like one of a crowd in a tourism money-grab.

I took his horse-riding in Puerto Suelo tour and DIOS MÍO, WHAT AN EXPERIENCE. I’m talking riding through farms down country roads, river crossings, beach gallops and then whale-watching with fish tacos from an empty beach bar at sunset, all topped off by a luxury drive back in a nice 4×4 right to our hostel door.

He also does small-group turtle release experiences on a different beach to the main tours to make it more special, as well as other activities such as bioluminescence tours. Honestly, send a Whatsapp message his way; it’s well worth your time and money.

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state - puerto suelo horse riding puerto escondido

Days 8-10: Lagunas de Chacahua

In stark contrast to Puerto Escondido, next on your 2-week Mexico itinerary in Oaxaca state is somewhere off-grid and full of adventure: Lagunas de Chacahua. Please note that this is not to be mistaken for the small town called Chacahua next to Mazunte; it’s actually an hour or so west of Puerto Escondido.

Lagunas de Chacahua is a national park holding a series of large lagoons right on the edge of the Pacific Ocean – the lagoons are actually fed by it.

This area is a little more off-the-beaten-path than the other destinations in this 2-week Mexico itinerary, and the kind of place where you can boat round the lagoons during the day and get drunk on cheap mezcal whilst dancing around a campfire at night.

To get here independently, I recommend leaving your big backpack at your last hostel in Puerto Escondido and taking only a small day-bag so you can have the freedom of hiring a scooter for a couple of days.

If you don’t like the thought of staying out in the sticks or making your own way there, you can find easy day-trips to Lagunas de Chacahua from Puerto Escondido.

Days 11-13: Mazunte

Mazunte is a small town to the east of Puerto Escondido with a big reputation for being a bit hippy.

It’s a really nice place to relax and settle into some super-chilled vibes, preferably bare-footed.

You can also do a lot of the same activities here as in Puerto Escondido if you want to stretch them out, such as whale-watching, surfing and turtle-releasing.

Take a few days at the end of your 2-week Mexico itinerary to forget about the rest of the world!

Days 14: travel day

Unfortunately, travelling back from these harder-to-reach places does mean a bit of travel time at the end, so I’m giving you a day to get back to Puerto Escondido and go on to your next destination, whether that’s home or somewhere else in Mexico.

Just keep in mind that delays and complications can happen, so it’s always best to set off as early in the day as possible.

Got more than 2 weeks in Mexico?

If you have an extra one or two weeks for your Mexico itinerary, there are a few more places you could add to your trip.

Check out Mérida for its gorgeous colonial mansions, or San Cristobal in Chiapas for its general beauty & vibrancy.

You could also adapt in my 2-week Yucatán Peninsula itinerary if you’d like to experience more of the Caribbean coast.

Where to stay in Tulum zona hotelera Tulum hotel zone Cormoran cenote boutique

Not quite convinced on a 2-week Mexico itinerary?

If you’re not yet sold on 2 weeks in Mexico, and want to hone in on where in Latin America to spend your 14 days of holiday, you might also want to check some of my other itineraries out before booking those flights!

Or if you’re reeeeally not sure and want to look broader, head to: Which country should you visit in Latin America?


mexico travel destination guides blog


Liked this 2-week Mexico itinerary for Oaxaca state and guide to the best time to go?

Save it as a pin on Pinterest to refer back to it again later!

2 week mexico itinerary oaxaca state - puerto suelo horse riding puerto escondido

Last Updated on 18 April 2023 by Cuppa to Copa Travels

Leave a comment :)

Scroll to Top