Important to know:
There is a direct flight from Houston, Texas to Oaxaca de Juárez.
Most international flights arrive in Mexico City, and from Mexico City you have a 50 minute flight to Oaxaca or a 1 hour 15 minute flight to Palenque, Chiapas.
AvensaTravel can also help book your international flights.
Best time to visit Mexico
Oaxaca and Chiapas have a rainy and a dry season. In Oaxaca, the dry season starts in September and ends in May. In Chiapas, the dry season begins in November and ends in June. However, in the rain forest it rains consistently the whole year. During the rainy season, the waterfalls that are found all over southern Mexico are not as beautiful as in the dry season due to the muddy waters caused by the rain. Yet, in the dry season, you have more of a chance to see animals. A day during the rainy season usually means showers of 2 – 3 hours in length in the afternoon, but the rest of the day there is normally sunshine. In the months of June, July, and August there are more chances for hurricanes, which means it rains for a few days without stopping.
Oaxaca de Juárez has an altitude of 1500 metres above sea level which gives the city a very comfortable climate. During the day, summertime temperatures can reach 35 degrees Celsius, but, in the evenings, the temperature cools down to about 20. In the winter months the nights can cool down to 10 degrees! But, fortunately, during the day the city can warm up to 25-30 degrees. On the coasts of Oaxaca and Chiapas it’s warm year-round. The only weather difference are the rainy and dry seasons.
Chiapas has varied climates due to the different mountain ranges and its elevation. In San Cristóbal de las Casas it’s cold most of the year because it has an altitude of 2500 metres above sea level. In the summer months the temperatures can reach 25 degrees during the day, but in the winter months it can cool down to below zero degrees! In San Cristóbal the hotels have chimneys and heaters and people use winter clothes such as scarves and gloves. In Palenque and the surrounding areas, it’s a real tropical climate, meaning warm with lots of humidity and lots of rain.
You are not obligated to get any vaccinations when coming to Mexico, yet, vaccinations against DTP, hepatitis A and stomach typhus are advised. When staying longer than three months, a vaccination against hepatitis B is also advised.
For hikes in the jungle we recommend you use anti-mosquito lotion and long-sleeved shirts.
Each country is different so please check in your country of origin for which papers you are going to need.
In Mexico there are many ATM machines to withdraw money and you are able to withdraw in Mexican pesos. In some places, like small villages and in the jungle, there are no ATM machines.
We advise you to bring your credit card to prevent inconveniences.
In hotels and medium-sized restaurants, a credit card is accepted. The most recommended credit cards are Mastercard and Visa. In order to rent a car, a credit card is mandatory.
Public offices are normally open from Monday till Friday from 9.00 till 20.00. Banks are open from Monday till Friday from 9.00 till 15.00. Shops open from Monday till Saturday from 9.00 till 20.00, and most small shops close from 14.00 till 16.00.
In some restaurants the bill includes the 10% service charge; otherwise, it is common to leave a tip of 10%. If you are with a guide, it is customary to buy them a meal and to give them a tip after the day is done (if the service was good, of course).
The common power voltage is 110-120 volt, 60 Hertz.
We recommend you wear loose fitting cotton or linen clothes. If you are going hiking or are going to walk in the sun, hats are advised, as well. Remember to bring a sweater and/or a jacket for nighttime temperatures in the cooler, mountainous places like San Cristóbal de las Casas. Bring comfortable shoes and, in the raining season, a poncho is a must!
Oaxaca and Chiapas are relatively safe states in Mexico. Of course we do recommend that you follow the normal, common sense, safety rules. Such as:
- Keep an eye on your handbags, luggage, and purses
- Be careful with your cameras and cell phones
- Stay away from the “riskier” areas, especially at night
- Be careful driving in Mexico! The roads can be bad in some parts and the speed bumps are usually not very visible and found at the most unexpected places. Because of these reasons it is important to control your speed limit
All the violence that you hear about with the drug cartels occurs almost entirely in the northern part of Mexico and not in the states of Oaxaca or Chiapas.
We recommend that you be careful drinking the more traditional alcoholic drinks such as the Mezcal in Oaxaca and the Posh in Chiapas. The local custom is to invite tourists to a drink or two, but beware! These drinks have a high percentage of alcohol and most tourists won’t be able to handle more than a drink or two. So avoid problems and accidents and be prudent.
January 8th – 23rd
Fiesta Grande de Enero,
Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas
March 22nd – April 25th (exact dates differ each year)
In all of Mexico, but Oaxaca is one of the best places to celebrate these religious festivals.
Last two Mondays in the month of July
Oaxaca de Juárez
Independence Day Mexico,
In all of Mexico
November 1st and 2nd
Día de los Muertos,
In all Mexico, but Oaxaca de Juárez and San Cristóbal de las Casas are some of the best places to celebrate these religious festivals.
The celebration of the Virgen de Juquila
November, December, and January
Off the coast of Oaxaca
Noche de Rábanos
Oaxaca de Juárez
Nochebuena (Christmas Eve)
In all of Mexico