Is Oaxaca Great for Kids? Yes!
When travelling with kids, there are dimensions beyond standard guidebook activities that can make a place GREAT for kids. Here are four factors beyond the “things-to-do” that make the Oaxaca region engaging and interesting for kid companions:
1. People are welcoming and friendly
Across the region, people led with a friendly attitude. For example, in the city of Oaxaca, locals on the streets made eye contact and said Buenos días or Hola. In the markets, sellers were helpful and engaged but not aggressive when we really just wanted to look. We had taxi drivers try to speak to us in English, and using a little bit of Spanish, we even got one to tell us a joke. While in the town of Benito Juarez, we were invited after taking a mole making class to visit and play with the farm animals, including baby sheep, baby deer, and chickens.
2. Very diverse settings
Kids love to change up the environment. In less than a week, we were able to go from city parks, to hiking at 10,000 feet, to playing with baby goats, to jumping over ocean waves. We started off in the city of Oaxaca, visiting in-town wonders like seeing the hundreds of plant species in El Jardín Etnobotánico behind the Santo Domingo museum. In the mountains near Las Comunidades Mancomunados, we hiked and rode horses several hours a day through humid pine forests. In the town of Teotitlán del Valle, we practiced Zapotec weaving between feeding the goats. And near the southern beach town of Puerto Escondido, we enjoyed swimming, walking on the sand, and a few good beachside meals. The Oaxaca region has so much variety in a small area that there’s always something new up-next for kids to look forward to.
3. Kids love “Vitamina T”
“Vitamina T” – that’s “vitamin T”. We learned this phrase from Samuel on his Dixza Rug Farm in the town of Teotitlán del Valle. We noted just how much food comes from corn – and it’s clear to Oaxaqueños as well. Samuel rubbed his belly as he pointed out how much people love their corn the delicious things people make with it. He joked that if the food starts with the letter “t” then you know it’s made from corn. There are tortillas, tacos, tostones, totopes, and tostadas to name a few. And of course, our newly discovered favorite, la tlauyuda. The tlayuda is something of a cross between a large quesadilla and sandwich, filled with cheese and other veggie goodness (like chopped nopal or cactus). Special thanks to the waiter at the Café Bici in Oaxaca who kindly explained that I could use my hands to eat it after I asked for a fork.
4. No Jetlag
Everybody is in a better mood when sleep schedules aren’t heavily impacted. The Oaxaca region is essentially the same as Central Time Zone, so you won’t have to work through jet lag with your kids. You can travel there in one day, during daylight hours and still get in at a reasonable hour. Being on a nearby time-zone might seem like a little thing, but you won’t feel like you lost a day on either side of your trip, making a week-long excursion to the area doable.
So if you are thinking of travelling to Oaxaca with kids, keep these benefits in mind. Your kids may appreciate it. 🙂