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Is Oaxaca Secure? What You Must Know As a Solo Traveler

This post was written by Emily Becker, who is a Mexico-based freelance writer for BMTM. Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico that has a glorious reputation for being one of the most culturally vibrant places in the country. The state is mountainous, with a rugged coastline that gives way to sandy beaches and quintessential […]

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This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!
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This publish was written by Emily Becker, who's a Mexico-based freelance author for BMTM.

Oaxaca is a state in southern Mexico that has a wonderful fame for being one of the crucial culturally vibrant locations within the nation. The state is mountainous, with a rugged shoreline that provides method to sandy seashores and quintessential surf cities. The capital, Oaxaca de Juárez (or Oaxaca Metropolis), is a bustling place, bursting with coloration. It’s the gastronomic capital of Mexico — and for good cause.

That stated, the query in your thoughts as a traveler might be: Is Oaxaca protected? As a solo feminine traveler who has visited town of Oaxaca a handful of occasions, I’m right here to handle your greatest security issues with the following pointers:

1. Select Your Lodging Correctly

Santo Domingo Church is a central level within the metropolis; there are lots of of lodging close by.

My greatest piece of recommendation for staying protected in Oaxaca Metropolis is selecting lodging which might be within the Centro, Xochimilco, Reforma, or Jalatlaco neighborhoods. The primary time I visited, I stayed within the Centro, and though I felt protected, it’s a loud place to remain.

If you wish to keep central however in a quiet and protected neighborhood, go for Xochimilco or Jalatlaco. Each of those areas are well-known for his or her impeccable road artwork scenes, so that you’ll wish to go to them anyway. I stayed within the Xochimilco neighborhood the final time I used to be in Oaxaca and completely liked the quaint streets, colourful murals, and household ambiance.

Reforma can also be a protected neighborhood, nevertheless it’s a bit additional out. It takes a couple of 20-minute stroll to get to the Centro from Reforma, relying on what finish of the neighborhood you’re in.

2. Be Cautious of Taxis

The primary time I visited Oaxaca on the finish of 2019, I used to be shocked by how a lot the taxi drivers harassed my pal and me. To be trustworthy, I might not have really useful taking an everyday taxi in Oaxaca for those who had requested me then.

Nevertheless, town has cracked down big-time on harassment, and an increasing number of ladies are coming ahead to denounce their aggressors. I can’t make certain if these two issues are linked, however I observed a shift this final time I visited Oaxaca. I wasn’t harassed in any respect — not on the street or in taxis. Possibly that is distinctive to my expertise, however I’d wish to hope that issues are altering.

An effective way to make sure your security whereas taking taxis in Oaxaca is to take fast photographs of the license plate and taxi quantity earlier than you get in. Make this apparent — when the motive force sees your vigilance, they are going to be extra prone to be on their finest conduct.

In case you nonetheless really feel not sure about taxis in Oaxaca, take into account making an attempt DiDi. It’s like Uber and permits you to file a grievance in case your driver makes you're feeling unsafe.

3. A Little Mezcal Goes a Lengthy Means

Oaxaca is thought globally for its mezcal, and there are many locations to attempt it. Since so many individuals flock to Oaxaca to take action, it’s no shock that there’s a dense social gathering tradition right here. Any given day, you'll find mezcalerías, bars, and golf equipment full of individuals ingesting and partying.

In case you’ve tried mezcal, you recognize that it’s fairly robust. In case you haven’t, nicely, I’ll prevent from a nasty hangover by breaking the information.

I’ve at all times had a good time in Oaxaca, dancing and socializing whereas sipping mezcal, nevertheless it’s by no means a good suggestion to binge-drink in a overseas place.

Possibly I sound like a damaged document, however watch out how a lot you drink whenever you journey. Letting your guard down an excessive amount of can put you in danger — and no social gathering is price shedding management.

If you wish to attempt the completely different sorts of mezcal in a extra low-key surroundings, go for a daytime mezcal tasting. Many excursions supply them as part of the tour, like this one.

4. Eat Avenue Meals Correctly

what to do in oaxaca

Oaxaca is road meals heaven. From tlayudas to mole and every thing in between, you may spend your complete journey consuming nothing however road meals and be fully happy with the variability you’ll discover.

Not all road meals stands are created equally in terms of hygiene, nevertheless. Particularly in case your abdomen isn't used to the spices utilized in Mexican cooking, you would possibly end up wishing you hadn’t gone for that second splash of salsa verde in your roadside tacos.

To have one of the best likelihood of avoiding any tummy troubles whereas having fun with Oaxaca’s unimaginable road fare, search for the stands the place there are lengthy traces of individuals ready to order. Chances are high, locals gained’t be lining up someplace that has a fame for being unhygienic.

One other tip is to eat contained in the market. Mercado 20 de Noviembre is stuffed with small stalls, and plenty of of them are native favorites, the place you’ll discover a number of individuals having fun with a meal. These stalls are normally cleaner than those on the road, because the market has the next commonplace of hygiene.

I like to recommend taking a lap across the market or the road meals stalls close to the Zócalo round lunchtime, say 2 or 3pm. See which place is the most well-liked, and return round 4 or 5pm, when there are fewer patrons.

5. Costume Down

Oaxaca is unquestionably not the place to flaunt any flashy jewellery or designer clothes that might make you a goal for petty crime. Contemplating that most individuals — locals and vacationers alike — costume fairly casually, something too glamorous would make you stick out like a sore thumb.

6. Be taught Some Fundamental Spanish

Generally I discover that folks from Mexico are shocked that I converse Spanish fluently, which makes me chuckle somewhat bit. Talking the language has opened many doorways for me and allowed me to make buddies simply, even once I was a newbie.

For some individuals, it may be formidable to tackle studying a brand new language. You don’t need to be fluent to remain protected in Oaxaca, nevertheless it positive helps to know at the very least somewhat little bit of Spanish.

In case you can grasp primary greetings and key phrases, you’re off to a fantastic begin. With the ability to ask for assist for those who want it, inform a taxi driver to cease, or let a waitress learn about your meals allergy are all essential issues to have the ability to specific in Spanish.

7. Stick with the Centro at Night time

Strolling round alone at evening wherever isn’t a fantastic concept, but when you're going to do it in Oaxaca, follow the Centro. It’s well-lit, there are many individuals, and also you’ll discover pedestrian-only streets which might be safer to stroll alongside.

I observed that among the streets exterior of the Centro had been darkish, with surprising alleys and general not the most secure vibe. When doubtful, simply take a DiDi automobile, or keep away from going wherever you’re not accustomed to at evening, particularly if it’s exterior town heart.

8. Mo’ Cash, Mo’ Issues

It’s by no means a good suggestion to stroll round with copious quantities of money whereas touring, and Oaxaca isn't any completely different. Nevertheless, ATM charges may be manner too excessive to think about taking out small quantities extra ceaselessly. To get round this, take out what you want within the morning at a financial institution’s ATM (keep away from ATMs within the large markets or on the road), then take a DiDi to your lodging and lock your money in a protected. Solely hold what you want whenever you depart your room.

Even for those who solely take small quantities of money with you whenever you exit, take into account dispersing it between your pockets, purse, bra, and many others. That manner, if you're robbed or pickpocketed, the thief gained’t take every thing you may have. Some vacationers advocate having a dummy pockets with a bit of money and expired playing cards at hand over.

9. “No, Gracias”

This one is much less about your security and extra in regards to the security of others.

You would possibly discover lots of people within the metropolis heart asking for change. Generally you’ll see youngsters promoting items as nicely. Even after dwelling in Mexico for over two years, I’m nonetheless not sure what my money can be supporting if I had been to purchase from these youngsters or give change to individuals on the road. Some reports recommend that contributing to this casual market is identical as contributing to baby trafficking, and that’s sufficient for me to keep away from it altogether.

I do know that's is a fancy concern, and I don’t declare to have all of the solutions, so use your personal judgment on this one. I at all times simply smile and say “no, gracias” to the children, after which they go on their manner.

10. Vet Any Tour Corporations

Hierve El Agua (petrified waterfalls) is just about two hours away from Oaxaca de Juárez.

As you stroll by way of the Zócalo in Oaxaca’s metropolis heart, you’ll see a great deal of individuals selling excursions to close by websites. A variety of these are tremendous, however to say that they’re all completely protected or price your cash can be a stretch. Some tour firms don’t at all times observe security protocols and do a sloppy job of giving vacationers correct details about the websites.

It’s finest to only keep away from the hawkers altogether in Oaxaca, and go for a tour from GetYourGuide or Viator as a substitute. I’ve even achieved Airbnb Experiences right here and had a beautiful (and protected) time.

11. Get a Mexican SIM Card

I don’t suppose that many individuals notice how low cost it's to select up a SIM card and use it whereas they’re in Mexico. A SIM from Telcel (the largest supplier in Mexico) prices 150 pesos ($7.50 USD), and you may simply pay as you go, loading information onto your SIM utilizing your credit score or debit card.

Having a SIM card may be an effective way to remain protected, since you’ll have the peace of thoughts of having the ability to join at any time. You’ll be capable to entry maps for those who get misplaced, use a translator app to speak higher, and make a name for those who’re at risk.

Some US cellphone firms enable their customers a certain quantity of information per day whereas in Mexico, so ask yours earlier than you head to Oaxaca to see if getting a SIM card is even needed.

12. Touring Solo as a Girl in Oaxaca

Zipolite (a nude seaside in Oaxaca) was the place I felt most secure as a solo feminine traveler.

My first expertise touring in Oaxaca was very completely different from people who adopted. I don’t have a transparent clarification as to why, however maybe I’ve simply change into higher at touring alone and now know how you can keep away from scams, meals poisoning, and general hazard.

The primary time I went to Oaxaca, I used to be adopted and catcalled twice. On prime of that, a few taxi drivers made very inappropriate feedback to me that made me really feel unsafe.

To be trustworthy, I used to be hesitant to solo journey right here once more. However since I had organized to fulfill a pal in Oaxaca in January of 2022, I made a decision to face my worry and spend just a few days alone right here earlier than she joined me. This time was completely completely different. Not a single taxi driver harassed me, for which I felt an enormous sigh of reduction. I additionally observed much less road harassment, regardless that I used to be there longer and was out and about extra this time round.

Is that this to say that Oaxaca is safer now? Probably not. I acknowledge that my feeling safer this final time I went to Oaxaca may be as a result of likelihood. Maybe two extra years of dwelling in Mexico has additionally made it simpler for me to mix in?

In any case, I nonetheless suppose Oaxaca is completely price visiting as a solo feminine traveler. But it surely’s particularly essential for us to be vigilant, to plan our journey rigorously, and keep away from risks like rip-off artists and males who prey on drunk overseas ladies in bars (sure, they exist).

Attempt to do as a lot as you'll be able to throughout daylight, keep away from ingesting an excessive amount of, and ensure your cellphone is working order in case of emergencies. By no means interact with catcallers they usually’ll depart you alone.

***

General, Oaxaca takes the cake as one of the crucial thrilling locations to go to in Mexico. In case you bear in mind these security ideas, you’ll be a bit sharper and in a position to make safer selections whenever you go to Oaxaca de Juárez or the coast, permitting you to have an unimaginable expertise.

Pondering of heading to Oaxaca? Take a look at our guides to Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, and Zipolite!

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Support author of this article and visit his post, originally published HERE

This post is originally published at Be My Travel Muse blog and it's not owned by this site! Respect content authors!
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