A number of websites may be helpful in preparing for your Oaxaca trip.
- Internet Travel Sites
- Major sites for airline and hotel bookings
- Travel Insurance
- Both good for general travel insurance and other services
- Sanborn’s Insurance
- Site of Sanborn’s Insurance, the long-time, very reliable Mexico auto insurance agency, with the only north-of-the-border adjustment procedure. Get your quote online, order their many useful publications, and find out about other insurance you many have forgotten.
- Site of Boston-based Elderhostel, Inc., with a huge catalog of ongoing study tours, including, at this writing, two in Oaxaca.
- Mobility International
- Site of Mobility International, wonderfully organized and complete, with a flock of services for travelers with disabilities, including many people-to-people connections in Mexico.
- Purple Roofs
- One of the best general gay travel websites is maintained by San Francisco–based travel agency Purple Roofs. It offers, for example, details about several gay-friendly Oaxaca hotels, in addition to a wealth of gay-friendly travel-oriented links worldwide.
- Go Oaxaca
- A small page that lists a number of gay-friendly bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and a few gay-friendly hotels in Oaxaca City.
- U.S. State Department
- The U.S. State Department’s very good travel information site. Lots of headings and links to a swarm of topics, including Mexican consular offices in the United States, U.S. consular offices in Mexico, travel advisories, and links to other government information, such as importation of food, plants, and animals, U.S. customs, health abroad, airlines, and exchange rates.
Mexico in General
- Mexico Tourism Board
- The official website of the public-private Mexico Tourism Board; a good general site for official information, such as entry requirements. It has lots of summarily informative sub-headings, not unlike an abbreviated guidebook. If you can’t find what you want here, call the toll-free information number 800/44-MEXICO (800/446-3942), or email contact [at] visitmexico [dot] com.
- Mexico Online
- Very extensive, well-organized commercial site with many subheadings and links to Mexico’s large and medium destinations, and even some in small destinations. For the state of Oaxaca, they cover Oaxaca City, Huatulco, Puerto Ángel, and Puerto Escondido. For example, for Oaxaca, their linked sub-page www.mexonline.com/cityguide-oaxaca.htm is typical, with manifold links, including about many dozens of accommodations, from luxury hotels to modest bed-and-breakfasts. Excellent.
- An extensive Mexico site, with dozens upon dozens of subheadings and links, especially helpful for folks thinking of traveling, working, living, or retiring in Mexico.
- Mexico Desconocido
- The site of the excellent magazine Mexico Desconocido (Undiscovered Mexico) that often features unusual, untouristed destinations, many in the state of Oaxaca. It links to a large library of past articles, which are not unlike a Mexican version of National Geographic Traveler. Solid, hard-to-find information, in good English translation, if you can get it. (The site is so voluminous that the automatic translator tends to bog down at the effort.)
On the initial home page, find the small magnifying glass and dialog box, labeled “buscar” (“find”) at the upper right. I typed in “Oaxaca” and got 206 informative hits about places and things in Oaxaca, each linked to an article in the magazine.
- On the Road in Mexico
- Very helpful, regularly updated information and photos of Mexico trailer parks and campgrounds. Includes accurate and very usable maps to loads of out-of-the-way, hard-to-find locations, many along the Pacific coast, including Oaxaca.
Oaxaca City and Oaxaca in General
- Superb life project of Latin America’s dean of ecotourism, Oaxaca resident Ron Mader, who furnishes a comprehensive English-language clearinghouse of everything ecologically correct, from rescuing turtle eggs on the Oaxaca Coast to preserving the cloud forests in the Oaxaca’s northern Sierra Juarez. Contains dozens of subheadings competently linked for maximum speed. Check out www.planeta.com/oaxaca.html for a block-long list of information-packed links of everything you need to know about Oaxaca.
- Oaxaca Secretary of Tourism
- Very detailed website of the Oaxaca Secretary of Tourism. Good Tourist Guide section with archaeological sites, recipes, churches, museums, festivals, myths and legends, murals, handicrafts, and more. The site goes the extra step farther and provides extensive information (accessible by clicking on the home-page Oaxaca map) about off-the-tourist-track country villages. Much of the detailed information remains untranslated into English, however.
- Oaxaca Mio
- Good commercial site, with lots on history, culture, sights, hotels, and services in Oaxaca City and Valley. Oaxaca coast coverage, including Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, is still informative, but not nearly so extensive.
- Oaxaca Info
- Joint website of the Oaxaca Hotel Association and U.S.-based Zapotec Tours and Oaxaca-based Oaxaca Tours. Includes much good travel information, with (mostly up-market) hotels and restaurants in Oaxaca City and lots of background information on festivals, museums, maps, and much more. It has separate, but much smaller, Huatulco and Puerto Escondido sections.
- Go Oaxaca
- Good website of editor Oscar Garcia Carrizosa, of the Go Oaxaca newspaper. He includes plenty, from real estate and a chat room to tours and classifieds listing bed-and-breakfasts and for-rent apartments and rooms, with links to grassroots pages, such as the English-language library, the hospitality club, and a child welfare organization.
- Oaxaca Times
- The website of the Oaxaca Times newspaper. It has links to restaurants, galleries, handicrafts shops, services, plus a handy classified section usually including a long list of Oaxaca City apartment, house, homestay, and bed-and-breakfast rentals.
- Vacation Rentals
- A pair of very useful sites for picking a vacation rental house, condo, or villa, with information and reservations links to individual owners. Prices vary from moderate to luxurious. Coverage extends over much of the Mexican Pacific, and, especially in www.vrbo.com, many listings in Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido, and Huatulco.
- This project of Mexico lover Tom Penick is a very informative site, especially for downscale corners of Oaxaca. It’s unusually detailed about Puerto Escondido, Puerto Ángel, Zipolite, Mazunte, and the Bays of Huatulco. Information includes hotels, travel, history, surfing, scuba and snorkeling, and much more, with much helpful advice on what to enjoy and what to avoid. Very Good. (Note: Be aware, however, that some information is out of date.)
- Huatulco Hotel Association
- Useful site of the Huatulco Hotel Association, with links to about four dozen hotels, ranging modest to plush (two to five stars), including prices for some of the hotels. The remaining information (restaurants, events, tour operators, water sports, and land sports) would be more useful if it were in English.
- Huatulco Magazzine
- Site of the reliable local free tourist magazine, with useful links to all of its advertisers, from real estate and rental cars to handicrafts shops and 3-, 4-, and 5-star hotels.
- El Sol de la Costa
- Extensive and authoritative commercial site of the excellent Puerto Escondido bilingual tourist newspaper El Sol de la Costa, Warren Sharpe, editor and publisher. It’s especially useful for hotels, restaurants, sights, and services and also includes much cultural background, especially on local indigenous culture and traditions. A handy classified section usually lists a number of vacation rentals by owner.
- Puerto Real Estate
- Very good website of Puerto Real Estate; besides home sales, it lists and photo-illustrates many vacation rental villas, condos, and apartments ($3000–4000/week) and offers trip-planning services.
- Zicatela Properties
- Excellent site of Puerto Escondido’s Zicatela Properties real estate company. It’s especially good for moderately priced apartment, condo, and vacation home rentals (as low as $250/week). It also lists a number of services to help newcomers settle into Puerto Escondido.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition