Oaxaca Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living

Oaxaca Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living
Oaxaca Things to Do!
–>Oaxaca Free Old Town Walking Tour
–>Oaxaca Day Tours
–>Oaxaca Best Restaurants
–>Oaxaca Nightlife (Bar Hopping) Tour
–>Oaxaca Best (and) Cheap Places to Stay
–>Oaxaca Flights, Buses, Trains
–>Oaxaca Livability Factors
–>Oaxaca Cost of Living
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Oaxaca Mexico Retire Early Low Cost of Living


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This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. This is my Oaxaca Mexico retire early low cost living guide.

Maybe you are looking for paradise for early cheap retirement? Maybe you are a digital nomad reducing expenses while you start your online business. Maybe you are looking for a place to live cheap while you write your next novel? Maybe you are allowed to work from anywhere in the world so long as you have an internet connection?

Whatever the case may be for you, Oaxaca Mexico is a place you should consider.  This Oaxaca Mexico retire early low cost living guide should give you a head start.

I have been traveling around the world since 2007 looking for the best travel or retire cheap place in the world. I have been to 65 countries so far. Oaxaca is easily in my top 3 places in Mexico. It is so easy, cheap, clean, and beautiful living here.

Qiang Hui of Hobo Ventures is traveling with me. She has a huge Instagram following.

Please subscribe here on Vagabond Buddha or on my Youtube Channel to see where we go next in Mexico. We are heading for a new place tomorrow.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please grab a free copy of my Ebook.

Oaxaca Mexico Facts

  1. Oaxaca City relies heavily on tourism. People visit from all over the world to see he colonial-era town center, the native cultures of the Zapotec, the Mixtec, and others, and the natural beauty.
  2. Oaxaca State has a large indigenous population of more than 50% of the total population. There are many different indigenous cultures each speaking a different local language. There are many who live their original culture and don’t even speak Spanish.
  3. Oaxaca hosts the Guelaguetza indigenous festival. It is the most famous indigenous festival in Mexico, if not the world. The festival is held each year on the last two Mondays of July. Indigenous communities from all over Oaxaca gather at the Guelaguetza festival to celebrate their native culture of music, costumes, dances, and food.
  4. Mexico’s only indigenous president Benito Juarez is a native son of Oaxaca.
  5. Indigenous people have lived here for thousands of years and the ancient ruins of Monte Alban and Mitla are close to Oaxaca City.
  6. The Aztecs showed in 1440 and the Spanish invaded in 1521. When the Spanish arrived they came with an escort of 400 Aztec allies.
  7. A town council was formed, the first mayor was elected, and construction of the Cathedral began in 1522.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Oaxaca Free Old Town Walking Tour and Map

Here is the Youtube video of our Oaxaca Mexico Free Old Town Walking Tour.

Click the interactive Google Map on your smartphone to be guided on this tour.

Here is each stop on the tour explained:

Palacio de Gobierno: On the south side of the Zocalo is this museum, that was formerly the Palace of the Governor until 2005. As you face the Palace, if you go around to the left side, you will find the entry door. The present manifestation of this building was completed in 1997. Make sure to see murals on the walls showcasing pre-Hispanic, colonial, and post-Independence Mexican history.

Plaza de la Constitution (Zocalo): This main plaza functioned as a market and gathering place for the first 250 years. The first marble fountain was installed in 1739. In 1885 a statute of President Benito Juarez was installed and the Art Nouveau kiosk was installed in 1901.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption: On the north side of the Zocalo is a side view of the Oaxaca Cathedral. Walk around the front of the Cathedral and go inside. This is the third iteration of this church, the first two being destroyed in large earthquakes in the 16th and 18th centuries. This version of the cathedral was completed in 1733. This is the second most beautiful church in Oaxaca, the first being discussed below (Santo Domingo de Guzmán).

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Museum of Oaxacan Painters: This former 18th-century mansion features local artists such as Rodolfo Morales, Felipe Morales, Rodolfo Nieto, Alejandro Santiago, and Francisco Toledo.

Museum of Contemporary Art: This museum is housed in Casa Cortes, one of the oldest buildings in the city, but built after Cortes’ death.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Santo Domingo de Guzmán: This is my favorite church in all of Mexico. Construction began in 1555 and ended 111 years later in 1666. Right now there are some numerology buffs out there shaking in their boots. You will have to watch the video to believe how ornate the interior of this church is decorated. The interior of this church is almost completely covered in Gold leaf.

Santo Domingo Cultural Center: This previous convent of Santo Domingo has been converted into a cultural center. It has a museum, botanical gardens, and a library. This museum includes pre-Columban artifacts including Tomb 7 from the nearby of Monte Albán. The museum includes the richest collection of gold and silver designs of ancient Mexico.

La Casa de las Artesanías de Oaxaca: This is just a highly rated market on Google to buy local art.

Rufino Tamayo Museum: Casa de Villanaza, was built in the 18th century. It has a pre-Hispanic art collection accumulated by the painter himself, Rufino Tamayo. He donated his collection and this house to his home state of Oaxaca in 1974.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Best Oaxaca Day Tours and Map

Guided Tours

Viator Tours: The Viator Tour options are listed at this link:

Get Your Guide Tours has similar tours with only a slight variation in pricing on the day I searched.

Self-Guided (Cheap Bastard) Tours

Directions: Grab a local bus from here (Second Class Bus Station) to Mitla for 20 Pesos. Take the first stop in Mitla here at this convenience store (Tiendas SIX). The collectivos will be waiting for you when you get off the bus. Collectivos are a shared taxi that will take you to Hierve el Agua for 50 Pesos. The collectivos are small white trucks with a burgundy strip.

Hierve el Agua: The entry fee is 10 + 25 Pesos. These are natural limestone waterfalls and springs that you can visit. The spot where the collectivo drops you is where you catch a collectivo back to Mitla for 50 Pesos. Once back in Mitla, take a Tuk-Tuk to the following archeological zone for 10 Pesos per person.

Mitla Archaeological Zone: The entry fee is 70 Pesos ($3.5 USD). The site is 44 km from the city of Oaxaca, but it takes an hour for buses to get there. Mitla is the second most important archeological site in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the most important of the Zapotec culture. Monte Albán was most important as the political center, Mitla was a religious center. The name Mitla is a word mispronounced by the invading Spanish and has remained to this day. Mitla means ‘place of the dead or underworld.’ The Mitla ruins are famous for the elaborate and intricate interweaved rock formation that covers entire buildings. The designs are made using finely cut and polished stone fitted together so tightly that no mortar was needed to maintain the structures.

When the Spanish attacked, the Zapotec nation had a population of over 500,000 people. The Zapotec society had advanced construction techniques, a written language, calendars, and an agriculture-based society using irrigation on terraced mountains to grow food for an urban population.

Mitla was a spiritual gateway between the living and the dead. Nobles and priests buried in Mitla were called cloud people. The cloud people acted as counsel to the living.

Bernardo de Albuquerque, the Bishop of Oaxaca, ordered the Mitla temples destroyed to try to break the spirit of the indigenous people and remove their culture from world history. Although the European invaders professed to honor the seven virtues in their daily lives, for many, their actions on the ground here, more closely resemble the seven deadly sins. Luckily, the invaders also committed the sin of sloth. here were also well known for their sloth. They failed to complete Albuquerque’s orders. There is still some world history remaining here for you to enjoy.

Although Mitla has been carbon dated back to about 50 BC, other archeological sites in the Oaxaca Valley go as far back as 8,000 BC. Take a Tuk-Tuk back to Mitla and grab the bus headed back to Oaxaca for 20 Pesos. Tell the driver to drop you at “El Tule.”

El Tule (Árbol del Tule): When the driver drops you in El Tule, just click this link on your smartphone and walk to the largest tree in the world. Once you are done viewing the largest tree in the world, jump in a collectivo taxi back to Oaxaca central for 12 Pesos per person. Catch the collectivo taxi here.

Monte Albán: Monte Alban is the most significant archeological site in all of Oaxaca. Watch the above video to see what I mean. We sort of learned our lesson on the previous day trip to Mitla. The trips are so cheap here in Oaxaca, 150 Pesos, $7.50 USD, you don’t really save any money by doing it yourself here. So just shop the tour prices on this block and offer 150 Pesos until someone accepts your offer. They will even pick you up at your accommodations. Our tour included Monte Alban (500 BC mountain-top ruins), Cuilapam de Guerrero (a 16th-century convent), a colorful art workshop (Arrazola), and a black clay pottery workshop (Dona Rosa San Bartolo). Watch the above video to get the main idea. A great deal for 150 Pesos.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Oaxaca Best Restaurants, Street Food, and Surprise Experiences

Super Jugos Angelita: This is the juice bar in the above video. A half pitcher of fresh juice is 35 Pesos ($1.75 USD). The flower tacos ($1 USD) and tamales ($1 USD) in the video are right across from it. Be careful, once you start eating meals here, you won’t want to pay more than $1 USD. It is so good.

Tlayudas Las Ánimas: This is at the end of the above video. Qiang Hui’s dinner was only $3.50 USD. Delicious! They are open late too. We went here after the nightlife tour. 11:45 PM..

Cafe Los Cuiles: We asked our Airbnb host where a great coffee shop was with reliable Internet. She suggested this place. The Internet was great and free so we tried the food. Delicious! Our lunch including coffee and tip was 180 Pesos for both of us, $9 USD.

Restaurante Casa Oaxaca and La Olla: Both of these places came highly recommended by a local Oaxaca friend, but we never made it to either. Let me know what you think if you go.

Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: Both Qiang and I love to cook spicy food. Our Airbnb place had a great kitchen so we eat at home a bunch. We shopped in this local market and this supermarket.

However you decide to eat, this Oaxaca Mexico retire early low cost living guide should help.

Best Oaxaca Nightlife (Bar Hopping) Walking Tour and Map

Just click the below interactive map or ==>this link<== on your smartphone to start your tour.

  1. La Mezcalerita
  2. Mezcalogia
  3. Los Amantes Mezcaleria
  4. Cortijo L Mezcaleria
  5. Expendio Tradician
  6. Txalaparta

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Oaxaca Best (and) Cheap Hotels

You should stay in the old town area of Oaxaca . You can walk to most of the interesting things to do and see. You won’t need to get in a taxi. Here are accommodations you should consider. They go from most to least expensive, as follows:

Quinta Real Oaxaca (Expensive but super nice)

Hotel NaNa Vida (Medium and nice)

Parador del Dominico (Totally functional and comfortable)

Hostel (Super cheap)

Airbnb House Share (Where we stayed): This is a house share on Airbnb. We have been totally happy with it at $19 USD per night. Check out our Life and Food video above to see the video inside this place. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code http://www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a big discount).

I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Oaxaca Flights, Buses, Trains

Buses: We took the ADO bus from Puebla to Oaxaca. Right, click in your chrome browser to get an English translation. The trip was 5 hours and cost 508 Pesos per person. Buy your ADO tickets at least one week in advance to avoid their last-minute gouging. As the seats fill up, they raise the price as much as 200 Pesos per ticket.

Normally we take ETN or Primera buses between various cities in Mexico. You will need to check their web page to see if they have a bus from your city to Oaxaca. You can visit the English ETN website. In fact, just right click any website in your Google Chrome browser to translate into English.

Oaxaca International Airport (Xoxocotlán International Airport (OAX)): You can fly into OAX and take a Taxi to your accommodations. Uber wasn’t operating here during our visit. Let me know if it is up and running when you are here. A Taxi from OAX to Oaxaca Central should take about 30 minutes and cost about 100 Pesos, $5 USD. I have provided a list of 5 places to stay in old town Oaxaca, see above.

Flights (International or Domestic): The cheapest day to depart on flights is typically Tuesday or Wednesday. I always seem to find the cheapest flights, foreign and domestic, on Skyscanner. Buy a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone when you land here. Make sure to get your phone unlocked before leaving your home country (this applies to US Citizens).

Train: There is still a train through Copper Mountain but it does not go to Oaxaca. That is the only train in Mexico still. Otherwise, you need to take buses and flights.

If you book my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission.

Please book using my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, If you book using links to my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. This is why we are able to keep creating these travel guides.

If you would like to live cheap or retire early in paradise, learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Oaxaca Mexico Livability Factors

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha. Here are the factors I use to decide if I would want to live somewhere. I call them my livability factors.

Livability Factors: Walkability, things to do, Internet reliability, weather, social considerations, food choices, expat opportunities, real estate prices, and the overall cost of living.

Oaxaca Desirability Score: I rank each livability factors separately before I think about the overall desirability score. Oaxaca has a high desirability factor. Right now, my personal top six places to live or retire cheap in paradise, are Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Puerta Vallarta, and Tulum. But I have more places to see in Mexico before firming up my scores. If you would like to know how my next 4 stops compare to my existing top 6, please subscribe to our YouTube Channel or Vagabond Buddha.

Walkability: Oaxaca is totally walkable. I would not need to buy a car if I lived here. Normally I go to the supermarket once a week to get fresh vegetables, but the local markets are so clean and fresh here, I would shop there instead.

If you would like to learn how to be a digital nomad, make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.

Internet Reliability: The WIFI in our Airbnb was 11.33 MBPS download speed and 0.30 MBPS upload speed. Speed Test. That is the wireless connectivity within our room. If I moved here I would have to get a dedicated router and plug into it to be happy.

Food: Normally I explore this food diversity question a little better. But I have been loving the fresh local food in the market so much I haven’t even Googled until now. No Thai restaurant, one Indian, two Chinese restaurants, one Lebanese, one Morrocan, two French, one Brazilian, two Argentinian, nine Japanese, one official vegetarian and one vegan, and a bunch of Italian restaurants. The food diversity seems comparable to other towns in Mexico of this size (Municipality 300k people, Metro Area 650k people, state total 3.5 million).

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Weather: We came to Oaxaca from Puebla, Mexico. The first things we noticed was that it was warmer here. That is because Puebla was 2000 meters (6500 feet) above sea level and Oaxaca is only 1500 meters (5100 feet) above sea level. It is warmer as you approach sea level. May is the warmest month with an average high of 92F 33C, but it cools down quickly at night to 59F or 15C. January is the coldest month with an average low of 48F or 9C at night, but it warms quickly in the day to 82F or 28C. The fact that it warms up so nicely during the day in January, is nice. The rainy season is June through September when it rains about 5 inches per month (130 mm).

Things to Do: There is live music everywhere in the old town, day and night. We really felt safe walking around old town, day and night. I never really noticed anyone looking at us like we were their next meal. There was more selling going on here than begging. The old town is well lit up at night. There are many bike lanes here but not as many bike riders as you will see in Europe of the USA. We saw a free symphony will we were in town. There were also posters for live music, cinema, and other live activities.

Social Considerations: You will feel need to learn Spanish to feel like you fit in here. There are 10 Oaxaca groups on MeetUps and 4 of those seem to be communicating in English. There is an Oaxaca Expats group on Facebook with 1300 members, with 84 new members this month and 7 posts today.

Expats Penetration: See the previous paragraph. Medium for a town this size.

Real Estate: You can get a 1 Bedroom 1 Bath condo in the old town area for around $150,000 USD. Click here to search. I do not recommend buying until you have lived here for at least one or two years.

Oaxaca Mexico Cost of Living

After you have visited at least 4 or 5 places in Mexico, then consider where you want to live. Once it is time to pick a place to rent for a year or so, I recommend renting an Airbnb apartment here for a few weeks. If you try to rent over the Internet you will be quoted only Gringo prices. If you come put your boots on the ground here, I guestimate about $500-600 USD for a decent 1 bedroom apartment in the old town area of Oaxaca Mexico. I have used that number below.

Monthly Cost of Living, Oaxaca Mexico ($USD)

Expense

Cost

Low

Medium

High

Airbnb House Share

$20.00

0

14

30

Moderate Hotel

$30.00

0

12

0

Backpacker Hostel

$12.00

30

3

0

High-End Restaurant

$7.00

1

4

8

Neighborhood Restaurant

$4.00

30

44

48

Food Cart

$2.00

30

12

4

Subway/Train/Metro

$0.40

20

26

8

Bus

$0.40

20

10

0

Taxi/Uber

$1.00

6

10

20

Total

Per Month

$569.00

$928.40

$879.20

Total

Per Day

$18.97

$30.95

$29.31

The above table is just my notes from my time here. The above numbers are for one person and do not include alcohol, tours, or extras. I do not guarantee these prices for anyone.

For more information about how the above “Cost of Living Monthly Multiplier” works, please visit the bottom of this page at Vagabond Buddha.

Please subscribe here or on our Youtube Channel if you would like to receive the costs of living estimates for our next Mexico stop. We are heading to our next city in the morning. Are you curious where it will be?

Please book using links to my recommended flights, tours (Viator Tours, Get Your Guide Tours) or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. That will allow us to keep making these travel guides and videos for you.

Thanks for watching our video. If you would like to learn how to live internationally or make money online, please grab a free copy of my eBook. Just click the link on youtube in the notes below this youtube video, Contact us if you would like to collaborate with us on social media.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

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