Imagine shopping at a market that’s existed for 800 years before wandering the grounds of an ancient city populated by unearthed tombs; both are possible in Zaachila, a small town known for its Thursday tianguis and archaeological ruins. Visit for the chance to pick up local goods—from fresh fruit to clay pottery—and learn about Zapotec culture, all just a quick drive from Oaxaca City.
A popular spot to combine culture and cuisine, Zaachila is a Oaxacan town that most people visit on Thursday for its weekly market. Arriving independently is straightforward, with public and private options available from nearby Oaxaca. However, visiting Zaachila with a local guide can help overcome potential language barriers at the market and provide helpful historical context for the nearby and mostly unexcavated archaeological ruins which are open and accessible daily.
Things to Know Before You Go
Arrive on Thursday to experience Zaachila’s sprawling weekly market.
Many vendors may not even speak Spanish, let alone English.
Carry small bills and loose coins for purchases at the market.
The Zaachila ruins are open daily and require a small fee to enter.
You can easily combine a visit to Zaachila with a stop at the nearby artisan towns of San Bartolo Coyotepec and Arrazola.
Zaachila may not be easily accessible for wheelchair users and those with mobility issues.
How to Get There
Zaachila is situated roughly 9 miles (15 kilometers) from Oaxaca City, and is easy to access by both private and public transportation—look for shared taxis and colectivos with “Zaachila” on the windshield. The drive typically takes about half an hour.
When to Get There
Most people head to Zaachila on Thursday mornings to enjoy the weekly market, but the town is charming and accessible year-round. If visiting on a Thursday, aim to arrive early to soak up the market atmosphere. The archaeological ruins in Zaachila are open daily, typically from 9am until 6pm.
Other Oaxacan Towns to Explore
Alongside Zaachila, known for its ruins and market, there are many other Oaxacan towns worth adding to your itinerary. For one of the region’s largest and most famous markets, travel to Tlacolula on Sunday morning; alternatively, stop at the artisan-producing towns of San Bartolo Coyotepec—known for barro negro pottery—or Arrazola, a town famed for its whimsical wooden figurines known as alebrijes.
- Things to do in Puerto Escondido
- Things to do in Central Mexico
- Things to do in Guerrero
- Things to do in Western Highlands
- Things to do in Acapulco
- Things to do in Taxco
- Things to do in Mexico City
- Things to do in San Pedro La Laguna
- Things to do in Panajachel
- Things to do in Central Highlands
- Things to do in Pacific Highlands
- Things to do in Jalisco
- Things to do in The Cayes
- Things to do in Riviera Maya & the Yucatan
- Things to do in Guanacaste and Northwest
- San Bartolo Coyotepec
- Cuilapam Convent (Ex Convento de Cuilápam)
- Cacaluta Bay (Bahia de Cacaluta)
- Monte Albán
- San Antonio Arrazola
- 20 de Noviembre Market (Mercado 20 de Noviembre)
- Casa Crespo
- Santo Domingo de Guzmán Church (Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán)
- Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden (Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca)
- Oaxaca Culture Museum (Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca)
- Benito Juárez Home (Casa de Benito Juárez)
- Abastos Market (Central de Abastos)
- La Ventanilla
- Tule Tree (Arbol del Tule)
- Tamayo Museum (Museo Tamayo)