The village of Teotitlan del Valle in the diverse state of Oaxaca Mexico is charming, boasts unique artisan shops, has a bustling local market, and there’s a lovely sacred mountain to climb. While many travelers drop by and enjoy the village for a few hours, there are so many things to do in Teotitlan del Valle that you could easily spend a spectacular full day here.
Teotitlan del Valle is surrounded by mountains and is the gateway to the Sierra Norte Mountains of Oaxaca Mexico. The streets of the village invite you for a casual stroll and let’s not forget about the lovely main plaza with a centerpiece church. Don’t miss the chance to wander into artisan’s households to witness ancient weaving techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. Visit the community run museum to understand the rich history of the region, or maybe stop by the modern cultural center to discover a workshop or live music.
As part of the bountiful treasures that make up the East Oaxaca Valley, there are nearby archaeological sites and village to explore less than a few mile away.
Here’s how to spend one perfect day in Teotitlan del Valle Oaxaca Mexico.
Table of Contents
- How to Get to Teotitlan del Valle via Public Transportation
- Climb to the Top of Cerro Picacho
- Discover the Famed Teotitlan del Valle Textiles
- Observe the Process of Incredible Artisan Candles
- Worthwhile Museums in Town
- Where to Eat in Teotitlan del Valle
- Why Not Sleep in Teotitlan del Valle?
- Places to Visit Near Teotitlan del Valle
- One Awesome Day in Teotitlan del Valle Oaxaca
How To Get to Teotitlan del Valle via Public Transportation
There are frequent buses and collectivos that depart Oaxaca City and pass by the main road that leads to Teotitlan del Valle. The village is less than 15 miles from the center of Oaxaca. The most convenient place to catch public transportation is here, on the main road of Eduardo Vasconcelos just after the Eduardo Vasconcelos Stadium and before the McDonald’s.
🚐 Oaxaca to Teotitlán del Valle | Take any bus or collectivo heading in the direction of Mitla or Tlacolula
Exit the bus along the main road for Teotitlán del Valle. From here, flag down a Moto to reach the center. Along the main road there are multiple artisan weaving shops if you wish to visit one before reaching the village center.
Average Moto fare from main highway to village center: $10 pesos
Climb to the Top of Cerro Picacho
One of the best trails Oaxaca hiking trails is located just past the outskirts of the village, the towering mountain of El Picacho. While the village is the gateway to the incredible Sierra Norte Mountains, this scenic hike is most definitely worth a climb.
The El Picacho hike is best to climb in the early morning or right before the sun sets. In the morning, share the trail with deer, rabbits, and a plethora of colorful birds. The trail of Cerro Picacho is maintained by the community, so purchase an entrance ticket from the Museo Comunitario in the center of town.
Museo Comunitario Teotitlan del Valle | Find it here: Tecutlan | Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00 | El Picacho Hike Fee: $25 pesos ($1.25 USD)
If you wish to access the trail before 10:00, there are oftentimes people cleaning and caring for the building before the museum’s opening hours. Simply ask if you can pay the admission fee to have access to the El Picacho hiking trail. The workers are more than happy to provide this service.
From the Mercado central in town, either walk to the trailhead that is almost a mile out of town, or have a moto take you there. The moto should cost no more than $10 pesos to reach the trailhead access road.
El Picacho Hike
The El Picacho hike is straightforward and follows a scenic dirt path that is well marked and boasts incredible natural views. Take the climb up to the mirador, which is less than 1.5 miles.
🥾 Hiking Guide Cerro Picacho | El Picacho Hike Fee: $25 pesos ($1.25 USD) | Out & Back Trail | Distance: 3 miles total | Excursion Duration: +/- 2.5 hours | Download the Free Cerro Picacho Map here
At the top of Cerro Picacho appreciate stunning views of the East Oaxaca Valley. There is a nice little covered shelter area that provides shade and simple bench. Find three large crosses and spectacular panoramic views of Teotitlan del Valle, the magical Sierra Norte Mountains, and the sprawling valley. The trail is especially picturesque during Oaxaca’s rainy season that spans from May – September. During this time, the mountains are green, lush and full of life.
The ascent to the top of Cerro Picacho can be reached in under an hour, however, the vistas are great, so relax, enjoy the trail, and savor the beauty along the way.
On the way down, stop by the Xtee Daa Paali Cave. It’s a short detour that is clearly marked with a blue and white signboard. A little past the caves are some large and interesting rocks. After that, the trail kind of disappears and is overgrown, so it becomes a little more intrepid. There are great views along the mountainside of Teotitlan del Valle. The Picacho hike is one of the best things to do in Teotitlan del Valle.
After a climb up Cerro Picacho, head back into the village and discover more about the Teotitlan del Valle Textiles and weaving facilities.
Discover the Famed Teotitlan del Valle Textiles
Teotitlán del Valle is known for their intricate and handmade artisan rugs and beautiful textiles. Wander the village streets and stop in at least one of the informative and operating workshops. One of the best artisan shops to visit is Casa Don Taurino, which provides free demonstrations of the distinct weaving techniques and shows how the natural dyes for the rugs are created. This shop is super informative and the finished products, especially the rugs are marvelous.
The process of making the Zapotec textiles is an ancient weaving tradition that has been practiced over 1,000 years. The wool comes from sheep and is dyed by natural ingredients from plants and insects. The rugs and other artisanal items are woven on a large wooden loom, and is an intricate process that is done completely by hand and powered by feet pedals. Some of the larger and intricate rugs and textiles can take months to produce. The large Teotitlan del Valle rugs take an average of 8 months.
Teotitlan de Valle rugs are beautiful and one of the most desired purchases while visiting the village, especially the rugs that are made of natural shades of Indigo blues. This is a truly authentic gift to treat yourself with! The Indigo coloring comes from the añil plant, which is found closer to the coast and Istmo region.
As natural dyes are being revitalized all across the globe, Oaxaca is exporting the dried plant to create Indigo products all across the globe. One such place that is utilizing the coloring from the Indigo plant is the small Ecuadorian village of Gualaceo, that is making their famous macanas shawls all with natural dyes.
Observe the Process of Incredible Artisan Candles
There’s more than weaving shops in Teotitlan del Valle Oaxaca. Casa Viviana is making incredible beeswax candles from elaborate and detailed molds. Stop in to see the intricate way this artisan shop is producing delightful candles that seem to special and beautiful to burn.
Find it here: Abasolo Centro | Daily: 11:00 – 20:00
Worthwhile Museums in Town
Although you have to purchase the ticket from the Community Museum to hike Cerro Picacho, come back and visit the museum when it opens. The Museo Comunitario is packed with history and customs of the village. There is also a nice display of artifacts that have been found in the nearby archaeological sites. The museum briefly touches on the weaving process and the Teotitlan del Valle textiles, but it focuses more on cultural traditions of the region. There is a small section dedicated to the Spanish conquest.
Another place to learn more about the Zapoteca weaving techniques is the modern building that is home to the Centro Cultural Comunitario Teotitlán del Valle. This center is dedicated to keeping the traditions of the community alive. Oftentimes the Cultural Center has demonstrations, workshops, and live music.
In front of the cultural center is another open artisan market to browse and see people weaving and producing textiles on the spot.
Where to Eat in Teotitlan del Valle
The most famous Teotitlan del Valle Restaurant is Restaurante Tlamanalli which is run by Abigail Mendoza and her sisters. This place is known for their typical Zapoteca dishes. The food is all made from scratch and with love. Foodies will recognize this place, as it was highlighted by Anthony Bourdain.
Find it here: Ave B Juarez 39 | Daily: 13:00 – 16:00 | Reservations Recommended
The main market also offers up traditional Oaxacan dishes. Wednesdays is the busiest day at the Teotitlan del Valle Market. Find vendors spilling out into the streets selling everything from produce, flowers, and street food.
Why Not Sleep in Teotitlan del Valle?
For those who are looking to enjoy the peace and solitude of the village, there are a few local guest houses. Teotitlan del Valle is a perfect base to explore more the Valles Centrals in Oaxaca.
Places to Visit Near Teotitlan del Valle
There are so many things to do in the East Valley of Oaxaca. Close to Teotitlan del Valle find beautiful sites that house a diverse range of Zapoteca ruins. While Yagul and Mitla Archaeological Sites are the most famous Oaxaca ruins in the East Oaxaca Valley, the nearby Dainzu Archaeological Zone is free and worth a stop. These ruins make the perfect place to watch the sunset if you don’t feel like climbing up El Picacho again!
Don’t miss the bustling Tlacolula Market, especially on Sundays when the market is busiest. This market place is one of the oldest in Mesoamerica times and has been a trading hub since before the Zapoteca empire.
Of course, all along the route there are places to sample Mezcal. However, Santiago Matatlan is a must for diehard mezcal fans. This is the “official land of Mezcal.”
➯ Detailed Oaxaca Travel Guide | 9+ Places to Visit in the East Oaxaca Valley of Mexico
One Awesome Day in Teotitlan del Valle Oaxaca
As you can see, there are so many exquisite things to do in Teotitlan del Valle that is located in the rich East Oaxaca Valley. The highlight of the day is taking the breathtaking climb up El Picacho. Cerro Picacho is a sacred mountain and the views are spectacular.
Teotitlan del Valle is most known for their incredible weavers and textiles. Make sure to tour at least one artisan shop that showcases this unique technique. To get a better understanding of the history and culture of the region, visit a museum and stop by the community center. Of course, there’s no better way to understand a place than by eating traditional dishes or stopping by a local market.
Teotitlan del Valle is a special village and nearby find worthwhile archaeological sites, villages, and mezcal producers. A trip to the East Valley of Oaxaca is a must when visiting Oaxaca Mexico.
Have you been to Teotitlan del Valle? Did you take the incredible El Picacho hike? What did you think of the weavers? Fascinating right? Let me know in the comments below!
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