There are countless photo opportunities in the state of Oaxaca, for this reason, I’ve put together a list of Instagram photo ideas in the state of Oaxaca.
For more information about what to see in Oaxaca, you can check my Complete Oaxaca Guide which contains detailed information on things to visit, where to eat and sleep, and how to find the best tours in town. You can also check my Oaxaca Resources Guide for digital nomads, for a bit more in-depth information and tips to get by like a local when living or visiting Oaxaca.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Oaxaca is very lively and so is its art. Please bear in mind that some of the street art pieces in this list might change colors or drawings from this date to the time of your visit.
Things to do in Oaxaca with the best Photo Opportunities
The list of potential photo spots could be unlimited and the good news is that you won’t necessarily need to join any tour as the majority of these locations are places you can access on your own.
However, if you are coming to Oaxaca with limited time, you might want to consider booking a guided tour to make the most out of your visit. Check out these well-rated day activities by other travelers:
Instagram Photo Ideas in Oaxaca Centro
Now here are serveral cost-free suggestions that hopefully inspire you to take the best shots around the streets and buildings in Oaxaca Centro and other Oaxacan locations.
Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman
The perfect angle to photograph one of the most beautiful temples in the city is from one of the corners of Plaza de Santo Domingo.
Agaves at Plaza Santo Domingo
There are several Agaves at Plaza Santo Domingo. Some of them have a good size. Placing yourself between them can be the perfect setting for a photo shoot.
“Te Amo Oaxaca” sign
The sign is located at AM Siempre coffee shop in Centro. Normally you have to buy a little coffee or smoothie to be able to take photos, but the good news is that they’re all delicious!
Zocalo of Oaxaca
The perfect setting for people-watch. One of the most beautiful and iconic monuments is the gazebo that is the centerpiece of the main square of the city of Oaxaca, where everyone meets.
In the area, there are many vendors with helium balloons. If you give them a little tip they will let you pose in your photo with all of them. It looks really cool or as Mexicans would say: ¡Muy chido!
Ethnobotanical Garden of Oaxaca
Oaxaca’s ethnobotanical garden has been closed for most of the pandemic, but it’s finally open for visitors. Some of the most impressive and beautiful plant species can be found here. It is worth mentioning that there are several cactus areas that are the perfect setting for photography. Guided visits don’t give much time for photos, so be ready for your shot and take it quickly to be able to have that as one of your Oaxaca photo memories.
Plaza de la Danza and the Temple of Solitude
Two churches facing each other and a square with many steps, sound like the perfect location for an amazing photoshoot. Once you finish, I recommend eating a “nieve” which is the typical frozen ice cream of Oaxaca. Honestly, the photo opportunities here are endless.
Rooftops in Oaxaca Centro
Any of the bars that overlook Plaza Santo Domingo are the perfect setting to have your perfect cocktail/beer photo with the beautiful temple in the background.
Abastos Market or Central de Abastos of Oaxaca
This is the largest market in the city. Different scenes of the Oaxacan daily life take place in the many alleys of Central de Abastos. It is definitely the perfect setting to take unique photos.
Shops at Plaza Santo Domingo
The small shops that are located beside one the corners of Plaza Santo Domingo are the ideal photo spots. Have a look around the square and choose your photo!
Macedonio Alcala Theatre
Located near the main square, this Art Nouveau-style building is considered one of the most emblematic in the country. Having a photo here is a real deal.
Instagram Photo Ideas in Xochimilco Oaxaca
Located to the North of Oaxaca Centro. Xochimilco is a small and beautiful neighborhood that is full of street art.
Jeep near Xochimilco
For many months, this Jeep has been parked on Macedonio Alcalá street, near the entrance of Xochimilco borough. This is a very original and rare photo in Oaxaca.
The largest graffiti near Xochimilco
It is located on Macedonio Alcalá street, also very near to the Xochimilco borough. This is a great example of the street art quality in Oaxaca.
The pink wall at Xochimilco
As mentioned before street art in Oaxaca changes quite often, but it is true that most murals remain the same for several months. If this mural is not there when you arrive, surely there will be another just as cool or better replacing it.
The colorful wall at Macedonio Alcalá at the entrance of Xochimilco
You will find this colorful mural right at the entrance of the Xochimilco borough. Certainly a great spot for a profile picture!
Instagram Photo Ideas in Jalatlaco Oaxaca
Jalatlaco is a small Oaxaca. You’ll have the feel of being in a small Mexican town when you walk along its beautiful streets.
Get your Volkswagen Beetle photo
No matter where you are in the city (and in Mexico) the number of Beetles is difficult to imagine. Having a photo with one of them is truly a Mexican scene.
Blue corner at Jalatlaco
The corner of Santa Hierba coffee shop in Jalatlaco has a special charm. Whenever I passed that corner, I couldn’t help but take a photo here.
The most famous graffiti in Jalatlaco
This is considered Jalatlaco’s borough symbol. The skull of the famous artist Bouler is the center of all the photos in the neighborhood.
Cactus wall at Jalatlaco
Walking along Jalatlaco streets, you’ll find this wonderful scene in front of what appears to be a house. It is without a doubt one of my favorite photo spots in Jalatlaco.
Jalatlaco during Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead)
The Jalatlaco borough is the perfect setting to pose with your Catrina. If you are in Oaxaca during the month of October, this neighborhood is the place to be since many of the celebrations take place here.
Streets of Jalatlaco
Every street in Jalatlaco is simply beautiful, but if I had to pick one that would be Aldama Street. Walking from Calle Curtidurías towards Calle del Salto, you will pass by countless colored houses and in front of you the mountains of Sierra Norte will be showing off in the background. This spot is pure magic!
Instagram Photo Ideas in the Outskirts of Oaxaca
Again, this list could have many items, but I have put together a list of the spots that I have personally visited and that I found great for a photoshoot.
San Pablo Villa de Mitla
Just one hour from the center of Oaxaca, you will find the second most important Zapotec ruins in the state of Oaxaca. There are many photo opportunities here, either when visiting the ruins or the town.
Zimatlán de Álvarez
This is one of the towns where the typical flowers of the Day of the Dead celebration (Cempasúchil) are grown. In “Cultivos el Viejo” fields you are allowed to take pictures like this one. I would recommend paying a little tip to El Viejo (owner) who is in charge of the place. That’s how he can keep the area looking so beautiful.
Tree at Hierve el Agua
Hierve el agua is possibly the most important natural monument in the state of Oaxaca. These are natural pools and petrified waterfalls. One of the most spectacular spots is the one that appears in the photograph. I would recommend coming as early as possible to be able to take your photos without any people in the background.
Petrified waterfall at Hierve el Agua
The area of Hierve el agua has a small hiking trail that will take you to the bottom and top of this great petrified waterfall. The photo opportunities here are plentiful.
Archeological Site of Monte Alban
The most important Zapotec ruin in the state of Oaxaca is located on the outskirts of the capital (Oaxaca de Juárez). From the top of one of its Pyramids (still possible to climb), you can take a wonderful photo of the great complex of Monte Albán.
Instagram Photo Ideas on the Coast of Oaxaca
A trip to the beaches of Oaxaca is definitely a good idea. I didn’t hear of the Oaxaca Coast before coming to Mexico and these beaches are now amongst my favorite in the country.
Perhaps the beach with the best views in all of Puerto Escondido, right on the Oaxacan Coast. Take into account that there are several stairs to access this beach, but if you stop almost at the beginning of the way down, you will be able to take this breathtaking photo.
Any photo looks pretty amazing at the beautiful beaches of Oaxaca. However, I think that Bacocho Beach has special magic (and possibly the most amazing sunset in Puerto Escondido).
Instagram Photo ideas in the Mountains of Oaxaca
Do you want to escape from the heat of the city and the coast? No worries, Oaxaca has it all. There are several mountain areas you can choose to visit and that will be the perfect location for some Instagram photo ideas in the state of Oaxaca. I personally like the area of San José del Pacífico (to the South of Oaxaca Centro) and the mountains of Sierra Norte (North of Oaxaca Centro).
San José del Pacífico
The magnificent mountains and the unlimited view of pine tree forests in San José del Pacífico are without a doubt some of the most famous attractions in the area. Here you can find photo opportunities like the one below.
Sierra Norte Viewpoints
The Sierra Norte of Oaxaca is a quite large territory and is also considered a very unique area. In this part of the state, there are the so-called “Pueblos Mancomunados” which are several towns functioning independently from the state of Oaxaca and working together to be self-sufficient, focusing their attention to provide tourists in the area with a more ecological and responsible approach in their way of travel. There are several viewpoints, one of them is the one located a few kilometers from Ixtepeji.
Talking about the best photography shots in Oaxaca, there is no one better than local photographers to show you the best-updated photo spots in town. If you prefer to book a professional photoshoot while in the city, I can’t recommend you enough to check Juan Pablo’s portfolio.
Where to stay in Oaxaca
Do you still need to book your accommodation? Here are some hotel suggestions from low to high budget:
- Selina Oaxaca great hostel alternative that offers co-working solutions
- Casa Angel Hostel one of the best hostels in town, located in Centro
- Las Mariposas Eco-Hotel & Studios is a sustainable hotel right in Centro
- Casa Carlota unique style and a wonderful rooftop
- Casa de las Bugambilias B&B Oaxacan-style hotel in Centro
- Boulenc Bead & Bread well located modern and minimalistic hotel.
- Casa de Sierra Azul is a Hacienda-inspired hotel
- Quinta Real Oaxaca is a very unique and historic hotel that was part of a former convent.
Plan your trip: A quick guide to book your next adventure now
This is a detailed guide that will help you plan your trip from scratch and successfully prepare everything ahead of your departure. I follow these steps to book my trips and now you can do the exact same!
Purchase your flight
Book your accommodation
Don’t forget your travel insurance
Choose your tours
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