How to Spend 5 Days in Oaxaca
When it comes to exploring the rich cultural heritage of Mexico, Oaxaca is a destination that should not be missed. This vibrant city, located in the southern part of the country, offers a wide range of attractions and experiences that will keep you captivated for days. From stunning landmarks to fascinating museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Oaxaca.
A 5-day itinerary is the perfect amount of time to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and history of this region. On your first day, start by exploring the historic center of Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander through the narrow streets lined with colorful buildings and be sure to visit the impressive Santo Domingo de Guzman Church. This architectural masterpiece is a must-see and offers a glimpse into Oaxaca’s rich colonial past.
For the second and third days of your trip, spend your time visiting the city’s renowned museums. Oaxaca is home to a number of excellent museums, including the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca and the Rufino Tamayo Museum. These cultural institutions house a wide range of artifacts and art pieces that showcase the diversity and complexity of Oaxaca’s indigenous cultures.
On the fourth day, venture outside the city to explore the fascinating archaeological site of Monte Alban. This ancient city was once the capital of the Zapotec civilization and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spend the day marveling at the intricate ruins and learning about the history and significance of this remarkable place.
Lastly, on your final day in Oaxaca, take some time to soak in the vibrant local culture. Explore the bustling markets and sample the delicious local cuisine, such as tlayudas and mole. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the city and embrace the warmth and hospitality of the local people.
By following this 5-day itinerary, you will be able to experience the best that Oaxaca has to offer. Whether you are interested in history, art, or simply exploring a new culture, this charming city has it all. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Oaxaca.
Day 1: Arrival and Cultural Heritage
On your first day in Oaxaca, take the time to explore the city’s rich cultural heritage. Start by visiting the numerous museums dotted throughout the city. The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca is a must-visit, as it showcases the region’s history and art through a collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts and colonial-era artworks.
After immersing yourself in the city’s museums, it’s time to indulge in Oaxacan cuisine. Head to one of the local markets, such as the Mercado Benito Juarez or Mercado 20 de Noviembre, and sample traditional dishes like tlayudas, mole, and mezcal.
Continue your cultural exploration by visiting the city’s landmarks. The beautiful Templo de Santo Domingo is a UNESCO World Heritage site and offers stunning architectural details and religious art. You can also wander through the leafy grounds of the Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca, a botanical garden that showcases the region’s diverse plant life.
With only one day to spend in Oaxaca, make the most of your time by following this suggested itinerary. Explore the museums, indulge in the local cuisine, and visit the city’s beautiful landmarks to get a taste of Oaxaca’s rich cultural heritage.
Day 2: Discovering Ancient Ruins
On the second day of your itinerary in Oaxaca, spend the day exploring the ancient ruins that are scattered throughout the region. These ruins offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the area, and are a must-visit for history enthusiasts.
Start your day with a visit to the Monte Albán archaeological site, located just outside of Oaxaca. This ancient Zapotec city dates back to 500 BC and is known for its impressive pyramids, temples, and ball courts. Explore the site and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding valley.
Afterwards, make your way to the nearby town of Mitla. This small town is home to the Mitla archaeological site, which is famous for its intricate stone mosaics. Marvel at the intricate designs and patterns that adorn the walls of the temples, and imagine what life was like for the Zapotec people who once inhabited this city.
As you explore the ruins, take some time to learn about the history and significance of each site. There are guidebooks available onsite, or you can hire a local guide to provide you with a more in-depth understanding of the ruins.
After a day of exploring ancient ruins, treat yourself to some delicious Oaxacan cuisine. Oaxaca is known for its diverse and flavorful cuisine, influenced by indigenous ingredients and flavors. Sample traditional dishes such as mole, tlayudas, and mezcal, and indulge in the rich flavors of Oaxaca.
End your day by immersing yourself in the local culture of Oaxaca. Visit one of the many museums in the city, such as the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca or the Museo Textil de Oaxaca, to learn more about the region’s history and traditions. Alternatively, you can take a stroll through the colorful streets of the city and soak up the vibrant atmosphere.
Day 3: Exploring the Natural Beauty
On the third day of your itinerary in Oaxaca, take some time to explore the natural beauty that this region has to offer. Oaxaca is known for its stunning landscapes and diverse ecosystem, so make sure to make the most of it during your visit.
Start your day by visiting one of the many natural landmarks in Oaxaca. The Hierve el Agua is a must-see attraction with its petrified waterfalls and natural swimming pools. Take a dip in the mineral-rich waters and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Afterwards, head to the Monte Albán archaeological site, located just outside of Oaxaca City. This ancient Zapotec city is nestled atop a mountain and offers panoramic views of the valley below. Explore the ruins and marvel at the impressive architecture and intricate stone carvings.
If you’re interested in learning more about the region’s natural history, visit the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. This museum houses a collection of artifacts and displays that showcase the diverse flora and fauna of the area. Learn about the different ecosystems that exist in Oaxaca and the importance of preserving its natural beauty.
To end the day, indulge in some delicious local cuisine at one of Oaxaca’s many traditional restaurants. Sample dishes like mole, tlayudas, and chapulines, which are grasshoppers cooked with spices. Oaxaca is known for its rich culinary traditions, so be sure to treat your taste buds during your visit.
After a day spent exploring the natural beauty of Oaxaca, you’ll come away with a deeper appreciation for the region’s diverse landscapes and ecosystems. Take the time to immerse yourself in the natural wonders that surround Oaxaca and create lasting memories of your trip.
Day 4: Indulging in Local Cuisine
On the fourth day of your itinerary, take the time to indulge in the rich and diverse flavors of Oaxacan cuisine. Oaxaca is known for its delicious food, which is often described as a fusion of indigenous and Spanish influences.
Start your day with a visit to one of Oaxaca’s many local markets, such as the Mercado Benito Juarez or Mercado 20 de Noviembre. Here, you’ll find an array of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and spices that are key ingredients in traditional Oaxacan dishes.
Next, head to a local restaurant or street food stall to try some of the region’s most famous dishes. Be sure to sample a tlayuda, which is often referred to as a “Mexican pizza.” This large, crispy tortilla is topped with refried beans, cheese, meat, and a variety of other toppings.
After lunch, continue exploring Oaxaca’s culinary scene by taking a cooking class. Many local chefs and home cooks offer classes where you can learn how to make traditional Oaxacan recipes, such as mole or tamales. These classes provide a unique opportunity to learn about the ingredients and techniques that make Oaxacan cuisine so special.
In the evening, consider dining at one of Oaxaca’s renowned restaurants, many of which are known for their innovative takes on traditional dishes. Be sure to try a mezcal cocktail, a spirit that is made from the agave plant and is closely associated with Oaxacan culture.
As you spend your fourth day in Oaxaca indulging in the local cuisine, take the time to appreciate the deep connection between food and culture in this vibrant region. Whether you’re exploring bustling markets, trying new flavors, or learning how to cook traditional dishes, Oaxaca’s culinary scene is sure to captivate your taste buds and leave you with a deeper appreciation for Mexican cuisine.
Day 5: Shopping and Arts
On the final day of your 5-day itinerary in Oaxaca, take the time to immerse yourself in the rich culture and arts scene that this vibrant city has to offer. Oaxaca is known for its traditional crafts, art galleries, and vibrant markets, making it the perfect place to indulge in some shopping and immerse yourself in the local arts scene.
Start your day by exploring the various markets in Oaxaca. One of the must-visit markets is the Mercado Benito Juarez, which offers a wide range of handicrafts, textiles, and traditional Oaxacan cuisine. Take your time to browse through the stalls and pick up some souvenirs to take home.
After the market, head over to the Centro Cultural San Pablo, a cultural center housed in a former convent. Here, you can explore the art galleries and exhibitions that showcase the work of local and national artists. The Centro Cultural San Pablo also hosts workshops and cultural events, providing a deeper understanding of Oaxaca’s art scene.
Next, make your way to the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO), a contemporary art museum located in a beautiful colonial building. The museum features a diverse collection of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. Take your time to appreciate the unique artworks on display and learn more about the contemporary art scene in Oaxaca.
To wrap up your day, take a stroll along the Alcala Street, a pedestrian street lined with boutique shops and art galleries. Here, you can find a wide range of handmade crafts, textiles, and artwork created by local artisans. Take the opportunity to support local artists and bring back a piece of Oaxaca’s vibrant arts scene with you.
After spending five days exploring the best of Oaxaca’s culture, landmarks, museums, and cuisine, it’s time to bid farewell to this enchanting city. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or an art enthusiast, Oaxaca offers something for everyone. From its ancient ruins to its traditional markets, Oaxaca is a city that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for Mexican culture.
Day 6: Departure and Farewell
On the final day of your Oaxaca adventure, it’s time to say goodbye to this vibrant city and its rich culture. Take some time in the morning to pack your belongings and check out of your hotel. Before leaving, be sure to indulge in one last taste of Oaxaca’s incredible cuisine.
If you have a few hours before your departure, consider visiting some of the city’s top landmarks one last time. Stroll through the historic center and marvel at the stunning architecture of buildings like the Santo Domingo Church and the Macedonio Alcala Theater. Don’t forget to admire the iconic Oaxaca Cathedral before you leave.
If you’re interested in learning more about Oaxaca’s history and culture, consider visiting one of the city’s fascinating museums. The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca is a must-visit, housing a collection of ancient artifacts that will transport you back in time. The Rufino Tamayo Museum is also worth exploring, as it showcases contemporary Mexican art.
Before bidding farewell to Oaxaca, take a moment to reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had during your five days in this enchanting city. From exploring ancient ruins to immersing yourself in the local culture, Oaxaca has surely left a lasting impression.
As you head to the airport or your next destination, take this time to plan your next adventure. Whether it’s another journey through Mexico or exploring a new corner of the world, let the memories and lessons from Oaxaca inspire your future travels.
Thank you for joining us on this exciting 5-day itinerary exploring the best of Oaxaca. We hope you enjoyed your time here and that you’ll return to discover even more of what this captivating city has to offer.
Exploring the Historic Center of Oaxaca
The historic center of Oaxaca is a vibrant and cultural hub that offers a wealth of attractions to explore. With its rich history and stunning architecture, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a must-visit destination for any traveler.
When planning your itinerary, be sure to allocate a few days to fully immerse yourself in the culture and charm of Oaxaca’s historic center. The area is home to numerous museums, showcasing the region’s unique heritage and artistic traditions. From the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca to the Rufino Tamayo Museum, there are endless opportunities to learn about the history and art of this fascinating region.
No visit to the historic center would be complete without experiencing Oaxaca’s renowned cuisine. Be sure to sample the local delicacies at the traditional markets and street vendors that line the streets. From mole to tlayudas, the culinary delights of Oaxaca are sure to satisfy any food lover’s cravings.
As you explore the historic center, take the time to wander through the cobblestone streets and admire the colonial-era architecture. Keep an eye out for the ornate churches and colorful buildings that are scattered throughout the area. There are also numerous galleries and artisan workshops to visit, where you can witness the skilled craftsmanship that has been passed down through generations.
Overall, spending some time in Oaxaca’s historic center is a must for anyone visiting the region. With its rich cultural heritage, delicious cuisine, and stunning architecture, this area truly embodies the essence of Oaxaca. So be sure to include it in your itinerary and take the time to immerse yourself in all that this remarkable city has to offer.
Discovering the Zapotec Culture
While exploring the best of Oaxaca, make sure to dedicate a day to discovering the rich Zapotec culture. The city of Oaxaca is home to several landmarks that showcase this ancient civilization’s remarkable history.
Start your itinerary with a visit to the Monte Albán archaeological site, which was once the capital of the Zapotec empire. Marvel at the well-preserved pyramids, temples, and ball courts that offer a glimpse into the architectural prowess of the Zapotec people.
Afterwards, head to the Museum of Zapotec Culture to delve deeper into their fascinating traditions. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, including pottery, jewelry, and textiles, that highlight the intricate craftsmanship of this ancient culture.
No exploration of Zapotec culture is complete without experiencing their cuisine. Indulge in traditional dishes like tlayudas, mole, and mezcal while learning about the culinary heritage of the Zapotec people. Don’t forget to visit local markets where you can purchase authentic Zapotec crafts and handicrafts as souvenirs.
To truly understand the complexity of Zapotec culture, spend time visiting the small towns surrounding Oaxaca. These towns, such as Teotitlán del Valle and Mitla, are known for their vibrant Zapotec communities that continue to preserve and showcase their traditional practices, including weaving and embroidery.
Immerse yourself in the beauty and depth of the Zapotec culture during your visit to Oaxaca. From ancient landmarks to museums and local experiences, you’ll gain a profound appreciation for this remarkable civilization.
Visiting the Monte Albán Archaeological Site
Monte Albán is a must-visit site during your 5-day itinerary in Oaxaca. This ancient archaeological site was once the capital of the Zapotec civilization and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is located on a hilltop, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding valley.
Exploring Monte Albán will give you a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Zapotec people. The site features impressive pyramids, temples, and ball courts, showcasing the architectural skills of the ancient civilization. Don’t miss the Main Plaza, where you can find the iconic Danzantes, the stone carvings depicting human figures in complex poses.
There are also museums on-site that offer a deeper understanding of the Zapotec culture. The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca houses a collection of artifacts found at Monte Albán, including pottery, jewelry, and sculptures. The museum provides valuable insights into the daily life and traditions of the Zapotec people.
Visiting Monte Albán is an opportunity to immerse yourself in Oaxaca’s rich cultural heritage. After exploring the archaeological site, take some time to relax and enjoy the panoramic views of the valley. You can also try traditional Oaxacan cuisine at the onsite restaurant, which offers local specialties such as mole and tlayudas.
Incorporate a visit to Monte Albán into your 5-day itinerary to fully experience the history, landmarks, and cuisine of Oaxaca. It’s a fascinating destination that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the Zapotec civilization and the enduring legacy they left behind.
Exploring the Hierve el Agua Natural Springs
Hierve el Agua Natural Springs is one of the most stunning natural landmarks in Oaxaca, Mexico. Situated in the mountains, these mineral-rich springs create a unique landscape that is truly a sight to behold.
When you visit Hierve el Agua, you can explore the natural pools and terraces that have formed over thousands of years. The water is known for its healing properties and mesmerizing turquoise color. It’s the perfect place to relax and take a dip after a few days of exploring Oaxaca.
Aside from the beautiful springs, Hierve el Agua also offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. You can take a hike to the top of the nearby cliffs for an even more panoramic vista. The rugged and untouched scenery is a photographer’s dream.
While visiting Hierve el Agua, make sure to try the local cuisine. Oaxaca is known for its delicious food, and you’ll find an array of traditional dishes to savor. From mole to tlayudas, each bite is a taste of Oaxacan culture.
For those interested in the history and culture of Oaxaca, there are several museums in the area that explore the region’s rich heritage. The Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca is a must-visit, showcasing artifacts from the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations.
If you’re planning a trip to Oaxaca, be sure to include a visit to the Hierve el Agua Natural Springs in your itinerary. The natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and opportunities to explore the local culture make it a highlight of any trip to the region.
Sampling Oaxacan Street Food
When you visit Oaxaca, you must take the time to explore the local cuisine, especially the incredible street food. Oaxaca is known for its rich culinary culture that combines traditional indigenous flavors with Spanish influences.
During your 5-day stay in Oaxaca, make sure to dedicate at least a couple of days to sampling the delicious street food. You’ll find food stalls and vendors lining the streets, offering a wide variety of mouthwatering options.
Start your culinary adventure by trying the famous tlayudas. These large, crispy tortillas are loaded with toppings such as beans, cheese, meats, and salsa. They are a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Another must-try street food is the tamales. These corn dough pockets are filled with various savory or sweet fillings, wrapped in a corn husk, and steamed. They make for a satisfying and portable meal as you explore Oaxaca’s museums and landmarks.
Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the traditional tlayudas. These savory meats marinated in a spicy sauce and grilled to perfection are full of flavor and a true delight for meat lovers.
For dessert, try some of the local sweets, such as the famous chocolate con leche. This rich, creamy hot chocolate is made with cacao beans from the region and served with a sweet pastry for dipping. It’s the perfect way to end your street food adventure in Oaxaca.
As you explore Oaxaca’s vibrant street food scene, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the local culture. Engage with the vendors, learn about their recipes and techniques, and appreciate the love and passion that goes into each dish. Sampling Oaxacan street food is not just about the flavors, but also about experiencing the community and traditions that make Oaxaca’s cuisine so special.
Exploring the Tule Tree and Surroundings
As part of your 5-day itinerary in Oaxaca, make sure to include a visit to the iconic Tule Tree. This enormous cypress tree is estimated to be over 2,000 years old and is considered one of the must-see landmarks in the region.
Spending a day in and around the Tule Tree allows you to explore not only the tree itself but also the charming town of Santa Maria del Tule. Start your day by taking a leisurely stroll around the tree, marveling at its impressive size and unique shape. Don’t forget to take plenty of photos to capture this natural wonder.
In addition to the Tule Tree, the surrounding area offers several other attractions worth exploring. Visit the nearby San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya Church, known for its beautifully preserved frescoes and stunning architecture. Take some time to admire the intricate details and learn about the rich history of this religious site.
No visit to Oaxaca is complete without immersing yourself in the local culture, and the Tule Tree and its surroundings provide ample opportunities for cultural exploration. Make sure to visit the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca, located in Oaxaca City, to appreciate the vibrant art scene that the region is known for.
After a couple of days spent exploring the Tule Tree and its surroundings, you can venture further into Oaxaca to discover even more wonders. Consider extending your itinerary to include visits to the ancient ruins of Monte Alban and the vibrant markets of Oaxaca City. With its rich history, art, and cuisine, Oaxaca offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting to come back for more.
Visiting the San Bartolo Coyotepec Black Pottery Village
If you are interested in exploring the rich culture of Oaxaca, a visit to the San Bartolo Coyotepec Black Pottery Village is a must. This small village, located just outside of Oaxaca City, is known for its unique and traditional black pottery.
During your visit, you can spend a few hours or even a full day exploring the village and learning about the centuries-old pottery-making techniques. Make sure to visit the Museo Estatal de Arte Popular de Oaxaca, where you can see a collection of beautiful black pottery pieces and learn more about the history and significance of this craft.
While in the village, you can also visit the workshops of local artisans and watch them create their pottery masterpieces. It’s a fascinating experience to see the artists shape the clay by hand and then use traditional firing techniques to create the distinctive black finish.
After exploring the workshops and museums, take some time to stroll around the village and admire the beautiful black pottery on display. You can even purchase some pieces to take home and showcase a piece of Oaxacan culture in your own home.
Visiting the San Bartolo Coyotepec Black Pottery Village is a perfect addition to your 5-day itinerary in Oaxaca. It allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture, learn about the traditional craft of black pottery, and bring home a unique souvenir of your trip. Don’t miss this opportunity to explore one of Oaxaca’s most iconic and vibrant landmarks.
Experiencing the Benito Juárez Market
When visiting Oaxaca, a stop at the Benito Juárez Market is a must for any food lover or culture enthusiast. This bustling market is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the vibrant cuisine and vibrant culture of Oaxaca.
The market is a feast for the senses, with vibrant colors and enticing aromas filling the air. As you wander through the market, you’ll find a wide variety of traditional foods and ingredients to sample and purchase. From local fruits and vegetables to regional specialties like mole and mezcal, the market offers a taste of the unique flavors that have made Oaxacan cuisine famous.
In addition to the culinary delights, the Benito Juárez Market also offers a glimpse into Oaxaca’s rich history and culture. Local artisans and vendors sell a wide range of traditional crafts and textiles, giving you the opportunity to take home a piece of Oaxacan culture. The market is also home to many small museums and exhibits, where you can learn about the region’s indigenous cultures and history.
Whether you have a few hours or a few days to spend in Oaxaca, a visit to the Benito Juárez Market should be included in your itinerary. Take the time to explore the market, indulge in the delicious cuisine, and experience the vibrant culture that makes Oaxaca such a unique and unforgettable destination.
Exploring the Oaxacan Textile Museum
If you are looking to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Oaxaca, a visit to the Oaxacan Textile Museum is a must. As one of the featured museums in our 5-day itinerary, this museum provides a fascinating insight into the world of traditional Oaxacan textiles.
Upon entering the museum, you will be greeted by a stunning collection of textiles, each telling its own unique story. From intricate patterns to vibrant colors, the craftsmanship and attention to detail are truly mesmerizing. Many of the pieces on display date back hundreds of years, showcasing the deep-rooted history and traditions of Oaxacan textile art.
During your visit, take the time to explore the various exhibits and learn about the different weaving techniques used by the local artisans. You can see demonstrations of backstrap weaving, pedal loom weaving, and natural dyeing processes, all of which contribute to the creation of these beautiful textiles. The museum also offers workshops and classes for those interested in trying their hand at traditional textile techniques.
As you stroll through the museum, you will also have the opportunity to learn about the cultural significance of textiles in Oaxacan society. Textiles play a central role in ceremonies, rituals, and everyday life, and each piece carries a symbolic meaning. From huipiles (traditional blouses) to rebozos (shawls), every textile has its own story to tell.
In addition to the exhibits, the Oaxacan Textile Museum houses a gift shop where you can find a wide range of textiles, accessories, and clothing created by local artisans. This is a perfect place to pick up a unique souvenir to remember your visit by.
Overall, a visit to the Oaxacan Textile Museum is a wonderful way to appreciate the artistry and craftsmanship of Oaxacan textiles while gaining a deeper understanding of the region’s culture. Whether you are a textile enthusiast or simply curious about Oaxaca’s rich heritage, this museum is sure to leave a lasting impression.
What are the must-visit attractions in Oaxaca?
Some of the must-visit attractions in Oaxaca include Monte Alban, Hierve el Agua, the Basilica de la Soledad, and the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca. These sites offer a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the region.
Is five days enough to explore Oaxaca?
While five days may not be enough to see everything in Oaxaca, it is definitely enough time to explore the highlights. With careful planning and prioritization, you can visit the most important attractions and get a sense of the local culture and atmosphere.
What is the best time of year to visit Oaxaca?
The best time to visit Oaxaca is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. The weather is mild and pleasant during this time, making it ideal for exploring the city and its surroundings. Additionally, Oaxaca hosts several festivals and events throughout the year, so it’s worth checking the calendar to see if any of them coincide with your visit.
What are some traditional dishes to try in Oaxaca?
Oaxaca is known for its delicious and diverse cuisine. Some traditional dishes to try include tlayudas (large tortillas topped with beans, meat, and cheese), mole (a rich sauce made with chocolate and different spices), and chapulines (fried grasshoppers). Oaxaca is also famous for its mezcal, a traditional alcoholic beverage made from agave plants, so be sure to try some while you’re there.
Are there any outdoor activities to do in Oaxaca?
Yes, there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy in Oaxaca. You can visit Hierve el Agua, a natural rock formation with petrified waterfalls, and take a dip in the mineral-rich natural pools. Hiking and birdwatching are popular in the Sierra Norte mountain range, and you can also explore the stunning beaches of Oaxaca’s Pacific coast.
What is the transportation like in Oaxaca?
Transportation in Oaxaca is fairly convenient. The city itself is quite walkable, and many of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. Taxis and Uber are also available for getting around the city. If you’re interested in exploring the surrounding area, you can rent a car or take a tour with a local guide.