Oaxaca has a small but fully functional airport which mainly has flights to Mexico City. Most major airlines can offer cooperative service to Oaxaca through Mexico City via Aero Mexico or another Mexican carrier. United flies directly from Houston to Oaxaca on regional jets.
The more adventurous traveler can fly directly from the United States to Mexico City, Huatulco or Puerto Escondido and then take a bus to Oaxaca (6.5 hr from Mexico City or 8 hr from Huatulco or Puerto Escondido). The services are excellent and usually run on-time. A site for bus tickets is [www.ticketbus.com.mx] or buy a ticket at the station ($470 as of Jul 2012) - ADO is the bus line from Mexico City. Catch the bus at TAPO bus station near the airport in Mexico City. Food and drink are available at the station. The bus has a bathroom and makes at least one stop. Driving is not recommended in Mexico due to the tolls, checkpoints and other hassles.
The central, tourist-oriented part of town is well signposted and easily walk-able by foot, although taxis are somewhat plentiful and buses numerous and cheap. You can pick up a free city map from one of several information booths, including one right outside the cathedral.
Buses stop running around 9pm.
Bear in mind that, as with other Mexican cities, there may be more than one road with the same name (Mexicans often use the nearest corner to navigate) and a road's name may change from one end to the other.
Oaxaca's streets have a very tranquil and organic feel to them. Much of the joy of a Oaxaca trip comes from simply strolling the downtown streets, sitting in a sidewalk cafe on the Zocalo, and soaking up the atmosphere. On your strolls, try to see a few of the outstanding local landmarks.
Oaxaca Mio, Zocálo Tourism Booth, . Oaxaca Mio you will find information that will help navigate your time here in the city as well as other places of interest in Oaxaca; including, but not limited to Puerto Escondido and Huatulco. The map and magazine can be found at the tourism booth in the Zócalo as well as at the office, Alcalá 917.edit
Zocalo. Catch a street act, watch a clown entertain children, buy a souvenir or just people watch from a sidewalk cafe as time passes by. Most tourist attractions are near here.edit
Ex Convento de Santo Domingo - open 10am-8pm daily except Monday; $50 admission fee, free on Sundays. Spectacular historical church that's undergone a recent renovation. Includes the adjacent Cultural Center with frequent concerts.
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca - next to the Ex Convento de Santo Domingo, this is a museum of regional history and culture, with exhibits on Zapotec, Mixtec, and Olmec civilizations, as well as colonial and revolutionary era history. It's most stunning highlight is the collection of treasure excavated from Tomb 7 at Monte Alban by archaeologist Alfonso Caso in the 1930s.
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption
""Museo del Palacio""
""Alameda de León""
""Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad"" (four blocks west of the Alameda)
Casa de Benito Juarez - Garcia Vigial 609, Tel: 951-516-18-60. Historic childhome home of former Mexican President Benito Juarez. It's an unassuming home fitting for a man of humble roots.
Rufino Tamayo Museum - Morelos 503 between Porfirio Diaz and Tinoco y Palacios; open Monday-Saturday from 10AM-2PM and then 4PM-7PM and Sunday from 10AM-3PM; A beautiful museum originally founded by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo, you'll find excellent artifacts that are very well displayed.
Monte Alban - Monte Alban - UNESCO World Heritage List - is one of the most impressive ruins in Latin America. It has the largest set of ruins near Oaxaca city, and, as such, can become very crowded. You can book tours through most hotels in Oaxaca city, and you can also take the bus or a taxi out to the ruins. The tour guides are excellent at Monte Alban, providing more than just standard information about the ruins. Monte Alban is impressive for its huge plaza and northern and southern platforms from which you can see much of the countryside. The Zapotec people (also known as "rock people") built this site atop some of the highest mountains in the area. Unlike Chichen Itza, you can climb most of Monte Alban, but you cannot enter any tombs. To catch a shuttle, walk 4 blocks west of Mercado 20 de Novembre on 518 Fransisco Mina. Transportaciones Turística Belmex run the shuttle from the lobby of Hotel Rivera de Angel. $60 as of 5/2014 and entrance is $59.
Arbol del Tule. This tree has the largest base of any tree in the world. Legend has it that it is over 1400 years old. It is located 13 km from the city of Oaxaca on the road to Mitla.
Mitla is approximately 40 kilometers from the city of Oaxaca and was a very important Zapotec city and religious center. Famous for its pre-Columbian Mesoamerican buildings. Inside Tomb 1 there is the famous "Column of Life" that you can embrace to find out how many years you have left to live. Spanish is helpful here as the ruins officials can explain how to use the column correctly.
Yagul Although frequently overlooked in favor of more extensive ruins at Mitla and Monte Alban, the ruins at Yagul are more pastoral (and therefore more similar to its original setting) and much less overrun with tourists.
Fundacion En Via, Avenida Juarez 909, Centro, Oaxaca, . A non-profit microfinance organization that runs tours to Teotitlan del Valle every Thursday and Saturday. They are working to fight poverty around Oaxaca and to educate travelers about the power of micro-finance. In Teotitlan, participants get to meet two groups of three women who are applying for their micro-loans. Participants hear about their lives and projects, which could be anything from weaving the beautiful rugs for which the town is famous, to making tortillas, raising chickens, making pinatas, or selling flowers in the market. At the end of the day 100% of the tour fee is given as an interest-free micro-loan to one of the two groups of women. Trips are currently run every Thursday from 1-7 and every Saturday from 9-4. $655. edit
MOC Adventures  provides small week-long tours during Dia de los Muertos in Oaxaca. The tours introduce people to the history of Oaxaca and the Day of the Dead by engaging them in its unique celebrations such as visiting the Panteóns (cemeteries), comprasas and other important events that take place during Dia de los Muertos.
Oaxaca is well-known for having one of the best Dia de Los Muertos festivals in Mexico, housed in and around the large candle-lit city cemeteries.
The Oaxaca FilmFest is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated annual events in town. In 2014, Oaxaca FilmFest 5 runs from October 4th to 11th.
Guelaguetza festival takes place in July. The Guelaguetza highlights the traditional practices of the various indigeneous cultures from the state of Oaxaca.
The term Guelaguetza, the most important custom of the Oaxacan people, derives from the Zapotec term "guendalezaa" which means "offering, present,fulfilment" because, during colonial times, the wealthy Spanish elite had the legal right to receive the first and best
of the harvest collected by the indigenous people.
Becari  has a friendly and flexible staff, and a central location at M. Bravo 210.
Instituto Cultural Oaxaca , Av. Juarez 909 Col. Centro, email@example.com. This is the longest established school in Oaxaca, with a very lovely campus, most appropriate to university students who are in Mexico for course credit. A great place for independent travellers to study, as well, as it provides an easy way to meet other travellers and local Oaxacans. Its program includes academic courses to teach Spanish grammar, workshops ranging from cooking classes to weaving to teach about Oaxacan culture, and an "intercambio" session, which links a Oaxacan student studying English with an Instituto student so they both may practice their languages.
Vinigulaza  - this is a lovely little school with small, friendly classes and helpful teachers. The school is conversation focused, and advanced students can actually speak Spanish.
Oaxaca Spanish Magic  Flor Bautista has a small school that operates in a lovely garden, Oaxaca Spanish Magic, near Santo Domingo on Berriozábal. There, you will find caring and patient teachers who focus on both grammar and conversation skills. The teachers make great efforts to help the students adjust to Oaxaca and offer extras such as salsa and cooking classes, as well as weekend excursions to pueblos and other events.
Langua Travel  This charming school is great for short term Spanish immersion programs in Oaxaca city (1-12 weeks). Courses are open to students 18-75 yrs and are taught by native speakers. 20 and 30 hr per week programs are available starting every Monday.
La Casa de los Sabores -  classes in Oaxacan cuisine are given by Chef Pilar Cabrera owner-chef at "La Olla Restaurante".
Seasons of My Heart- Susana Trilling offers  courses of different lengths. She also has a cookbook, "Seasons of my Heart, A Culinary Journey through Oaxaca, Mexico". Her classes are often full -- book ahead.
Nora Valencia, a native of Oaxaca, instructs cooking classes and culinary tours in both English and Spanish.
Instituto Cultural Oaxaca . Offers cooking workshops which can be taken in conjunction with, or independently of, Spanish language classes.
Cookbook author/chef Daniel Hoyer leads cooking and cultural tours to Oaxaca and other regions of Mexico.
El Capi Oaxacan Cooking . English-language cooking classes in traditional Oaxacan cuisine including mole negro, mole rojo, and many salsas. Full day course for 700 MXN by world-renowned chef and Oaxacan local, Agustin Canseco.
Chocolate. Mina Street smells of chocolate and the city's most famous warm beverage is hot chocolate.
Mezcal. The state of Oaxaca also is well-known for its Mezcal and there are several tours that visit the distilleries.
The Pochote Market is an outdoor organic market held every Friday and Saturday. It goes from 9:30 or so until 4 pm. It is located in a small park under the aquaduct at Garcia Vigíl #819. There is delicious prepared food that makes a great breakfast or lunch, as well as fresh vegetables.
Mercado Benito Juarez, C. Cabrera south of Zócalo (from the southwest corner of the Zócalo, walk one block south; the market is the whole block ahead of you and to your right). Everything from clothing and leather goods to mole, fresh fruits, flowers, and bulk grains. For meats, prices are a bit high for being unrefrigerated, you might want to try a supermarket instead. One of the few places in town to find brown rice (ask the bulk grain vendors for "arroz integrál") or cigarette lighters (check the sidewalk vendors in the area).edit
Aguila Negra Charrito (Aguila Negra Charrito). Imitador de vicente fernandez. Hire by calling 951 2597744 or 951 1769146.edit
Gigante (Gigante Supermarket), C. Independencia and Periferico West (from the northwest corner of the Zócalo, walk one block north and about 8 blocks west, crossing the Periferico; you'll see the market ahead of you and to your right). One of the few places to buy fresh refrigerated meats. Other supermarket staples are of course there as well, but you may get better prices at Mercado Juarez on some items. Has lots of other stuff, like a small department store.edit
Casa Oaxaca - Constitution across the street from Santo Domingo church and in the same courtyard as the Galleria Quetzalli; If you're looking to splurge on a meal that you won't be able to find in other restaurants in Oaxaca, Casa Oaxaca fits the bill. Ask for a rooftop table and enjoy the 5-course tasting menu for US$32/person. Treat yourself to corn mushroom soup, fresh fish with tomato marmalade and succulent sorbets. The wine list is decent with some excellent Spanish wines and good local options. There is another Casa Oaxaca restaurant, in the same location as Casa Oaxaca Hotel.
Marco Polo - Pino Suarez 806 (located next to the Paseo Juarez), 01 (951) 513 43 08; Famous for its seafood, Marco Polo is a local favorite. Try the ceviche and the beer with chiles. There is also a smaller location on Cinco de Mayo closer to the Zocalo.
La Biznaga - Garcia Vigil 512, (951) 51 18 00; Dine in a covered courtyard surrounded by art and wireless web surfers. Prices are reasonable for creative Oaxacan cuisine, and the people watching is a bonus.
La Casa del tio Guero - Garcia Vigil 715. Centro Historico.; Typical oaxaca cuisine. They have a very cheap menu for $60 (including drink and desert). It was a good deal and the food was good, all made with purified water.
La Red - on the corner of Bustatmante and Colon, a block south of the Zocalo. Serves fabulously fresh seafood for lunch fixed in dozens of different styles.
La Toscana - 5 de Mayo 614 Col Jalatlaco Telephone 513-8742. It is best to take a taxi to this restaurant because of the out of the way location. They serve the best martinis in Oaxaca and delicious seafood with italian flair.
Mercado Benito Juarez - From the southwest corner of the Zócalo, walk down (south) one block. The block then ahead of you on your right is one huge market of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, leather goods, and numerous other items. For ready-to-eat hot meals, and a place to sit and eat them, see Mercado 20 de Noviembre below.
Mercado 20 de Noviembre - the block just south of Mercado Benito Juarez, the 3rd block south of the Zócalo, is another huge market; Food stalls line the streets outside the market serving up hot, savory tlayudas and tostadas. Local women offer up chapulines (grasshopper), and you'll find countertops inside that serve up moles, soups and desserts. There are 4 entrances, at the center of each street that surrounds the market. The east-side entrance, facing C. Cabrera, has meat vendors who will cook your purchase for you right there; arguably one of the best deals on ready-to-eat meat in town.
Cafe Los Cuiles, . Good coffee, free Wi-Fi, friendly staff, good atmosphere. Try the Café Oaxaqueña (slightly sweet, with cinnamon. Yum!) moderate. edit
Los Danzantes - located in the Santo Domingo church street ¨walking street¨ andador turistico is a comfortable and authentic mix of Oaxaca & modern restaurant, food is great. It's a beautifully designed restaurant. A bit pricey but definitely worth it for the atmosphere and food quality. Great to have a drink at night as well.
Marisqueria Altamar, Huarez 123. If you go from Zocalo on the "Miguel Hidalgo" road westwards until the road changes the name into "Huarez" (short after "Jardin Morelos" park) you will find this very small, very cheap but extremely good fish restaurant on the left side of the road (150m after the road changes from "Miguel Hidalgo" to "Huarez"). It's not so obvious but its worth the search.cheap and good. (17.0626,-96.732946)edit
Oaxaca is famous for at least two drinks: Mezcal and hot chocolate. The state also has a thriving coffee industry. With a few exceptions, most of the cafes are closed on Sunday.
Casa de Mezcal, Miguel Cabrera, south of the Zócalo. A local bar serving several mezcales as well as bottled beer and other drinksedit
Coffee Beans, 5 de Mayo,. A cosy cafe and bar selling various beers and a good selection of coffees including various flavours in both hot and cold at decent prices $16 for a beer, $12 for a coffee and a little more with flavour). Doesn't have Wifi.edit
Cafe Kioo, 409-D Garcia Vigil. Has wifi and electical outlets and is open on Sundays.edit
Casa de Mezcal, Miguel Cabrera, south of the Zócalo. A local bar serving several mezcales as well as bottled beer and other drinksedit
The eastern end of Mina Street (2 blocks south of Zocalo) are several chocolate shops where you can taste samples. Some of these also have cafes in the back where you can drink several types of hot chocolates. Some have free Wifi.
La Capilla, In Zaachila,Carretera Oaxaca-Zaachila. Excellent place to eat, They have mole and various typical meals worth the trip to Zaachila.edit
Rates go up significantly during the high season and rooms are difficult to reserve during high season. National holidays and religious holidays are very busy. Budget hostels can be found for around $70 (US$7) per night.
Posada del Centro, Av. Independencia no. 403, Centro, ☎ +52 1 951 516 1874, . Located a couple of blocks from the main sq., clean, well-run and friendly owners. As of July 2014, clean and comfortable private ensuite room for couple start at 750. Private doubles with shared bathroom (though the shared bathrooms are not great) are relatively good value at 350. Nice courtyard to relax in, wifi etc. edit
Hotel CasAntica, Avenida Morelos N. 601, Centro Oaxaca, ☎ +52 951 516 2673, . air-con, cable TV, hairdryer, safe, phone, hot water, safe, private toilet and bath. Bar, restaurant, heated pool, conference room (<40 people), spa, fitness room/gym, flower shop, rooms and access for handicapped, car rental, room service, Wi-Fi, babysitting (at an additional cost), safe deposit boxes and medical services.edit
Ambarina Surf Hotel, Agua Blanca, Cozoaltepec, . It offers 15 rooms with sea view and are all equipped with LCD Television, Wi-Fi broadband, safety deposit box and bathroom. Some of its facilities and services include a restaurant, bar, tanning spot, surfing classes, snorkeling, parking and laundry service.Rates start at 400.00 MXN. edit
Hotel Eclipse, calle Valeria Trujano (about three blocks west of zocalo). Excellent budget dive. About three blocks west of Zocalo, shares a wall with identical other hotel. Rooms run from $150. Shared baños. Some rates by the hour, to give you an idea of how budget.edit
Hostal Santa Isabel, C. Mier y Teran between Aves. Hidalgo and Independencia (From the northwest corner of the Zócalo, walk 4 blocks and make a right, it will be on your right about 3/4 of the way up the block). checkout: noon. This place has gone downhill in recent years with no obvious effort to maintain any semblance of standards, rooms quite dirty, pillows may snap your neck during the night, holes in bed sheets allow you to see much more of the state of the old mattress than you would definetly wish to, bathrooms open air and unpleasant upatairs though nicer sinks downstairs. It's cheap but still poor value. Armadillo Bar adjoining. Locker $10 per day, you can use that service while you're scouting around instead of schlepping your backpack all over town. If you then decide to spend the night at Santa Isabel, you might even get your $10 back.$80 for a dorm, $200 for double/twin room. edit
Casa Angel Youth Hostel, Tinoco y Palacios 610, ☎ +52 951 514 2224, . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Casa Angel is a restored downtown house, creating a stylish backpackers hostel 4 blocks from world-famous Santo Domingo Church, and close to Oaxaca city's main attractions. It offers inexpensive and stylish accommodations for their guests in 3, 4, and 10 bed dorm rooms. Casa Angel also has a rooftop terrace (BBQs every week!), a common area with a TV and DVDs, a full kitchen, free computers and Wi-Fi, lockers, and a delicious free breakfast every morning.$130. edit
La Villada Inn Hostel, Felipe Angeles No. 204 (Ejido Guadalupe Victoria, 15 minutes taxi ride from the Zocalo (Downtown)), ☎ +52 951 518 6217, . A family run property, a well done eco-construction, relaxing environment and a great view of the surrounding mountain ranges, large swimming pool.US$15 for a dorm, US$10 per person for private. edit
Hostal Los Amigo, Hidalgo 1011 Centro Oaxaca (2 blocks east of the Zocalo), ☎ +52 951 514-9730, . Friendly and helpful, good atmosphere, has a kitchen, hammocks and a rooftop. "aqui somos amigos de todo el mundo"$80 for a dorm, $100 per person for private. In low season, if staying for 3 nights, the 4th is free. edit
Rincón del Pacifico, Ave Pérez Gasga 900, Col. Centro, Puerto Escondido, ☎ +52 954 582-0056, . Rooms equipped with cable TV, telephone. Bar, restaurant Wi-Fi.MXN 400. edit
Hotel Aitana, Manuel Sabino Crespo No. 313 Col. Centro, 68000, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico, ☎ (52 951) 514 3788, . Housed in an 18th century building with traditional fittings.edit
Hotel Casa Abu, Murguia 104 Col. Centro, C.P. 68000, ☎ 01 (951) 516 4900, . All rooms equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, Double/king bed and safe. Some of its facilities and services are Restaurant/cafe, Business center, Meeting room, Wi-Fi, Medical assistance, Safe deposit boxes, Laundry and dry cleaning service.edit
Casa de Los Frailes Hotel, Constitución 203, Col. Centro, ☎ 951 513 6670, . A/C suites equipped with cable TV, private toilet and bath. Some of its facilities and services are fitness room, terrace, cafe, wake-up call and high-speed internet access.From $1170.90. edit
Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles-Spa, Hidalgo 21, San Felipe del Agua Residential Area, C.P. 68020, ☎ +52951-5015300, . Hotel Hacienda Los Laureles-Spa is located in a quiet residential area. It offers air-conditioned accommodation rooms, all of which have a satellite TV, a luxury bathroom with facial mirror and hair dryer, and two telephones and a data port. Some of its amenities include Petit Spa, a swimming pool with jacuzzi, and a business center with wireless Internet access.Best rates on official website start at US$215. edit
Casa de las Bugambilias - Reforma 402, (866) 829-6778 (Tel from USA Direct), , firstname.lastname@example.org; Nine-room bed and breakfast that is also home to La Olla restaurant. Free long distance calls to many destinations including USA, Canada, and Western Europe(except mobile phones). Wireless internet and guest computer. Range is US$65-115/night.
Hotel Las Mariposas - Pino Suarez 517, , (951) 515-5852, From the US and Canada (619) 793 5121, email@example.com; Family-owned hotel, B&B and studio apartments only 2 blocks from the Santo Domingo church. Rooms off the back courtyard are extremely quiet, unusual in Oaxaca. $45/night single room, $55/night studio apartment with a kitchenette, includes continental breakfast with excellent coffee.
Casa de los Ángeles - 2a. Privada de M. Alcala #207, (951) 515-9609 , A small and intimate family-run guest house offering bed and breakfast. Convenient, quiet location, excellent food and warm hospitality. Rates from US$29 per night include breakfast.
Casa de Mis Recuerdos - Pino Suarez 508, 01 (951) 515 56 45, ; A small bed and breakfast with a lovely courtyard and delicious meals. Many rooms are on the street so bring ear plugs. Range is US$50-100/night.
Hacienda Los Laureles - Hidalgo 21, (951) 501-5300, , A historic 5-star hotel with 23 rooms and suites, traditional Mexican architecture, a spa and restaurant.
Hotel de la Parra - Vicente Guerrero #117, Col. Centro, C.P. 68000, Oax., Mexico, Tel +52 951 514 1900 and 516 1558. A colonial residence converted to a hotel which offers pueblo-style accommodations and a pool. From US$75.
Hostal de La Noria, Av. Hidalgo 918 Centro, Oaxaca, ☎ +11 52 951 501 5400, . Visit Hostal de la Noria and get a glimpse of Oaxaca’s colorful past and a taste of its present. Our Hostal de la Noria Oaxaca has 3 types of room accommodation: Suite, Junior Suite, and Standard Room, all have air conditioning, cable television, private toilet and bath, radio, telephone, ceiling fan, hair dryer, and coffee/ tea maker. We also have bar, car rental, conference room, currency exchange, guided tour service, kids pool, WiFi in reception area, parking, restaurant, room service, safe deposit boxes, travel agency and wake-up call.edit
Parador San Agustin Hotel Armenta y Lopez #215. 4-star hotel.
Hostal CasAntica, Av. Morelos #601 Col. Centro, Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico. Tel. No.: (951) 516 2673 Fax No.: (951) 5011577. A former 16th century convent.
Suites Bello Xochimilco, 2A Cerrada de Alcalá No. 223, Xochimilco, Oaxaca, Mexico., ☎ (951) 132-4210, 132-4211, 132-4212, . This hotel's location in Xochimilco is 10 minutes from the city center. It has five three-bedroom suites and one two-bedroom suite.Rates start at $1,300. edit
La Reja Hospedería, Abasolo 103, Centro, ☎ + 52 (01 951) 5 14 59 39, . It offers six rooms, a restaurant and a florist shop around a patio in which one can enjoy a small token of the regional flora, the cacaloshuitl tree, flowerpots with colorful flowers that contrast with the green of cactusplants of the region and the green stone that is characteristic for the constructions in the Historical Center.Best rates on official website start at $850. edit
Casa Sopetran, Calle Matamoros 603, . Family-owned apartments 5 blocks from the Zocalo, city centre and close to all major touristdestinations. 7 refurbished apartments with bedroom, shower, kitchen and livingroom. Free wireless access. Communityarea with a large garden, squash- and basketballcourt. Best prices found on the website.Varies. edit
Hostal los Girasoles, José María Morelos 905, Centro, 68000 Oaxaca, Mexico, ☎ +52 951 516 0518. checkin: 24 hours; checkout: 24 hours. Just like renting a room with an Oaxaqueño family. Mom, Dad, Grandpa & Son run this small hostal. Private rooms (with private bath) & dorms. Shower is common. Eat with the family for $30 (she can cook!) Wifi in all rooms. An absolute steal considering you are treated like a family member$250+. edit
Los Pilares Hostal, Curtidurias 721-A, Barrio de Jalatlaco, ☎ 01 (951) 518 7000, . Los Pilares Hostal offers single room, standard double, standard king and master suite with air-conditioning, TV with satellite channels and telephone. Its facilities and services include swimming pool, wi-fi, room service and tour desk.edit
Hacienda La Noria, Av. Eduardo Mata 1918, Oaxaca, Oaxaca 68120, Mexico, ☎ ( 52-951 ) - 50-17400, . Hacienda La Noria in Oaxaca, Mexico is known for its colonial-style architecture and design. With an old-fashioned rooms and suites equipped with cable television, fan, telephone, private toilet and bath, Hacienda La Noria's accommodation lets you unwind to no end. And when it comes to facilities and services like parking, restaurant, car rental, swimming pool, conference room and currency exchange, it will give you more options to have an enjoyment-filled days in the city. edit
For more information, there are several good guidebooks to Oaxaca. For an overview of the entire state, Moon Oaxaca is good; for an in-depth guide to the city of Oaxaca and nearby attractions Viva Oaxaca is a good choice; an alternative overview choice is Frommer's Oaxaca, Mexico. Two smaller books/pamphlets are published with excellent information on Oaxaca city and surrounding areas --- Oaxaca Tips and Viva Oaxaca. You can find them at Amazon or in Oaxaca at Amate Books on Alcala avenue just south of Santo Domingo church.
Hierve el Agua. is a two hours drive from Oaxaca by bus or taxi. Natural, almost warm, springs at an altitude of about 3000m near a massive petrified waterfall. From the plateau you have a breathtaking view over the mountain ranges. Travel advisory -- this site is sometimes closed due to conflicts between neighboring villages. 
Llano Grande is one of 8 mountain villages within the region of Sierra Norte. Besides a small wood industry, they provide so-called ecotourism. Tours to phantastic scenic points are bookable at the Zokalo and range from $400-1000 for a one day tour depending on the number of guests. Trips over several days are available, providing accomodation at the village (elevation: approx. 3000m = 10000'). The altitude makes hiking exhausting but not impossible even for unpracticed participants. Hints: Speak Spanish and try to tramp back down instead of waiting several hours for the bus. More Information: 
Teotitlan del Valle - famous for its weaving, this village is approximately 30 minutes outside of Oaxaca city. You can book a longer stay here at the Casa Sagrada. Be sure to check out the Vida Nueva women's cooperative in Teotitlan (one block east of the main square) that is striving to use and instill organic methods in its dyes.
Along Macedonio Alcala street are many tour operators with a range of tours. Prices are from $150 and offer full day trips to a selection of places such as Wool Rug makers, Mescal producers, Mitla, Monte Alban and Hierve el Agua. The tour cost doesn't include entrance fees or the often pricey restaurant lunch, so you may want to take your own food.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!