If you want an authentic Oaxacan experience then a visit to Santo Domingo de Morelos on market day needs to be plugged into your vacation itinerary. Market day is every Sunday and Santo Domingo is easily reached from either Puerto Escondido, Mazunte or Huatulco. (We’ll give you directions at the end of this post.)
Many of the mid-sized pueblos in the foothills of Oaxaca hold a designated weekly “market day” to allow residents of even smaller mountain villages and local ranchers to come into town and buy provisions. It also gives farmers an opportunity to haul fresh produce down from the hills to barter away for pesos.
A little something for everyone.
From fresh meats to fruits and vegetables, cheese, and prepared foods like hot tacos fresh of the comal. (A comal is a flat cooking surface popular in Mexico because it’s got a lot of space for warming lots of tortillas all at once.)
Here you can see strips of tasajo drying on the rack alongside strings of chorizo, or spicy Spanish style sausage.
The real star of the show.
It’s not every day that the locals see a dog wearing a Seattle Seahawks bandanna.
But Prime Time’s used to the spotlight. He might very well be the most famous dog in Puerto Escondido.
Catch a screaming deal on the side.
This woman was selling watermelons for less than a buck as well as organic pumpkin and pepino amarillo (yellow cucumber).
In reality pepino amarillo tastes more like melon than cucumber and it’s an awesome fruit to toss into your juicer.
We bought three and were so impressed that we scooped out the seeds to plant in our garden.
Load up for Independence Day.
Something to ward off the vampires!
Garlic is an essential ingredient in Mexican cooking, just second in line after the chili!
Tacos…beef or chicken.
We had to wait nearly twenty minutes just to make an order.
Along with traditional tortillas filled with chicken or beef, this stand also sold crunchy deep fried tacos dorados and rolled tacos smothered in mole. Mole is a uniquely Oaxacan sauce made with chilies and chocolate.
Aguas de fruta…a market necessity.
Just bear in mind that they spare no expense when adding sugar to the mix! But it sure is delicious.
Most Mexican restaurants will offer at least 3 or 4 different aguas that you can order with your meal, either by the glass or by the pitcher.
Here we had three flavors to choose from: Jamaica, Horchata, and sweet squash. Jamaica is made from boiling dried hibiscus flowers and Horchata is made with almond, cinnamon and vanilla.
Notice that instead of using cups they just pour your juice right into a plastic bag.
Mexican sweet breads.
Mexican sweet breads are generally more “bread” and less sweet for most foreigners. Pastries here don’t tend to be super rich and so they’re best enjoyed with a cup of freshly brewed Oaxacan coffee. Dunk away!
It was 8am, but we still got ice cream.
The ice cream vendors in Mexico make their own product homemade. In Oaxaca the most common flavor is coconut but you’ll also find vanilla, strawberry, lime and melon. In other parts of Mexico it’s normal to see chocolate, but down here they tend to use ingredients that are locally available, especially fresh fruit.
They wheel around carts such as this so that they can scoop out their wares just about anywhere.
Packed in ice it stays frozen all day long…or at least until it’s all gone!
The carrots here are extra sweet.
In Mexico, however, all the carrots are sweet, no matter how big they get.
This little guy had on his Sunday best for a day filled with church and carrot peddling!
Market day traffic in small town Mexico.
This image should give you a pretty good idea of how laid back it is up here.
A visit to Santo Domingo definitely gives you a great perspective on mountain life on the Oaxacan coast.
Directions to Santo Domingo de Morelos.
There is a small sign labeling the road, but it’s easier to spot the taxi stand here in the photo.
You can either take a collective taxi from here or if you’re driving it’s approximately 30 minutes to town from the highway.