Market Day in Small Oaxacan Mountain Town

Santa Domingo Sunday Market Oaxaca
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.

Santa Domingo Sunday Mercado Oaxaca Puerto Escondido For such a small town the market you can find everything you need to stock up your pantry.

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.

Best dog in galaxy at small mexican town mercado We got plenty of strange looks being the only gringos at the market, but none of us garnered attention quite like Optimus Prime.

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.

watermelon pumpkin organic huatulco santa domingo market oaxaca For the best prices in town, look for pick-ups lined up along the sidewalk just outside the entrance to the market.

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.

fresh bread mexico market puerto escondido rural town We visited Santo Domingo just two days before Mexican Independence Day. There were several merchants selling bags of sweet bread to enjoy during the country’s Fiestas Patrias!

fresh fruit stand mexican market oaxaca

With so many colorful fruits to choose from we wound up shuttling bags back to the truck to head back to the market to do more shopping!


Something to ward off the vampires!

fresh garlic organic market mexico puerto escondido
Braids of garlic direct from the farm.

Garlic is an essential ingredient in Mexican cooking, just second in line after the chili!

Tacos…beef or chicken.

Santa Domingo market food tacos mexico
Taco vendors do brisk business on market day.

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.

Santa Domingo market fresh fruit aguas mexico
When you need a refreshing drink to wash down your tacos, head to the aguas stand. Aguas de fruta are basically Mexico’s homemade Kool-Aid, but instead of artificial flavorings they use real fruit.

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.

Homemade pastries market day mexico huatulco
Check out this awesome selection of homemade Mexican pastries.

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.

fresh organic homemade ice cream mexico vendor oaxaca
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!


local organic cheese market mexico huatulco

Queso fresco is a creamy, soft, and mild unaged white cheese. It’s generally made from a combination of cow’s and goat’s milk and can be eaten straight or mixed in with a variety of dishes. Queso fresco needs to be eaten quickly and for this reason many cooks make their own at home instead of buying it. We, of course, purchased ours right here at the market.


The carrots here are extra sweet.

Market day Huatulco
When you buy larger carrots in the US or Canada they tend to be more bitter than baby carrots.

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.

market day traffic small town mexico huatulco
With the truck loaded with goodies and our bellies full of tacos and ice cream, it was time to head home.

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.




there can be only one the most famous dog in puerto escondido

Optimus Prime loves going on adventures…and the locals love seeing him in his Doggles.


Directions to Santo Domingo de Morelos.

turnoff to santa domingo oaxaca highway 200 mexico
The turnoff to Santo Domingo is about 35 kilometers or so east of Puerto Escondido on Highway 200 (about 15km west of the crossroad to get to Mazunte.)

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.

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