San Bartolo Coyotepec
A regular stop on half- or full-day tours of Oaxaca’s Valles Centrales, travelers can combine a stop in San Bartolo Coyotepec with a visit to Monte Albán, Arrazola, and the Cuilapam Convent. Some excursions (group or private) even include mezcal-tasting, and the majority provide round-trip transportation from Oaxaca City. While you’re in Coyotepec, be sure to shop for souvenirs from local artisans and pay a visit to the Baseball Academy, the site of a massive barro negro (black ceramics) mural.
Things to Know Before You Go
Art and culture fans won’t want to miss the chance to visit San Bartolo Coyotepec.
Make sure to pick up some beautiful black clay pottery while you’re there; the Mercado Artesanal is a good place to start your search.
Take cash for any purchases as cards may not be accepted.
San Bartolo Coyotepec may not be easily accessible to wheelchair users, due to narrow or uneven sidewalks.
How to Get There
San Bartolo Coyotepec is located in Oaxaca’s Valles Centrales region, some 9 miles (15 kilometers) south of Oaxaca City. While you can get there independently by private vehicle or public transportation—look for colectivos (shared minibuses) with “Coyotepec” written on the windshield—most people arrive as part of a guided tour with round-trip transportation included.
When to Get There
There’s no bad time to visit San Bartolo Coyotepec, although the rainy season lasts from roughly June to October each year. If you plan on visiting during these months, arrive early as rainfall typically begins in the afternoon. Otherwise, visit anytime and plan to spend at least an hour wandering the town and browsing for ceramics.
How Are Barro Negro Ceramics Made?
Although the name implies that the clay used to create barro negro pottery is black from the beginning, it’s actually the firing process that gives this pottery its distinctive hue. By firing it in a sealed (and usually wood-fueled) kiln, the clay oxidizes and turns black; however, it’s the quartz polishing process that gives it that famed reflective shine. Look out for detailed barro negro pieces with cutouts and carvings.
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