Authentic culture and cuisine take center stage on this epic, two-week journey through central and southern Mexico. Snack your way through Mexico City's best food market, then head into Oaxaca for unspoiled beaches, mezcal tastings, and hands-on gastronomy workshops. Continue to Chiapas to end your trip cooking with the local indigenous community and exploring the wilds of Sumidero Canyon by boat.

Highlights

  • Sample traditional treats & rare delicacies at Mexico City's Mercado de San Juan聽
  • Go horseback riding & kayaking along Puerto Escondido's pristine beaches
  • Join a rural cooking workshop & visit a mezcal distillery in Oaxaca
  • Learn to cook traditional dishes with Zinacantan's indigenous community
  • Take a boat trip through the unspoiled wilderness of Sumidero Canyon

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mexico City Mexico City
Day 2 Tour the Mercado de San Juan: Mexico City's Gastronomic Heart Mexico City
Day 3 Transfer to the Airport & Fly to Puerto Escondido聽 Puerto Escondido
Day 4 Manialtepec Beach Adventure Puerto Escondido
Day 5 Free Day in Puerto Escondido Puerto Escondido
Day 6 Transfer to the Airport & Fly to Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 7 Hands in the Dough: Rural Cooking Workshop in Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 8 Explore Oaxaca: Tule Tree, Mezcal Distillery, Mitla & Teotitl谩n del Valle Oaxaca
Day 9 Tastes of Oaxaca Gastronomy Tour Oaxaca
Day 10 Transfer to San Crist贸bal de Las Casas San Crist贸bal聽
Day 11 Cooking Experience in Zinacantan, Flavors of San Crist贸bal Dinner San Crist贸bal聽
Day 12 Excursion to the Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo San Crist贸bal
Day 13 Transfer to the Airport & Fly to Mexico City Mexico City
Day 14 Depart Mexico City

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City

Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral overlooks the Z贸calo
Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral overlooking the Z贸calo
Welcome to Mexico! Upon arrival at the airport, you'll be met by your private driver and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, spend the rest of the afternoon getting to know Mexico City at your own pace. Discover the capital's many museums, monuments, galleries, and archaeological sites, or start your culinary adventure by visiting local markets, restaurants, and caf茅s. For a quiet stroll, put yourself in the locals' shoes and head to the authentic neighborhoods of San Angel, La Condesa, Coyoac谩n, or La Roma.聽

Day 2: Tour the Mercado de San Juan: Mexico City's Gastronomic Heart

Cool off with a fruit juice or horchata on today's market tour
Discover the gastronomic roots of the Aztec capital today with a visit to the Mercado de San Juan. Famous chefs and local shoppers alike head to the city's renowned food market for the best quality produce, meats, and specialty foods on offer鈥攆rom scorpions to lion meat.

Join your guide for a walk through the market's aisles, delighting your senses with the riot of colors and aromas. Taste exotic fruits, cheeses, jams, coffee, and other delicacies while you learn about Mexican cuisine and the market's history. Follow in the footsteps of a local's daily life as you sample more traditional treats like pulque (a fermented agave drink), tacos, and seafood tostadas.

Day 3: Transfer to the Airport & Fly to Puerto Escondido聽

A beachfront restaurant in Puerto Escondido
Bid the capital farewell as you transfer to the airport and catch a flight southeast to Puerto Escondido. Located on the pristine Pacific coast of Oaxaca, this laid-back beach town is known for its authentic center, cobbled streets lined with handicrafts, and a selection of breathtaking beaches. Take a stroll through the downtown to get a feel for the region's distinct culture, or head to the Benito Ju谩rez Market聽to find a wide variety of local products and scrumptious street food.

Day 4: Manialtepec Beach Adventure

Getaway to Manialtepec
Sunset over the remote Manialtepec Beach
Today's adventure takes you on a horseback ride through idyllic fields to reach the isolated paradise of Manialtepec Beach. Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed with a glass of mezcal and sit down to a lunch of the region's favorite dishes鈥攕traight from the skillet of your hostess. After some free time to relax on the beach, explore the lagoon by kayak with a local expert, who will share the secrets of its remarkable diversity and rare flora and fauna. Enjoy a spectacular sunset before saddling up for the return journey by horseback.

Day 5: Free Day in Puerto Escondido

Follow the steps down to Carrizalillo Beach

Today is free for you to explore Puerto Escondido at your leisure. Make sure to spend some time at the region's unspoiled beaches, where you'll find golden sands, turquoise waters, and swaying palms far from the typical tourist track.

Descend a flight of stairs to reach the small cove of Carrizalillo with its tranquil water perfect for swimming, or rent a beach chair and umbrella with the locals on Puerto Angelito. If you're looking for peace and quiet, make a beeline for Bacocho and its seemingly endless stretch of white sand. As evening falls, make sure to catch one of the area's colorful sunsets.

Day 6: Transfer to the Airport & Fly to Oaxaca

Oaxaca's Santo Domingo de Guzm谩n Church
Spend one last morning in your beach paradise, then meet your driver for a transfer to the airport to catch a flight inland to the city of Oaxaca. Upon arrival, spend the rest of the day taking in all the colors and flavors that the city has to offer. Stroll along the colorful tourist walkway, where you will find many restaurants, mezcaler铆as, museums, and shops. In the Mercado de Benito Ju谩rez, you can browse a great variety of handicrafts such as alebrijes, embroidery, textiles, and typical Oaxacan products such as mezcals, quesillo, mole, and chapulines.聽
Plan your trip to Mexico
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Visit the聽Textile Museum of Oaxaca or the Museum of Cultures鈥攂oth with exhibitions that allow you to delve deeper into Mexican culture鈥攐r stop by the Ethnobotanical Garden. Enjoy a mezcal at an alfresco caf茅, or sample the traditional hot chocolate drink that's a staple in Oaxaca. In the evening, hit up the town for a drink at a trendy bar, then grab a cup of esquite banquetero (Mexican street corn) on your walk back to the hotel.

Day 7: Hands in the Dough: Rural Cooking Workshop in Oaxaca

Learn how to make authentic tortillas by hand
Today's excursion takes you into the rural countryside of Oaxaca, where you'll discover the authentic flavors of the regional cooking and learn a few special recipes for yourself. A Zapotec community will welcome you with open arms and teach you their culinary secrets as you prepare seasonal products harvested from family gardens and cooked over a traditional wood stove.
Guided through the process by your comidera (the community's best cook), try your hand at dishes like nicu谩tole (a custard-like dessert), handmade tortillas, empanadas, sopa de gu铆as (pumpkin soup), segueza (corn mole), and atole (a creamy drink of maize, cinnamon, and vanilla). At the end of your cooking class, sit down for a convivial lunch to taste your creations.

Day 8: Explore Oaxaca: Tule Tree, Mezcal Distillery, Mitla & Teotitl谩n del Valle

Visit Mitla, the Tule Tree, a Mezcal Distillery & Teotitl谩n del Valle
Watch traditional weaving techniques in Teotitl谩n del Valle

Today's full-day tour starts outside Oaxaca with a visit to the millenary Tule Tree. With a circumference of over 148 feet (45 m) and an age of at least 2,000 years, this beloved Montezuma cypress is one of the largest and oldest trees in the world. Next, you'll head to a local mezcal palenque (distillery) to learn how the traditional Oaxacan spirit is made and sample some of the iconic agave-based alcohol.

Continue to the remarkable archaeological site at Mitla to discover the ancient ceremonial center of the Zapotecs, then end your day聽with a visit to a wool rug weaver's workshop in Teotitl谩n del Valle. Here you can meet the weavers and learn about the time-honored skills and wool-dying techniques that create these colorful symbols of the region.

Day 9: Tastes of Oaxaca Gastronomy Tour

Tastes of Oaxaca Gastronomy Tour
Find the heart of Mexico on today's market tour
The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda once said, "Mexico is to be found in its markets." Discover what he meant today as you meet your local guide and head to the organic market at El Pochote, located in downtown Oaxaca. Taste a cup of freshly brewed coffee before sampling some regional delicacies, including roasted grasshoppers.
Continue to Barrio de la Merced to explore the colors, aromas, and flavors of this busy market and taste some of their incredible empanadas. Afterward, work your way to La Reforma, a neighborhood that dates back to the mid-20th century, to find Itanon铆 Antojer铆a y Tortiller铆a and some of the best tortilla-based dishes around. Make sure to save some room for the final event: a tasting of Oaxaca's famously rich and creamy hot chocolate.

Day 10: Transfer to San Crist贸bal de Las Casas

Streets of San Cristobal de las Casas
The cobbled streets of San Crist贸bal de Las Casas
Meet your driver this morning and strike out on a long-distance road trip across the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, passing charming Mexican towns and scenic landscapes to reach San Crist贸bal de Las Casas. Fall in love with the town's architectural beauty and lush surroundings as you explore highlights like the 16th-century Baroque church of Templo Santo Domingo, the golden Catedral de San Crist贸bal de Las Casas, and the historic city gates of Arco del Carmen.聽

Day 11: Zinacantan Cooking Experince, Flavors of San Crist贸bal Dinner聽

A Maya Tzotzil woman cooking tortillas in her home
Feel the sun on your skin, smell the smoke in the air, and taste the traditional dishes of a local town on today's half-day adventure. Begin with a walk to the Tzotzil community of Zinacantan, where you'll be welcomed into a local house to meet your hosts and see the kitchen where you will later prepare the food. If you visit during the growing season, you'll take an hour's walk to a nearby cornfield, learning all about the ancient cultivation cycles known as milpa. Harvest the produce for today's meal, then return to the house to get cooking!聽

Return to San Crist贸bal de Las Casas in the afternoon, where you can take some time to relax or explore before heading to a local restaurant for a five-course dinner showcasing the region's classic recipes. It's a relaxed and open atmosphere, where you can ask about the creation of each dish and interact with the open kitchen tasting. Savor the immersive culinary experience as you follow the process of each course and revel in the many flavors of Chiapas.

Day 12: Excursion to the Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo

Take a boat trip through the Sumidero Canyon聽
Rise early this morning to embark on an unforgettable adventure into some of Mexico's most unspoiled nature. Transfer toward Tuxtla Gutierrez to reach Cahuare, where you'll board a motorboat and travel for two hours through Sumidero Canyon. This imposing natural formation was formed approximately 136 million years ago and reaches heights of over 2,624 feet (800 m). At its floor, the mighty Grijalva River winds its way through lush vegetation. Pass dramatic waterfalls and caves, and keep an eye out for flora and fauna鈥攍ike crocodiles, ocelots, and spider monkeys.

Continue to Chiapa de Corzo, one of the oldest cities in Mexico and home to the remains of a pre-Columbian Mesoamerican site. Located next to the Grijalva River, this magical town conquers travelers with its colorful traditions and beautiful buildings鈥攍ike La Pila, a Mudejar-style red brick fountain, the church of Santo Domingo de Guzman, and the Museo de la Laca, devoted to the region's traditional lacquerware art.聽

Day 13: Transfer to the Airport & Fly to Mexico City

Morning coffee in San Crist贸bal de Las Casas
Enjoy a free morning in the charming city of San Crist贸bal de Las Casas. Take some time to browse the many local shops for souvenirs, or put your feet up in a sunny square for some of the region's renowned coffee or hot chocolate. When the time comes, your driver will transfer you to Tuxtla Gutierrez Airport to catch your flight back to Mexico City.

Day 14: Depart Mexico City

Sunrise over the Z贸calo

Spend your final morning in Mexico City however you please. When the time comes, your driver will pick you up for the transfer back to Mexico City International Airport and your departing flight. Safe travels and adi贸s a todos!

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Map

Map of A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca & Chiapas - 14 Days
Map of A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca & Chiapas - 14 Days