- See Oaxaca's colorful streets and bustling markets on a walking tour
- Visit the 2,000-year-old Tree of Tule and hike the San Felipe del Agua Valley
- Savor locally-made mezcal and learn about its spiritual significance
- Get creative with hands-on alebrije and woodcut workshops
- Learn the secrets of traditional Oaxacan medicine alongside local experts
|Day 1||Arrive in Oaxaca, Walking Street Tour||Oaxaca|
|Day 2||Discover the Árbol del Tule, Hierve el Agua, Mitla & Teotitlán||Oaxaca|
|Day 3||Monte Albán Tour, Alebrijes Workshop & Mezcal Tasting||Oaxaca|
|Day 4||Traditional Oaxacan Medicine Tour, San Felipe del Agua Valley Sunset Hike||Oaxaca|
|Day 5||Local Art Workshop, Depart Oaxaca|
Day 1: Arrive in Oaxaca, Walking Street Tour
Bienvenido, and welcome to Mexico! Over the next five days, you'll indulge in the rich history and artistic traditions of Oaxaca, a culturally vibrant state in southern Mexico known for its savory gastronomy and colorful folk art. After checking into your charming hotel in Oaxaca City, you'll hit the ground running with a guided walking tour through the historic streets. Visit the many monuments and highlights of the city, including the 16th and 17th-century aqueduct, the old Seminary of Santa Cruz, the facade of the Casa Juarez, and many more charming colonial buildings.
Later, take a stroll through the bustling Alameda and Constitution public squares, where you can visit the Benito Juárez and 20 de Noviembre markets and enjoy the colors, aromas, and flavors of the most renowned Oaxacan foods. You'll end the tour with a sweet treat as you visit a chocolate factory to learn about the traditional creation of Oaxacan chocolate.
Day 2: Discover the Árbol del Tule, Hierve el Agua, Mitla & Teotitlán
Today's tour takes you into the countryside surrounding Oaxaca to experience the best of the area's archaeology, craftsmanship, and nature. You'll start in Santa María del Tule to see the ancient Árbol del Tule (Tree of Tule), a 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress known for having the widest trunk in the world. From there, transfer approximately 1.5 hours to Hierve el Agua Park, unique for its rock formations resembling cascading waterfalls. Here, you can explore the area and swim in the mineral-rich cold springs while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding mountain landscape.
Afterward, take a walk through history in the Zona Arqueológica de Mitla (Mitla Archaeology Site) and admire the intricate designs throughout the 10,000-year-old Zapotec ruins. Then it's on to the village of Teotitlán del Valle, famous for its skilled weavers. Meet the members of a women's weaving co-op and learn about their traditional methods of spinning, weaving, and dyeing wool. Finally, stop at a local mezcal palenque (distillery) to taste different types of the popular agave-based spirit and learn about its production process.
Day 3: Monte Albán Tour, Alebrijes Workshop & Mezcal Tasting
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Start this morning with a tour of Monte Albán, a great Zapotec city located on top of a hill in the center of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca. This city had a significant influence on the development of Mesoamerica and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy the majestic landscape of mountains and valleys as you explore the main structures of the complex, including the North Platform and the Grand Plaza. Your guide will lead you through highlights like the Gallery of the Dancers and the ball court, among other impressive buildings, during the two-hour visit.
Afterward, you'll continue to the community of Arrazola to visit an alebrijes workshop at the house of Don Mario Jiménez, a local artisan. A popular symbol of Oaxaca, alebrijes are wooden carvings of mystical creatures decorated in bright colors. The artisan's son, Isaías, will explain the workshop's history, the roots of this iconic folk art, and the region's creative culture. Then it's time to unleash your creativity as you paint your own alebrije to take home as a special memento of your time in Oaxaca.
You'll end the day with another mezcal tasting, sipping three different varieties and learning more about the intricate flavors and aromas. With the help of your local host, you'll learn about the diversity of agaves used for mezcal production and its cultural and spiritual significance to the region.
Day 4: Traditional Oaxacan Medicine Tour, San Felipe del Agua Valley Sunset Hike
Today's tour takes you on a deep dive into the world of Oaxaca's traditional medicines. Your day begins at the emblematic Central de Abastos (Center of Supplies), a market teeming with locals selling vibrant foods, products, and creative art. Stroll by the herbal area, feasting your eyes on the plants that spice up food or are used to concoct Indigenous medicines. Your guide will explain the significance of each ingredient as you spend time with vendors who sell magical powders thought to attract love, defend against the evil eye, and more.
The tour continues to a small community in the valley, where a traditional doctor will explain the different medicinal plants and their uses, followed by a cleansing ritual and a call in the Zapotec language to bring the soul back to the body. Afterward, you can help prepare some handmade ointments said to relieve different types of pain.
As the sun sets this evening, take a hike with a local guide to the mountain of San Felipe del Agua and enjoy the panoramic valley views and the wild flowering agave, putting your newfound knowledge to the test as you identify the many native plants and learn about their uses. Stop to observe the area's diverse birdlife through binoculars and soak in the colorful skies and spectacular scenery from the summit perch as the sun sets from behind the mountains. Finally, descend the mountain and treat yourself to a delicious dinner back in Oaxaca.