This family-focused 10-day tour splits your time between the vibrant southern Mexican city of Oaxaca and the unspoiled Oaxacan beach town of Mazunte. All ages will find plenty to interest and entertain them in Oaxaca, with delicious food, ancient history, and thriving culture at every corner. Then it's time to head for the coast, where you'll settle into a slower pace and introduce curious kids to natural wonders like beautiful beaches, nesting turtles, and shimmering bioluminescence.


  • Eat your way around Oaxaca City and the surrounding areas
  • Learn about ancient Mexican history at the Monte Albán site
  • Ride a horse and go kayaking at Playa Manialtepec
  • Help release sea turtles along the Pacific Coast

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 2 History, Culture & Food Tour of Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 3 Visit the Zapotec City of Monte Albán Oaxaca
Day 4 Handicrafts & Rural Cooking Workshop Oaxaca
Day 5 Free Day in Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 6 Transfer to Mazunte & the Coast Mazunte
Day 7 Explore Huatulco, Sea Turtles at La Escobilla Mazunte
Day 8 Kayaking & Horseback Riding at Manialtepec Mazunte
Day 9 Free Day in Mazunte, Bioluminescence at Manialtepec Mazunte
Day 10 Transfer to Oaxaca, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oaxaca

Welcome to colorful Oaxaca

Welcome to Oaxaca! Upon arrival in this southern Mexican city steeped in history, culture, and colors, you will be picked up at the airport and taken to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival and how tired your kids are after the journey, you can rest at your hotel or venture out into the city.

If you and your family are feeling energetic, visit some of Oaxaca's museums, such as the Textile Museum of Oaxaca or the Museum of Cultures (both with interesting exhibitions that will allow you to delve deeper into Mexican culture), or stop by the Ethnobotanical Garden (entrance only with a local guide). Kids with a sweet tooth should make sure to sample the traditional hot chocolate drink that's a staple in Oaxaca.

Day 2: History, Culture & Food Tour of Oaxaca

Eat your way around Oaxaca

Get to know Oaxaca today on a guided city tour that includes the cultural, historical, and gastronomic highlights and is sure to include something to appeal to every member of the family. Start at the Mercado de la Merced, where you can taste some traditional baked empanadas, then walk through the colorful streets of the Jalatlaco neighborhood to reach the 16th-century Aqueduct and sample delicious tacos on the street of Garcia Vigil. Continue to the architectural complex formed by the temple of Santo Domingo, home to a museum of cultures. Here you can stop to grab some of Oaxaca's famous ice cream.

Finally, pass the impressive Baroque facades of the Oaxaca Cathedral and the Novo-Hispanic mansions on Alcalá Street to finish at the Plaza de la Constitución. With its authentic Art Nouveau kiosk and colorful markets full of delightful aromas and flavors, it's the perfect place to end the tour with delicious Oaxacan hot chocolate.

Day 3: Visit the Zapotec City of Monte Albán

Zapotec ruins of the Monte Albán complex
Zapotec ruins of the Monte Albán complex

Today you'll explore the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Monte Albán, located south of Oaxaca City. It's one of the largest Mesoamerican cities of its time (100 BCE to 200 CE) and will capture the imaginations of curious kids. The great Zapotec settlement developed on a hilltop in the center of the central valleys of Oaxaca, which had a great influence on the development of Mesoamerica. Surrounded by a landscape of mountains and valleys, you'll tour the North Platform and the Great Plaza. Kids will be especially interested in the Gallery of the Dancers and the ball game they can learn about here.

Next, get a close-up look at Oaxacan handicrafts in the villages where they are produced. Coyotepec is famous for its black clay; visit a workshop and see where the pottery is made. Check out the colorful market, centered around an 18th-century temple built by Dominican friars. Continue to San Antonio with its traditional blouses and dresses. Next is Jalietza, where you'll visit the handicraft market selling cotton fabrics made on a backstrap loom. Finally, visit Tilcajete, where you can see how the popular alebrijes creatures are carved and painted. Kids, in particular, will love these, so pick up a souvenir or two along the way.

Day 4: Handicrafts & Rural Cooking Workshop

Learn about traditional Oaxacan food from local cooks

Hungry kids (and parents!) will love this day of eating and drinking, with some interesting stops at craft villages along the way. Your first stop will be in the community of Tlapazola, where you'll visit a Barro Rojo pottery workshop to learn about this craft preserved by the local women. Later, visit the town of Teotitlán del Valle to meet a family of wool rug weavers whose designs are symbolic of Zapotec culture. Parents will especially enjoy the next stop: a town dedicated to the production of mezcal. Learn about the agave plant, the manufacturing processes, and taste some varieties of this traditional drink. 

After working up an appetite, everyone can get involved while preparing lunch at a rural cooking workshop. Visit a Zapotec community, where you'll cook with seasonal ingredients harvested from family gardens over a traditional wood stove. Try your hand at dishes like nicuátole (a custard-like dessert), handmade tortillas, empanadas, sopa de guías (pumpkin soup), segueza (corn mole), and atole (a creamy drink of maize, cinnamon, and vanilla)Kids will love the chance to get their hands dirty as they whip up their own culinary creations.
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Day 5: Free Day in Oaxaca

Kids can pick out locally-made souvenirs at Oaxaca's bustling markets

Spend today at your leisure, being as active or relaxed as your family needs after several busy days. Walk along Oaxaca's colorful tourist walkway, where you'll find many restaurants, mezcalerías, museums, and craft stores. Youngsters will enjoy browsing the handicrafts at Benito Juárez Market, including alebrijes, embroidery, and colorful textiles. At lunch, adventurous eaters will have fun trying the market's Oaxacan specialties, such as quesillo (creamy Oaxacan cheese), mole (the region's famous sauce of chiles and chocolate), and chapulines (toasted grasshoppers that are often a surprise hit with kids).

Day 6: Transfer to Mazunte & the Coast

Transfer to the Pacific beach town of Mazunte

This morning, transfer south to Mazunte, a town on Oaxaca's Pacific coast known for its beaches, surf, whales, and turtle conservation. After checking into your hotel, the rest of the day is free to explore. Grab sunscreen and towels and head to the beaches for sandcastles and swimming, or head to the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, where budding marine biologists can learn about sea turtle conservation and the region's rich underwater diversity. At the end of the day, if you and your kids are feeling energetic, check out the sunset from Punta Cometa, a roughly 20-minute hike up the mountain next to Mazunte. 

Day 7: Explore Huatulco, Sea Turtles at La Escobilla

Children can help release sea turtle hatchlings on the beaches of La Escobilla

Today you'll take a day trip to Huatulco, northeast of Mazunte. Get to know the most beautiful corners of this area's five micro-ecosystems: low deciduous forest, wetlands, thorny scrub, coastal dunes, and coral reefs. Take a leisurely hike that will be suitable for most members of the family along a beautiful trail and arrive at the heart of Huatulco National Park. There, a boat will be waiting to take you through the turquoise waters for a morning of snorkeling and spotting the rich marine life of the region.

Later, participate in a fantastic eco-adventure at La Escobilla, where sea turtles are rescued. On the way, sail through a lagoon where you can admire all kinds of wildlife, including vultures, storks, herons, crocodiles, and even turtles that filter in from the beach—your main destination. At the beach, help release turtle hatchlings back into the wild. This is a special experience that your kids will remember for a long time.

Day 8: Kayaking & Horseback Riding at Manialtepec

Saddle up to explore Manialtepec on horseback

Animal-loving kids are in luck today, as today's adventure takes you on a horseback ride through idyllic fields to reach the isolated paradise of Playa Manialtepec. Break for a delicious local lunch and mezcal for the grown-ups. After some free time to relax on the beach, explore the lagoon by kayak with a local expert, who will tell you about the biodiversity and rare flora and fauna. Enjoy a spectacular sunset before saddling up for the return journey by horseback.

Day 9: Free Day in Mazunte, Bioluminescence at Manialtepec

Spend a free day in Mazunte

Enjoy a free day in the town of Mazunte today, relaxing on the beaches and visiting any spots you haven't had the chance to see yet. For something more active, tours can take adventurous teens dolphin and whale watching from a paddleboard, and surf lessons can teach older kids the basics right on the beach at Mazunte. Younger ages might want a laid-back day playing in the waves or another visit to the turtle hatchlings at La Escobilla.

At the end of the day, you'll celebrate your final night in Mexico with a bioluminescence boat tour. Meet your guide at Playa Puerto Suelo near Puerto Escondido to enjoy a beautiful sunset, then board your boat to sail through a natural phenomenon that will delight children and adults alike. Bioluminescence, caused by microorganisms in the water, will light up the sea with the movement of the boat. It's particularly lovely on a new moon when the sky is dark, and the colors illuminate everything around you.

Day 10: Transfer to Oaxaca, Depart

Goodbye Oaxaca!

It's time to say goodbye to Oaxaca. Depending on your time of departure, you may get to squeeze in one last visit to the beach before transferring from Mazunte to Oaxaca Airport. Safe travels!

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Map of Family Trip to Mexico: Oaxaca & Mazunte - 10 Days
Map of Family Trip to Mexico: Oaxaca & Mazunte - 10 Days