You'll revel in this intrepid, cultural 10-day tour of Mexico. Spend two days in colorful Mexico City, with an afternoon rooting for wrestlers at Aréna Mexico. In Oaxaca, learn the ancient craft of wood carving, wander archaeological ruins at Mount Albán, and hike El Picacho to catch the sunset. Then, spend four days in the beachy surf town of Puerto Escondido for snorkeling, whale watching, and an afternoon with sea turtles at a local sanctuary.


  • Root for your favorite wrestlers at an authentic lucha libre wrestling match
  • Explore the impressive ruins at Mount Albán in the Oaxaca Valley
  • Spot bioluminescence on a cruise in the Laguna de Manialtepec
  • Help release sea turtle hatchlings at Playa de Escobilla

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mexico City, Sweets & Streets Tour Mexico City
Day 2 Mezcal Tasting & Lucha Libre Experience Mexico City
Day 3 Transfer to Oaxaca, Gastronomic Indigenous Roots Dinner Oaxaca
Day 4 Tour Monte Albán & Visit an Alebrijes Workshop Oaxaca
Day 5 Tour Teotitlán del Valle, Sunset Hike Up El Picacho Oaxaca
Day 6 Transfer to Puerto Escondido, Surf Lesson on the Pacific Coast Puerto Escondido
Day 7 Free Time in Puerto Escondido, Release Sea Turtles at La Escobilla Puerto Escondido
Day 8 Whale Watching Excursion, Bioluminescence at Laguna de Manialtepec Puerto Escondido
Day 9 Snorkeling at San Agustín Bay Puerto Escondido
Day 10 Depart Puerto Escondido  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City, Sweets & Streets Tour

Sweets & streets! Family-Friendly Historic Center Tour
Find some of the best sweets on the streets of Mexico City during your afternoon food tour

Welcome to Mexico! Upon your arrival in Mexico City, a local driver will be waiting to transfer you to your accommodation. One of the largest urban centers in the world, Mexico's capital traces its roots back to the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, which was then built upon by the Spanish in the 16th century. Today the sprawling metropolis overflows with lively neighborhoods, historical sites, and culinary delights.

After you freshen up, you'll meet your expert guide in the Centro Histórico, the historical and geographical heart of the city, for an immersive gastronomy tour. Your guide will lead you to some of the best foods in the neighborhood over the next two to three hours while giving you some background on Mexican history and culture through a culinary lens. Sample a mix of savory snacks and sweet treats, like authentic tacos and churros, and explore the famous Mercado de San Juan, a renowned market that specializes in gourmet food.

Day 2: Mezcal Tasting & Lucha Libre Experience

A display of colorful Lucha Libre masks
Cheer on your favorite wrestler at an authentic lucha libre match

Today you'll experience more of Mexico City as you dive into the unique and colorful world of lucha libre (Mexican wrestling). Part sporting match, part theater, and brimming with acrobatics and drama, this popular spectacle is a popular attraction for Chilangos (Mexico City residents) of all ages.

First, meet your tour guide in front of the majestic Palacio de Bellas Artes, a lovely white-marbled concert hall. From there, you'll visit a traditional Mexican cantina. Enjoy a tasting of artisanal mezcal and guacamole as your local guide tells you a bit about the history of lucha libre. From here, you'll set out on a walking tour to the Aréna Mexico, or the "Catedral de Lucha Libra," while your guide amazes you with stories of "El Santo" and "Blue Demon," two of the biggest stars in the history of lucha libre.

Once you arrive at the Aréna Mexico, enjoy a dramatic battle between the técnicos (heroes) and the rudos (villains). Cheer on your favorite wrestler while you experience one of Mexico City's favorite traditions among beer vendors, snacks, and wrestling masks.

Day 3: Transfer to Oaxaca, Gastronomic Indigenous Roots Dinner

Sample some of the most beloved specialties of Oaxaca, such as crunchy, cooked grasshoppers

Today you'll enjoy the ever-changing scenery of Mexico as your private driver transfers you 6.5 hours south to one of the country's culinary and cultural gems: Oaxaca. Located in the southern Mexican state of the same name, Oaxaca welcomes you with a heady blend of colorful colonial architecture, rich Indigenous culture, and renowned regional gastronomy. Get settled in at your hotel, then head out to sample some of the food the region food is so famous for. Oaxacan cuisine is so unique, in fact, it's been designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. 

Discover it this evening at one of the city's most authentic restaurants, where local chefs prepare traditional Oaxacan gastronomy from their eight different regions. Oaxaca is often called "the Land of the Seven Moles," a traditional sauce often served with rice or poultry. You'll likely sample one of these moles, such as negro mole (black mole) or mole colorado (red mole), along with other typical dishes like traditional Oaxacan chocolate, tlayudas (Oaxacan pizza), or quesillo (Oaxacan cheese). 

Plan your trip to Mexico
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Tour Monte Albán & Visit an Alebrijes Workshop

Monte Albán and the alebrijes workshop: an unforgettable experience
Learn about the ancient Zapotec civilization as you tour Monte Albán

Today's tour will take you on an adventure to explore the archaeology, history, and crafts of the Oaxaca Valley. Your guide will pick you up at your hotel, and from there, you'll transfer to the ancient Monte Albán, a historic Zapotec city. You'll have two hours to discover the ruins of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which had much influence over the development of Mesoamerica. Keep an eye out for impressive monuments such as the North Platform, the Grand Plaza, the ball court, and the Gallery of the Dancers.

The next stop on your tour will take you to the small city of Arrazola, about a twenty-minute drive from Mount Albán. The Oaxaca Valley is famous for its many Indigenous communities, most of which specialize in a specific handicraft, and Arrazola is known for alebrijes, intricately carved and painted mythical creatures. Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed into the local workshop of Don Mario Jiménez, a renowned alebrijes artisan. Learn the history of the craft and the region, and paint your very own animal carving to bring home. 

Day 5: Tour Teotitlán del Valle, Sunset Hike Up El Picacho

Learn about the renowned weaving and dyeing techniques of Teotitlán del Valle

After breakfast, meet your guide in the center of Oaxaca for another adventure into the greater Oaxaca Valley. Today you'll be driven to the hamlet of Teotitlán del Valle, a small village located 19 miles (31 km) east of Oaxaca City. The name "Teotitlán" comes from the Indigenous language, Nahuatl, which means “Land of the Gods.” Take some time to explore the main square with its beautiful plaza, charming church, and artisanal craft shops, where you can find some of the town's famous traditional textiles.

A few blocks away, a local family will serve you lunch made of traditional local dishes such as mole verde (green sauce) and memelitas (open-faced tortillas), then demonstrate their remarkable weaving skills in the adjoining textile workshop. Your last stop of the day takes you on a sunset trek to the summit of El Picacho. The moderate 2.8-mile (4.5 km) hike will give you a panoramic view of the valley and surrounding mountains just in time to watch the sunset. 

Day 6: Transfer to Puerto Escondido, Surf Lesson on the Pacific Coast

Surf lesson in the Mexican Pacific Coast
Learn to hang ten with a surf lesson on the beach in Puerto Escondido

Say a fond adiós to Oaxaca and head to your final stop of the trip: the beach town of Puerto Escondido. The private transfer is around a six-hour drive, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and relax.

Puerto Escondido epitomizes a laid-back beach town with a selection of pristine beaches, a cobblestoned center lined with handicraft shops, and classic surfing vibes. It's appropriate that, after you check into your accommodation, you'll go right to the beach for the adventure of the day: a surf lesson on the Mexican Pacific coast! The semiprivate surf lesson includes everything you need, from round-trip transportation to equipment and certified instructors. After two hours of learning the basics, including balance, posture, paddling, and turning, you'll be ready to dive into the surf.

Day 7: Free Time in Puerto Escondido, Release Sea Turtles at Playa de Escobilla

Rescue sea turtles at the local Playa de Escobilla Sanctuary

With some free time to begin your second day in Puerto Escondido, take a stroll through the downtown to get a feel for the region's distinct culture, or head to the Mercado Benito Juárez to find a wide variety of local products. Make sure to spend some time exploring some of the region's unspoiled beaches, known for their golden sands, turquoise waters, and swaying palms. Descend a flight of stairs to reach the small cove of Carrizalillo for tranquil, shallow water perfect for swimming, or rent a beach chair and umbrella with the locals on Puerto Angelito

Before the day is up, you'll have a chance to visit one of the most spectacular protected natural areas in the world. About 18 miles (30 km) outside of Puerto Escondido is the Playa de Escobilla Sanctuary, a waterfront sanctuary devoted to sea turtles. To reach the beach, you'll sail through the nearby lagoon, where you can spot (if you're lucky) many types of wildlife, such as storks, crocodiles, and, of course, sea turtles. Upon arrival, you'll help local scientists release sea turtles back into the wild to aid in the preservation of this precious species. 

Day 8: Whale Watching Excursion, Bioluminescence at Laguna de Manialtepec

Whale Watching
Glimpse humpback whales in their natural habitat on the Pacific

Today's agenda starts with a memorable whale watching adventure on the open sea. Every year, between the months of December and April, humpback whales migrate to the waters near Puerto Escondido to give birth to their calves. Your whale watching tour will have a team of marine scientists on the crew, ready to give you essential information about humpback whales and other marine animals you may be able to spot. 

If your tour is able to find whales that day (not a guarantee, but it's very rare the scientists will be unable to find them), enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime encounter with these majestic creatures. Hear their song, watch them breach the waves, and feel the awe of seeing these giant beasts frolic around you. 

After your return to Puerto Escondido, you'll board another boat at Playa Puerto Suelo for a sunset cruise. Once the sun has set, pay attention to the water in the Laguna de Manialtepec to see the spectacular phenomenon of bioluminescence. Caused by microorganisms that live in the water, the movement of the boat causes these tiny little animals to light up the water. Incredible on any night, this experience is particularly awe-inspiring during the new moon, when the colors are brightest. 

Day 9: Snorkeling at San Agustín Bay

Explore the underwater world of San Agustín Bay near Puerto Escondido

For your penultimate day in Mexico, your local guide will take you to the nearby Bahía San Agustín (San Agustín Bay), home to some of the most impressive coral reefs in Mexico. Here, you'll begin your aquatic adventure: snorkeling! Once you safely stow your belongings and get equipped (snorkeling equipment and life jackets included), you'll dive into the underwater beauty of the bay. You'll explore different areas of the bay during the tour, perhaps catching glimpses of marine fauna such as turtles, pufferfish, sea urchins, manta rays, and intricate coral structures. 

After the tour, you'll enjoy lunch at a restaurant with panoramic views of the bay before your transfer back to Puerto Escondido. The rest of the evening is free to enjoy at your leisure.

Day 10: Depart Puerto Escondido

Enjoy your final sunset over the Pacific in Puerto Escondido

It's time to say hasta la vista to Mexico! If you have time, take one more quick visit to the beach before a private driver transports you to Puerto Escondido International Airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!

More Great Mexico Itineraries

Need more inspiration for your trip to Mexico? Check out these other Mexico itineraries, explore other ways to spend 10 days in Oaxaca, and discover the best time to visit Mexico


Map of Highlights of Mexico City, Oaxaca & Puerto Escondido - 10 Days
Map of Highlights of Mexico City, Oaxaca & Puerto Escondido - 10 Days