Hit the cultural and culinary highlights of Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Huatulco on this 10-day itinerary. Ideal for travelers seeking diverse experiences, it offers opportunities to savor authentic flavors during a cooking class in Mexico City, dive into cultural wonders like Hierve el Agua's thermal pools, and explore the bustling markets in Oaxaca. Finally, unwind on the Pacific coast with a thrilling waterfall hike and snorkeling in the bays of Huatulco.


  • Dive into the heart of Mexican cuisine with a cooking class in bustling Mexico City
  • Embark on a colorful trajinera boat to float along the historic canals of Xochimilco
  • Soar above the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacán in a hot-air balloon
  • Witness the release of baby sea turtles at La Escobilla 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mexico City, Cooking Class & Coffee Workshop Mexico City
Day 2 Float the Canals of Xochimilco & San Juan Market Visit Mexico City
Day 3 See Teotihuacán by Hot-Air Balloon, City Walking Tour & Folk Dance Mexico City
Day 4 Transfer to Oaxaca, Gastronomic Food Tasting Oaxaca
Day 5 A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca's Markets Oaxaca
Day 6 Hierve el Agua Hiking & Mezcal Distillery Oaxaca
Day 7 Transfer to Huatulco Bays, Turtle Hatchling Experience at La Escobilla Huatulco Bays
Day 8 Hiking & Waterfalls Adventure in the Sierra Madre del Sur Huatulco Bays
Day 9 Snorkel in San Agustín Bay, Evening Bioluminescence Tour Huatulco Bays
Day 10 Transfer to Puerto Escondido, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City, Cooking Class & Coffee Workshop

Explore a diverse range of coffee flavors and styles in Mexico City

Welcome to Mexico City! Upon arrival, your driver will greet you and whisk you away to your charming hotel in the city's historic heart. After getting settled in, get ready for a delightful culinary journey. Your destination is Casa Malinche Coffee Bar, where you'll take a hands-on cooking class. Here, you'll master the art of crafting traditional Mexican dishes, including tortillas, noodles, tortilla soup, salad, and mole.

But the culinary adventure doesn't end there. Prepare to be enlightened about the world of Mexican coffee. Your guide will introduce you to various coffee varieties and the intricate extraction process. The best part? Tasting coffee creations infused with an array of delicious flavors. With your taste buds tantalized, the rest of the evening is yours to explore. Take a leisurely stroll through the historic center, venture into the vibrant neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa, or simply unwind at your hotel. Make sure to get a good night's rest, as sightseeing adventures await in the coming days.

Day 2: Float the Canals of Xochimilco & San Juan Market Visit

Xochimilco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features tranquil canals from pre-colonial times

After breakfast, a driver will take you to the far south of the city for a two-hour tour of Xochimilco. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been settled since pre-colonial times and is known for its tranquil canals—remnants of the rivers that once crossed the valley floor of Mexico and were used by the Aztecs for transport. The visit includes riding a trajinera (a brightly painted, gondola-like boat). As you float down these waterways, boats filled with mariachis will float past and serenade you. Then, head to the historic center's renowned Mercado de San Juan, a food haven drawing top chefs and locals alike.

Here, you'll be guided through the market's bustling aisles, immersing your senses in a tapestry of colors and fragrances as you sample exotic fruits, cheeses, and coffee. Continue through San Juan, tracing the rhythms of local life while savoring traditional treats like pulque (fermented agave beverage), tacos, and seafood tostadas. This guided tour celebrates the evolution of Mexican gastronomy, allowing you to engage in hands-on preparation, including crafting a delectable sope topped with various meats and fried grasshoppers. Cap it off with visits to quaint cafés and pulquerías for more local flavors.

Day 3: See Teotihuacán by Hot-Air Balloon, City Walking Tour & Folk Dance 

Soar over the pyramids of Teotihuacán in a hot-air balloon

After a delightful breakfast,  your driver will whisk you away on a scenic one-hour drive to Teotihuacán. Imagine soaring over this ancient "City of the Gods" in a hot-air balloon! Upon arrival at the departure site, hop in the basket and gently ascend over the archaeological site, with aerial vistas of the pyramids and the entire valley revealing Teotihuacán's grandeur. While still on the "high" from your excursion, continue with a three-hour walking tour through Mexico City's historic heart, home to many colonial and Aztec landmarks.

You'll stroll the pedestrian-only Madero Street and the Plaza de la Constitución, known as Zócalo. This massive public square is home to historic buildings like the Metropolitan Cathedral, the 16th-century National Palace, and the ruins of the 14th-century Templo Mayor, once a principal temple of the Aztec Empire. As the sun sets, the historic center comes alive with Guadalajara de Noche. This 1.5-hour performance celebrates Mexican culture with lively folklórico (folk dancing) from various states, serenading ranchero and mariachi singers, and the mesmerizing floreo de reata (lasso-spinning exhibition). 

Day 4: Transfer to Oaxaca, Gastronomic Food Tasting

Plan your trip to Mexico
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Green mole sauce is made from pumpkin seeds and is often served with chicken and rice

This morning, your driver will transport you six hours south to Oaxaca, internationally known for its cuisine and heritage. Ignite your senses as you dive into both on your first day with the Mexican state's famed gastronomy, designated on UNESCO's List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. On this afternoon's immersive experience, you'll taste authentic dishes from eight regions and meet the Indigenous chefs behind this foodie experience.

Nestled amid varied mountainous landscapes, diverse climates and cultures converge to create Mexico's most eclectic cuisine—seafood from the coast, vegetables from the Central Valley, and corn, the cornerstone of meals. As the chefs prepare your tastings, you'll learn about the ancient ingredients and cooking techniques. Sample pre-Columbian staples like corn, chilies, beans, tomatoes, and squash, whipped into iconic dishes like tamales, mole, sopa de piedra (stone soup), and chapulines (grasshoppers) before washing it down with a glass of mezcal, a traditional alcoholic beverage made from agave.

Day 5: A Culinary Journey Through Oaxaca's Markets

Oaxacan Markets: A Culinary Journey through Colors and Flavors
Oaxacan markets overflow with a medley of flavors, from empanadas to grasshopper omelets

Dive into Oaxaca's famous culinary scene with a five-hour guided markets tour. Start at the authentic Mercado de Abastos (Center of Supplies), where your local guide will invite you to taste memelas (toasted cake snacks) from Doña Vale, a street food icon from the Netflix series "Street Food: Latin America." Continue to the Mercado de la Merced to taste flavorful empanadas paired with various sauces. You'll also try a grasshopper omelet accompanied by pennyroyal tea.

The Mexican food tasting doesn't stop there. Visit the Trinidad de las Huertas neighborhood, where you'll enjoy piedrazos (breads soaked in vinegar). Next, you'll stroll through the Reforma neighborhood to feast on stewed tacos before choosing between two dishes: tacos from Comal del Carmen or tetelas (tasty triangle-shaped pockets of corn dough stuffed with beans and cheese). Last, you'll enjoy the best tortas (cakes) in Oaxaca and empanadas de amarillo (empanadas stuffed with chicken and smothered in a yellow mole sauce).

Day 6: Hierve el Agua Hiking & Mezcal Distillery

Hierve el Agua Hiking and Mezcal Distillery
Take a dip in the natural mineral pools at Hierva el Agua

Gear up for a full-day tour of Hierve el Agua, a two-hour drive from Oaxaca. Early in the morning, your driver will take you to the town of San Isidro Roaguía. Located in the mountains, a group of rock formations here creates terraced waterfalls and mineral-rich pools. Spend some free time to swim in the healing thermal waters and admire the view of the valley below. Next, begin a 4-mile (7 km) hike to a hidden waterfall. 

Finish your experience visiting a local family at their mezcal distillery, where they'll demonstrate the mezcal production process. Learn about the region's history and the cultural significance of mezcal over a tasting with the mezcalero (a person who produces mezcal) and their family. Afterward, you'll arrive back in the city with enough time to plan your dinner, enjoy the final moments of your day, and rest.

Day 7: Transfer to Huatulco Bays, Turtle Hatchling Experience at La Escobilla

Head to the protected coastal paradise of Huatulco today

Leave Oaxaca City behind today as your driver takes you on the five-hour journey south to the Pacific coast and Huatulco, an area known for its charming villages, unspoiled beaches, and the pristine marine ecosystems of its nine coastal bays. Upon arrival, you'll visit Escobilla Ecoturismo Tortugas Marinas, a community cooperative that provides safe environments for the region's endangered sea turtles to nest and hatch.

You'll be enchanted while witnessing baby turtles emerge from their shells in a hatching pen as you learn about their life cycle from a member of La Escobilla. Your guide will also explain the risk of turtle egg looting threatening these little creatures' lives and how thieves steal from nests to sell the eggs on the black market. If the timing is right, you'll even get the chance to watch hatchlings being released, making their first journey to the ocean tides. 

Day 8: Hiking & Waterfalls Adventure in the Sierra Madre del Sur

Enjoy the pristine forest scenery on your hike in Sierra Madre de Sur

Today, you'll turn your focus inland as your guide picks you up for a full day of exploration in the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range. Stretching 620 miles (1,000 km) along Mexico's southwestern coast, this area is home to a subtropical rainforest ecosystem, which you'll start exploring upon arrival with a scenic hike.

Take in unspoiled views across the shifting landscapes as you make your way to a series of waterfalls. Here, you can stop for a break and cool off in the crystal-clear waters at their base. Spend some time relaxing and enjoying your surroundings, then visit a local mountain community, where you'll be greeted with delicious, organic Oaxacan coffee and a traditional lunch. Taste simple, flavorful dishes like rice with butter, handmade tortillas fresh off the comal (griddle), and black beans cooked straight from the pot. Later in the afternoon, your driver will take you back to Huatulco.

Day 9: Snorkel in San Agustín Bay, Evening Bioluminescence Tour

Spend the day in San Agustín, home to one of the Oaxacan coast's most impressive coral reefs

On your penultimate day, take a short, scenic drive west to the clear waters of Bahía San Agustín (San Agustín Bay), where you'll embark on a full-day adventure, beginning with snorkeling. Your local guide will brief you on the remarkable coral formations and vibrant marine life (such as sea turtles, pufferfish, manta rays, and sea urchins) you may encounter here as you get ready for underwater exploration. After your snorkeling session, replenish your energy with lunch at a local restaurant while enjoying the natural beauty above the surface.

As the day transitions into night, prepare for another mesmerizing experience. A boat ride brings you to Laguna de Manialtepec, a coastal lagoon renowned for its bioluminescent microorganisms. Witness the water illuminate around you during this phenomenon, which is particularly enchanting during a new moon when the dark sky enhances the colors. You'll be happily exhausted after this experience and ready for your driver to return you to your accommodation in Huatulco.

Day 10: Transfer to Puerto Escondido, Depart

Relish a beachfront breakfast at a local café, savoring Puerto Escondido's ocean views

After 10 days of sampling the charms of Mexico's culture, cuisine, and coast, it's time to say your goodbyes. On your final morning, your driver will transfer you to Puerto Escondido. If time allows, explore local markets for mementos like handmade jewelry, pottery, and textiles. For further cultural exploration, visit the Puerto Escondido Fishing Village or nearby art galleries before your driver transfers you to Puerto Escondido Airport for your departing flight. Safe travels!

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Map of Mexico City & Coast Discovery: Mexico City, Oaxaca & Huatulco - 10 Days
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