- Try empanadas, tacos, and Oaxaca's famous ice cream while touring the city
- Climb to the top of Monte Albán's ancient temples
- Learn how to carve and print in a family art workshop
- Play with your food in a "hands in the dough" cooking class
|Arrive in Oaxaca
|History, Culture & Gastronomy Walk Around the City
|Monte Albán & Handicrafts Route
|Discover Ancestral Oaxacan Art
|Amaranth Workshop & Family Art Evening
|Hands in the Dough Rural Cooking Workshop
Day 1: Arrive in Oaxaca
Welcome to Mexico! On arrival at Oaxaca airport, you'll be met by your driver, who will take you to your charming hotel. There's no better way to get your first taste of Oaxaca than literally, through its food—designated as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Head to one of the most authentic restaurants in the city, where chefs from Indigenous communities will prepare traditional Oaxacan dishes. Kids will love nicuátole—a corn-based, syrupy dessert—and throw knife-and-fork etiquette to the wind as you unwrap your tamale and enjoy its tasty contents.
Day 2: History, Culture & Gastronomy Walk Around the City
Wake up to your first full day in Oaxaca and leave your hotel hungry—you're about to go on a three-hour guided walk of the city with plenty of tasty stop-offs. Start by visiting the Mercado de la Merced and get your fill of traditional baked empanadas, then walk through the colorful streets of the Jalatlaco neighborhood to reach the 16th-century aqueduct. Sample delicious tacos on the street of Garcia Vigil before continuing to the temple of Santo Domingo, where you can cool down with some of the city's famous ice cream.
Finish your tour at the Plaza de la Constitución, where you can find yourself and the kids an Oaxacan spiced hot chocolate to enjoy in the shade. Spend the afternoon wandering around the nearby colorful markets. Benito Juarez Market has a heady mix of cheeses, meats, and local produce, as well as handmade goods and textiles. Kids should look out for all sorts of weird and wonderful ingredients, such as the protein-filled delicacy of toasted grasshoppers or chapulines.
Day 3: Monte Albán & Handicrafts Route
Get ready to be transported back thousands of years as you explore the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Monte Albán, just 6.2 miles (10 km) south of Oaxaca City. One of the largest Mesoamerican cities of its time (100 BCE to 200 CE), you'll need around three hours to explore the site, which sits on a hilltop in the center of Oaxaca's central valleys. Kids can burn their energy running up and down the many stepped temples, and adults can ponder the mysterious, entertaining carvings of the "Gallery of the Dancers."
Spend the afternoon touring four Oaxacan villages, famous for their handicrafts. At Coyotepec, you'll visit a workshop and watch how objects are molded from the town's famous black clay. Afterward, wander around the nearby, colorful market before continuing on to San Antonio and seeing how they create traditional dresses. The next stop is Jalietza, where you'll see how they use a backstrap loom to make fabric before going on to Tilcajete. Here you can watch how the local artisans create alebrijes—colorful, carved mythical creatures that make the perfect souvenir for the kids to take home.
Day 4: Discover Ancestral Oaxacan Art
Get ready for more cultural immersion today as you begin your tour with a visit to the community of Tlapazola. There, you'll go to a Barro Rojo pottery workshop and learn how the local women carry out this ancient craft. Curious kids will be fascinated as they watch the artisans mold the red clay into intricate shapes by hand.
Next, meet a family of wool rug weavers at Teotitlán del Valle, where they will take you through each step of carding, spinning, dyeing, and weaving these colorful emblems of the region. The final stop is a treat for parents, with a tour and tasting at a local palenque dedicated to the production of the ancestral drink of mezcal.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Amaranth Workshop & Family Art Evening
Start your day off at San Pablo de Etla, half an hour north of the city of Oaxaca. You'll be greeted by Margarita Barrita, a member of "Alegria de la Vida," a group of women dedicated to preserving the culture and use of the ancient grain, amaranth. After learning about the grain, you'll get to work to make your own tzoalli—a pre-Hispanic dessert made up of amaranth and seeds, once considered the food of the gods.
Once back in Oaxaca City, enjoy a family art workshop in a beautiful garden where you'll learn how to carve wood and print your own art. Be guided by local artists and create your own print design, or become adept at using gouges to carve wood, all while you find out more about the local culture from the artists themselves. This activity can be customized for all ages, so even the youngest budding artists will be included in the fun.
Day 6: Hands in the Dough Rural Cooking Workshop
Day 7: Depart OaxacaIt's time to bid Mexico farewell as your driver transfers you to the Oaxaca International Airport to catch your departing flight. ¡Buen viaje!
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