Combine time in nature with cultural experiences as you explore southern Mexico's diverse landscapes, Indigenous cultures, historic towns, and Pacific coastlines. Sample Oaxacan gastronomy from its eight regions, take a serene mountain walk in San Felipe del Agua, and admire the cascading waterfall rock formations at Hierve el Agua. Venture to Sumidero Canyon's towering cliffs and immerse yourself in the cultural traditions of Chiapa de Corzo, a historic town known for its traditional lacquerware art.


  • Ride Puerto Escondido's renowned waves during a surfing lesson
  • Discover the ruins of ancient decorative walls at the Mitla archaeological site
  • Learn about traditional wool weaving and mezcal production outside Oaxaca City
  • Explore Chiapa de Corzo, a historic town with colorful festivals

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Oaxaca, Gastronomic Food Tasting Oaxaca
Day 2 Scenic Mountain Walk in San Felipe del Agua Oaxaca
Day 3 Discover the Árbol del Tule, Hierve el Agua, Mitla & Teotitlán Oaxaca
Day 4 Visit Monte Albán, Handicrafts & Clothing Workshops Oaxaca
Day 5 Art Workshop in Oaxaca City, Transfer to Puerto Escondido Puerto Escondido
Day 6 Horseback Ride to Laguna del Manialtepec & Kayaking Puerto Escondido
Day 7 Surf Lesson in Puerto Escondido, Transfer to San Cristóbal de las Casas Puerto Escondido
Day 8 Day Trip to Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo San Cristóbal
Day 9 Explore El Chiflón Waterfalls & Lagunas de Montebello  San Cristóbal
Day 10 Transfer to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Oaxaca, Gastronomic Food Tasting

Oaxacan cuisine incorporates insects like chapulines (grasshoppers) as a source of protein and flavor.

Bienvenido, and welcome to Oaxaca, the capital city of the Mexican state with the same name! Over the next 10 days, you'll discover the Southern Highlands region, perfect for travelers looking to explore Mexico's rich cultural and natural heritage. Upon arrival at the airport, your driver will warmly welcome you and ensure a comfortable transfer to your hotel in the city. 

After settling in, you'll immerse yourself in the region's culture on your first day by indulging in Oaxaca's celebrated gastronomy, acknowledged as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Embark on a Gastronomic Indigenous Roots tour, where you'll savor authentic dishes representing eight distinct regions and have the chance to meet the Indigenous chefs responsible for this delectable culinary experience.

Day 2: Scenic Mountain Walk in San Felipe del Agua

Spot diverse birdlife and learn to identify native plants on today's hike

Take a hike with a local guide to the mountainous area of San Felipe del Agua, nestled among the rugged terrain and vibrant flora and fauna of the Sierra Norte range. Enjoy the panoramic valley views as you wind your way through hillsides of wild flowering agave, a plant deeply rooted in local traditions like mezcal production. Your guide will share rich insights into the area's Zapotec heritage, point out the many native plants, and share stories of their traditional 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. 

Day 3: Discover the Árbol del Tule, Hierve el Agua, Mitla & Teotitlán

Oaxaca's Hidden Gems: Discover Mitla, Hierve el Agua, Teotitlán & Mezcal!
Learn about traditional weaving and natural dyes in the artisan village of Teotitlán del Valle

Today's full-day tour takes you through the serene Oaxacan countryside, offering a mix of archaeology, craftsmanship, and natural beauty. Your adventure starts in Santa María del Tule, where you'll encounter the ancient Árbol del Tule (Tree of Tule), a 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress known for its impressively wide trunk. Next, a 1.5-hour drive brings you to Hierve el Agua, famous for rock formations resembling waterfalls. Immerse yourself in the mineral-rich cold springs and enjoy vistas of the surrounding mountains.

Explore history at the Zona Arqueológica de Mitla (Mitla Archaeology Site), featuring intricate designs on 10,000-year-old Zapotec ruins. Then, head to Teotitlán del Valle, renowned for its community of skilled weavers. Connect with a women's weaving cooperative to learn traditional methods of spinning, weaving, and dyeing wool. Your day concludes at a local mezcal palenque (distillery), where you can savor various types of the popular agave-based spirit and discover its production process.

Day 4: Visit Monte Albán, Handicrafts & Clothing Workshops

The Monte Albán archaeological site provides valuable insights into Zapotec culture

Get ready for more exploration of the Oaxaca Valley, beginning with a captivating tour of Monte Albán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and ancient Zapotec capital that profoundly impacted Mesoamerican development. This archaeological wonder, once a defensive stronghold, has remarkable features like the Gallery of Dancers, adorned with stone slabs depicting conquered figures and captives. Explore this historical site, hiking up the North Platform and Grand Plaza for incredible views of the valley.

In the afternoon, embark on a tour of four Oaxacan villages renowned for their artisanal treasures. In Coyotepec, witness the craft of molding objects from the famous black clay at a local workshop. Stroll through the vibrant market before moving on to San Antonio, where traditional dresses come to life. At Jalietza, observe the ancient art of weaving on a backstrap loom before your final stop in Tilcajete, where talented artisans craft colorful alebrijes—enchanting mythical creatures that make fantastic keepsakes.

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

Day 5: Art Workshop in Oaxaca City, Transfer to Puerto Escondido

Woodcut printing is used to create colorful and intricate designs on paper and textiles

Engage with the region's artists at an art workshop in Oaxaca this morning, where you'll delve into the hands-on process of wood carving and creating printed designs on paper using gouges. Craft your own souvenir during this immersive two-hour experience. Following your artistic endeavor, enjoy a serene garden setting and gain insights into Oaxaca's thriving art scene courtesy of conversations with local artists.

Later, your local driver will pick you up from the hotel lobby and transport you to your next adventure. While you won't be leaving the state of Oaxaca, you'll be venturing 6.5 hours out of Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido. Settle into your hotel in this coastal town known for its beaches, marine biodiversity, and laid-back, surfer-friendly atmosphere, and rest up for tomorrow's activities.

Day 6: Horseback Ride to Laguna del Manialtepec & Kayaking

Getaway to Manialtepec
Saddle up to explore Laguna del Manialtepec on horseback

Today's adventure takes you on a horseback ride through idyllic fields to reach the isolated paradise of Laguna del Manialtepec. Situated along Mexico's Pacific coast, the area is renowned for its tranquility, making it a perfect escape from the bustling tourist areas. Upon arrival, you'll be welcomed with a glass of mezcal and sit down to a lunch of the region's favorite dishes straight from the skillet of your host.

Spend some free time relaxing on the beach, walking one of the nature trails, or combing the sand for seashells. Afterward, explore the lagoon by kayak with a local expert, who will share the secrets of its remarkable diversity and rare flora and fauna. Enjoy your final moments in Manialtepec as the sun dips below the horizon against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean before saddling up for the return journey by horseback.

Day 7: Surf Lesson in Puerto Escondido, Transfer to San Cristóbal de las Casas

Surf lesson in the Mexican Pacific Coast
Practice riding the waves in Puerto Escondido

Spend this morning immersing yourself in the surf culture of Puerto Escondido, a laid-back town with some of the best breaks on Mexico's Pacific Coast. Watch as skilled surfers ride the waves and experience the town's lively atmosphere with beachside restaurants, cafés, and shops, providing a vibrant and relaxed environment for surf enthusiasts and those looking to soak in the coastal charm. Picturesque beaches, such as Playa Zicatela, are dotted with surf schools offering lessons for beginners, and this morning, you'll get to partake.

With the help of certified instructors, you'll ride a few waves in a two-hour surf lesson, perfect for all skill levels, even if you've never touched a surfboard. The lesson includes roundtrip transportation to the beach and all necessary equipment for your time on the water. While you may be happily exhausted, the following 10-hour transfer allows you time to rest and look forward to discovering the colonial architecture of San Cristóbal de las Casas, nestled in the central highlands of Chiapas and your base for the next three nights.

Day 8: Day Trip to Sumidero Canyon & Chiapa de Corzo

The Convent of Santo Domingo was built during the Spanish colonial period

On today's full-day excursion, venture on the water to reach a 136 million-year-old rock formation before heading to one of Mexico's oldest cities. Begin your expedition one hour west, toward the islet of Cahuare, nestled near Chiapa de Corzo. Here, you'll step aboard a motorboat to journey through the Sumidero Canyon, a natural wonder with towering walls that loom majestically over the Río Grijalva.

Your voyage offers encounters with diverse wildlife, encompassing vibrant flora and fauna such as bromeliads, towering pines, river crocodiles, and agile spider monkeys. Along the route, marvel at cascading waterfalls, explore intricate caves, and admire the intriguing rock shapes. Following this adventure, proceed to the charming town of Chiapa de Corzo for a delightful lunch. Here, you can savor pozol con cacao, an ancestral Maya beverage, and immerse yourself in the town's vibrant downtown atmosphere before heading back to the enchanting city of San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Day 9: Explore El Chiflón Waterfalls & Lagunas de Montebello 

Admire the lakes and waterfalls in the Lagunas de Montebello National Park

Experience more of the region's unspoiled nature with today's journey to the El Chiflón Ecotourism Center, where turquoise-blue waters, captivating waterfalls, and colorful lakes await your exploration. Encounter the enchanting Río San Vicente, renowned for its pretty waters and cascading waterfalls, and stroll along a scenic path as you marvel at the diverse waterfalls, including the impressive Velo de Novia, Mexico's second-largest waterfall. Next, venture to the Lagunas de Montebello, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve featuring 59 lakes adorned with an array of colors shaped by currents, flora, and sunlight.

Explore several lakes, including Tziscao, Pojoj, and Montebello, before stopping for lunch surrounded by biodiversity. The park harbors over 157 orchid species and 93 mushroom species and serves as a vital bird conservation area. You can also experience a traditional raft ride, visit the orchid island, and peruse local food and craft stalls. The possibility of seeing Lago Internacional, straddling the Guatemala-Mexico border, adds an exciting dimension to your adventure before returning to San Cristóbal.

Day 10: Transfer to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Depart

Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Chiapas coffee at a local café before takeoff

On your final day in Chiapas, savor the local culture with a visit to a bustling market, indulge in regional cuisine, or explore cultural sites like the Na Bolom Cultural Center. For one last outdoor adventure, consider a short hike in a nearby natural reserve. Alternatively, unwind at a local café, savoring the flavors of Chiapas coffee, or spend some time shopping for textiles and pottery from local artisans before your private driver takes you from San Cristóbal de las Casas to Tuxtla Gutierrez International Airport. Safe travels!

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Map of Mexico's Nature & Culture: Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido & San Cristóbal de las Casas - 10 Days
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