Oaxaca

Oaxaca, Mexico

Best of Oaxaca Tour

March 11 - March 19, 2023

This small group tour has it all.  Visits to craft workshops such as woodcarving, weaving, pottery, glassmaking and papermaking which are a very integral part of everyday life in Oaxaca.  This region of Mexico has interesting mountain villages that are home to native craftspeople. When we travel to the villages you will see their craft work reflects their wonderful culture and creativity is everywhere. You will experience the markets which come alive with sights, smells and sounds that one will never forget.  The markets have vast selections of all types of crafts and there is a very lively gallery scene in downtown. Oaxaca (Wah-Hah-Kah) is the ancient home of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations, builders of Monte Alban and Mitla. It is a charming colonial city, with grand churches, museums and public buildings.  The zocalo (town square) is a place where people relax, listen to the mariachi bands and have a bite to eat and drink.     

 

We stay at a bed and breakfast that is owned by an American and is located only a few minutes walk to the town square. The rooms are set around a verandah with flower filled gardens and a friendly staff who gives personal service and prepares delicious home style meals. Expect to have a fantastic experience with trips to the archaeological sites, visits to the craft villages and markets and the ability to meet the craftspeople of this area.   

 

Includes*:

  • Lodging

  • Most meals (see itinerary)

  • Group ground transportation to/from airport

  • Daily tours with local guide and private van (see itinerary)

  • Admissions to museums, churches and archaeological sites

Overview

Dates: March 11 - March 19, 2023

Duration: 9 days; 8 nights

Price:

  • $2250 per person (double occupancy) 

  • $2300 per person (single occupancy "if available" small single room w/private bath) 

  • $2750 (one person in a double room)

Notes:

  • Begins and ends at the Oaxaca Airport

  • Limited to 12 people and will run with a minimum of 6 people.  

  • Single rooms are very limited

ITINERARY
March 11: Saturday (D)

Travel Day - Arrive in Oaxaca, Mexico. We will make our way via taxi/van to the B&B which will be our home for the next 8 days. Group pickup at the airport included. Evening meal at B&B.

March 12:  Sunday (B, L)
Breakfast at the B&B. We have a busy day planned which will include Santa Marie del Tule, home of El Tule a large (15 story high) Mexican cypress tree which is over 2000 years old.  Since it’s Sunday, we will visit the Tlacolula market, filled with an abundance of local produce, livestock, breads and a large variety of area crafts.  We will stop at the town's 1531 church Parroquia de la Virgen da la Asuncion.  The attached chapel - Capilla del Senor de Tlacolula is also very impressive.  Every inch of the chapel's interior gleams with sculptures of angels and saints, paintings, and gold scrollwork.  Next is a visit to a vendor who sells rebozos (shawls) that are worn by the indigenous Zapotec women and are typical of this region.  You will have a little free time to explore the Tlacolula Market on your own.  Next on to Teotitlan del Valle, a village that is devoted entirely to the weaving of tapestry style rugs. We have been extended a very generous invitation to visit one family’s home and see the weaving process from the start (spinning and dyeing of the yarns) to the final process of the actual weaving of the carpets. We will also visit the town church and its amazing Community Center. Final stop of the day will be a Mezcal factory where we will see how this drink is made and be able to sample this fiery drink made from the agave cactus. Dinner on your own.     

March 13: Monday (B,L)
We start out today with a walking tour of the center of the city and learn about the history of the city, its architecture and local customs.  Our stops will include the Santo Domingo Church with it's Mexican Baroque architecture, then walk through Oaxaca's picturesque streets visiting the Zocalo and Catherdral.  We will visit the 20 de Noviembre and Benito Juarez markets, stop at a chocolate factory to see the process of grinding cocoa beans to make Oaxacan chocolate.  Lunch along the way.   As we head back to the Casa Colonial we will make our final stop at the Inglesia La Soledad and a tasting of nieves (ice cream) at one of the stands on the church plaza.   Dinner on your own.
March 14: Tuesday (B,L)

Today we head up into the mountains to Hierve el Agua to see the ‘petrified’ waterfalls that are the result of small streams and droplets of mineral rich water falling over the side of the cliff. After many years, the water and minerals petrified in a stream-like formation and centuries later, it now looks like a waterfall cascading over the cliff face. The natural underground spring bubbles up into man-made pools that act as a place to catch and collect the water so you can swim or soak in the pools. You will also have the opportunity to walk around the site to see the waterfalls from a variety of different views, it is truly an out of this world experience.  After lunch we will travel to the village of Mitla and explore the Mitla archaeological site with our own personal guide. Mitla, is an unusual site with its buildings containing mosaic geometric designs and is unique because it lacks any human or animal figures. Dinner on your own. 

March 15  Wednesday (B)  - Free Day OR Optional Tour

FREE DAY - to explore the City of Oaxaca at your own pace.

OR

OPTIONAL tours can be arranged:  Bird watching in the Northern Sierra region of Oaxaca which is rich in flora and fauna OR Seasons of My Heart Cooking class and tour of the Etla Market. 

March 16: Thursday (B,L)

We have another very busy day planned, there is so much to do in Oaxaca.  First stop today will be Monte Alban, Oaxaca’s major archaeological site where we have our own personal tour guide. This site was the elite center of Zapotec culture from 500 BC to 800 AD, built on a mountaintop 500 meters above the Oaxaca valley and has a small, educational museum.  Other stops today include a glassmaking workshop where we will learn about the preparation of the glass, the design of pieces and observe the glassblowing techniques.  A visit to a pottery workshop in the village of Atzompa, known for their green pottery, then on to a papermaking workshop in San Augustin Etla.  Dinner on your own.

March 17: Friday (B,L)

Today we explore the Southern Valley and our first stop is the village of San Bartolo Coyotepec, famous for its traditional black pottery where we will see a demonstration of how the pottery is produced.  Next stop is the city of Ocotlan, to visit the very active Friday market and the beautiful town church.  Lunch at a roadside restaurant.  After lunch we visit a wood-carving studio in the village of San Martin Tilcajete to see how they create these carvings in many different shapes. Our final stop of the day is the weaving village of San Tomas Jalietza with time to wander through the village outdoor textile market and see how they weave using the prehispanic backstrap loom to make placemats, table runners, handbags and belts. Dinner on your own.

March 18: Saturday  (B, D)
Today will be entirely at your own pace.  Plan a visit to the Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art.  While this is a small museum in comparison to the large National Museum in Mexico City, the artifacts displayed were chosen solely for their aesthetic rank of the works and design. Revisit the Benito Juarez Market with its great selection of huipiles and other textiles, stroll the streets to visit the shops and galleries or just relax and take in the sights of the Zocalo.  Tonight will be our Final Group Dinner. 
March 19: Sunday (B)
Departure to the airport and travel back to the United
States.   Group transportation to the airport.
B - Breakfast 
L - Lunch - includes non-alcoholic beverages
D - Dinner  

*Excludes:

  • Airfare

  • Travel insurance

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Meals not included in itinerary

  • Tips to driver, guide, etc.

  • Non-group transportation to/from airport

  • Medical expenses

  • Personal purchases