OAXACA, MEXICO TOURS
Let us show you the beauty of this rugged ancient land and immerse you in the cultural and artistic traditions of the Zapotec and Mixtec people of south Mexico. There is much to see in this wild and wonderful land from major archaeological sites to tiny artisan villages. We visit villages famous for woodcrafts, pottery, textiles, and world class Zapotec rugs. We also visit the Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban and Zapotec-Mixtec ruins at Mitla. There is a Friday market on Ocotlan de Morelos that dates back to Pre-Hispanic times. Evenings are spent in the colonial center of Oaxaca where a leisurely stroll through cobbled streets is a fascinating tour into the heart and soul of the city’s numerous shops, markets, museums, galleries and restaurants.
Oaxaca City is also known for it’s progressive and innovative art scene. It’s always a pleasure to relax at the Zocalo (square), sipping a refreshment and watching the evening go by. Oaxaca, the capital of the state of Oaxaca, has been declared Humanity's Cultural Patrimony by UNESCO. Oaxaca is famous for the beauty and harmony of its architecture, the variety of its foods, and its soft, spring-like climate throughout the year.
Tour includes bed & breakfast accommodations for six nights (Wednesday - Monday) in the heart of historic Oaxaca, transportation in comfortable air-conditioned vehicle, excursion fee’s, all transportations to and from the airport/bus station in Oaxaca, all tour transportations and exhibit cost during daily itineraries, breakfast, lunch, and professionally/licensed guided tour.
Arriving in Oaxaca City on Wednesday for the first of a six night stay, we will have a welcome dinner. Five full days (Thursday - Monday) of daily excursions run from 9:00am - 4:00pm (Breakfast before departing and light lunch during excursion included). Our wonderful B&B accommodations located in the heart of the historic center of the city add to the good feeling of our tours. Adventurers can enjoy relaxed evenings strolling the many galleries, restaurants, shops, and street vendors or just sit and relax under the Laurel-tree lined Zocalo enjoying the sights and sounds of this lovely historic city.
* Visit villages with black pottery, other pottery, rug weaving, and wood carving.
* Tour archeological sites such as Monte Alban, Mitla, Yagul and Lambityeco.
* Explore Oaxaca's indigenous markets.
* Learn about and taste Mexcal in Santiago Matatlan.
* Experience the traditional celebrations of Day of dead, Christmas, and Easter.
* Enjoy Magnificent landscapes such as the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua.
* Stroll the many shops and galleries enjoying Oaxaca's surprisingly progressive art scene.
* Enjoy traditional Oaxaca cuisine, said to be the best in Mexico.
2017 Tour dates: (All dates are flexible per group request)
January 4 - 9, 18 - 23 July 5 - 10, 19 - 24
February 8 - 13 August 2 - 7, 23 - 28
March 1 - 6, 22- 27 September 6 - 11, 20 - 25
April 19 - 24 October 11 - 16
May 10 - 15, 24 - 29 November 22 - 27
June 7 - 12, 21 - 26 December 13 - 18
Our 2017 Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) tour dates. October 30 - November 4.
$1495 U.S. per person/$1395 U.S. Double Occupancy. (10% discount for reservations booked 60 days in advance)
Day 1 - City center, Oaxaca city is the epicenter of Mexican culture and tradition. Originally founded by Aztec warriors and declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987 due to its beautiful historic colonial buildings, churches and temples, all it takes is a stroll down the cities streets to see that it is proud of it’s history. The Santo Domingo church is the city's spiritual center as well as Oaxaca City's tallest building. Construction on the church began in 1551 by Dominican Friars and completed over 100 years later. The Benito Juarez market is the towns oldest market which takes up an entire block and is a great place to buy crafts. Afterwards we travel to Cuilpan de Guerrero to visit the imposing Dominican Ex-Convent of Santiago Apostal. The former monastery was left unfinished sometime in the middle of the 16th century and is a popular attraction for national and international travelers. The fortress-like complex is easily seen from the highway. We finish the day in San Antonio Arrazola, a picturesque artisan village at the foothills of Monte Alban. Arrazola is known for its famous painted wooden animals called Alebrijas. There are about eighty artisan families that handcraft their popular carvings using Copal, Sierra Sur, and Mixteca trees.
Day 2 - We visit the impressive Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban. The most majestic of Oaxaca's ancient ruins Monte Alban, meaning "White Mountain", is an ancient Zapotec capital and archaeological site with a spectacular mountain top location overlooking the valley's of Oaxaca. We also visit the pottery workshops of Santa Maria Atzompa. This village of potters is one of the most popular in Oaxaca's central valley. We will spend time at the family workshops as well as at the Mercado de Artesanias on the main road entering the village. Afterwards we travel to San Agustin Etla to visit CASA - Centro de Arte San Agustin, a spectacular arts center with two long, large halls. The lower hall is used for wonderful craft and art exhibits; the upper hall for concerts and other events. CASA was purchased by Oaxaca artist Francisco Toledo and converted in 2006 to the first Latin American center for Ecological Arts.
Day 3 - We head to the magnificent landscapes, petrified waterfalls, and swimming facilities of Hierve el Agua. One of the most picturesque natural attractions in the central valleys of Oaxaca, Hierve el Agua offers a unique and off-the-beaten path travel experience. The name Hierve el Agua translates to " the water boils" The natural springs that are found here take their name from the bubbling of the warm water as it flows up from the earth through the springs and releases oxygen into the turquoise cliff-top pools. We will also tour Mezcal factories. A drink of amazing variety and complexity Mexcal is hand-crafted in Oaxacan villages. The artisanal production ensures that each batch has its own unique flavor. We end the day visiting the ancient post-classic archaeological Zapotec-Mixtec ruins at Mitla. The second most important archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca and the most important of the Zapotec culture. The word Mitla comes from the Nahuatl word 'Mictlan' meaning "place of the dead or underworld".
Day 4 - We visit the east valley of Oaxaca with a stop in El Tule to see the Tule tree, "El Arbol del Tule" is a Montezuma Cypress tree on the grounds of a church in Santa Maria del Tule. The largest tree in the world (mass) is believed to be 2000 years old. We then move on to the famous weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle. The weaving tradition here goes back to pre-Hispanic times. Teotitlan had to pay tributes of cloth to the Aztecs. High quality textiles can be found in Teotitlan where traditional dyes from natural sources like Indigo, Cochineal, and moss have been revived. We also visit the church in Tlacochahuaya. The church has been almost completely restored using the original pigments and techniques. The tones of blue are achieved with Indigo, the rose tones are from the cochineal, a small insect that lives on the nopal cactus. The abundance of floral motifs make this church both inviting and visually stunning. We also visit the archaeological sites and protected natural areas of Lambityeco and Yagul. Lambityeco is known for the royal dynasty that is buried in Tomb 6 and the information that this discovery gave. Six generations of leaders were buried here and their likenesses are potrayed in sculpted stone in and around the tomb. Yagul is an important pre-Hispaninc center whose name literally means "Old Stick" or "Old Tree", contains the largest ballcourt in Oaxaca valley and the second largest in all of Mesoamerica.
Day 5 - A visit to San Bartolo Coyotepec workshops. San Bartolo Coyotepec is known for artisans producing Oaxaca black pottery (Barro Negro) This area has produced pottery for centuries. Pottery artifacts unearthed in many of Oaxaca's archaeological sites have been traced to the clay found only in this area. We contine on to San Martin Tilcajete, known for its wood carvings of fantastic animals painted with bright colors and designs. Afterwards we continue off the beaten track to Santo Tomas Jalieza. A quite village that maintains the tradition of making cotton products on back-strap looms. The market were most of the weavers do their work becomes particularly lively on Fridays. We finish the day in Ocotlan de Morelos. Every Friday for over 400 years the tarps and tables come out and this normally tranquil village and is tranformed into a sprawling, open-air market. The streets surrounding the Zocalo and the Mercado Morelos are overflowing with vendors and artisans.
Our 5 day itinarary is general and subject to change.
Please contact us for information and our Terms and Conditions/Disclaimer packet to be signed and returned by each traveler prior to reservations being secured. All travelers must 18 y/o+.