Let us show you the beauty of this rugged ancient land and immerse you in the cultural and artistic traditions of the Zapotec, Mixtec, and the many indigenous peoples of south Mexico. There is much to see in this magical and wonderful land…an incredible explosion of color, culture, and art. 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.
The tour begins at 9:00am Monday morning. We will stay in B&B's located in the downtown tourist zone. These locations add to a good feeling of the lovely, colonial downtown and also provides guests with a great location for enjoying the evenings strolling the many galleries, shops, and enjoying many wonderful restaurants.
INCLUSIONS: Oaxaca tours are now available every week with our 5-day itineraries beginning on Monday through Friday (9:00am - 5:00pm) Inclusions: lodging, full regional breakfast, and our professionally guided tour. Airport/hotel shuttle service available upon request. While on excursions we stock cold bottled water. (Airfare not included in tour). The full tour is $1395.00 U.S. per person, or $1295.00 U.S. per person for couples sharing a room via Paypal. Payment options are listed in our 'Letter of Terms & Agreement').
We also offer flexible day passes for any of our excursions available 7 days a week featuring any of the daily excursions in our itinerary interchangeable. $95.00 U.S. per person.
***We can also assist with travelers wanting earlier arrival and/or later stays.
DAY 1: We take a tour of Oaxaca’s city center Oaxaca city is the epicenter of Mexican culture and tradition. Oaxaca was founded by Zapotecs since 1400 B.C. in San José el Mogote. In 1987 the UNESCO declared the city of Oaxaca a historical landmark due to its beautiful historic colonial buildings, churches and temples. The Santo Domingo church is the city's spiritual center as well as its tallest building. Construction began in 1575 by Dominican friars and completed over 200 years later. The Benito Juarez market is the town's oldest market inaugurated in 1893. This market which takes up an entire block is a great place to buy crafts and souvenirs. After wards we travel to Cuilapan de Guerrero to visit the Dominican ex-convent of Santiago Apóstol. The former monastery still defines the town and is the major attraction for visitors. The fortress-like complex is easily seen from the highway as one travels south from the city of Oaxaca towards Zaachila, and it is visited by both Mexican and international tourist. It was left unfinished sometime in the middle of the 16th century.
DAY 2: We visit the impressive Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán. The most majestic of Oaxaca’s ancient ruins, Monte Albán, meaning “Sacred Mountain,” is an ancient Zapotec capital and archaeological site with a spectacular mountain top location overlooking the valleys of Oaxaca. We also visit the pottery workshops of Zapotec village Santa María Atzompa. This village of potters is one of the most popular destinations in Oaxaca's Central valley were we spend time at the family workshop of Angélica Vásquez as well as (time permitting) at the Mercado de Artesanías on the main road entering the village. Afterwards we visit CASA “Centro de Artes San Agustín”. Centro de las Artes de San Agustín, a spectacular arts center with two long, large halls. The lower hall is used as a gallery for often wonderful craft or art exhibitions; the upper one is a setting for concerts, conferences and other events.
DAY 3: We head out for 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”, and the natural mineral 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 visit Mezcal distilleries in Santiago Matatlán. You’ve probably tried tequila but what about mezcal? A drink of amazing variety and complexity, mezcal is handcrafted 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 ruins at Mitla. The second most important archaeological site in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, and the most important of the Zapotec culture.
DAY 4: We visit the east valley of Oaxaca with a stop in Santa María el Tule to see the giant tree of el Tule. El Árbol del Tule, is a Montezuma cypress tree on the grounds of a church in Santa María del Tule, the largest tree (mass) in the world it is believed to be 2000 years old. Moving on to the famous weaving village of Teotitlán del Valle. The weaving tradition here goes back to pre-Hispanic times: Teotitlán had to pay tributes of cloth to the Aztecs. Quality today is high, and traditional dyes made from natural sources like indigo, cochineal and moss have been revived. We also visit the church in Tlacochahuaya in now almost completely restored using the original pigments and techniques. The tones of blue are achieved with natural plants and the rose tones with cochineal (a small insect that lives on the nopal cactus and produces Carmine red). The abundance of floral motifs make this church both inviting and visually stunning.
DAY 5: A visit to San Bartolo Coyotepec workshops. San Bartolo Coyotepec is known for its artisans that produce Oaxacan black pottery.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 then continue to visit the wood carving workshops of San Martín Tilcajete, known for its wood carvings of real and fantastic animals painted with bright colors and designs. After wards we go to Santo Tomas Jalieza and enjoy watching textiles made on a backstrap loom. This picturesque town is characterized for the beautiful textiles made in bright colors with cotton.