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Food, Drinks & Día de los Muertos in Oaxaca 2019

Food, Drinks & Día de los Muertos in Oaxaca 2019

$2150 per person
8 days 7 nights | Group size: 4 - 12

One of Mexicó’s most vibrant states, Oaxaca oozes with rich flavor, both literally and figuratively. From small batches of smoky artisanal mezcal, to complex moles, spiced hot chocolates and balls of stringy quesillo, Oaxaca is a food and spirit lovers playground. The delight to the senses doesn’t end there! In Oaxaca you can find yourself sitting on the edge of a turquoise water pool, high up in the mountains, looking out at the petrified waterfalls of Hierve el Agua by morning and later conclude your evening joining a celebratory street parade!

With an occasion for celebration most days out of the year, there’s never a dull moment in Oaxaca, especially during the Day of the Day and Guelaguetza festivities. While Oaxaca is one of México’s more economically challenged states, it is rich in culture, resilience and creativity. Not to mention, it’s home to some of the most beautiful and ornate Zapotec weavings as well as impressive pottery and artwork so shoppers be sure to bring an extra suitcase to take your goodies home!

For our Oaxaca trips we settle into a charming bed and breakfast located on a quiet side of town just blocks from the hustle and bustle of the historic center. Our days will be filled exploring Oaxaca City and the surrounding areas including the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán, the vast agave fields and family run mezcalerias throughout the valley and the enchanting mountain towns home to artisans and craftsman.

We will also get you off the beaten path by visiting some of the women receiving micro financing loans from Fundación En Vía to learn more about women led small businesses in the region and sustainable models for micro financing.

Lastly, we will eat A LOT of delicious food, sip on mezcal, join in parades, see amazing art, stroll through the Zócalo and have an overall amazing time!

Cost & Packages

Services

Included

7 nights accommodation in charming boutique hotel lodging

7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners (excluding alcoholic beverages)

All transportation within Oaxaca in private shuttles

Entrance fees, tickets and local guide fees for all activities included in the itinerary

24/7 access to bilingual (native English speaking) Heart of Travel guides

Not Included

International airfare to and from Oaxaca City

Meals not indicated on the itinerary

Alcoholic beverages

Additional tours/activities done individually during free time (we can assist in coordinating these for you)

Tips to local guides

Trip insurance (not required, but recommended)

Dates

Sunday, October 27th – Sunday, November 3rd with option to add on 4 nights in Puerto Escondido Sunday, November 3rd – Thursday, Nov 7th

Itinerary subject to small changes at the discretion of The Heart of Travel guides in order to provide you with the safest, and most comfortable and enjoyable travel experience possible.

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    Tour Plan

    1
    DAY ONE: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27th: D included

    Arrive in Oaxaca City: Participants will be flying in from a variety of different places therefore travelers are welcome to choose the flight path that best suits their travel preferences and needs. That being said, we encourage participants to book flights that arrive in Oaxaca City in the morning or early afternoon so that they have time to get settled before the welcome dinner that evening. If you need assistance booking your international airfare please let us know!

    Upon arriving at the airport one of the Program Directors will be waiting to escort you to the beautiful city center of Oaxaca via private shuttle (30 minute drive). Once in the heart of the city you will be checked into your hotel and given a brief orientation of the area. If you need any assistance going to the bank, store, pharmacy, etc. your Program Director will be more than happy to accompany you. In the event you arrive early in the morning and would like to coordinate any specific activities during the day just let us know so we can accommodate your requests.

    7:00 pm: Welcome dinner (included)

    2
    DAY TWO: MONDAY, OCTOBER 28th: B & L included

    8:00 am: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel (included) but don’t eat too much as we will be eating at the market a little bit later on in the morning as we taste the flavors and textures of Oaxaca’s unique ingredients!

    9:00 am: We will begin an all day long tour outside of Oaxaca City as we explore Tlacolula de Matamoros and Hierve el Agua with our incredible local guide, Gabriel!

    Our first stop will be to the Árbol de Tule to visit one of the oldest and widest tours in all of Latin America. From there we will visit the Mercado de Tlacolula and the Tlacolula church. Here you will have the chance to buy and try the local specialties like barbacoa, goat soup and tacos, food and beverage samples such as pulque and tepache, local ingredients, grasshoppers and agave worm salt (included)

    12:30 pm After snacking at the mercado we will continue our drive through the countryside and into the mountain range before arriving at Hierve el Agua, the petrified waterfalls and natural springs, where we can hike, go swimming and take in the spectacular views of the Sierra Madre mountain range. (included)

    4:00 pm: After leaving Hierve el Agua we will begin our journey back to Oaxaca City but first we will stop at an authentic mezcaleria! Here we will learn about the history of this beverage while dispelling some popular myths! You’ll also see the step by step process of making this delicious beverage and even get to sit down for a tasting and some snacks! (included)

    5:30 pm: With an extra pep in our step, thanks to our visit to the mezcaleria, we will find the energy for our final activity - a visit to our friend Nelson Perez’s textile workshop to see the gorgeous Zapotec weavings and learn about how they are made!

    7:00 pm: Return back to Oaxaca City for down time and to rest and freshen up for the evening.

    8:30 pm: Optional Group dinner (not included) We will be eating throughout the day so a late dinner should work for most, and some may even opt to pass on dinner. We can pick a place with a variety of options and fun environment if someone just wants to grab a drink or two!

    How to prepare for today: The road is curvy so if you get car sick easily, we recommend taking something for motion sickness! Bring a swimsuit, towel, walking shoes or sandals, and a change of clothes.

    3
    DAY THREE: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29th: B, L & D included

    9:00 am Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    10:00 am: We will start a little later today since our Sunday was jammed packed with fun and interesting activities. Once again we will spend the morning outside out of the city center on a guided tour of Monte Albán with Gabriel, who at this point you’ll all be affectionately calling Gabo!

    Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site located 6 miles west of Oaxaca City. Not only was Monte Albán one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, it also played an important role as the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic center for close to a thousand years. We will spend a few hours exploring this site with Gabo as he dives deeper into the history of this site and explains its significance not only in Oaxaca but in Mexico and Mesoamerica in general.

    1:30 pm: After a morning walking around Monte Albán we will have built up a bit of an appetite so we’ll head straight to one of Oaxaca’s central markets. Here we will grab a table at one of our favorite little “comedores” to enjoy lunch (included) at one of Oaxaca’s central markets for an authentic Mexican dining experience.

    2:30 - 5:00 pm: After eating lunch we will start a walking tour of Oaxaca City to show you some of the major highlights and a few of our favorite better kept secrets in town.

    5:30 pm: Enjoy some free time to rest and relax or explore the city independently!

    7:30 pm: Join us for a wonderful dinner and live music! (included)

    How to prepare for the day: Bring a hat and comfortable shoes as we will be doing a lot of walking this day.

    4
    DAY FOUR: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30th: B & L included

    8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    9:00 am - 6:30 pm: After breakfast we will start our day long tour to the nearby “Pueblo Mágico” (magic town) of Capulalpam, making some fun pit stops along the way. One of our stops will be to visit San Pablo Guelatao, the birthplace of Benito Juarez, México’s first indigenous president. We will also stop by our friend Rogelio’s house to learn about “los molinillos” and the way in which they are used to prepare traditional beverages such as “el chocolate de agua”.

    Once we’ve completed our drive through the gorgeous Sierra Norte mountain range we will arrive in the misty town of Capulalpam. Here we will enjoy lunch (included) at a local comedor before touring around this enchanting pueblo. We highly recommend the molé for lunch!

    We will wrap up our time in Capulalpam with a visit to the Clinica de Medicina Tradicional (Traditional Medicine Clinic) run by a cooperative of midwives, including our friend Reina, who will welcome us with open arms! Here you can use the temazcal for cleansing and purifying purposes (physical and spiritual) or opt for a relaxing massage.

    For those unfamiliar, a temazcal is s a type of sweat lodge which originated with pre-Hispanic Indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica. While many people use them today as an equivalent to the modern day sauna, the traditional purpose of the temazcal goes beyond just the physical detoxification of the body. For those curious, this the perfect place to get introduced to holistic healing practices, common to this day, in the indigenous communities of México and Guatemala.

    Upon bidding our friends in Capulalpám farewell we will begin the journey back to Oaxaca City!

    6:30 pm: Return back to Oaxaca City for down time and a free evening.

    How to prepare for today: The road is curvy so if you get car sick easily, we recommend taking something for motion sickness! Bring a swimsuit, towel, walking shoes or sandals, and a change of clothes.

    5
    DAY FIVE: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31st: B & L included

    8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    8:45 am: We will meet at the hotel to walk to a nearby cultural center to start our community tour with Fudanción En Vía that supports local women and families through the power of microfinancing. On this tour you will meet an inspiring group of hard-working, optimistic, and problem-solving women who create their own successes through their skills and tenacity, and with the assistance of En Vía who offers education, training and microfinancing to female entrepreneurs. You will experience a much more personal view of local life than ordinary tourism permits and will gain a better understanding of the challenges faced (and often overcome) by many in México’s second most economically challenged state.

    12:00 pm: Lunch in one of the communities we will be visiting (included)

    4:00 pm: We will finish the tour at approximately 4:00 pm at which point we will head back to our hotel for downtime/time for independent exploration. We suggest you get some rest in the afternoon in order to enjoy our visit to the cemetery this evening.

    7:00 pm: Optional group dinner at Boulenc (not included) This is one of our favorite restaurants so we recommend making it to this one! We can then go out for drinks and to listen to music or just roam the lively streets afterwards!

    9:00 pm - 1:00 am: We will all meet at our hotel headquarters to hop in the van and visit a cemetery approximately 25 minutes outside of Central Oaxaca. Here we will respectfully observe the tradition of Día de los Muertos and participate, whenever invited. By this point in the trip we will have discussed the significance of Día de los Muertos at length as well as cultural sensitivity tips to mindful of during this beautiful and sacred time.

    How to prepare: We will not be leaving the Central Valley this day, as the communities we will visit are nearby. Bring comfortable shoes. At night wear closed toed shoes, bring a sweater or light jacket, and be ready to help us carrying candles, flowers and bottles of mezcal.

    6
    DAY SIX: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1st: B & D included

    7:00 am - 10:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    Enjoy a relaxed day to sleep in a bit after ladand to explore Oaxaca City, on your own or with your tour leaders, and roam the streets.

    Here are some of our favorite places to visit that day. We’re also happy to assist you in coordinating any other tours or activities for you or accompanying you around town on this day!

    • Church of Santo Domingo de Guzmán
    • Museum of Cultures of Oaxaca, Santo Domingo: One of Mexico’s best regional museums. Open from 10 am to 6 pm.
    • Voces de Copal: Art gallery with the best in Oaxacan crafts, made by famous Oaxacan artists Jacobo and Maria Angeles. There is a very nice cafe in the centre that features a good selection of hot and cool drinks, snacks and meals.
    • Oaxaca Textile Museum
    • La Jícara A restaurant and cultural space. Great food and you can find interesting and alternative crafts. They also have a great library for a special souvenir.
    • La Santísima Flor de Lúpulo Great restaurant with good craft beer.

    5:30 pm: After having enjoyed a free day in the city we will meet up again for an interactive cooking class and dining experience. Here we will learn more about Oaxacan ingredients and cooking techniques and make a tasty meal and some speciality beverages to enjoy with new friends from the cooking school.

    8:30 pm: After our cooking class we will enjoy the lively streets of Central Oaxaca filled with music, dancing, parades and more, as we juxtapose last night’s traditions in the cemetery in a small town to central Oaxaca’s celebrations in the street tonight.

    7
    DAY SEVEN: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2nd: B & D included

    9:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    10:00 am - 12:30 pm: Join us for a guided tour of the beautiful and fascinating Ethnobotanical Garden with our friend and expert guide, Emilio!

    1:00 pm: Optional Group Lunch (not included) on one of our favorite rooftops before having the remainder of the day free to do any last minute shopping or activity that you haven’t fit in yet!

    7:00 pm: Farewell dinner (included) at La Olla for some high-end traditional Oaxacan cuisine as we celebrate the end of another epic adventure with Heart of Travel!

    8
    DAY EIGHT: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd: B included

    Breakfast at hotel (included)

    Airport transfer to catch international flight home or head to Puerto Escondido on a domestic flight for an additional 4 night stay!

    For those heading to Puerto Escondido with us, upon arrival we will make a quick stop at the supermarket to buy some groceries (fruit, bread, cheese and wine for example) for the next few days. Keep in mind breakfast will be made for us everyday and there’s plenty of restaurants close to our Airbnb that have delicious seafood, but we can have some food around for lazy afternoons next to the pool :)

    IF YOU ADD 4 MORE NIGHTS:

    DAY EIGHT: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3rd - DAY TWELVE: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7th, B included

    Breakfast at the airbnb (included) each morning

    The 12 day/11 night trip includes everything listed on the 7 day tour plus 4 nights of four star accommodation (breakfast each morning) in Puerto Escondido, a round trip flight from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido and airport transfers.

    Since this portion is all about kicking back and enjoying some down time it does not include any organized tours in the Puerto Escondido area, however, we are more than happy to help you organize activities. Apart from surfing and hanging out on the beach, the Puerto Escondido area offers a variety of other fun activities such as:

    • Shopping at the markets
    • Cooking classes
    • Cultural tours of the nearby towns
    • Chocolate making
    • Kayaking
    • Boat tours
    • Botanical gardens
    • Skydiving
    • Scuba-diving
    • Birdwatching
    • Hiking to waterfalls
    • Horseback riding
    • Hot springs
    • Copalita Archaeological Site
    • Bioluminescent Bay
    9
    DAY TWELVE: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7th: B included
    Breakfast (included) Transportation to Puerto Escondido Airport to fly back to Oaxaca City to catch international flight home!

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