Upon arrival into Oaxaca, you’ll be greeted by an Almaz Journeys representative outside the airport who will transfer you to your accommodations. The airport is about 20 minutes outside of the city center.
One of Mexico’s most beautiful cities meets its most robust and unique culinary destination. Oaxaca is an excellent destination for anyone interested in gastronomy, from cooking classes to market tours to some of the countries best restaurants. Oaxaca is also known for its artisan communities that dot the surrounding area – from textiles to pottery there are plenty of reasons to visit.
Lodging Option: Escondido Oaxaca
Escondido Oaxaca perfectly captures the sleek artistic aesthetic of modern day Oaxaca City. The hotel is part of Grupo Habita which features unique architectural gems and distinct accommodation options around the world. The roof top has a lovely pool and bar offering excellent views of the city, while the ground floor houses a splendid restaurant and ‘culture room’. The entire hotel showcases the rich talent of Oaxacan artists and artisans, effortlessly welcoming you to one of Mexico’s most spellbinding cities.
Market Tasting Tour
Today your guide will pick you up from your hotel and you will set out to sample some of the flavors of Oaxaca. Oaxaca is known as one of the great culinary destinations, and you will quickly see that common dishes of the region are quite different than in other parts of the country.
You will first walk to the market of Benito Juarez, which is the main food market in the city. Here you will get to try; mole (the sauce that put Oaxaca on the map as a must visit food destination), Oaxacan cheese and a variety of quesadillas (in season the squash blossom quesadillas are very nice), chapulines (grasshoppers) if you are feeling adventurous, and a big glass of agua fresca (fruit juice) to wash it all down.
You will then head over to the market of 20 de Noviembre where you will try a traditional Tlayuda (a truly Oaxaca treat) or tasajo (traditional grilled meat) accompanied by guacamole and grilled onions. For dessert, you can choose from traditional candies, Oaxacan sherbert, or nicuatole (roasted corn pudding).
To end things on high note you will then indulge in a mezcal tasting, showcasing various locally made artisanal mezcals produced from a variety of agaves.
Ruins of Monte Alban
Today after breakfast your driver and guide will accompany you to the magnificent ruins of Monte Alban. Monte Alban is a World Heritage Site, just a few miles from the center of the city, and perched atop a 1,300 foot mountain watching out over the Oaxaca Valley.
This site is the greatest of the Zapotec who were indigenous to the area and whose cultural, religious, and artistic influence can still be felt in the area. Today your guide will lead you through the site making sure to share the stories of these people in the places where they happened; the Grand Plaza, the Ball Court, the Observatory, the Palace, and other significant structures. After you will return to your hotel where you will have the afternoon at leisure. We are happy to secure restaurant reservations for you this evening.
Understand the Flavors of the City
Oaxacan cuisine is famous for its refined and complex flavors, today you will learn how to prepare some well known dishes of the region. You will meet your guide, a local chef, who will take you to the market where you will sample some key ingredients and purchase what you need for the meal. You will pick up different fruits, vegetables, and common herbs used in Oaxacan cuisine.
Back at the cooking school you will taught about the cuisine of the area before beginning to prepare the four course meal. Eating the meal is of course the true delight and lunch will be pair with local beverages including mezcal if you wish.
Please note this class is done with a small group, but can also be arranged on a private basis if you wish.
Into the Valley
Today you will explore the mountains that seem to be embracing the city of Oaxaca from all sides. Specifically you will travel out to La Cumbre Santa Catarina Ixtepeji which is one of the highest reaches of the Sierra Norte. The hike is a stunning loop that will take about four hours and requires moderate physical strength (most of the path is on level ground but small sections do require walking up hill).
The hike will be done with a guide who will introduce you to the local flora in the area including moss covered fir forests, a variety of wildflowers (which bloom 365 days a year) huge agaves, and pinkish madrona. You will also take in views of the valley and the various pueblos that exist in the region, adding to your perspective of this beautiful state.
After the hike you will have lunch (included) in Las Animas, a town known for its chocolate production and where most of the molinillos (chocolate mixing spoons) are made.
Today you will be picked up from your hotel and taken to the airport in a private transfer for onward travel (flight not included).
Private Journey PricingPer Person
From Price Per Person
2 Guests Traveling -
4 Guests Traveling -
5 nights in Oaxaca City: Balcony room at Escondido Oaxaca Hotel.
Private arrival and departure transfers (assumes all guests on same flights.) English-speaking guide included when specified in itinerary.
Private, local English-speaking guides for all activities as described in the program.
Cost of entrance for all sights and experiences specifically included in your program.
24/7 local emergency contact during your journey.
Full-service advance tailoring of your itinerary and assistance with restaurant reservations.
Lunches, dinners and alcoholic beverages unless otherwise specified in your program.
Gratuities to guides, drivers, hotel porters, etc. unless otherwise specified in your program.
Travel or medical evacuation insurance.
Any other items or services not specifically included in your itinerary.
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