A Slice of Oaxaca
(For tour price and other information, please see the Trip Details sidebar on this page)
One day each given to City, Village, Countryside, Market, and Cuisine. The essence of Oaxaca delivered!
This unconventional journey encompasses the essence of the broad and varied land of Oaxaca. One could spend a life time exploring this land, but if you wanted to get a taste of it, a good sense of the spirit of this place, what would be your slice of the pie of experience?
Oaxaca is the grand colonial city at the center of the state. It is the villages that fill the mountains and valleys. It is the vastly diverse landscape. It is vital weekly markets and legendary cuisine. And most of all it is the people, their generosity and creativity. Our Slice of Oaxaca tour spends each of its five days focused on a theme; City, Village, Country, Market and Cuisine. Each is a detailed snapshot of a place and a culture. And permeating each day are the many people of Oaxaca we'll meet, from market vendors and farmers to weavers, potters and the masters of cooking with corn and chile.
Whether this is your first time to Oaxaca and you want to meet it in a genuine way, or you've been to Oaxaca before and seen the requisite tourist sites and now want something deeper, A Slice of Oaxaca will open your eyes to a living culture, a way of being and a very special corner of this planet.
||6-12 pax $995
3-5 pax $1,410
||Oaxaca, Mexico. The central valleys.
||5 days/4 nights
||Jan 22-26, 2013
March 5-9, 2013
||* Professional, bilingual guide
* All local transport in private van
* Entry fees, tips for meals,
* Local guides and transportation
* High quality, small group travel
||Cooking class with master Zapotec chef
||* Four nights lodging double occupancy (single supplement $150) in a small 3 star hotel and a family run B&B.
* If you have or would like to make alternate lodging arrangements for the nights the tour will be staying in Oaxaca city, please contact us for adjusted pricing
|MEALS & DRINKS
||3 breakfasts, lunch daily, 3 dinners.
||* Airfare and transport to/from airport
* Alcoholic beverages and personal items
* Some meals may not be included to offer flexibility in meal choices
* Tip to your tour guides should you feel it is merited. 5-10% of tour price is standard per person guideline for tip to the guide or guide team
Tour Itinerary by Day:
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner included in tour price.
Day 1, (LD) MARKET! Sunday in Oaxaca valley has meant market in Tlacolula for centuries. In the town of Tlacolula in the valley with the same name, this market draws in Zapotec villagers from some of the most traditional villages in highland Oaxaca. There are few other markets in Oaxaca that give such a full sense of the color, spectacle, cacophony and wonderful variety of goods that create a world-class market. Our morning will be spent getting as lost as we can among the vendors, women in black shawls and men in straw hats that fill this market with humanity. We'll also visit the nearby animal market where ox teams, donkeys and goats are traded. We'll lunch in the heart of the market and then head to the "old city" and the place where the market would have been held a thousand years ago. Our destination as the afternoon light softens are the quite stone walls and empty plazas of the old Zapotec ceremonial center of Yagul. Soak in the silence, taste the history. This evening we settle into a cozy, family run bed and breakfast in the village of Teotitlan del Valle. (Meet this morning at 9AM at Hotel Oaxacalli with bags packed for our 3 day, 2 night field trip)
Day 2, (BLD) CUSINE. In 2012 UNESCO declared Mexico's cuisine as an "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity". Within Mexico many would argue that the cuisine of Oaxaca is the best and in Oaxaca many point to Teotitlan as being king for excellent traditional cooking. Teotitlan is where we'll leap, hands first, into the world of Oaxacan cuisine. We'll begin our morning at the small but very lively Teotitlan market. This market happens every morning and is the definition of local food! We'll buy ingredients with Reyna Mendoza, our Zapotec master of the kitchen and then we go to work. Today you will prepare your own lunch in Reyna's open air kitchen, and it won't be bologna sandwiches! Imagine firewood, clay pots, stone mortars, toasted chili, fresh ground corn. Teotitlan is also legendary for its tapestry weavers and this afternoon we'll meet one or two of the masters to learn about the trade that is the lifeblood of this town (there are over 4,000 weavers in the village!!). Evening in Teotitlan.
Day 3, (BLD) COUNTRYSIDE. Oaxaca is a wrinkled, immensely varied natural world with chart topping levels of biodiversity. We head into it today on twisting dirt roads that take us into the backcountry. First into the Eastern Sierra Madre and the 8,000 ft. high ridges of Benito Juarez to walk on a suspended bridge over tall pines and give the adventurous and option to zipline over those same pines. Then past the largest agave (century) plants you'll ever see. Then we zig zag our way through oak forests dotted with cactus and desert palms to visit the unusual "frozen waterfalls" of Hierve el Agua. These are actually immense stone formations akin to stalactites created by centuries of mineral infused water seeping over the mountainside. Above a cliff of this white stone are found beautiful springs and natural pools where you have the option to swim, hike and explore. We may also stop at a backcountry mezcal still to see how agave is turned into our favorite firewater. Evening in Teotitlan.
DAY 4, (BL) VILLAGE. Our morning begins in the most essential and timeless place in Oaxacan villages; the swept dirt courtyard of a traditional farmer's house. The majority of Oaxcans are subsistence corn farmers and we'll learn a little about the plights and fortunes of being a Oaxacan farmer. And if there is corn hulling that needs to be done, then we'll hull corn. And if the ox team needs to be harnessed up to plow the field…we'll leave that to the farmer! We'll travel to another Zapotec village and meet a family who has been making clay cookware for 100 generations. This kind of pre-Hispanic pottery has been a corner stone of village life in Oaxaca for over 3,000 years. Yet while deeply rooted, as we'll see, villages are not static places lost in another era. These potters were recentlyin New York City selling their pottery in the Museum of Modern Art, and half of their house was built by brothers who have immigrated to the US. Modern villagers play a balancing act between tradition and change. We'll also visit the town square of Tlacochahuaya, which like most villages in Oaxaca has a town hall and a small church at its center. This town's church happens to be one of the loveliest little churches Oaxaca has to show. In the afternoon we return to Oaxaca city. Evening in Oaxaca City.
DAY 5, (L) CITY. Oaxaca City is the colonial urban gem of this state as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today we take in a slice of this wonderful city. Our exploration will run from North to South, from Uptown to Downtown, from old neighborhoods and artisan workshops to the beautifully restored colonial center with the grand church of Santo Domingo, the shaded Zocalo or city square and the old market, then into the deeper commercial district of downtown beyond the tourist polish where the rest of Oaxaca goes about its business. En route we'll enjoy a guided tour through the fabulous San Pablo CulturalCenter and perhaps a peek into the elegant Macedonio Alcala theatre. Today's exploration, like this entire tour, takes you beyond the well visited tourist stops and deeper into what makes Oaxaca tick and shine. This evening's lodging is not included in tour price. If you need assistance making lodging arrangements please contact us.
All itineraries subject to change without notice.