9-day Best of Oaxaca Vacation: Culture, Mezcal, & Beach


Destination:  ,

Days: 9


One of Mexico’s most culturally vibrant regions, Oaxaca has been astonishing discerning travelers for decades. On this nine-day Oaxaca vacation, you will fully immerse yourself in its very best offerings while going far beyond the normal tourist hotspots.

Take a guided tour of Oaxaca’s friendly city center, uncover pre-Columbian ruins at Monte Alban, and learn the secrets of Oaxacan cuisine in cooking classes led by experienced local chefs.

You will also meet the artisanal community creating traditional rugs using decades-old techniques, explore the rich world of mezcals, and dive into the beauty of the world-famous surfing hotspot, Puerto Escondido.


Teotitlan del Valle – Encounter the renowned weavers who craft beautiful rugs using traditional techniques

Oaxaca City – Get to know this magnificent city with an expertly guided tour of its highlights

Monte Alban – Visit the pre-Columbian ruins of Monte Alban, taking in the beautiful surrounding views

The Tule Tree a – Be astounded by two natural wonders, the ancient Tule Tree

Private cooking classes – Learn the secrets to Oaxacan cuisine, considered some of the best food in all of Mexico

Puerto Escondido – Unwind at this idyllic beach-side city, famous for its incredible surfing opportunities


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Day 1: Arrival in Oaxaca

You will be met at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel. Use the evening to relax and explore Oaxaca’s celebrated culinary scene.

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique


Day 2: Oaxaca City Tour Private Half Day

Your personal, bilingual guide will meet you at your hotel and will lead you through the colonial city of Oaxaca. Walking its cobbled streets, observing its vibrant squares, colonial structures and numerous churches, you will learn about Oaxaca’s historical and cultural importance.

You will be guided through the central plaza (Zócalo) to the largest central market of Oaxaca, where you will learn about the different handicrafts of Oaxaca. At the conclusion of your experience you will enjoy afternoon at leisure to rest and relax before meeting your guide for your evening culinary adventure.

Oaxaca Night Delicacies Private Experience

Tonight, discover special places outside the tourist area that locals prefer and enjoy outstanding Mezcales and then one of Oaxaca’s most famous night delicacies’: a great grilled Tlayuda! Which none of the downtown restaurants can equal.

The tour begins at a great local “hole in the wall” Mezcaleria, where we will explain and taste anywhere between 4-8 different varieties of excellent mezcales a learning and savoring experience of the authentic flavor of the endemic agaves of this region: The land of Mezcal!

Then we will go to a popular, clean and delicious local favorite night eatery and enjoy a great grilled Oaxacan Tlayuda with choice of toppings, a cold drink and on Fridays & Saturdays live music.

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique


Day 3: Monte Alban, Mitla & Tule Private Full Day Tour

Journey through time to the ancient Zapotec world. Situated just 9km outside of Oaxaca city and nestled on the mountaintop, Monte Alban can be seen from rooftops across the capital. A hugely important city for the Zapotecs and later the Mixtecs, it is believed to have been home to some 30,000 inhabitants at its peak (around 750A.D.), making it one of the largest cities in Mesoamerica. Much of the gold given by Moctezuma to the Spanish was believed to have come from Monte Alban an area rich in the precious metal. Your expert, bilingual guide will lead you on an exploration of the site. You will visit the main plaza with its impressive vistas, and learn about the many theories surrounding the intricate rock carvings known as Los Danzantes, before hearing about the ancient ball game that was played at the ball court. You will also have time to enjoy the museum that houses some of the original carvings of Los Danzantes

Next you will head to the ceremonial center of Mitla, located 44 km outside of Oaxaca city. The site is famous for its intricate mosaic work that is found in no other Mesoamerican center. The mosaics, made from finely cut and polished stone, were fitted together without mortar and set against a deep-red stucco, which remains vibrant in much of the site today. Your guide will lead you on an exploration of the site and you will have the chance to enter the tombs found there.

Your time at Mitla will also include a visit to the 16th Century church built on a pre-Hispanic platform that now functions as an atrium. It is one of the clearest expressions of Mesoamerican and Catholic synchronicity found in the region and is home to fragments of original codices (Mesoamerican writings).

Having explored Mitla, you will head to visit the tree at Tule. The Moctezuma Cypress tree has a circumference of 160 meters and is believed to be one of the largest trees in the world by sheer biomass. It is thought to be at least 2000 years old, making it also one of the world’s oldest trees. You will learn how the tree is honored and celebrated by the local community and the great efforts in place to keep it alive.

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique


Day 4: Mezcal Boutique Private Full Day Tour

Today take an expedition into the heart of fine mezcal, one of Mexico’s most celebrated spirits.

Deep in the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca along the Totolapan river we will descend upon a small village of less than 300 inhabitants where some of the finest Mezcal is produced!

While we will visit the white-labeled mezcalarias, many fine and expensive brands of Mezcal source their spirits in this village and we have the great luck to sample it for a fraction of the cost. During the course of the day we will visit the village of San Luis del Rio and have lunch at San Jose de Gracia and time permitting, on our return visit San Baltazar Guelavia & Santiago Matatlan.

An unforgettable experience to meet the real people behind this magical spirit, enjoy the beautiful scenery and sample premium mescal!

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique


Day 5: Teotitlan Del Valle early Market Visit & Cooking Class with Zapotec Family

Visit Teotitlan del Valle, possibly the prettiest village in the east side of the valley, where a remarkable church houses 16th century art.

Meet your guide at the hotel lobby for a full-day excursion to Teotitlan Del Valle, possibly the prettiest village in the east side of the Valley. There is a remarkable church with authentic art subjects from XVI Century. On arrival, you will enjoy a guided visit to Teotitlan del Valle municipal Market.

Numerous families in the village are dedicated to weaving rugs and other woolen garments. You will spend some time visiting a family home/studio to see the process of how they are made. Many still use the traditional techniques of carding and spinning their own wool, then dying it with natural colors and finally weaving on solid-wood looms.

Oaxaca is famous worldwide for its rich regional cuisine. Both Gourmet Magazine and The New York Times have praised Oaxacan Cuisine as the most authentic food in Mexico. The UNESCO recently added a new category and Mexican Cuisine is now included as World Heritage for their uniqueness and today you will enjoy a regional Cooking class and lunch, as special guest in a Zapotec Family to share with local people some of the Oaxacan cuisine secrets and enjoy time learning more about their culture.

Late afternoon estimated arrival back at Hotel for rest of evening at leisure.

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique


Day 6: Oaxacan Gourmet Cooking Class with Market / Afternoon at Leisure

Take the secrets you learnt from the previous day’s cooking class and build upon them in a private lesson with a local chef.

Mexico is known for great cuisine, and Oaxaca is blessed with an abundance of vegetables and grains from the valley, fish from the coast, tropical fruits from neighboring states, and of course, chocolate. Today is a private cooking class with a local chef. Begin with a visit to a local market to select the key ingredients for your Oaxacan meal. Return to the kitchen for a hands-on class that follows traditional recipes and shares the secrets of Oaxacan cuisine. And of course, enjoy your masterpiece with a relaxing and delicious lunch. The rest of the day is free to explore Oaxaca on your own.

Overnight: Casa Oaxaca Hotel Boutique


Day 7: Puerto Escondido

This morning you will meet the private transfer from hotel to Oaxaca Airport for your departure flight to Puerto Escondido. Welcome to the coast! We arrive to the airport of picturesque town and your home for the next 2 nights.

Overnight: Hotel Terrestre


Day 8: Puerto Escondido

Enjoy a day at leisure at your wonderful hotel or explore the natural beauty of Puerto Escondido. If you’d like to arrange an activity, speak to a Journey Mexico Travel Planner who can organize everything from stand-up paddleboard lessons and yoga classes to a night-time tour of Manialtepec Lagoon to see its incredible bioluminescent waters.

Overnight: Hotel Terrestre


Day 9: Departure Day

Today we say goodbye to our coastal paradise and catch flights home. If you’d like to extend your trip or alter any of the activities in this Oaxaca vacation, however, speak to a Journey Mexico Travel Planner who can help to organize every last detail for you.


Our trips are fully customized, allowing us to build your itinerary for any time of the year.


Our custom-tailored journeys start from $1,000 USD per day for two travelers. Contact us today to discuss your travel desires and design a personalized proposal with exact pricing.

Please note, our pricing guideline is a starting from price and is not necessarily applicable to the suggested hotels contained within the suggested itineraries on this web site. Itineraries are customized prior to final pricing.