Oaxaca & La Guelaguetza – Mondays on the Hill



Days: 6


Explore Oaxaca’s indigenous heritage with a vibrant vacation centered around Guelaguetza Festival, also known as Los Lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill).

Spend six days exploring Oaxaca’s colorful culture, starting with a privately guided exploration of the city itself. After, dive into the ancient world with a visit to Monte Alban, the former home of the Olmecs, Zapotecs, and Mixtecs.

Then, the Guelaguetza celebrations begin. Start by watching the jubilant pre-festival parade, in which the seven regions of Oaxaca introduce themselves to the city. Following that, head to the festival itself to watch its stunning, traditional dance performances.

With the help of an expert guide, learn all about the traditions and culture of Oaxaca’s indigenous people, gaining an insight into this spectacular region that very few tourists enjoy.


Oaxaca City – Explore the fascinating mixture of colonial Spanish and indigenous influences found in Oaxaca.

Pre-Guelaguetza celebrations – Witness the vibrant parade and feel the buzz of anticipation as Oaxaca gears up for Guelaguetza Festival.

La Guelaguetza Festival – Experience one of the most spectacular cultural events in Oaxaca – a beautiful festival in which various Oaxacan communities come together and celebrate the diversity of their traditions and cultures.

Monte Alban – Visit this majestic and important archeological site in the Valley of Oaxaca, which has been home to three different indigenous civilizations.

Day 1: Arrival to Oaxaca

Arriving in Oaxaca, enjoy a private transfer to a charming hotel near the city center –home for the rest of the vacation.

Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca


Day 2: Privately guided Oaxaca city tour

On this first full day, embark on an orientation of Oaxaca with a privately guided tour to its most iconic buildings. Walk its cobbled streets, see its vibrant squares, and admire its colonial structures and numerous churches.

Head through the central plaza (the Zócalo) to the largest central market in Oaxaca to learn about Oaxaca’s rich artisanal traditions. Then sample delicious and unique foods such as Oaxacan cheese and cooked grasshoppers (chapulines). Next, head to traditional chocolate mills to see how they produce this indigenous treat and taste some of Oaxaca’s specialty chocolates.

Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca


Day 3: Privately guided Monte Alban tour and pre-Guelaguetza parade

Visit the stunning archeological ruins of Monte Alban, the most important archaeological site in the Valley of Oaxaca, and one of the most compelling in Mexico. This ancient site was inhabited over 1,500 years by a variety of people and cultures, including the Olmecs, Zapotecs, and Mixtecs, creating a unique history.

In the evening, head to the streets to watch a colorful and jubilant parade, which traditionally takes place before the Guelaguetza Festival. This energetic ceremony brings together dance groups from the seven regions of the state of Oaxaca. They use the procession as a way to introduce themselves to the city – dancing in vivid outfits through the city led by their regional brass bands blasting traditional songs. Fireworks light up the night sky, bringing even more energy to this amazing evening.

Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca


Day 4: Mitla, Yagul, and Tlacolula de Matamoros privately guided tour

Dive deeper into Oaxacan culture with an educational day uncovering its ancient ruins and surviving traditions. Start by exploring Zapotec and Mixtec traditions at Mitla and Yagul archeological sites.

After, head to the city of Tlacolula de Matamoros, known for its artisans, regional food, and “tianguis” street market. With an expert guide taking the lead, explore the Tlacolula Market, which is known to be one of the most extensive and colorful in all Oaxaca. Experience the smells, tastes, colors, and textures of this unique shopping venue and watch the locals peruse the market stalls searching for treats and deals.

Back in the city, join an expert guide for an evening stroll around the city to enjoy the Sunday celebrations, public events, and cultural displays.

Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca


Day 5: Guelaguetza Festival & Zaachila

At 5am, traditional flutes announce the start of the day and locals start to walk up to the auditorium on top of the hill. At 10am, the grand dance performance of Guelaguetza begins!

A spectacular cultural event, Guelaguetza Festival, is a famous celebration held each July that takes place on two consecutive Mondays.

It is a unique cultural event dating back hundreds of years, in which representatives from the many communities of Oaxaca come together and celebrate the diversity of their traditions and cultures. Members of these groups gather, wearing their traditional clothing, and perform regional folk dances.

At noon, the dance performances come to an end, but the adventure continues. Depart for the archeological site of Zaachila, stopping for a delicious lunch along the way.

One of the last strongholds of the Zapotec people and named after Zaachila Yoo, the 14th/15th-century Zapotec leader, learn all about this once powerful Mesoamerican city.

Also explore a local community rich with tradition, life, and color as they prepare for local festivities taking place in these more remote communities.

Overnight: Hotel Quinta Real Oaxaca


Day 6: Departure Day

On this final day, enjoy a private transfer from Hotel Quinta Real to Oaxaca International Airport for departure flights home.


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.