Oaxaca is a city of pure vibrancy! Where bold colors and enchanting murals burst with life. Where the warmth of the sun is matched by the kindness of its people. By the time you leave you'll be accustomed to sharing a laugh while sipping mezcal and talking endlessly about the incredible food!
The small city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and home to world-renowned chefs who tap into the diverse regional cuisine, and traditional ways of cooking. The city is famous for its many festivals, and spirit of revelry, but when you aren't stumbling upon a dance party in the streets, you'll be entertained by the dynamic culture and vibrant arts! Each of the towns in the valley surrounding the city center have their own artistic traditions ~ we can't wait to introduce you to their stunning handmade, creations.
We design trips a bit differently, as we believe everything must have meaning for the traveler and create a positive impact for the local community.
Oaxaca is a destination where we offer both private travel, and all-inclusive small group trips!
So if you are joining a trip, or we are designing one just for you, you'll be sure to leave with incredible memories and a full heart.
JOIN US IN OAXACA
8 days/ 7 nights
Locally-owned boutique hotel
100% Fully guided tour
English-speaking Trip leader, guides and drivers
All transportation listed above
All entrance fees to ruins, and sites*
All gratuities (guides, drivers, hotels, restaurants)
What's Not Included
Airfare to/from Oaxaca
Meals not listed above
Mandatory Travel insurance
Late night taco tour
*CTC does not require commission on sales from the artisans we will visit (this is common practice in travel & tourism). We compensate the local artisans for their time, and for sharing their knowledge. If you feel inclined to make a purchase, we kindly ask that no haggling take place.
DAY BY DAY INTINERARY
Spend eight days devouring the colors, beauty and rich heritage of the vibrant city of Oaxaca — home to world-renowned culinary experiences, dynamic culture and vibrant arts — while also creating meaningful connections and positive impacts within the local communities. Come with an open mind and empty stomach, and leave with incredible memories and a full heart.
Oh hey there, Oaxaca! We’ve landed.
We’ll scoop you up from the airport and take you to your hotel, the stunning and historic Casa Antonieta. You’ll be amazed at your incredible accommodations, so drop your bags, let it sink in that *this* is your home (!!) for the next week, and then take a few minutes to compose yourself after the happy dance you just did (we do it, too— every. single. time😆).
Then meet up with the rest of the rad travelers in the group, and our superstar trip leader, Mara! Her laid-back, warm vibe will have you feeling like a real Oaxaqueña, as we’ll get to know one another over some tlayuda and tacos at the CTC Welcome Dinner.
Meals Included: Dinner
Roll out of bed and meet us in the lobby with your walking shoes (and maybe some stretchy pants) because our special local food expert is taking your taste buds on a walking tour of the gastronomy for which Oaxaca is world-famous.
We’ll taste two dozen characteristic Oaxacan foods, visit the three major markets, stop at the best street food stalls, sample mole, pre-Hispanic beverages, and all the Oaxacan chocolate for an (ahem) well-rounded education in the beloved cultural traditions that make life here so deliciously rich!
After some free time to explore (or possibly a tortilla-induced siesta), we’ll round off the evening with a cocktail party and Mezcal tasting and you’ll enjoy a full meal with the group at one of the many amazing local restaurants.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today we are up early to get in some nature! But first, breakfast - our traditional breakfast is hosted far outside the city in the home of an indigenous family.
Breakfast is followed by a hike to the unique and beautiful Hierve el Agua. (Fun fact: Hierve el Agua in English means ‘boil the water.’ These natural springs bubble up from the ground and over the cliff, calcifying to give the illusion of a waterfall and inspired the name). Contrary to what the name implies, the pools at Hierve de Agua are quite cool and offer you a refreshing reward for the trek.
Then we'll head to a hands-on workshop to find out about traditional Zapotec weaving hosted by artisan and friend, Josefina, who will also prepare lunch for us in her casa in Teotitlán del Valle.
By now you know the best thing to wash lunch down with is Mezcal, so why not sample it at the source with a tour of a Mezcal Farm? Get the behind-the-scenes look at the process of turning agave into this traditional Oaxaca spirit.
The evening is yours— a perfect time to snag a table for that tasting menu you’ve been reading all about, or head back to your favorite taco stand.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner, Mezcal Tasting
Today is all about giving back to the community and awakening the artist in you!
We're teaming up with Fundacion En Via, an amazing nonprofit that empowers women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses and better support their families, and communities and preserve cultural artisan legacies.
You’ll get to connect with these artisans and businesswomen as they share their stories and showcase their craft.
You’ll have some free time after lunch to check out the sights before we regroup and you'll get a chance to test your artisan skills at a traditional candle-making workshop. Who knows, by the end of the trip, maybe you’ll be inspired to create your own traditional crafts. We sure hope so.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Market Day! Tlacolula Market is one of the oldest continuous mercados in Oaxaca. Get lost in the sounds, bold colors, and aromas as Mara leads you through the rows of stalls with textiles, handwoven baskets, zapatos, and, of course, food. Sample the various fresh produce, baked goods (looking at you, empanadas) and if you have an open mind, try the chapulines (grasshopper 🦗).
The evening is yours and there’s really no shortage of dinner options in the area, but if you’re looking to experience Oaxaca nightlife like a local, meet up with our friend Gerald for a late-night cerveza y taco excursion* to sample the best taquerias in the surrounding neighborhoods and catch a little live music.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
**Taco tour optional at an additional $40 per person
After a relaxed breakfast in the courtyard, you’ll take a dive into the history and legends of the Zapotec and Mixtec with a guided tour of the Monte Alban Archaeological Site, which served as a political center for the Zapotec as early as the 8th century B.C.
You’ll have a few free hours in the afternoon, so relax with your fellow travelers at the hotel rooftop lounge, or check out the Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños.
Dinner comes to us in 5 (yes, FIVE) courses of pescado (fish) and vegetables, all sustainably and locally sourced and prepared in traditional Oaxacan fashion, at the mysterious (and top-rated) Alfonsina.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Tasting menu)
You’ll have this morning open to do your own thing.
The afternoon has us in Etla for class… cooking class, that is! You’ll get to create your own Oaxacan culinary masterpiece and enjoy it with the group for our final dinner together.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
We’ll share one last breakfast before we say our farewells and gracias to each other and this wonderful city.
Meals included: Breakfast
MEET YOUR TRIP LEADER
Local Oaxaca expert, massage therapist, nature-lover and artists
She’s originally from Monterrey, the third-largest city in northern Mexico. Mara left the bustling metropolitan area for the laid-back beauty and traditional Mexican culture of Oaxaca state.
A self-described “slow nomad,” she gradually immerses herself in the different pueblos she lives in and learns and participates in the traditional practices of the indigenous cultures while forging connections and friendships with the different communities.
When she’s not sharing the unique heritage of these communities with travelers, Mara can be found in the mountains, connecting with nature, practicing healthy living through plant-based eating and mind-body connection, and creating her own brilliant art using the ancient technique of yarn painting.
CHECK OUT WHERE YOU'LL BE SLEEPING
We’ll be taking over the locally-owned and absolutely enchanting Casa Antonieta for the entirety of our stay. This historic home boasts luxurious amenities, a tranquil courtyard, and a rooftop bar— a perfect retreat after a long day of exploring Oaxaca.
Within the state of Oaxaca, in a fertile valley with mountains on three sides, lays its Capital -known as Oaxaca de Juárez, Oaxaca City, or simply “Oaxaca”. The vibe is easygoing and unhurried, resembling that of a low-key coastal town, infused with cultural richness, and depth of tradition that flows from every cobbled street.
Oaxaca is a standout for its handmade artistic traditions, passionate festivals and music, and genuinely loving hospitality from locals.
Originally home to native Zapotec and Mixtec communities, followed by Aztec in the 15th century before the Spanish conquest in 1521. Today the layers of history, the wars, and the peace of its inhabitants are interwoven to create the beautiful, bold tapestry of cultural heritage that wraps locals and visitors alike in its welcoming embrace.
CTC joins forces with one of Oaxaca’s own to take you on a journey to experience and connect you to this lively place, its history, and the people that make it so incredibly special.
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
When should I arrive in Oaxaca?
We suggest arriving in the morning or afternoon to have a little time to rest and settle in.
My flight gets in the day before, can I stay at the hotel an extra night?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will check on that for you!
Is airport pick up included?
Yep! We will pick you up from the Oaxaca Airport and bring you to the hotel.
How many travelers are in a group?
Our Oaxaca, Mexico trip is designed for a maximum of 8 guests.