Day 1 – Oct 28 – Oaxaca (incl. breakfast)
Arrive at the Oaxaca airport, then check in to the La Noria Hotel (or Casantica or Siglo XVII). Attend a briefing with your tour guide to learn about the age-old traditions surrounding the Day of the Dead. Enjoy a welcome dinner and relax for the evening.
Day 2 – Oct 29 – City tour and parade (incl. breakfast, dinner)
Today starts with an orientation walk of Oaxaca, designated a UNESO World Heritage Site in 1987. We will visit, the central market, the bustling Zocalo(Town Square), and the famous Santo Domingo Church. Lunch today is on your own at one of the many local eateries. This evening enjoy a leisurely dinner at a local restaurant before watching the Day of the Dead masquerade parade in Oaxaca city downtown. People dressed in elaborate costumes of devils or skeletons dance by the main streets of the city.
Day 3 – Oct 30 – Mitla, Teotitlan del Valle, Tule Tree (incl. all meals)
After breakfast, visit Tlacochahuaya, beautiful XVI century church, decorated with hand painted flowers and angels on the walls and ceiling. Mitla, archeological site and “Place of the Dead.” Remarkable architecture and striking grecas still survive from this Mixtec ceremonial center’s construction around 800 A.D. In Teotitlan, see the production of woolen and woven goods, as well as the natural dye techniques used to color them. Then, visit a distillery to learn about and sample Mescal, made from different types of agave. Return to Oaxaca by way of Santa Maria del Tule, location of El Árbol del Tule, the legendary Montezuma cypress. Reportedly over 2,000 years old, this magnificent tree measures 42 meters in diameter.
Day 4 – Oct 31 – Monte Albán, night tour to cemeteries (incl. breakfast, dinner)
In the morning, explore the ruins of Monte Albán, the empire on a hill that endured for over 1200 years. The remains of temples, pyramids, palaces and ball courts reveal a culture advanced in the time of its founding, around 500 B.C. Monte Albán is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the most significant archaeological sites in Mesoamerica. Take the afternoon free and at 7 pm visit the colorful cemeteries of Xoxocotlan and Atzompa.
Day 5 – Nov 1 – Cuisine of Oaxaca (incl. all meals)
This day is dedicated to the flavorful and aromatic cuisine of Oaxaca. After breakfast, visit the Mercado Juarez to learn about the local ingredients and then attend a lesson on the techniques of Oaxacan cooking.
Day 6 – Nov 2 – Oaxaca Arts and Crafts, Guelaguetza
Travel to Ocotlan to explore traditional markets, then continue to Coyotepec to take in the ornate trademark black pottery. Continue to the Tilcajate, a town famous for its “Alebrijes,” wood carvings of mystic figures. Finally, travel to Jalietza, where artisans create lovely and elaborate products of embroidered cloth. Join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner at a local restaurant and indulge in the customary foods of Oaxaca and see the Guelaguetza, traditional, folkloric dancers of Oaxaca.
Day 7 – Nov 3 – Return Flight (incl. breakfast)
Say Adios to Oaxaca with breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the airport.