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This listing has one of the 10 most popular offers available in Mexico
Three hundred miles southeast of Mexico City lies the enchanting city of Oaxaca (pronounced “wa-ha-ka”). Sitting in a verdant valley with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, this area has been prized since 500 BC. To this day, the state of Oaxaca (of which Oaxaca city is the capital) is the most ethnically diverse state in Mexico, home to 16 of the country’s 56 indigenous groups. Oaxaca’s ethnic diversity is the foundation for its rich culinary and cultural traditions. Oaxaca must be taken in slowly and attentively to understand and appreciate its many layers. During this luxury women’s trip, you will venture into the heart of Oaxacan culture in a way only locals know how.
During the culinary trip, you will stay at Hotel Azul de Oaxaca.
All Girls Guide to Paris' trips are organized and priced based on single occupancy at all the places you stay. If you’re traveling with a friend / relative, or would prefer to save some money by sharing a room, they can usually organize double occupancy and a reduction in cost. Savings can be had if you choose to room with an old or new friend. Please inquire.
After arriving in Oaxaca City, a driver will meet you at the airport and take you to a lovely and serene boutique hotel, Azul Oaxaca, located in the downtown area of the city. Take some time to settle before we meet for a welcome drink at the hotel’s rooftop.
You will then head out for dinner at one of the finest restaurants in the city, Origen. There, you’ll try modern interpretations of Oaxacan cuisine of chef Rodolfo Castellanos—Oaxacan native and winner of the first Top Chef Mexico. For your introduction dinner, you’ll sample his tasting menu and toast to our first of many unforgettable meals together.
This day begins with breakfast at a traditional and popular market stand, La Florecita, for Oaxacan comfort food accompanied with unique regional beverages. You’ll then make your way to see a breathtaking example of baroque architecture: the Santo Domingo Church. After that, there will be a choice to visit either the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures, housed in the Santo Domingo Ex-Convent, or the Botanical Gardens.
For lunch, you’ll head to one of Oaxaca’s most important markets: The Benito Juárez market, to sample a variety of local grilled meats at the smoke hall. But before that, you’ll walk around the market isles, shopping and tasting as you go.
After lunch, you’ll drive a bit out of town for a cleansing experience at a traditional temazcal, Ceviarem. A temazcal is a mild sweat lodge meant for cleansing your body and spirit. The tradition originated in pre-Hispanic times and it is still widely used today all over Mexico. The rest of the day and evening will be yours to explore the city’s rich culinary landscape at your own pace. If you’re still hungry, that is.
Today will be all about Oaxacan ingredients, learning about them, and understanding how to use them in your own cooking back at home. Your day will start with breakfast at a popular eatery that specializes in all things corn, Itanoní, including refreshing beverages, which they make using heirloom varieties.
You'll then make your way to a residential market nearby to shop for ingredients for the cooking session. Your culinary workshop will be led by two-time James Beard Award nominee chef Iliana de la Vega at an open-air kitchen in the home of a local artist.
While your lunch is cooking, you’ll also learn how to make traditional Oaxacan cheeses guided by Rosa María, a local woman who comes from a family of cheesemakers.
After lunch, you’ll have the afternoon to rest or enjoy the city on your own. You’ll meet again this evening for a variety of appetizers, which include a memorable suckling pig taco, while you enjoy panoramic views of the city at the terrace of an upscale restaurant, Pitiona.
You’ll start your day with an outdoor breakfast tucked away in the colonial courtyard of a boutique hotel, La Casona de Tita. Then, you’re off to a mezcal palenque, a distillery, where you’ll trace the history and tradition of mezcal making—meeting local producers, touring an agave nursery, and exploring the palenque that produces small-batch, artisanal mezcal.
You will of course be sampling the spirit, with a tasting guided by local experts. If you enjoy this smoky beverage, you’ll have the chance to buy it directly from the producers.
On your way back to town, you’ll stop for lunch at the Ocotlán market, where handmade quesadillas, memelas, and more abound. Back in Oaxaca, take some time to rest or explore the city on your own before you reconvene later in the evening to sample a true Oaxacan street food: tlayudas at El Negro. A tlayuda is a 12” round semi-crispy tortilla with various toppings or fillings.
On your way to the Sunday open-air market of Tlacolula is the town of Santa María del Tule, home to the widest tree on earth. There, you will kick off your day with a traditional Oaxacan breakfast at a popular eatery, El Milenario, before visiting El Tule tree.
Afterward, you’ll drive to the village of Tlacolula where all kinds of vendors from all over Oaxaca come to sell everything from live turkeys and fresh produce to fabrics. You’ll spend some time there, exploring and shopping before you make your way to the town of Teotitlán del Valle, renowned for its woven rugs.
There, you’ll visit the workshop of a local weaver who will walk you through the process of rug making using traditional techniques and natural dyes.
For lunch, you’ll enjoy a traditional Zapotec feast at the private home of a wonderful local cook, Reyna Mendoza. Once back in the city, enjoy some time to rest before you meet again for a margarita at the bar of a downtown hotel that’s housed in a former convent. Afterward, you will return to the hotel for a candlelit tasting of traditional Oaxacan tamales from a favorite local street cart.
Your last day will begin with an outdoor breakfast at the terrace of La Olla restaurant, which offers lovely views of the city accompanied by a delicious meal. Then, you will make your way to visit the largest and most important archaeological site of Oaxaca: Monte Albán, where a local expert guide will explain the legacy and history of the Zapotec site.
Then, you’ll return to the city for a lunch of traditional food from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec—a completely different cuisine from one of the eight regions of Oaxaca—at the private home of a local woman cook known in town as “La Teca.”
After lunch, you’ll have some time to relax or enjoy your last day in Oaxaca on your own before you meet again for the farewell dinner. You’ll meet again for your final dinner at the gorgeous modern space of two incredible and world-renowned chefs who are putting their minds together to create new flavors using traditional Oaxacan ingredients.
After a week of exploring and eating your way through Oaxaca, it’s time to head back home with a head full of memories and perhaps a couple of bottles of mezcal. A driver will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the airport. You may depart early in the morning or enjoy breakfast at the hotel beforehand.
This culinary holiday takes place in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Awaken your tastebuds by trying Tlayudas, memelitas, countless types of moles, carnitas, Corn Fungus, Tetelas, Enfrijoladas, Tamalas Oaxqueños, Entomatadas, Chapulines and more!
Unlike Mexico City, Oaxaca is small and its Centro consists of perfectly preserved colonial buildings which alternate between ocre, pink, terra cotta, salmon, and turquoise. The weather at this time is picture-perfect, every day – highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s at night.
You will dine in this historic city at both high-end restaurants and off-the-beaten-path street stands to experience both the regional specialties as well as more modern chef interpretations pulling from all the various pre-Hispanic influences.
During the culinary adventure, you will also visit some of the smaller surrounding towns for an up-close look at traditions untainted by modernity. Because Girls Guide to Paris want to make sure you experience the food, beverages, and ingredients as up close as possible, you will visit a mezcal palenque to learn in detail about the spirit, and explore several markets, tasting as you go, getting to know the spices, chiles, and everything you might care to learn.
One of this women-only luxury trip highlights will be choosing ingredients as a group for a cooking lesson led by twice James Beard Award-nominated Chef Iliana de la Vega.
Discard your preconceived notions of Mexican food. The culinary traditions on display in Oaxaca bear no resemblance to what passes as Mexican food in most of the US. Let’s start with mole; in the US a singular dark, chocolate-infused sauce that’s often a little bitter. In Oaxaca, you’ll find variations such as – negro (the only one you’ve probably heard of), rojo, chichilo, amarillo, verde, coloradito, and manchamanteles – but each variation is as nuanced as the great-grandmother whose secret recipe is passed down through the generations.
But nothing is more nuanced than Mezcal. Made from a dozen different agave species, and 52 more sub-species, Mezcal is emblematic of Oaxaca’s diversity. (Mezcal’s popular cousin, Tequila, is made from a single Agave species – Weber blue). Mezcal is at the heart and soul of Oaxaca, to be sipped and celebrated with friends.
Xoxocotlán International Airport
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