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Mexico Women's Luxury Culinary Vacation

Oaxaca is the culinary capital of Mexico. Here you will not only find seven moles, but you'll also discover how they make mezcal and why it is so important to the local people. On this trip, you will explore the culture by tasting and learning about the food; from street food to Michelin star meals, you will experience it all!

Meet the instructors

Doni
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Highlights

  • Enjoy mezcal visits and tastings
  • Visit museums, Monte Alban, and markets
  • Learn from a market visit and cooking class
  • All meals including beer, wine, or mezcal to accompany your food are included
  • Experience a unique Temazcal ceremonial experience
  • Stay at a boutique hotel in downtown Oaxaca
  • Receive a welcome gift and welcome drinks
  • 6 nights accommodation

Styles


6 days with instruction
Group size: 8-12 participants
Airport transfer included: Xoxocotlán International Airport
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Accommodation

During the culinary trip, you will stay at Pug Seal Oaxaca, an artistic four-star boutique hotel right in the center of the historic city. All Girls Guide to Paris' trips is 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 done if you choose to room with an old or new friend. For more information, please send an inquiry.

Program

  • Learn all about how Mezcal is made and enjoy a tasting, or three
  • Savor a cocktail and comeda cruise around central Oaxaca
  • Take a cooking class with a chef using market-fresh ingredients
  • Stay at a calm artistic hotel in central Oaxaca
  • Visit Monte Albán, the ancient Zapotec city which dates back to 500 BC
  • Sample the creativity of a list of the who’s who of Oaxacan Chefs, each trying to outdo one another in delectability
  • Shop for the most beautiful yet affordable handmade pottery and textiles you’ve ever seen
  • Stroll through one of the largest and most impressive markets in Mexico
  • Explore the Santo Domingo Church built in 1575, with its gold and superb statuary
  • Cleanse and detox your body at a traditional ceremonial temazcal, dating back thousands of years
  • Buy a handmade rug in Teotitlán del Valle, where they’ve been weaving for 1000 plus years

Day 1: February 21, 2022 - Monday

Arrive in Oaxaca City, the hotel’s shuttle bus will meet you at the airport and take you to your gorgeous, artsy boutique hotel, conveniently located in the historic downtown area, Pug Seal Oaxaca. Optional jet lag massage available upon request. You’ll have time to unpack and refresh before you meet for a welcome drink at the hotel.

After a moment of getting to know one another, walk over to Pitonia which boasts the most stunning view of Oaxaca’s 16th-century cathedral as well as superb drinks and comida. Rest will come easy tonight.

Day 2: February 22, 2022 - Tuesday

After breakfast at the hotel, head over to tour the Cathedral Santo Domingo, whose construction began in 1585, and following that, tour the cathedral’s museum which is an absolute treasure. By this time, you’ll be getting hungry so you’ll settle in right across the street on the roof of Casa Oaxaca, one of the favorite restaurants in town. The homemade salsa made at the table is one of the best you’ll ever taste.

After your satisfying lunch, have some free time to explore and shop in the downtown area. The shopping here is magnificent. GG2P will provide you with a guide of their favorite shops, and there are many. The prices are even better. Be sure to bring an extra bag to carry home all the treasures you’ll find on this trip.

Tonight you’ll have a sunset cocktail and tasting tour around town. Rest up and get ready, this craft cocktail and comics crawl will be a whole lot of fun!

Day 3: February 23, 2022 - Wednesday

For breakfast, head next door for your breakfast at one of the personal favorites, Boulenc, a panaderia (baker) that produces the best French pastries in town. After filling your tummies, you’ll be launching outside the city for a comprehensive tour to learn all about the making of artisanal Mezcal. Even if you have told yourself you don’t like Mezcal, this experience will change your mind. The guide is one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject in Mexico and he is also a producer.

After your excursion, stop in the famous market town of Tlacolula where today, it will be a much less crowded day than on their big Sunday market day which can be overwhelming. Here, sample some of the best grilled Mexican street food you’ll find on the entire planet. Late this afternoon back in town, you might want to explore the galleries of Oaxaca or stop into the Museum of Textiles. After a filling meat-heavy late lunch, dinner tonight is vegetable-centric at Calabacitas Tiernas for something a little healthy and satisfying.

  • Optional trip for those interested, head out to a nearby village that makes handmade rugs. They’ve been creating and hand weaving rugs in this town for nearly 1000 years, stop into several places but the women’s cooperative is the favorite.

Day 4: February 24, 2022 - Thursday

Today, enjoy a proper Mexican breakfast at Floricita in a small nearby market. Here, you will want to try their delicious hot chocolate and for the adventurous, taste some chapulinas (grasshoppers). Actually, they are quite good and provide some extra protein on your morning tortilla.

Next, you'll have the pleasure of taking a tour of the famed Botanical garden in town which is laid out on the former grounds of the monastery of the Santo Domingo Church. The garden is well known for its cactus wall made of organ pipe cactus as well as many varietals of cacti throughout the largely indigenous garden.

After your day of Mezcal yesterday, this afternoon is devoted to cleansing. Following a short drive out of town, enter a pequeño paraíso (little paradise) called the Ceviarem Temazcal, which is situated inside the compound of a charming home owned by a lovely couple, the shaman is the man of the house who has learned his craft by having it passed down for many generations.

The shaman will carefully lead you and explain everything you will be doing. Don’t fret, it’s not as hot as a sauna or a native American sweat lodge. There are herbs on hand to wash away and cleanse your body and spirit and believe it or not, mezcal even plays a part. There is also a cool tub so you won’t ever feel too overheated. It's a beautiful and rewarding experience and completely authentic. You’ll come out refreshed and relaxed.

After the cleansing, venture further up into the mountains where you’ll find a small restaurant with a lovely view known for its homemade soups and tortillas. Back in town, you’ll likely want to rest and relax. Later on tonight, for those who wish, come to join some classic Tyaludas. This is the quintessential homey feel-good food of Oaxaca.

It's basically a huge tortilla, painted with fat and a dollop of creamy beans, then topped with a lot of Oaxacan string cheese and vegetables like lettuce, avocado, and tomato, and then grilled to perfection on a comal (a flat griddle). One can add any type of meat or protein available and order it flat (open face) or folded like a quesadilla.

Day 5: February 25, 2022 - Friday

Today, delve deep into the richness of Oaxacan cuisine and its classic ingredients. The state of Oaxaca may be one of the poorer ones in Mexico, but it’s rich in heritage owing to the variety of indigenous peoples that hail from this area. In the morning, meet the chef in one of the incredible markets which Oaxaca is known for. Here, explore the market like a local and pick up all the ingredients you need to prepare the dishes during your cooking class today.

After the big shop, head back into the kitchen for instruction and hands-on cooking. Soon, you’ll discover why Oaxaca is famous all over the world and is considered to have the very best food in all of Mexico. After your labors, feast on what you’ve prepared with some local beer, of course.

Use your afternoon for rest, shopping, or hitting up the modern art museum, MACO, situated in a gorgeous old colonial building in Oaxaca’s historical district, or join an optional tour to a nearby town famous for its handmade pottery. After buying up everything (the prices are crazily affordable), you can make a pitstop up in hills above Oaxaca for more refined artisanal pottery. The designs and colors are heavenly.

Tonight, venture back up into the hills but into a tiny town called San Andrés de Huayapam for a magnificent meal at Luz de Luna.

Day 6: February 26, 2022 - Saturday

On your final day, rise early to head out for a tour of Monte Alban, a pre-Columbian settlement that was the center for the Zapotecs for about 1000 years from 500 BC to 500 AD. The guide will help explain the pyramids and the significance of this important culture, still strong in Oaxaca today. A stop in the small shop is not to be missed, their jewelry based on ancient archeological finds is worthy of a look.

Today’s lunch is an exciting one. A trip to Alfonsina is more of a pilgrimage than a lunch stop. Voted the best restaurant of the year by New Worlder Magazine several years back, you’d never know it by the humble look of the place.

Chef Jorge León began his journey back home by working first at Casa Oaxaca and then Pujol (voted the best restaurant in the world several years ago in Mexico City), and now, he is at his happiest in his family compound working outdoors and creating whatever he wants for his small cadre of a diner. You will be guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face. This afternoon, take a nap, do some last-minute shopping or read a novel.

The farewell dinner together will be a much-needed change of pace. Kintaro is the only really excellent Japanese restaurant that they found during their long stay in Oaxaca in 2020/2021. It has a gorgeous courtyard and superb cocktails. Drink together and toast to the delicious week together with many discoveries and friendships made that you will surely relish forever.

Day 7: February 27, 2022 - Sunday

Departure day, you will be transferred to the airport.

Included excursions

  • Snap pictures at the widest tree and one of the oldest on earth
  • Visit Monte Albán, the ancient Zapotec metropolis dating back to 500 BC
  • Shop ‘til you drop for the most beautiful pottery and textiles you’ve ever seen
  • Stroll through one of the largest and most impressive markets in Mexico at Tlacolula
  • Explore the Santo Domingo Church built in 1575, dripping in gold and superb statuary
  • Discover Teotitlán del Valle, the headquarters for rugs weavers for 1000s years
  • Cleanse and detox your body at a traditional ceremonial temazcal dating back thousands of years

Instructors

Doni Belau

Location

300 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 500BC. 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 your seven-day, six-night, luxury women’s trip, you will venture into the heart of Oaxacan culture in a way only locals know how to.

Unlike Mexico City, Oaxaca is small and easily walkable, its central historic district is made up of perfectly preserved colonial buildings, boasting beautiful pastel colors in ochre, pink, terra cotta, salmon, and turquoise. The weather in February is picture-perfect every day with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s at night.

Food

Discard your preconceived notions of Mexican food. The culinary traditions on offer in Oaxaca bear no resemblance to what passes as Mexican food in most of the US. Mole is the cornerstone of Oaxacan cuisine but then there’s Tlayudas, memelitas, carnitas, tetelas, enfrijoladas, plus an endless list of homemade food you’ve not yet tried but which will make your heart sing. Mezcal is at the heart and soul of Oaxaca and you’ll come away as a lover and a mini-expert.

You will dine in this historic city and in the hills above as well as the outskirts at both high-end restaurants and off-the-beaten-path street stands to experience both myriads of wealth that this culture possesses seen and experiences so clearly through its food. Not to worry, vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.

Awaken your tastebuds by trying Tlayudas, memelitas, countless types of moles, carnitas, Corn Fungus, Tetelas, Enfrijoladas, Tamalas Oaxqueños, Entomatadas, Chapulines, and more!

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 wants 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 the 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.

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.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Alcoholic beverages

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Entrances to museums, Monte Alban, as well as costs of all activities mentioned
  • All market visits and mezcal visits and tastings
  • A unique Temazcal ceremonial experience
  • A cooking class and a Mezcal exploration
  • All meals including beer, wine, or mezcal (when specified) to accompany your food
  • Welcome drinks
  • 6 nights accommodation at a boutique hotel in downtown Oaxaca
  • All ground transportation including airport transfers
  • Welcome gift

What's not included

  • International airfare
  • Souvenirs
  • Massages or additional spa treatments
  • Trip insurance
  • Medical travel insurance (required for anyone over 50 years old)
  • 1 dinner on Day 2

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Xoxocotlán International Airport Airport transfer included: Xoxocotlán International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.
7 days / 6 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 8 participants

Availability

Arrival: Monday February 21, 2022
Departure: Sunday February 27, 2022

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