Day 1, February 21st Monday
After arriving in Oaxaca City, our driver will meet you at the airport and take you to our 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 our hotel’s rooftop.
We will then head out for dinner at one of the finest restaurants in the city, Origen. There, we’ll try modern interpretations of Oaxacan cuisine of chef Rodolfo Castellanos—Oaxacan native and winner of the first Top Chef Mexico. For our introduction dinner, we’ll sample his tasting menu and toast to our first of many unforgettable meals together.
Day 2, February 22nd Tuesday
Downtown + Traditional Cleansing Ceremony
This day begins with breakfast at a traditional and popular market stand, La Florecita, for Oaxacan comfort food accompanied with unique regional beverages. We’ll then make our way to see a breath-taking 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, we’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, we’ll walk around the market isles, shopping and tasting as we go.
After lunch, we’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 our 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.
Day 3, February 23rd Wednesday
Today will be all about Oaxacan ingredients, learning about them, and understanding how to use them in your own cooking back at home. Our 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.
We’ll then make our way to a residential market nearby to shop for ingredients for our cooking session. Our 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 our lunch is cooking, we’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. We’ll meet again this evening for a variety of appetizers, which include a memorable suckling pig taco, while we enjoy panoramic views of the city at the terrace of an upscale restaurant, Pitiona.
Day 4, February 24th Thursday
We’ll start our day with outdoor breakfast tucked away in the colonial courtyard of a boutique hotel, La Casona de Tita. Then, we’re off to a mezcal palenque, a distillery, where we’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. We 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 our way back to town, we’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 we 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.
Day 5, February 25th Friday
El Tule & Tlacolula
On our 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, we will kick-off our day with a traditional Oaxacan breakfast at a popular eatery, El Milenario, before visiting El Tule tree. Afterwards, we’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. We’ll spend some time there, exploring and shopping before we make our way to the town of Teotitlán del Valle, renowned for its woven rugs. There, we’ll visit the workshop of a local weaver who will walk us through the process of rug making using traditional techniques and natural dyes.
For lunch, we’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 we meet again for a margarita at the bar of a downtown hotel that’s housed in a former convent. Afterwards, we will return to our hotel for a candlelit tasting of traditional Oaxacan tamales from our favorite local street cart.
Day 6, February 26th Saturday
Zapotec Legacy at Monte Albán
Our 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, we will make our 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, we’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 we meet again for our farewell dinner. We’ll meet again for our 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.
Day 7, February 27th Sunday
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. Our 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.
GG2P always reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!
NOTE -> 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.