As one can imagine, our #MexicoJourney FAM trip is intense; in just 15 days we travel to a handful of destinations in Mexico and have back-to-back activities and hotel site inspections –it can be both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. On our fourth day, the group woke up in Oaxaca ready to take on another fantastic journey getting to know Mexico. Myself, I had visited Oaxaca many times prior so I wasn’t particularly as pumped as the rest, but to my surprise by the end of the day it had turned out to be one of the most enjoyable and exciting days I have ever had while traveling Mexico. From dawn to dusk it was perfectly planned and ideally paced, filled with local culture, meaningful experiences, and of course, fantastic Oaxacan food. I wish I could relive the experience again and again!
Here is our itinerary of our perfect day in Oaxaca:
8:00am Enjoy Breakfast at Casa Oaxaca
Casa Oaxaca, which doubles as a boutique hotel and renowned restaurant, offers a fantastic breakfast menu of fresh and local ingredients. The coffee, which of course comes from Oaxaca, is distinctive and the variety of fruit is refreshing. I recommend the chilaquiles with mole verde, a Oaxacan spin on a classic Mexican dish!
9:00am Brief City Tour of Oaxaca
The Historic Center of Oaxaca is a wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Santo Domingo church and museum, the main plaza, and the Mayordomo Chocolate factory. The city retains its iconic architecture and the buildings representative of a cultural tradition of more than four centuries of art and history. The Historic Center is quite small so a quick walk around to acquaint yourself with the layout and its highlights is a good way to start the morning.
11:00am Tour Monte Alban Archaeological Site
Monte Alban Archaeological Site is the most important archaeological site in Oaxaca. Well-maintained pyramidal structures, temples, and ball courts tell a fascinating story of 1,500 years ago and the succession of peoples – Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs — who once inhabited the high plateau.
1:00pm Visit Indigenous Family in Teotitlan del Valle
Teotitlan del Valle is an indigenous (Zapotec) weaving town which is known particularly for it’s colorful, hand-woven rugs. The tour, which is only offered to a very limited amount of people, allows the opportunity to enter the personal home of the Ruiz Family to get to know them, their work, and lifestyle outside of modern-day Mexico. The experience, which starts with a moving blessing from Mother Ruiz who only speaks Zapotec, involves strict protocols and customs. After being formally and traditionally acquainted with handshaking and offering of a candle, the Ruizs’ demonstrate how they still use century-old techniques to make their textiles. The family also graciously invites you for lunch for a home-made cooked meal. Caution: This experience may bring you to joyful, emotional tears!
4:00pm Shopping in Market and Wandering the City
Oaxaca is the type of city you must experience by just wandering around, whether it’s people watching in the main plaza, buying a raspado (shaved ice) from a street vendor, or getting your shoes shined by one of friendly locals! Having nothing on the adgenda and being able to do as you please helps to understand the real essence of Oaxaca. A wander around the markets, Benito Juarez and 20 de Novimebre, are also extremely immersful experiences where you can find quite a lot of great buys!
8:00pm Dinner at Casa Crespo
End the day with some chocolate sampling, mezcal tasting, Mexican artisan beer sipping, and authentic Oaxaca food on the tree-lined, pedestrian friendly block of Allende Street overlooking the Santo Domigo Church. Having dinner here it is easy to see how Chef Oscar has a particular talent when combining the most ordinary ingredients to create memorable dishes.
This post is part of our #MexicoJourney trip through Southern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, to read more click here. You can follow along in real-time Aug 29-Sept 13 via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with hashtag #MexicoJourney.