Christmas In Oaxaca

Indigenous cultures, holiday pageantry and hands-on fun with puppetry and crafts
Overview

overview

JOURNEYS' Christmas holiday trip in Oaxaca (Wa-HA-kuh) offers more color and hands-on fun than anywhere else in the Americas.

This trip explores charming Oaxaca City in the heart of the high valley.  The over-the-top pageantry of December 24 features parades of giant papier-mache heads and competitions between artists who create sculptures from 7-pound radishes. This day alone would make the trip worthwhile, but you'll enjoy one delight after another from the moment of arrival. Sample Oaxaca's exotic fruit popsicles in flavors ranging from lime to tamarind to jamaica (ha-MY-ca). Learn from weavers and woodcarvers and try your own hand at painting those whimsical wooden animals that Mexicans call alebrijas (ah-lay-BREE-has). Visit the local markets and learn from a Mexican chef how to cook tortillas, tamales, and Mexican hot chocolate. Explore Monte Alban, the first urban center of ancient Mesoamerica. After a few days in now familar Oaxaca, sit at the Zocalo, listen to the marimba players, and soak up the festive atmosphere.

 

 

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Oaxaca City
    Welcome to Oaxaca

    Upon arrival you'll bemet at the airport and transferred to your centrally-located, colonial style hotel in Oaxaca City.  Enjoy a welcome dinner at a favorite Qaxaca locale!

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Hotel Vertiz or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Mitla/Tlacolula/Teotitlan del Valle

    Today is market day in Tlacolula! In addition to visiting this bustling, colorful weekly market located in the Eastern Valley, you will explore the ancient site Mitla, the post classic Zapotec and Mixtec site dedicated to the dead. See the finely carved stone frets in various designs and configurations that express the Zapotec cosmology. Following your visit to this most unique site, you travel to the weaving and dyeing community of Teotitlan del Valle. A full day is dedicated in order for us to spend quality time with some of the weavers (our friends) to better understand their natural dye materials and processes, as well as their master weaving techniques. For lunch we will eat some delicious "tlayudas" and quesadillas, so famous in Oaxaca! Take a walking tour of the town, including the church, local museum and other points of interest. You will certainly spot many beautiful tapestries you will want to take home.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Vertiz or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Oaxaca City Tour

    After breakfast, enjoy a guided walking tour to introduce you to this UNESCO Cultural Heritage City, dating back to the 1530's. Highlights of the tour include the bustling Benito Juarez Market, the lively central Zocalo, the lovely pedestrian street, Garcia Virgil, the Santo Domingo Church and the Botanical Gardens. Our "comida" is at the famed Marco Polo restaurant, known for its fresh wood fired fish which is brought in daily.  After lunch, you are free to continue ambling, shopping and people watching from the Zocalo.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Vertiz or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Oaxaca Cooking/Radish Carving
    Witness remarkably carved radishes

    A special treat is in store today, as we will be led in a wonderful cooking class to learn about Oaxaca's regional specialties, such as mole, squash blossoms, tamales and more. Our morning begins with savoring delicious high altitude coffee known as Pluma Hidalgo, from the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range. From here, we walk to the local market, to buy our ingredients for our multiple course meal. After enjoying the fruits of our labor, we venture to the Zocalo to witness the most amazing radish carving contest in the world. Since 1897, local Oaxaca merchants and artisans have carved radishes as an early form of advertising for thier produce stands. Themes such as daily life, political characters, and nativity scenes are depicted in radish art.  Maybe you can pick the winner!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Vertiz or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Monte Alban/Noche Buena
    Explore Oaxaca Valley

    Today is dedicated to exploring the first urban city of Mesoamerica, Monte Alban. Great civilizations emerged and thrived in this region, with the Zapotec among the first cultural groups to develop. They went beyond being nomadic hunters and gatherers and began to develop complex systems of religion, politics, and commercial activity.
    Enjoy exploring, climbing, and observing the wonders of these ancient ruins. After you’ve immersed yourself in this early world, return to present day life and refresh yourself in the on-site cafeteria,museum, and bookstore. From here, return to the now familiar Zocalo to watch the Calenda Parade, and join the locals to celebrate Buena Noche, the Night before Christmas.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Hotel Vertiz or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Oaxaca Museums

    Our last day in Oaxaca is left open for us to continue as a group or independently to explore many of Oaxaca’s museums, including The Textile Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Galleries, Coops, Café’s, Bookstores and colorful dynamic markets. Or, simply sit at the Zocalo and watch people as they amble by, or listen to the marimba players. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Hotel Vertiz or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Ocotlan Market and Craft Route
    Relax with the locals

    Today we explore the Southern Valley, known as the "Craft Route", where you first visit Ocotlan, the town that Oaxacan Painter, Rodolfo Morales came from and has left his legacy. Then visit the Rodolfo Morales Museum housed in a lovingly restored Dominican Convent. Further along the Southern Craft route, visit numerous artisan communities, including Jalieza, where cotton belts and bags and table runners are woven on backstrap looms; Tilcajete, to see the unique alebrije wood carveings; and to Coyotepec, famous for its black pottery, produced by firing in oxygen reduced kilns. This evening, enjoy a fabulous Farewell Dinner together with chef Alejandro Ruiz and Casa Oaxaca!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Hotel Vertiz or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Departure

    After breakfast, you will be transfered to the airport in time for your flight home.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Dec 20-27, 2014
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$2,995
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in JOURNEYS' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$300
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
3
delightful & superior hotels
Group Size:
2-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
delightful & superior hotels

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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