Oaxaca: Mezcal Journey

Celebrate the timeless color and culture of Oaxaca. Savor the freshest mole sauces, the smokiest mezcals.

Oaxaca: Mezcal Journey

The ultimate exploration of culture, cuisine—and mezcal!

November 7 - 13, 2021

Space is limited—reserve your spot today

7 Days, 6 Nights

Oaxaca City, Teotitlan del Valle, San Sebastián Teitipac

Price from

$4,200

per person, based on double occupancy

Speak with an adventure expert

+1 (503) 461-5194

A smoky, charred, slightly floral and earthy flavor hits your lips, then coats your throat. To get to your cup, even as you sit feet away from rows of agave plants, this mezcal took a journey. Its plants—one or more of Oaxaca’s 24 varieties—were chosen specifically by a seasoned palenquero, then got steamed with an in-ground charcoal pit, ground up, fermented, distilled multiple times in traditional clay pots. The process took weeks, but has been perfected through generations. You sip and appreciate the complexity along with some of the region’s most famous small-scale produces, families who’ve been here for generations. You think of the striking dichotomy of age-old rudimentary techniques and modern machinery, the art, culture and food you’ve experienced so far. Right here in your cup is more than mezcal’s journey—it’s Oaxaca itself.

Want to explore the heart and soul of Mexico—and sip the tastiest mezcals along the way? This trip is for you. Get ready to meet artisans whose generations-old techniques define Oaxaca’s vibrant feel. We’ll prep our own farm-to-table lunch and eat the best street foods. We’ll drink mezcal right from the source. This is Mexico like you’ve never imagined.

Travel With Us

The. Best. Food.

Savor the flavors of this iconic food city: rich mole sauces, spiced chocolate, street tacos—even toasted grasshoppers!

Immersive Experiences

Explore colorful food markets and ancient pyramids, meet local artists and weavers, shamans and chefs.

Mezcal Masterclass

Dive deep into mezcal with a fourth-generation mezcalero, meet the people who know who to make it best.

Your Oaxaca Experience

Oaxaca is a gift. Just the light and colors. And obviously the food.

“For everything bad, there's mezcal—and for everything good, as well.” – Local Wisdom

Our expertly curated experiences give you the opportunity to connect with the world’s premier distilleries and learn from the best. Let’s change our perspective and create lasting connections in new places. We’ll travel to the source. Then cheers to it.

Day by Day

Day 1

Bienvenidos a Mexico! We’ll meet up and get oriented with one of Latin America’s great colonial wonders: Oaxaca City. We’ll walk through the cobblestone streets and snack through its central markets, a feast of the senses where tasajo (dried meats) hang, open fires grill delicious tlayudas (toasted tortillas topped with Oaxacan string cheese and grilled meats), and vendors scurry past offering chapulines (roasted grasshoppers) and pastry-like pan de yema stacked in woven baskets. Delicious (even those grasshoppers, we promise).

Oaxaca’s textile museum is our next stop, followed by cocktails at our hotel to toast the start of our adventure. Dinner tonight is an inspired celebration at chef Alejandro Ruiz’s Casa Oaxaca, a World’s 50 Best selection.

Day 1 Highlights

  • City market food tour
  • Welcome cocktails
  • Dinner at Casa Oaxaca
  • Stay at Quinta Real in Oaxaca City

Day 2

Oaxaca’s sense of art is vibrant, ageless—and everywhere. Today we go to its source, artist home-studios in nearby mountain villages. First we’ll drive into the Mixtec Mountains and meet local ceramicists Manuel Reyes and Marisela Gómez. They’ll invite us into their home studio and show how they use local clay and natural fibers to craft their signature figurines. Then the artist couple will sit with us for a home-cooked meal with local mezcal—these are the authentic flavors of Oaxaca, and there’s nothing comparable.

Next we visit Casa de Arte San Agustin. This cavernous former textile factory was converted into an art space and donated to the rural community by the Oaxacan artists and philanthropist Francisco Toledo. Afterwards we return to the city, where the evening is ours to explore Oaxaca’s world-class restaurants, or the taco stands set up along the lit-up zocalo, just a few blocks from our hotel.

Day 2 Highlights

  • Ceramic artists studio visit
  • Home-cooked meal in artist home
  • Visit Casa de Arte San Agustin
  • Stay at Quinta Real in Oaxaca City

Day 3

Today we get the true Oaxacan farm-to-table experience. Our morning is at Rancho 314 (‘Tres Catorce’ to the locals), an urban farm on the edge of the city that supplies the top local restaurants with produce. We’ll break into small groups and take turns making mole, tamales, Oaxacan cheese, and get a hands-on look into the local flavor profiles. For lunch, we savor the al fresco feast and enjoy all the local delicacies we had a hand in preparing.

Back in the city, we’ll have time to relax back at our hotel. In the evening we’ll regroup for a special dinner: a street-food walking tour, to enjoy more of the elevated flavors and vibrant culture of Oaxaca.

Day 3 Highlights

  • Cooking experience at Rancho 314
  • Farm-to-table lunch
  • Street-food walking tour & dinner
  • Stay at Quinta Real in Oaxaca City

Day 4

We begin this epic day at the hilltop ruin of Monte Albán, a vast complex of pyramids, a palace, shrines dating from 500 BC—and easily one of Mesoamerica’s grandest sites. We explore its monumental scale and the intricate carvings of bas relief sculptures, with one of Mexico’s great colonial cities sprawling below us.

Next, we’ll stop for a traditionally cooked lunch in San Martin, feasting on succulent barbecued goat the traditional way—roasted in the ground overnight—and prepared just for us as honored guests. Then we stop in the village of Coyotepec, a Zapotec community with a pottery tradition that goes back more than 2,000 years. We’ll meet the master artisans who use barro negro (black clay) to produce stunning high-sheen pieces decorated with intricate openwork flowers and geometric forms. We end our art-filled day back in Oaxaca, with dinner on our own.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Visit Monte Albán temple complex
  • Traditional lunch
  • Meet Coyotepec potters
  • Stay at Quinta Real in Oaxaca City

Day 5

Today we head back into the mountains, where villages devoted to arts and crafts lurk in valley shadows. We’ll stop at the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, a weaving village with about 5,000 people (and 2,000 looms). We’ll meet a local Zapotec weaving family, who’ll demonstrate their intricate craft using natural fibers for dyes (and even a grounded insect for the bright reds), just as they have for the past 14 generations. A home-cooked Zapotec lunch awaits us, with a chance for us to learn and to prepare local recipes.

In the afternoon, we travel by row after row of agave plants in the mountain valleys, to meet up with a traditional mezcalero. Agave is everywhere here. We’ll learn how these passed-down, timeless techniques turn agave hearts into mezcal, the smoky cousin-spirit of tequila and one of Oaxaca’s famed exports. After a tasting, or two, of the artisanal mezcal on hand, we’ll return to Oaxaca where the night is yours to track down an unforgettable meal, craft beer bars or – porque no? – more mezcal.

Day 5 Highlights

  • Visit Zapotec weaving village
  • Home-cooked meal with Zapotec family
  • Mezcal tastings
  • Stay at Quinta Real in Oaxaca City

Day 6

Today is ours to revitalize the spirits. We’ll meet with a local shaman, who’ll share the secrets of a cleansing ritual that’s been in practice here for thousands of years, using smoked copal to bid farewell to negative energies. We’ll leave feeling electric and magical, and toast the results at our farewell dinner at Rancho Portozuelo, an organic ranch owned by Chef Alejandro Ruiz of Casa Oaxaca. Our dinner is private, our access is deep, and the food and live music unforgettable, capturing the traditions, heritage and true flavors of Oaxaca.

Day 6 Highlights

  • Meet local shaman
  • Private farewell dinner at Rancho Portozuelo
  • Stay at Quinta Real in Oaxaca City

Day 7

All great things come to an end, alas. We’ll have a big farewell breakfast at the hacienda: hot chocolate (not too sweet, not too rich), hand-patted just-made tortillas, huevos rancheros blanketed in a richly flavorful mole. Then we’ll bid farewell to Oaxaca, and pack our things—hopefully including some of our favorite mezcal from our journey—for a short drive back to Oaxaca City for wherever your journey next takes you. Buen viaje!

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfer to airport

Where We Sleep

A peaceful oasis in Oaxaca City in the heart of the historic center—our accommodations are small-scale and boutique, the ideal ways to get acquainted with Oaxaca life.

Quinta Real Oaxaca

Oaxaca City

Off a central side street, a few blocks from the zocalo and central shops and eateries, a street gate opens into a breathtaking oasis that’s our Oaxaca City home. Quinta Real is a boutique hotel with spacious rooms, garden spaces, a swimming pool, and an outdoor patio bar set in an expertly restored 16th-century convent that doubles as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in honor of the four centuries of history preserved in the building’s design.

Questions?

That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below or call +1 (503) 461-5194 to ask us any questions you have. We're here 8am-5pm weekdays, Pacific time.

  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights at boutique four-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.

  3. Where does this trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins and ends at the Quinta Real hotel in Oaxaca, Mexico. The closest airport is the Oaxaca International Airport (OAX). On our final day, Modern Adventure will organize a transfer to OAX airport; your flight home should be scheduled to depart at 1pm or later from here.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens are not required to have a visa for tourist visits to Mexico, but are required to show a valid US passport. It is recommended that your passport is valid for six months after your travels are over. On arrival in the airport, you will be issued a visitor’s permit, known as a FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple). For citizens of other countries, please check with the Mexico Embassy or Consulate for information and requirements.  

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $2,000 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. If you would like us to pair you with a roommate, that option may be available upon checkout—these spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 18 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure trip leader. They're an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before July 10, 2021 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after July 11, 2021, there is a 50% cancellation fee; on or after September 8, 2021 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or cases of the trip being canceled (see our Terms and Conditions for full details).

  9. Do I need Travel Insurance?

    We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance allows you to seek reimbursement for your trip costs; if your trip plans change for unforeseeable reasons, or if you need to get medical help, emergency transport, and for theft, loss or damage of items while traveling. For best coverage, always insure the full trip cost within two weeks of your initial trip deposit and note that most 'Cancel For Any Reason' policies must be purchased on the date of your initial deposit.