YPO Bay Area Gold: Oaxaca Retreat

Celebrate the art, culture and cuisine of Oaxaca. Meet the people that make this place magic. Relax and recharge in our tranquil Oaxaca City retreat.

Oaxaca Heart & Soul

Experience the region’s best food, Oaxaca City and its countryside villages

September 23 - 26, 2021

4 Days, 3 Nights

Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca City, Teotitlan del Valle

$2,500

The Chapter is covering 100% of member costs (excluding your airfare). If you’d like your partner/spouse to join you, please book them on this website.

“This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” It’s a phrase you’ve said more than once today, let alone this week. You’re eating your way through a bustling market, sampling everything you can get your hands on. Seared meats a la plancha send smoke into the air, baskets brim with fresh produce, mole powders, flowers, and coffee beans. You crunch into sweet and aromatic nixtamalized corn elote like you can’t get anywhere else. How can such deceptively simple ingredients yield such intoxicating flavors? You’re in Oaxaca – packed with culture, traditions, and more flavors than you can imagine.

If you travel to stimulate all of your senses, our Chapter retreat in Oaxaca is an experience you’ll be talking about for years to come. Wander colorful markets and prepare a farm-to-table feast, taste incredible street food from moles to tlayudas, then wash it all down with the finest hand-crafted mezcals. All the while, connect with local chefs and artists, traditional mezcaleros and sculptors, and experience Oaxaca like a true insider. This is YPO Bay Area Gold’s Oaxaca.

Our Oaxaca Chapter Retreat

Discovery

From humble street stalls to award-winning kitchens, savor the freshest mole sauces, the smokiest mezcals

Community

Reset your emotional spirit, and connect with YPO Bay Area Gold Chapter members and like-minded cultural explorers

Access

We'll meet traditional mezcaleros and sculptors, dine at local artists' homes, and experience Oaxaca like a true insider

“Oaxaca is a gift. Just the light and colors. And obviously—the food.” -Anthony Bourdain

“For everything bad, there's mezcal. And for everything good, as well.” -Local Wisdom

Our Oaxaca Chapter retreat is designed to broaden horizons, expand exploration and, perhaps most important, create opportunities for YPO Bay Area Gold members to connect, and to create lifelong memories and friendships.

YPO Bay Area Gold Chapter Retreat

Culture & Cuisine

Bienvenidos a Oaxaca, where we’ll meet local chefs and craftspeople, eat at award-winning kitchens and explore the cobblestone streets of its gracious historic center. We’ll dive right in at Oaxaca’s central markets, a feast of the senses where tasajo (dried meats) hang, open fires grill delicious tlayudas (toasted tortillas topped with 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).

Other culinary highlights include a delicious dinner together at Chef Alejandro Ruiz’s Casa Oaxaca, a World’s 50 Best selection; and our farm-to-table experience at Rancho 314 (‘Tres Catorce’ to the locals), an urban farm on the edge of the city that supplies the top local restaurants. We’ll break into small groups and take turns making mole and tamales, and get a hands-on look into the local flavor profiles. For diner this night, we savor the al fresco feast and enjoy all the local delicacies we had a hand in preparing.

Art & Design

Oaxaca’s sense of art is vibrant, ageless—and everywhere. We go to its source at artist home-studios in nearby mountain villages. First we’ll drive into the Mixtec mountains and meet local, internationally renown ceramicists who’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.

Mezcal Heritage

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 steamed buried deep in an in-ground charcoal pit, ground up, fermented, and distilled multiple times in traditional clay pots. The process took weeks, but has been perfected through generations.

We’ll venture outside the city, traveling by row after row of agave plants in the mountain valleys, to meet up with a traditional mezcalero. We’ll learn how passed-down, timeless techniques turn agave hearts into mezcal, the smoky cousin-spirit of tequila and one of Oaxaca’s famed exports.

Chapter Fiesta

On our last night together, we’ll meet up for a celebration to remember: an epic farewell dinner to celebrate under the stars. Our dinner is private, our access is deep, and the food and live music unforgettable, capturing the traditions, heritage and true flavors of Oaxaca. This will be a night to remember!

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 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 reach out to your Chapter Officers if you have any questions about our Chapter retreat.

  1. Do Chapter members need to book?

    As long as you have confirmed with Masie, there is no need to book for yourself. The Chapter is paying for 100% of our members' costs including accommodations, meals and cultural programming, including one-of-a-kind private tours with local guides and cultural experts, and VIP access to some unique experiences. As always, YPO Bay Area Gold members pay for their flights to/from our Chapter retreat.

  2. Does my partner or spouse need to book?

    Yes. If you'd like your partner or spouse to join you on our Chapter retreat in Oaxaca, please complete the booking for them on this website. The accommodations are already covered (they will share a room with you); the booking fee is to cover your partner/spouse meals and cultural programming, including all of the same one-of-a-kind private tours and VIP access that you'll experience. As always, YPO Bay Area Gold members and their partner/spouse pay for flights to/from our Chapter retreat.

  3. What Flights should I book?

    The are no direct flights from the Bay Area to Oaxaca. We recommend booking soon with United Airlines (via Houston IAH), American Airlines (via Dallas DFW), or Aeromexico (via Mexico City). If you prefer to travel via Los Angeles, the airline Volaris has daily direct flights from LAX to Oaxaca.

  4. How do I get to/from the airport in Oaxaca?

    Once you have booked your flights, please email Masie with your itinerary so we can coordinate ground transportation from the airport in Oaxaca to our hotel.

  5. 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).

  6. What are the accommodations like?

    We will be staying at a unique, 4-star boutique hotel in the historic center of Oaxaca City. Each YPO Chapter member will have a private room with either a king bed or two queen beds. Note that the Chapter is covering the cost of your accommodations, however hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs are not included and are at your own discretion.

  7. Is Oaxaca City safe?

    Oaxaca city and the surrounding area is extremely safe and the U.S. State Department does not have any restrictions or advisories recommending against travel to Oaxaca City. 

  8. What are the COVID-19 testing requirements?

    COVID-19 testing requirements for entry to Mexico and reentry to the United States are in flux, and likely to change prior to our Chapter retreat.  We will keep you updated on any restrictions as the departure date approaches.

  9. WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING ON THE TRIP?

    As the departure date approaches, we will distribute a recommended packing list and other items you may want to bring with you. 

  10. Terms and conditions

    Please note that our Chapter retreat is governed by the Terms and Conditions of our travel partner, Modern Adventure.