Oaxaca with Michelle Bernstein & David Martinez

November 3 - 9, 2023 | Reserve Your Spot

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Savor Oaxaca

Experience the heart and soul of Oaxaca with Michelle Bernstein & David Martinez

November 3 - 9, 2023

Likely to sell out – reserve your spot!

7 Days, 6 Nights

Best of Oaxaca City, Teotitlan del Valle, Monte Albán

Price from

$4,900

Per person based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

The air is rich with the fragrance of roasted ground chiles, fresh marjoram and perfectly smoked smoked meats. This is Oaxaca, land of the seven moles, a place where traditions are handed down through the centuries and secrets are shared, not hoarded. This entire week—from walking the agave fields with a fourth-generation mezcalero to inviting the healing energies of a renowned shaman, every waking hour has roused your senses, and suddenly this trip seems less like a vacation and more of an out-of-body experience. This is Oaxaca, a city in love with innovation yet rooted and driven by tradition. Oaxaca, a banquet for the senses and a sanctuary for the soul.

With you are Michelle Bernstein and David Martinez. She’s a James Beard Award–winning chef, alongside her husband and business partner (and Oaxacan native!) David. Their award-winning restaurants and bars—Miami’s Sweet Liberty and Café La Trova—are where their travels and heritage inspire every vibrant dish. This is no normal trip to Oaxaca; this is an immersive and intimate glimpse into Michelle and David’s Oaxaca, one carefully crafted to show you how it has shaped their story as a couple, and culinary powerhouses, over the last two decades.

No matter how much you may know about Oaxacan culture and food, this journey will teach, delight—and leave us hungry for more. Wander colorful markets, taste incredible street food from moles to tlayudas, then wash it all down with the finest artisanal mezcals. This is Mexico like you’ve never imagined.

Taste

Rich moles, spiced chocolate, street tacos—more flavors than you can imagine

Marvel

At Oaxaca’s colorful food markets, artist workshops, agave farms, ancient pyramids

Meet

Traditional weavers and sculptors, modern artists and shaman healers

Connect

With Oaxacan traditions, its vibrant art scene and culture, with Michelle and David

3 Reasons to Travel with Michelle & David

David grew up in Oaxaca and knows its cobblestone streets by heart. Wanderlust called Michelle there, and for the last few decades they've become unofficial members of the region's renewed cuisine culture. We're so thrilled to unlock Oaxaca with one of its native sons in the company of a James Beard Award-winning chef at the top of her game.

All the Flavors

A five-course grasshopper dinner, the best breakfast of Michelle’s life, late-night tlayudas served up by a three-generation family business of women... their Oaxacan food recommendations are endless and endlessly delicious. We can’t wait to savor their Oaxaca.

Local Roots

When Michelle speaks of her memories of Oaxaca, you can hear the emotion in her voice. While David grew up in these parts, it’s now familial to them both. Weddings, funerals, baptisms, they’ve experienced them all here with their loved ones, and want to share their traditions and rituals with us.

Forces for Good

Food and travel have opened so many doors for both Michelle and David. It’s just one reason why she’s brought Common Threads, a program that teaches underprivileged children about cooking and eating healthy, to her South Florida community.

Your Experience

“Growing up in Oaxaca, I had no idea how magical it was. It was just home to me.”
David Martinez

Oaxaca City, Monte Albán

“The textiles are more beautiful. The chocolate tastes better. It's like you’re experiencing Oaxaca in Technicolor.”
Michelle Bernstein

Day by Day

Day 1

Bienvenidos a Mexico! We’ll meet up with Michelle and David 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, pizza-style, with grilled meats), and vendors scurry past offering chapulines (roasted grasshoppers) and pastry-like pan de yema stacked in woven baskets.

In the evening, we’ll toast the start of our adventure with local mezcal—of course—then stroll the zócalo for an extraordinary welcome dinner. We’ll be dining at Las Quince Letras, a passion project by iconic chef, Celia Florián—the woman who taught Michelle the magic behind Oaxcan mole.

Day 1 Highlights

  • City market food tour
  • Welcome cocktails
  • Dinner at La Quince Letras
  • Stay at El Callejón in Oaxaca

Day 2

Today we head 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 hands-on and home-cooked Zapotec lunch awaits us, where we’ll learn the hows and whys behind Nixtamalization.

Afterwards we return to the city, where the afternoon is yours to explore. We’ll reconvene at one of Oaxaca’s culinary icons, Chef Rodolfo Castellanos’ Origen, for an unforgettable dinner of uniquely Oaxacan cuisine.

Day 2 Highlights

  • Zapotec Weaving village
  • Home-cooked Zapotec Lunch
  • Dinner at Origen
  • Stay at El Callejón in Oaxaca

Day 3

In the morning, we’ll wind our way past rows of agave plants to meet up with a fourth-generation mezcalero in Santa Catarina Minas for a masterclass in mezcal, the cousin-spirit of tequila and one of Oaxaca’s famed exports. We’ll learn firsthand how the piña (heart) of agave are harvested and smoked in underground pits, fermented in large vats, and distilled in copper or clay stills based on traditions that date back hundreds of years.

After sipping on these smoky artisanal mezcals, we have a special surprise in store. Let’s just say it’s a mouth-watering moment and we’ll return to the hotel with our hearts and stomachs full.

Once back in the city, the evening is ours to explore Oaxaca’s irresistible food and nightlife: world-class restaurants open for dinner and taco stands set up along the lit-up square, just a few blocks from our hotel.

Day 3 Highlights

  • Mezcal experience
  • Mezcal tasting
  • Stay at El Callejón in Oaxaca

Day 4

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

We’ll carry that history with us when we stop for lunch just outside the city at one of Oaxaca’s most unique restaurants; we’ll feast family-style on local mezcal and tacos as chickens patrol the backyard. The afternoon is a time to recharge at the hotel or explore on your own. Just don’t wander too far as Michelle and David will lead us to a casual no-frills tlayuda dinner, followed by music and dancing.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Visit Monte Albán temple complex
  • Traditional lunch
  • Tlayuda dinner
  • Stay at El Callejón in Oaxaca

Day 5

Today is ours to revitalize our hearts and spirits. We’ll meet with a local Zapotec 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 as we make our way to the home studio of a master artisan of Oaxacan folk art. After a private pottery tour, she’ll host us for a homemade lunch featuring one of the region’s famed seven moles.

Once back in Oaxaca, you’ll have the evening to yourself. Organize a taco crawl on the zócalo, relax in one of our hotel’s many garden spaces or wander towards those sublime notes of live folk guitar.

Day 5 Highlights

  • Shaman ritual cleansing
  • Artist meet-up, studio visit & lunch
  • Stay at El Callejón in Oaxaca

Day 6

After a leisurely morning at the hotel, we leave for the pinnacle of our journey, a total Oaxacan farm-to-table experience. Our destination is a renown and locally beloved ranch on the outskirts of the city. Once arrived, we’ll break into small groups and take turns making mole, Oaxacan cheese and ice cream and gain a hands-on understanding of the flavors and ingredients which make these dishes so unique. In addition, we’ll be led in the art of tamale making by a local master chef.

For dinner, we savor the al fresco feast, including a special dish dreamt up for this very occasion by Michelle and enjoy all the local delicacies we had a hand in preparing. This farewell dinner will be a true celebration of our time spent in Oaxaca. The food, the music, the joyful celebrations of craft—all of it an ode to handed-down traditions and the true flavors of region.

Day 6 Highlights

  • Hands-on cooking at local farm
  • Farewell dinner with Michelle
  • Stay at El Callejón in Oaxaca

Day 7

All great things come to an end, alas. We’ll bid farewell to Michelle and David, and to Oaxaca, and head out to the airport for our flights home. Buen viaje!

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfer to airport

Where We Sleep

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

El Callejón

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: a boutique hotel with a dozen spacious rooms blending the city’s distinctive styles. Serenity reigns in its thoughtful garden spaces, with palm trees, covered walkways and an outdoor patio bar.

I loved eating goat just after it was lifted from the pit, sipping on a mezcal.
Diana C.
This is more than just a trip. It’s authentic and joyful, and a powerful reminder of why we travel.
Scott M.
The meals made for us in local homes were just heavenly.
Andrew B.

Book Oaxaca with Michelle Bernstein & David Martinez

Number of Travelers

Payment

Reserve your spot today with a $1,500 per-person deposit plus room supplements (if relevant). Full payment is due 180 days prior to your trip departure date. We’ll email you a reminder. If your trip departs in less than 180 days, we’ll collect full payment either 30 days from when we receive your deposit, or 60 days prior to your trip departure date, whichever is sooner. For details read our Deposit FAQs

$4,900

Per person based on double occupancy

Can't travel on these dates?
Call us at

+1 (855) 219-8018

Questions?

That’s OK, we have answers. Read our FAQs below. Or text or call us at +1 (855) 219-8018 to speak with a Modern Adventure Trip Specialist.

  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights at unique 4-star boutique accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; departure airport transfer; 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 the trip start and end?

    Our adventure begins and ends at the El Callejón Hotel in Oaxaca, Mexico. The closest airport is Oaxaca International Airport (OAX). On our final day, Modern Adventure will organize a complimentary transfer to OAX for all guests who’s flight home departs at 1pm or later from OAX airport.

  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. These spots are extremely limited; we recommend booking early to secure single accommodations.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 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 6, 2023, and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after July 7, 2023, there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after September 4, 2023 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.

MO/AD News

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“I’d had Oaxacan food before, but few restaurants served meals like this—'celebration food' worth the effort only for births and weddings. And, apparently, for Modern Adventure.”

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