Oaxaca with Nyesha Arrington

February 19 - 25, 2023 | Reserve Your Spot

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Savor Oaxaca

Explore the region’s best food, art and culture with Chef Nyesha Arrington

February 19 - 25, 2023

Likely to sell out – reserve your spot!

7 Day, 6 Nights

Best of Oaxaca City, Teotitlan del Valle, Monte Albán

Price from

$4,500

Per person based on double occupancy

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

As twilight descends over your farm-to-table feast, you’re raising your glass of mezcal to a week’s worth of pure exhilaration. Smoked meats and roasted chiles perfume the air, as you bite into the most delicious tamale you’ve ever tasted and one that you helped to create—and suddenly it hits you. This is more than just a meal—it’s a symbolic ode to your entire journey. Mezcal tastings with a fourth-generation mezcalero, the homemade mole served in the studio of a master potter, your first bite of a tlayuda at the central market, the cleansing ritual with a traditional Zapotec shaman. This week has been a direct deposit of joy and adventure. You take another sip as local musicians strike up a song, toast your fellow seekers, and settle in to this joyful celebration of Oaxaca.

Along with us is Nyesha Arrington, the award-winning L.A. chef with an endless passion for the way ingredients and tradition bring cultures together. From Top Chef and Next Level Chef to Knife Fight and Iron Chef America, Nyesha has competed with the best of them. Off camera, Nyesha’s career has led her around the world, following her appetite and an irresistible curiosity. You’ll feed off Nyesha’s joyful explorer spirit as we explore the tastes and traditions of Oaxaca.

If you travel to stimulate all of your sense, this trip is for you. 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 artisanal mezcals. All the while, connect with shamans and weavers, artists and chefs. This is Mexico like you’ve never imagined.

Marvel

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

Taste

Rich mole sauces, spiced chocolate, street tacos—even toasted grasshoppers!

Meet

Traditional weavers and sculptors, modern artists and shaman healers

Experience

Oaxacan traditions, its vibrant art scene and culture, with Chef Nyesha Arrington

3 Reasons to Travel with Nyesha Arrington

You may have seen Nyesha pop up on your TV screen as a contestant on Top Chef, Knife Fight and Iron Chef America, or on her new show Next Level Chef with Gordon Ramsey. She started cooking professionally at age 17 and has yet to take off her apron. Her insatiable curiosity has taken her from her hometown of Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Hawaii to the Virgin Islands and Hong Kong. She loves to discover commonalities across cultures and can’t wait to immerse herself in the flavors of Oaxaca.

Comfort Foodie

L.A. born and raised, Nyesha has that calm, cool SoCal vibe. She’s authentically herself with a warmth that radiates in her smile and her cooking. After all, she wants her food to “hug you from the inside.”

Mind of an Artist

Nyesha comes from a family of creatives. Her father was a musician and screenwriter, her mother a seamstress. As a child she sculpted, painted and practiced martial arts. Nyesha credits her martial arts training with teaching her the mindset and discipline to be a chef.

Fusion of Joy

Growing up in a mixed black and Korean household, Nyesha learned to love both kimchi and gumbo from an early age. Her grandmother introduced her to cooking at age four, and she’s been experimenting with flavors ever since.

Your Experience

“TBD FROM NYESHA.”
Nyesha Arrington

Oaxaca City, Monte Albán

“The artistry of cooking is about evoking what you want people to experience and how you want them to feel.”
Nyesha Arrington

Day by Day

Day 1

Bienvenidos a Mexico! We’ll meet up with the group 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 walk to dinner overlooking Oaxaca’s flood-lit cathedral for an inspired meal together under the stars.

Day 1 Highlights

  • City market food tour
  • Welcome cocktails
  • Dinner at Casa Oaxaca
  • 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.

Next, we’ll head to the village of St. Martin for a succulent feast of barbecue meats, prepared in the traditional way and cooked in the ground. Afterwards, we return to the city, where 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 zócalo, just a few blocks from our hotel.

Day 3 Highlights

  • Mezcal tastings  
  • Traditional barbecue lunch
  • 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 we’ll gather for an imitable tlayuda dinner—think gourmet pizza, but with an-only-in-Oaxaca twist.

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 by Nyesha, 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 by Nyesha
  • Stay at El Callejón in Oaxaca

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 Nyesha and to Oaxaca, and head out to the airport for our flights home. Buen viaje!

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfers 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 Nyesha Arrington

Number of Travelers

Payment

$4,500

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.

  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. 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.

  9. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before October 22, 2022, and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after October 23, 2022, there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after December 21, 2022 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).

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Modern Adventure makes the Fast Company list of the world's most innovative travel companies in 2020.

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