Oaxaca with Jonathan Zaragoza
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Experience the flavorful heart and cultural soul of Oaxaca with Chef Jonathan Zaragoza
February 19 - 25, 2023
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7 Day, 6 Nights
Best of Oaxaca City, Teotitlan del Valle, Monte Albán
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Breathe it all in. Then take a bite. Oaxaca just may be the birthplace of regional cuisine, a land where each dish relies on the complex interplay of chiles and fresh herbs you simply can’t find anywhere else. The air here is rich with the scent of masa; of roasted ground chiles and richly smoked meats; of fresh marjoram and cebollín (wild onion) infused salsas. This is Oaxaca, land of the seven moles, a place where traditions are handed down through the centuries and secrets are shared, not hoarded. On this adventure, you’ll meet local shamans, share lunch with master artisans and collaborate on a farm-to-table feast that will—much like a smooth, earthy 25-year-old Arroqueño mezcal—warm your heart and soul for years to come.
With us on this incredible journey of the senses is Jonathan Zaragoza, executive chef of Chicago’s acclaimed Birrieria Zaragoza. He’s been on a meteoric rise since he could hold a spatula or roast his own goat—which weren’t that far apart. From working at Michelin-star restaurants in his teens to being on Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list at the ripe age of 22, Jonathan is a master of his craft, with a special ability to always infuse his Mexican heritage, and the stories that come with it, into unforgettable dishes.
No matter how much you may know about Oaxacan culture and food, this journey will teach us, delight us—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.
Rich moles, spiced chocolate, street tacos—more flavors than you can imagine
At Oaxaca’s colorful food markets, artist workshops, agave farms, ancient pyramids
Traditional weavers and sculptors, modern artists and shaman healers
With Oaxacan traditions, its vibrant art scene and culture, with Chef Jonathan Zaragoza
3 Reasons to Travel with Jonathan Zaragoza
For Jonathan—equal parts Mexican and Chicagoan—food is a fine blend of family and heritage. In a city ubiquitous with Italian beef and hot dogs (which he is all about), Jonathan brings an authentic Mexican experience to curious diners. We can’t wait to see him in the moment as he brings Oaxaca’s rich culinary culture, and his infectious humor, to the table.
As executive chef of Birrieria Zaragoza, Jonathan’s perfected birria, a wood-fired goat roast traditionally from Jalisco, in a way that is unmatched in Chicago and beyond. It earned him the attention of Chicago Tribune, as well as his spot on “StarChefs 2018 Rising Stars.”
Some of Jonathan’s most formative culinary moments started at home in Chicago’s Southside. From the kitchen with mom to the backyard where Jonathan helped his father and grandfather prepare birria, Jonathan’s family raised him to be the star he is today.
Young and Hungry
His teens and early 20s were spent with some of Chicago’s best-known chefs including Frank Brunacci at Sixteen and Andrew Zimmerman at Sepia. And by 2019, he had already received his first James Beard Semifinalist nod for Outstanding Service at Birrieria Zaragoza.
El CallejónOaxaca 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.
People Love Our Oaxaca
Book Oaxaca with Jonathan Zaragoza
Number of Travelers
Reserve your spot today with a $1,000 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
Per person based on double occupancy
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
What is the cancellation policy?
You may cancel on or before October 23, 2022, and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after December 20, 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).