The days listed in the itinerary will be shifted to take advantage of special events occurring during the days of the separate tours and/or market days of the villages in the region. Our itineraries will take us out into the countryside, to archeological ruins, and craft villages some distance from Oaxaca City. Time to visit the sites within the city will be available after the main meal or “comida,” at 2:30 pm at each travelers discretion.
Arrival Day: We will be arriving in Oaxaca airport from our various destinations on this day. Inexpensive “combis” can be used to get from the airport to Casa Panchita at 1319 Jose Lopez Alavez, Colonia Xochimilco telephone # 515-1887. Once at Casa Panchita we will settle you into your room, offer you refreshments and provide you with a personal orientation to tour new home. There is a swimming pool available and maps will be on hand if you choose to take a stroll around town. A light supper at 7:00 pm will give us a chance to get acquainted. Afterwards the main plaza or “Zocolo,” is straight ahead down the hill for those who wish to see Oaxaca's nightlife on one of Mexico's most beautiful plazas.
Monte Alban Day: Sunscreen and hats in hand, we will head to Monte Alban, one of the most important archeological sites in the Western Hemisphere. Overlooking Oaxaca, this vast complex and its interpretive museum area will occupy our day.
Mitla Day: Mitla is without parallel, the ruins, once the home of the priestly and royal class of the Zapotec, it exemplifies the height of their architectural and decorative elegance and skill. Stopping briefly at another ruin Yagul we will see another aspect of the archeological treasures that this branch of the valley has to offer. Time permitting we will also visit a mescal factory and a shop with local textiles and garments.
Cuilapan and Arrazola Day: Cuiliapan is an abandoned Dominican monastery in yet another branch of the Oaxaca valley. In the same region is the town of Arrazola, a small wood carving town, home to the famous Manuel Jimenez who brought wood carving back to the valley of Oaxaca.
Ocotlan and San Martin Tilcahete Day: Ocotlan is home to the famous Aguilar sisters, world famous figurative ceramists. After our visit with them we will visit the recently converted convent in town, which is now a beautiful art museum funded by the famous artist Rudolpho Morales. Finally on to the hyper-productive town of San Martin Tilcahete, where we will see fun and colorful woodcarvings at an artists home. And all of this before 2:30!
Teotitilan del Valle Tlacochahuaya and the Tule Tree Day: One to Teotitlan, a town devoted to the production of woolen rugs. We will visit the home of a weaving family and learn about the production and use of “cochineal” the rich red dye which put Oaxaca on the map in the 17th and 18th centuries. Upon our return we will stop the church in Tlacochahuaya, a folk baroque church not to be missed. And finally a stop at the Tule tree, the widest tree in the entire world.
La Union and San Augustin Etla Day: An exciting and pastoral day where we will hike through a rural village of woodcarvers, we will visit the individual homes of an extended family of woodcarvers. Them onto a most beautiful stop in San Augustin Etla to see a converted textile factory turned into handmade paper factory and art space by artist Fransesco Toledo, another famous Oaxacan artist.
Departure Day: Did you manage to get to the Tamayo Museum, the Benito Juarez market, see all there was to see at the enormous museum at Santo Domino church, pick up that perfect embroidered dress and delicious bottle of mescal? Next time perhaps. Meanwhile you will be amazed to discover that the trip back to the airport is not nearly as hair raising as when you first arrived.