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TNN’s Oaxaca Tour

February 25 - March 3, 2023

Oaxaca is one of the gastronomic hubs of Mexico and ground zero for most of the world’s mezcal production. You’ll head for day trips to see how Mezcal is made, explore mountains and waterfalls, wander this color city and its markets, see ancient ruins, and eat your way through one of the best food centers in the world.

Offering mouth-watering food, the best mezcal in the world, and tons of history, it’s no surprise people fall in love with Oaxaca. It’s a city of colorful buildings, scenic rooftop restaurants and bars, street art, historic Spanish colonial churches, cobblestone streets, picturesque parks, and so much more.

Located in southwestern Mexico, Oaxaca has been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Zapotec and Mixtec peoples before the Spanish arrived.

During your week here, you’ll explore markets, eat amazing food, learn from local experts, and tour nearby mezcal farms where you’ll meet the farmers who help produce some of the best mezcal in the world. Using our local connections, you’ll get experiences not available with other companies as we created a customized itinerary with our friends and partners.

This tour focuses heavily on the city’s culture, history, and cuisine.

If you’re the kind of person who wants a more authentic and nuanced experience, this tour is for you.

Options

Single Room, Twin Share Room

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To reserve your spot on a tour, a 40% deposit is required. This deposit is 100% refundable for 30 days. See our terms and conditions for more on our refund policy.

Tour Itinerary

Arriving in the vibrant city of Oaxaca de Juarez, your Oaxaca trip officially kicks off! Depending on your arrival time, you’ll have the day to explore on your own. In the late afternoon, we’ll have an orientation meeting followed by a group welcome dinner where you’ll meet your guides and fellow travelers.

Today, we’ll start with a walking tour through the beautiful cobblestone streets to see the famous Santo Domingo square, the Zocalo, and sprawling local markets. We’ll have a quick lunch at Mercado 20, Oaxaca’s famous food market where our guide will take us to their favorite stall. After the walking tour, you’ll have a couple of hours to relax before an afternoon mezcal and food tour.

Today, we’ll head straight into the heart of the largest archeological site in Oaxaca, with a half-day tour of Monte Alban. Monte Alban is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was one of the most important cities in ancient Mesoamerica. We’ll have a knowledgeable and passionate local guide walk us through the history of the various plazas and historic structures all while enjoying scenic views of Oaxaca Valley. After we return, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon to explore on your own. For dinner, we have an optional experience at a friend’s restaurant.

Oaxaca is the birthplace of mezcal, a spirit distilled from agave, and an important part of Mexican culture. Mezcal’s roots are proudly in Oaxaca, where more than 70% of Mexico’s mezcal production happens. We will visit two family-owned palenques and learn about the unique production process that is unlike any other liquor spirit. We’ll also make a visit to some agave fields where you’ll be able to walk amongst the fascinating plants that make mezcal. Here we will have a picnic lunch (and some more mezcal, of course). We will end the day by visiting an off-the-beaten-path ancient ruin for sunset.

The morning is yours to explore on your own. In the afternoon, we will visit La Central (the Central de Abastos Market), the largest market in Oaxaca. It is located on the outskirts of town and features hundreds of local vendors selling everything from food to pottery, clothing, electronics, toys, and even livestock. You’ll have the afternoon to yourself before we meet again for an optional group dinner.

Today, we’ll drive inland for a full-day tour visiting one of Mexico’s most spectacular natural treasures, Hierve el Agua, followed by a visit to the Pueblo Magico of Mitla. Hierve el Agua is considered to be one of the most beautiful places in Mexico. These petrified waterfalls are a set of cliffs and natural limestone rock formations that resemble frozen cascades of water. You’ll have a chance to hike and swim here too. On our way back we’ll stop in the town of Mitla, named a Pueblo Magico by the Mexican government in 2015. Mitla is home to the second most important archeological site in Oaxaca. We will quickly visit the ruins, stroll the small market, and have some lunch before driving back to the hotel. We will end the day with our final dinner as a group.

Today, our tour ends. We’ll be around to help anyone getting to the airport or that has questions about staying longer.

Tour Essentials

Accommodation

We will be staying at a restored colonial mansion, located right in the heart of central Oaxaca. If you book a twin share room and are traveling solo, you’ll be paired with someone of the same gender.

Transport

During the trip, we’ll have a dedicated van that will transport us to all of our planned destinations outside of Oaxaca Centro. While in the center, we’ll be walking everywhere.

Meals

Daily breakfast, two lunches, and three dinners are included. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated with prior notice. Aside from mezcal tastings on tours, alcohol is not included.

Sustainability

We aim to offer as sustainable an experience as we can. Trash is recycled whenever possible and we avoid mass tourism activities that cause harm to the environment and/or do not benefit local communities.

Small Groups

This tour requires a minimum of 10 participants and has a maximum of 15 participants to ensure the best small group tour experience. With such a small group, you’ll be able to enjoy unique, rewarding activities that would not be accessible with more people.

Expert guides

Your tour will be led by a licensed and local expert guide. Our guides are always on hand, every day of the trip, to provide additional information, create spontaneous activities, join the group for non-included activities and meals, and to ensure that the trip is as memorable, fun, and informative as possible.

What's Included

What’s Included

  • Accommodation in the heart of Oaxaca
  • Transportation throughout the trip with a driver
  • All activities and entrance fees mentioned above
  • All included meals mentioned above
  • Local tour guides
  • Expert Tour Leader throughout the trip

What’s Not Included

  • Flights to/from Mexico
  • Passport/visa fees
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Travel insurance (which is required)
  • Optional activities not listed

FAQ

What are your COVID policies?
This tour is currently open to all travelers. We will closely monitor any new policies and comply with any new restrictions or requirements needed. If the rules change, we’ll let you know.

What about COVID testing?
Should COVID testing be required as a condition of entry or exit, we will help you find testing locations, though you are responsible for the cost of the COVID test and for booking your own tests.

What is the age range of people on this tour?
Our tours see people from 22 to 75. They really run the gambit. In the past, the average age on this tour is about 40. As we’ve found age is only a number, the variety in ages has never been detrimental to the group dynamics!

Is there a lot of walking?
All our tours have lots of walking tours involved that last between 2-3 hours each. While there is no strenuous hiking involved on this tour, you should be prepared to be on your feet a lot. Hierve el Agua’s hike is steep.

Tell me about your guides.
Our expert tour leaders are fully licensed guides. They’ll be responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the trip, handling all of the local logistics, and dealing with any unforeseen situations that may arise. Our tour leaders are always on hand, every day of the trip, to provide additional information, create spontaneous activities, join the group for non-included activities and meals, and ensure that the trip is as memorable, fun, and informative as possible. During the course of the trip, we’ll also use other guides for some of our day tours.

Will I have any time to myself?
Of course! We hate tours that book every minute of your day. While we will be busy, there will also be plenty of time for you to explore on your own. Travel is about adventure and discovery, so we emphasize that on our tours. We want you to see stuff that interests you specifically.

What am I going to do during the listed “free time”?
Our guides will be on hand to give you suggestions, help you decide what to do, and be around. If you want to go off on your own, we get that. We want you to explore and break out of your comfort zone! Our guides are here to help and, after you join the tour, you’ll be sent a list of potential activities you can do on your own.

How many spots can I purchase at once?
Reservations on the tour are limited to a maximum of two per person to ensure that everyone who wants to gets a chance to go.

What kind of rooms are we staying in?
We will be staying in 2 star hotels the entire trip.

Is airfare provided?
No, you’ll be responsible for your own airfare to and from the tour.

Will I need travel insurance?
Yes, all guests will be required to have travel insurance for the duration of the trip. We’ll be asking for proof before departure. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to continue on the tour.

Is there an age requirement?
You must be at least 18 years old.

Will I need to fill out any release forms?
Yes, you’ll be required to fill out and sign a liability waiver releasing us from any and all liability related to the tour.

What about visas?
If you require a visa to enter any of these destinations, you’ll need to get that in advance at your own expense. We do not offer any help in this area.

What if I change my mind? What is your refund policy?
We understand plans change. Deposits are refundable up to 30 days after purchase. They can be transferred once in a calendar year to another tour. (You have to do so within 90 days.) Balance payments are due 31 days after purchase. Cancelations made between 90 – 60 days before the tour start date: 50% refund of the balance amount (the deposit is not included in the refund). Cancelations made between 59 – 0 days before the tour start date: 0% refund of the balance amount.

Is there a waiting list?
People sometimes rush to secure a spot but don’t always get the time off work and might need to cancel. If you’d like to be added to a waiting list, please email us at [email protected]

I still have questions. Can I contact you?
Of course! Our email is [email protected]

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