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11 Day Oaxacan Cultural Immersion Tour ~ All-Inclusive!

11 Days

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January 12, 2024 - January 22, 2024 Guaranteed $2,999 USD
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Airfare from Houston, TX & All Meals are included!

Embark on an extraordinary expedition to Oaxaca, Mexico, where history, culture, and nature intertwine to create a unique travel experience.


This immersive journey kicks off with a visit to the ancient city of Dainzu and the petrified falls of Hierve el Agua. Delve into the sacred valley of Tlacolula, home to the oldest Zapotec settlements, and uncover the fascinating history and rituals behind the prehispanic ball game. In the Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla, discover 10,000-year-old cucurbit seeds and maize remnants, a testament to Mexico’s contribution to world agriculture.

The adventure continues with a hike from Cuajimoloyas to Llano Grande, immersing you in the stunning landscapes of Pueblos Mancomunados. Traverse high-country trails, canyons, and waterfalls, and indulge in an up-close communion with Zapotec village life. Learn about medicinal plants and gastronomy in the alpine cloud forests, where you’ll savor dishes like Mole de olla, enriched by local traditions.

As you journey through Cañon del Coyote, identify medicinal plants, partake in an ointment workshop, and even experience a Temazcal session. Explore Benito Juarez, where the ecotourism community project took root, fostering job creation and cultural preservation. Hike amidst corn and potato farms, cross hanging bridges, and relish panoramic vistas.

In La Neveria, engage with local communities and delve into the cultivation of various corn varieties. Immerse yourself in traditional medicine, cultural talks, and even learn phrases of the Zapotec language. Culminate your adventure by hiking to the sacred mountain of “El Jaguar,” a space of spiritual significance where nature and rituals merge. Experience a spiritual cleansing and learn about colonial mining history at the ex-hacienda of 5 señores.


  • Explore the oldest settlements of Zapotec culture in the sacred valley of Tlacolula
  • Visit the Prehistoric Caves of Yagul and Mitla
  • Embark on a journey back in time to the ancient city of Dainzu and learn about worshipping the God of Rain
  • Drive to Teotitlan del Valle, known for its stunning rug weavings
  • Enjoy a farm-to-table Oaxacan breakfast
  • Hike the Hierve el Agua petrified falls, admiring ancient canals and natural infinity pools
  • Trek from Cuajimoloyas to Llano Grande to witness breathtaking canyons, caves, waterfalls, and panoramic viewpoints
  • Embark on an alpine cloud forest hike in Llano Grande, gaining insights into medicinal and flavoring plants
  • Partake in a gastronomic journey with local chefs ~ learn to prepare the Mole de olla dish
  • Venture into Cañon del Coyotefor a medicinal plant tour followed by a medicinal ointment workshop
  • Discover the history of ecotourism at Benito Juarez, where cabin projects initiated in the 1990s
  • Learn about corn cultivation, traditional medicine, and migration while engaging with local elders and savoring local dishes
  • Take a spiritual hike to the sacred mountain of "El Jaguar," experiencing rituals and breathtaking vistas


We will be meeting in Houston for the afternoon flight to Oaxaca City.  Upon arrival, we will head directly to dinner before checking into our hotel for the night.


Following breakfast at our hotel, we will explore the stunning Santo Domingo Church, an architectural masterpiece. Inside, we will find the Oaxaca Cultural Center, showcasing exhibits on the region’s history, art, and culture.

After our time at Santo Domingo we will immerse ourselves in the vibrant atmosphere of the Benito Juárez Market. Wander through stalls filled with local crafts, textiles, spices, and traditional snacks. Don’t forget to grab a few souvenirs to remember your visit!

Lunch will be a special affair! We will be guests at a private lunch with a tasting menu at the delicious local restaurant, Jardin Pochote. We will enjoy an array of authentic Oaxacan dishes as well as cocktails made from locally distilled mezcal and other spirits.

After lunch, we will meet our guide for a walking tour of the the historic center of Oaxaca City. We will explore quaint streets, colonial buildings, and hidden plazas. Admire the architectural beauty of the city while learning about its history and significance.

Then we will dive into Oaxaca’s rich artisan culture with visits to several artisan workshops. Witness the intricate process of creating alebrijes (colorful Mexican folk art sculptures), pottery, as well as rug weaving.

In the mid-afternoon, we will travel to our first small lodge, about an hour outside of Oaxaca City.  We will have dinner there before an early bedtime.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our next adventure begins by driving towards the sun to the oldest settlements of the Zapotec culture, the sacred valley of Tlacolula, home to many sacred Zapotec archaeological sites and the various Zapotec communities still in existence. The UNESCO sites of the prehistoric caves of Yagul and Mitla in the Guilá Naquitz are where 10,000-year-old cucurbit seeds were found, the earliest remains of domesticated plants discovered to date on the American continent. This site also contains a series of prehistoric caves and rock shelters with cave paintings dating back 12,000 years.

We will also visit the ancient city of Dainzu, dating back to 600 B.C., followed by the petrified falls of Hierve el Agua. Our guides will take us back into time to share the history and the myths behind the pre-hispanic ball game that was played, along with the many rituals that were practiced to worship the God of the Rain, the most important deity of the Zapotecs. We will then drive to the town of Teotitlan del Valle, which is famous for its beautiful hand woven rugs. A local family will be waiting for us with a delicious farm to table Oaxacan brunch.

After our meal we will drive through the Valley admiring the beautiful scenery while our guides tell us more about the history of this part of Oaxaca. In Hierve el Agua we will take a 2-hour hike while learning different theories of uses for this site, and we will have a chance to see the ancient canals made by the Zapotecs in 600 B.C. We will then hike up to the natural infinity pools and finish off with a swim while admiring the beautiful vistas. We will have lunch along with with some local Mezcal before driving up to the Pueblos Mancomunados in the northern sierra of Oaxaca.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast we will start with a hike into the forest of Pueblos Mancomunados. At 3200 meters above sea level, the Pueblos Mancomunados (Commonwealth of Villages) are made up of eight remote villages (Amatlán, Benito Juárez, Cuajimoloyas, La Nevería, Lachatao, Latuvi, Llano Grande and Yavesía) that are protected under the umbrella of a unique ecotourism project. Communally they offer great wilderness escapes and an up-close communion with Zapotec village life.

More than 100 km of high-country trails run between the villages and to local beauty spots and places of interest, and we could easily enjoy several days exploring them. Elevations in these hills range from 2200m to over 3200m, and the landscapes, with canyons, caves, waterfalls and panoramic lookouts, are spectacular. We will hike for about 8 km until we reach the town of Llano Grande where a local family will be waiting for us with a delicious lunch. We will then settle into the cabins and have a free afternoon.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our adventure today begins in the Community of Llano Grande, along an alpine path over 3000 meters above sea level, a wonderful ecosystem of cloud forests, and ancient millenary trees with mosses. This will be a charming journey through changing vegetation of flora and fauna, through natural beauty, streams, caves, and wonderful landscapes with different surprising colors, textures, and shapes. Acquire knowledge about the medicinal and flavoring plants that grow in the area.

Our local chefs will be waiting for us in a hut in the middle of the mountains to provide us with a gastronomic class about the preparation of the Mole de olla dish and its derivatives.

You will savor the dish that you have prepared while talking about country life with our hosts. We will then return to the town, spend some free time and meet again for supper before turning in for the night.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After Breakfast we will meet with our medicinal plant expert and begin our hike towards el Cañon del Coyote. The trail enters the pine-oak forests characteristic of the region. We will visit a fresh water spring known as the “Ojito de Agua,” where the water comes from between an amazing rock formation. Then we will hiking continue until we reach the canyon seeing rock formations that have been a passage and refuge for coyotes and provide a splendid view of the landscape.

We will identify medicinal plants and learn about their local uses in traditional medicine of Pueblos Mancomunados. We will finish our adventure with a medicinal ointment workshop, and everyone will also have the option of joining a Temazcal session in the evening before supper, or a free afternoon to explore the nearby community that has a zip line and a suspension bridge.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we hike to the town of Benito Juarez where the ecotourism community project began. In the 1990s, the Oaxaca State Secretary of Tourism had initiated a program to build ecotourism centers in rural areas.

One of the first ecotourism projects with cabins was built in the communal town of Benito Juárez, which is close to Oaxaca City. The town was named after the famous Mexican reformer and president Benito Juárez (1806-1872).

We will hike through corn and potato farms and will encounter a few farmers in their fields – we can even stop and chat with them. We will then cross a hanging bridge to admire amazing views of the Northern Sierra and the Valley of Tlacolula on our way to an amazing lookout point of Benito Juarez after. We will spend some time here before making our way into town to have a delicious Oaxacan lunch. We will then settle into our cabins and have a free afternoon until we meet again for supper.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

La Neveria is our destination today. The first part of the trek is along a dirt road, but then we plunge down a footpath that runs steadily downhill. At the end, the trail rises sharply as we cross the Rio Guacamayas, providing a strenuous climb at the conclusion of the hike. This is a beautiful outing in the highland forests. It is rated “Difficult” because of the altitude, the steepness of the terrain, and the condition of the trail.

More moderate option: Some people might wish to enjoy the high-country scenery but prefer a less arduous hike. It is possible to simply walk along the dirt road that links these villages. This is not quite as thrilling as trekking on a steep footpath, but the crisp air and mountain vistas are just as lovely.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 :
La Neveria

La Neveria owes its name to the first people who settled here, whose main economic activity was the production and sale of ice. This was possible because of  the low temperatures that occurred in the area at the beginning of the 20th century, primarily from November to February.

Today we will learn about the conservation of corn work with a family in their farm fields. We will have talks on traditional herbal medicine, migration, and culture in general. We will even learn some basic phrases of the Zapotec language with the local elders of the community, and we will learn to cook local dishes in the community for our last lunch in Pueblos Mancomunados. After lunch we will drive cross over the mountains to the town of Lachatao for dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 :

Lachatao is a small town with cobbled streets that wind between adobe and clay tile houses. Its parish, made of green quarry, was built between the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and presides over a narrow main square where the Lachatao Community Museum is also located. Inside the museum you will see archaeological pieces, reproductions of old maps and viceregal paintings, as well as uniforms, photos and weapons from the time of the Mexican Revolution.

The Cerro del Jaguar is rarely visited by tourists. In this space, Mother Earth is worshiped and thanked, gifts are offered, which are buried at the four cardinal points. It is important to be respectful in this space, to be quiet and let the wind speak and nature speak. You will have the option of having a spiritual cleansing done here. After this last hike, we will have a full breakfast in town, then drive to the ex-hacienda of 5 Señores, built for the exploitation of the Natividad vein in the northern sierra of Oaxaca in the extraction of mainly silver and gold.  After our visit we will drive back into town for lunch. And then drive back to Oaxaca city.  We will enjoy a final farewell dinner at a local restaurant before retiring to our hotel.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a filling breakfast, it is off to the airport to catch our flights home.

What is the currency in Oaxaca?

The Mexican peso is the currency in Oaxaca.

What is the weather like in Oaxaca in January?

January is the middle of the dry season, and the weather is quite moderate. The lows are in the 50s and the highs are in the 70s, generally.

How much money do I need to bring?

This tour is all-inclusive. All meals, accommodations, tickets, and other fees are included.  Please bring money for any extra tips you would like to provide the guides, as well as money for souvenirs.

Accommodations will be simple well-kept cabañas and lodges while outside of Oaxaca City, and a 3.5-4 star hotel during our 3 nights in the city.

From $2,999 USD
/ Shared Room (Double Occupancy)
From $3,499 USD
/ Private Room (Single Occupancy)
  • Small Groups of 8 - 15 people
  • Flexible Payments
  • Pre-trip Educational/Preparation Meetings
  • TravelAvidly Trip Leader
  • Immersive Experiences

Trip Information

Activity Level: Moderate (see all ratings)

Curator: Dianna

Trip Leader/CSR: Dianna