Oaxaca and Chiapas are a mecca of fine ruins, talented folk artists, regional cuisine, and warm hospitality. Discover the wonders of these magical regions with a small group of travelers on a 12-day guided tour. Travel to the most impressive archaeological sites, watch internationally-known folk artists create masterpieces from raw materials, sample the famous Oaxacan cuisine, visit Mayan villages, all this as you enjoy some of the finest and most varied shopping in all of Mexico.
Veteran guides Linda Ford and Doug (Diego) Rhodes work together to provide you with a varied tour with something for everyone.
Linda knows Oaxaca intimately from numerous visits and living with an Oaxacan family while studying at a language school. She is author of A Field Guide to the Wildflowers of Mexico’s Copper Canyon Region, created Copper Canyon Wildflower Tours, and has been leading trips with Diego since 2010.
Formerly of Adobe Tours, Diego began taking tours throughout Mexico in the early 1980s. In 1990 he began construction and operation of Hotel Paraiso del Oso in the Copper Canyon where he now resides. Fully bilingual and bicultural, his tours are distinguished by organization combined with a flexibility and spontaneity that takes full advantage of the vibrant Mexican culture.
DISCOVER SOUTHERN MEXICAN ITINERARY
Tuesday, February 5, Day 1 – Meet in Oaxaca, capital of the state with the same name. Because flights may arrive late, we have no formal activities scheduled for today. Lodging during the tour is at the Posada de Chencho, a lovely guest house 20 minutes walking from the Zocálo
Wednesday, February 6, Day 2 – Every day begins with a filling Oaxacan breakfast. Morning orientation walk to the Zocalo, Government Palace with its fine murals, introduction to various museums and textile vendors and shops. Hotel Quinta Real which is a lovely restored ex-convent. The lavishly decorated Santo Domingo church, and other points of interest. Lunch in one of the areas many fine restaurants. B,L
Thursday, February 7, Day 3 – Visit the site of a beautiful, historic Dominican monastery, the Ex-convento de Santiago Apóstol at Cuilápan, with the unfinished church that has stood roofless since work stopped in 1560. This is the final resting place of the legendary Princesa Donajii (Daughter of the last Zapotec king of Zaachila). Next visit the country animal market and the Zaachila Mercado. Lunch at the famous outdoor La Capilla restaurant. B,L
Friday, February 8, Day 4 – Many artists we visit today are world renowned. You will see black pottery being made at San Bartolo Coyotepec. The Aguilar sisters in Ocotlán welcome you into their homes as they create colorful characters from clay followed by a nearby workshop that produces high quality knives and swords using techniques dating back to the colonial area. You will have time to explore the lively Ocotlán market, and since Ocotlán is also the hometown of the artist Rodolfo Morales, you will have the opportunity to visit the handsome 16th century church that his foundation renovated as well as the ex-convent that was turned into a lovely museum featuring his artwork. After a delightful regional lunch, the final stop is San Martin Tilcajete where Margarito Melchor demonstrates how he begins carving masterpieces using only a machete. B,L
Saturday, February 9, Day 5 – Free day to explore some of the outstanding sights of Oaxaca (map and information provided) and option of a possible visit to the Ethnobotanical Garden (need to sign up). It is a guided tour about the people, the culture, the livelihood, the history, and the politics of Oaxaca that are all woven into the plants in the garden. B
Sunday, February 10, Day 6 – The Zapotec village of Teotitlán del Valle is known world-wide for the quality of its hand woven rugs. Using natural ingredients, Benito Hernández Contreras will share his craft with you beginning with raw wool and ending with a colorful piece suitable for display or everyday use. We will also visit Vida Nueva (New Life) which is a weaving cooperative creating economic and artistic opportunities for Zapotec women.
Travel east to the ruins of Mitla, an ancient city founded more than 1000 years after Monte Albán. The architecture is a hybrid of Zapotec-Mixtec culture. Less massive and totally different than Monte Albán, the site is famous for exquisite “greca” stone fretwork. The local church, San Pablo Apostol Church, is worth visiting. Near the ruins is the Mercado de Artesanias which offers some of the best textile shopping during the tour. B,L
Monday, February 11, Day 7 – Feel like a modern-day explorer as you enter the pre-Columbian mountaintop ruins of Monte Albán. One of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán’s importance stems also from its role as the pre-eminent Zapotec socio-political and economic center for close to a thousand years. Afternoon for packing and to explore some sights you may have missed. Gala farewell to Oaxaca dinner. B,D
Tuesday, February 12, Day 8 – Flight to Tuxtla (not included) followed by vehicle transfer to San Cristobal de las Casas. Hotel Mansion de Los Angeles. B
Wednesday, February 13, Day 9 – Morning orientation walk to the Amber Museum, Museum of Regional Huipils as well as a walk-in clinic, market where traditionally dressed ladies sell handwoven textiles and other artistic treasures, and an excellent Mayan textile museum. Hotel Mansion de Los Angeles.
Thursday, February 14, Day 10, Happy Valentines Day. – Chiapas de Corzo for a dramatic boat ride into the kilometer-deep Sumidero Canyon. Crocodiles, howler monkeys, and a wide variety of birds may be seen on this trip. Hotel Mansion de Los Angeles.
Friday, February 15, Day 11 – Morning tour to the fiercely independent Tzotzil Mayan pueblos. There you learn customs and traditions of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan on a special trip not available through agencies. Colorful huilips and other traditional clothing distinguish residents of each village. Central to San Juan are curing ceremonies in the church practiced with thousands of candles on pine needle covered floors. Watch backstrap weavers in Zinacantan. Afternoon free. Hotel Mansion de Los Angeles.
Saturday, February 16, Day 12 – Free day for visiting attractions such as the Mayan Medicine Museum, indigenous women’s weaving cooperatives, Na Bolom Cultural Centre, Orquideas Moxviquil (botanical garden and hike), Foro Cultural Kinoki (watch films, good food). Final gala dinner. Hotel Mansion de Los Angeles. D
Sunday, February 17, Day 13 – Flights home from Tuxtla.
TOUR SIZE: This tour will operate with minimum of 8 people and maximum 12.
FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS: The fee for the tour is $2,399 per person double occupancy. This includes lodging, meals as indicated, guided tours with translator, admission fees, ground transportation, and information packet with map. It does not include airfare from your home to Oaxaca, Oaxaca to Tuxtla, and return from Tuxtla, transportation to and from airport, alcoholic beverages, special gratuities, or items of a personal nature. Note: B,L,D indicates what meals are included each day. The single supplement for this tour is $350.
TOUR REGISTRATION: To register, please carefully read TERMS AND CONDITIONS, complete RESERVATION FORM, and send signed with deposit. Make checks payable to Copper Canyon Wildflower Tours, send to Linda Ford, 244 NY 355, Poestenkill, NY 12140. Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 283-4201.