Christmas In Oaxaca

Indigenous cultures, holiday pageantry and hands-on fun with puppetry and crafts
Overview

overview

Journeys' Christmas holiday trip in Oaxaca (Wa-HA-kuh) offers more color and hands-on fun than anywhere else in the Americas.

This trip explores charming Oaxaca City in the heart of the high valley.  The over-the-top pageantry of December 24 features parades of giant papier-mache heads and competitions between artists who create sculptures from 7-pound radishes. This day alone would make the trip worthwhile, but you'll enjoy one delight after another from the moment of arrival. Sample Oaxaca's exotic fruit popsicles in flavors ranging from lime to tamarind to jamaica (ha-MY-ca). Learn from weavers and woodcarvers and try your own hand at painting those whimsical wooden animals that Mexicans call alebrijas (ah-lay-BREE-has). Visit the local markets and learn from a Mexican chef how to cook tortillas, tamales, and Mexican hot chocolate. Explore Monte Alban, the first urban center of ancient Mesoamerica. After a few days in now familar Oaxaca, sit at the Zocalo, listen to the marimba players, and soak up the festive atmosphere.

 

 

Continue to detailed itinerary...
itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: oaxaca city
    Welcome to Oaxaca

    Upon arrival you'll be met at the airport and transferred to your centrally-located, colonial style hotel in Oaxaca City.  Enjoy a welcome dinner at a favorite Oaxaca locale!

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Casa de Las Bugambilias or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: mitla/tlacolula/teotitlan del valle
    Mitla church (photo credit: Jeff Schneiderman)

    Today is market day in Tlacolula! In addition to visiting this bustling, colorful weekly market located in the Eastern Valley, you will explore the ancient site Mitla, the post classic Zapotec and Mixtec site dedicated to the dead. See the finely carved stone frets in various designs and configurations that express the Zapotec cosmology. Following your visit to this most unique site, you travel to the weaving and dyeing community of Teotitlan del Valle. A full day is dedicated in order for us to spend quality time with some of the weavers (our friends) to better understand their natural dye materials and processes, as well as their master weaving techniques. For lunch we will eat some delicious "tlayudas" and quesadillas, so famous in Oaxaca! Take a walking tour of the town, including the church, local museum and other points of interest. You will certainly spot many beautiful tapestries you will want to take home.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Casa de Las Bugambilias or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: monte alban
    Monte Alban (photo credit: Jeff Schneiderman)

    Today is dedicated to exploring the first urban city of Mesoamerica, Monte Alban. Great civilizations emerged and thrived in this region, with the Zapotec among the first cultural groups to develop. They went beyond being nomadic hunters and gatherers and began to develop complex systems of religion, politics, and commercial activity. Enjoy exploring, climbing, and observing the wonders of these ancient ruins. After you’ve immersed yourself in this early world, return to present day life and refresh yourself in the on-site cafeteria, museum, and bookstore. Returning to Oaxaca City, you will stop to meet the radish farmers who will soon be picking and carving their radishes for the festival. Back in Oaxaca is free at leisure.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Casa de Las Bugambilias or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: oaxaca city tour
    The sites and sounds of Oaxaca Mexico

    After breakfast, enjoy a guided walking tour to introduce you to this UNESCO Cultural Heritage City, dating back to the 1530's. Highlights of the tour include the bustling Benito Juarez Market, the lively central Zocalo, the lovely pedestrian street, Garcia Virgil, the Santo Domingo Church and the Museum of Oaxacan Culture. Our "comida" is at the famed Marco Polo restaurant, known for its fresh wood fired fish which is brought in daily.  After lunch, you are free to continue ambling, shopping and people watching from the Zocalo.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Casa de Las Bugambilias or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: oaxaca cooking/radish carving
    Radish art

    A special treat is in store today, as we will be led in a wonderful cooking class to learn about Oaxaca's regional specialties, such as mole, squash blossoms, tamales and more. Our morning begins with savoring delicious high altitude coffee known as Pluma Hidalgo, from the Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range. From here, we walk to the local market, to buy our ingredients for our multiple course meal. After enjoying the fruits of our labor, we venture to the Zocalo to witness the most amazing radish carving contest in the world. Since 1897, local Oaxaca merchants and artisans have carved radishes as an early form of advertising for thier produce stands. Themes such as daily life, political characters, and nativity scenes are depicted in radish art.  Maybe you can pick the winner!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Casa de Las Bugambilias or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: exploring more of oaxaca / calenda parade
    Children enjoy the parades

    Today we have arranged a very special visit to explore the first human settlement of the Valley of Oaxaca, El Mogote, a place few visitors see.  Then back in Oaxaca City, you will continue independently to explore many of Oaxaca’s museums, including The Textile Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Art Galleries, Coops, Café’s, Bookstores and colorful dynamic markets. Or, simply sit at the Zocalo and watch people as they amble by, or listen to the marimba players. In the evening you'll position yourself around the now familiar Zocalo to witness the Calenda Parade, where approximately 20 area churches decorate a float carrying children who dress as angels, and Jesus and Mary. These floats and church members parade around the Zocalo before heading to their respective churches to attend midnight mass.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Casa de Las Bugambilias or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: ocotlan market and craft route
    Relax with the locals

    Today we explore the Southern Valley, known as the "Craft Route", where you first visit Ocotlan, the town that Oaxacan Painter, Rodolfo Morales came from and has left his legacy. Then visit the Rodolfo Morales Museum housed in a lovingly restored Dominican Convent. You’ll see the Rodolfo Morales Museum housed in a lovingly restored Dominican Convent. Further along the Southern Craft route, visit numerous artisan communities, including Jalieza, where cotton belts and bags and table runners are woven on backstrap looms; Tilcajete, to see the unique alebrije wood carveings; and to Coyotepec, famous for its black pottery, produced by firing in oxygen reduced kilns. 

    Tonight you'll have a farwell dinner with chef Alejandro Ruiz and Casa Oaxaca!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Casa de Las Bugambilias or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: departure
    Adiós!

    After breakfast, you will be transfered to the airport in time for your flight home or extend to the coastal beach area of Huatulco or Puerto Escondido. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$2,995
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in Journeys' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$425
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Privately on Request
Dec 19-26, 2015
Need to Know

Need to Know

2 Person Rate for private trip: $3225 per person

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Delightful & superior hotels
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Easy walking & optional hiking
Group Size:
4-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
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activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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