- Mexico City – Visit historical places such as the Zocalo, Palacio Nacional, and Metropolitan Cathedral
- History of Chocolate – Enjoy a tasting of 100% artisan chocolate and visit the chocolate museum
- Mexico City Market Tour and Cooking Classes – Shop at the colorful San Juan Market in Mexico City before cooking class with Chef Maycoll
- Puebla – Enjoy a private tour of Puebla’s Historic City Center and learn about the city’s unique gastronomy
- Mesones Sacristía Cooking Class – Join a Mexican cooking course at Mesones Sacristía
- Oaxaca – Visit some of the city’s highlights, and nearby archaeological ruins and artisan villages
- Mezcal – Visit San Dionisio Ocotepec & Santiago Matatlan, two towns with authentic mezcal distilleries.
- Cooking Class with Zapotec Family – Enjoy a regional cooking class and lunch as special guest in a Zapotec family home
Day 1: Arrival to Mexico City
Today you will be met by your driver outside of customs (international flights) and will be privately transferred to your Hotel, for check in and rest of evening at leisure. Enjoy dinner (on your own) at one of the many gourmet Mexican restaurants in the area, our suggestion is Pujol by acclaimed Chef Enrique Olvera which was named by Wall Street Journal as the “best restaurant in Mexico City” and ranked as the 17th best restaurant in the world by Restaurant magazine in 2013.
Day 2: Mexico City Cooking Class / Historic Center With Chocolate Tasting
Accompanied by your locally renowned cook, you will have a cultural and culinary experience in the heart of one of Mexico City´s most artistic and dynamic neighborhoods – La Roma. Casa Jacaranda is a beautifully restored mansion where your hands-on cooking lesson begins. You will learn how to make different types of salsas for your cochinita, mojo, ceviche or al pastor tacos served on handmade tortillas which you will prepare yourself!
Later this afternoon enjoy a brief walking tour of historical Mexico City including visits to the most important sites such as the magnificent main square (Zocalo), the national palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral and an overview of the Templo Mayor from above. Your day concludes with chocolate tasting at Que Bo, one of the most recognized “chocolaterias” in town by Jose Ramon Castillo, an acclaimed pastry chef. Here, you will learn about Mexico´s cacao and chocolate legacy over delectable artisan chocolate, a true delight for all of the senses!
Day 3: Private Full Day Tour to Southern Neighbourhoods with Xochimilco and lunch at the market
Your personal guide will meet you at your hotel lobby and you will be driven to San Angel; with its narrow, cobbled streets and large colorful houses, it can be hard to believe that San Angel is part of Mexico City. If you visit on a Saturday you will be able to explore the Bazar del Sabado, an art and artisan market that brings people to San Angel from all over the city. You will then continue on to Coyoacán, you may wander down the tree-lined street as you observe the colorful, heavy brick architecture. Sixty-four of the buildings on this street are catalogued by INAH for their historic value. For lunch, your guide will lead you on a journey for the senses as you discover the Mercado Coyoacán and sit down to savor the flavors of your meal at this authentic Mexican market. Next you will head to Frida Kahlo’s Blue House. The house where Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was born and later died, is now a museum dedicated to her life. Through observing her house, her art and reading her words you will learn more about this painter who has become an iconic figure in Mexico and beyond. Having explored the Blue House, you will then be driven to Xochimilco, roughly a 30-minute drive from Coyoacán (15km). Meaning ‘Place of the Flowers’ in Nahuatl, Xochimilco is famous for its canals. These canals made up part of vast man-made waterways surrounding the ancient city of Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs built fertile riverbeds called chinampas, using wattle, mud and river sediment, on which they were able to grow many of their staple crops. You will experience the canals on a colorful boat called a trajinera, and discover that the chinampas are still in use today but for growing flowers rather than food crops. Your guide will be on hand to point out the local wildlife that is abundant in Xochimilco despite it being part of one of the most populated cities in the world.
Day 4: Mexico City Markets
One of the best ways to get to know a city is by walking through its historic neighborhoods. This experience beings with walking through the vibrant community of Roma to learn about the vicinity´s history with insider tips on local shops and businesses and an explanation of the area´s architecture and its uniqueness in what is one of the largest cities in the world. Then visit a local market and learn about Mexico´s vast and rich cuisine, an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, by way of its regional and season chilies, produce, seeds, flowers and spices. Today’s lunch is suggested at Nikos Restaurant (not included).
Day 5: Mexico City Private Transfer to Puebla
Today after breakfast and check-out, you will enjoy a brief Mexico City sightseeing tour of the most important avenues and buildings on your way out of the city, heading south to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Puebla (135 kms, 2 hrs away). Upon arrival you will enjoy a delicious lunch (included) sampling some of the regions most delectable specialties and a short orientation overview of the downtown enabling you to comfortably explore the area on your own. For dinner we suggest sampling one of Puebla’s regional dishes which include tacos arabes, cemitas, and chalupas.
Day 6: Puebla and Cholula
Explore the colonial city of Puebla and the Magic Town of Cholula. Puebla, a UNESCO World Heritage City, is known for its architecture, talavera pottery and rich gastronomic history. Visit the sights and learn about Puebla’s importance in New Spain as well as its contemporary reputation as a center for industry and education. Together with your guide the tour includes a stroll down la Calle de los Dulces (the Candy Street), and a visit to Puebla’s oldest cantina serving artisanal liquers at La Pasita. Lunch is included today and offers a sampling of Puebla’s famous mole poblano. Then continue on to Cholula, home to the largest pyramid base in Mesoamerica, upon which a 16th Century church was built. Your guide will lead you in exploring the town and on a clear day you may get a view of the Popocatepetl Volcano.
Day 7: Puebla Cooking Class
After breakfast, you will experience a Mexican Cooking Course at Mesón de la Sacristía. Introduction to Poblano cuisine: salsa verde, salsa roja, chalupas, mole poblano and fresh water of jamaica (hibiscus) Following to preparation is tasting time! Enjoy the afternoon at leisure and later this evening you will meet you guide at the hotel lobby and prepare to enjoy a delicious dinner at one of Puebla’s most traditional restaurants, includes ½ bottle of wine per person.
Day 8: Tehuacan en Route to Oaxaca
Early today after breakfast and hotel check out, you will meet your guide for a private transfer to Oaxaca visiting Tehuacan 2 hrs down the road. The Valley of Tehuacan is the first place maize was ever cultivated by humankind. The city is also well known for its mineral springs and the traditional dish “mole de caderas” (seasonal dish Sep-Dec). Among interesting attractions we will visit the Museum of Evolution which holds collections of reptiles from the Mexican Mesozoic age, fossils, minerals and rocks from up to four billion years ago.
Afterwards, your journey continues towards Oaxaca (3 hrs transfer). At arrival, you may settle in to your charming hotel and refresh before meeting with your private guide for an afternoon walking tour of the Oaxaca Historic City Center. You will learn about the city’s cultural heritage while visiting the Oaxaca Museum of Culture, which holds an impressive exhibit of the treasure found in one of the tombs at the Monte Alban archaeological site. Time and interest permitting you will also visit the Art of Oaxaca and Quetzalli art galleries. You will have a chance to try some of Oaxaca’s regional delicacies like hot chocolate and grasshoppers.
Day 9: Cook with Contemporary Top Chef Alejandro Olmedo
Chef Alejandro Ruiz’s restaurant Casa Oaxaca is listed among the Pellegrino Top 50 Restaurants of Latin America. His contemporary take on traditional Oaxaca food has made him nationally and internationally renowned. Your four-hour class will be led by Alejandro Ruiz or a long-standing member of his team and will start with a local market experience. At the Sanchez Pascua market you will meet Alejandro’s favorite merchants and learn about the local ingredients, spices and seasonings while discovering how to source the best and freshest ingredients.
Returning to the kitchen, you be guided step by step in preparing a range of traditional dishes, salsas and tortillas. Once the meal is prepared and ready to eat, you will sit down to enjoy your creation, while sampling artisanal mezcals and learning all about the variety of flavors of this important Oaxacan spirit.
Day 10: Teotitlan Del Valle Early Market Visit & Cooking Class with Zapotec Family
Meet your guide for a full day excursion to Teotitlan Del Valle, possibly the prettiest village in the east side of the valley. Here, there is a remarkable church with authentic art subjects from XVI Century. At arrival, you will enjoy a guided visit to Teotitlan Del Valle Market followed by a visit to a family home to see the process of how traditional woven rugs are made. Many still use the traditional techniques of carding and spinning their own wool, then dying it with natural colors and finally weaving on solid-wood looms.
Later, you will enjoy a regional cooking class and lunch as special guest in a Zapotec family home to share with the locals some secrets of Oaxacan cuisine. Oaxaca is famous worldwide for its offerings; both Gourmet Magazine and The New York Times have praised Oaxacan Cuisine as the most authentic food in Mexico. Late afternoon estimated arrival back at Hotel for rest of evening at leisure.
Day 11: Full Day Excursion to Mitla Archeological Site & Mezcal tasting
This full-day experience will take you on a journey into Mesoamerica at the ceremonial site of Mitla and an exploration of the art of Mezcal production. You will journey to the archaeological site of Mitla (45 mins, 40 km). The site is famous for its intricate mosaic work that is found in no other Mesoamerican center. The mosaics, made from finely cut and polished stone, were fitted together without mortar and set against deep-red stucco, which remains vibrant in much of the site today. You will be led on an exploration of the site by your guide and have the chance to enter the tombs found there. Your time at Mitla will also include a visit to the 16th Century church built on a pre-Hispanic platform that now functions as an atrium. It is one of the clearest expressions of Mesoamerican and Catholic synchronicity found in the region and is home to fragments of original codices (Mesoamerican writings).
Having explored Mitla, you will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant nearby before continuing your journey through the valley of Oaxaca to the “Mezcalerias” in the towns of San Dionisio Ocotopec, San Baltazar Chichicapam and Santa Catarina; you may have lunch (not included) at a traditional restaurant in one of the towns. These distilleries produce quality mezcal using varied distillation methods. You will be visiting the producers in each town and learn how donkey-power is still used in the fermentation process and learn about the differences between distillation still using the traditional copper and the pre-Columbian clay. After your mezcal tasting experience, your private guide will drive you back to your hotel for the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 12: Departure Day
Today you will be picked up for your onward flight home.