Geographic Expeditions - vacations and travel

Oaxaca and the Sierra Norte - Places of the Gods

Mexico, Central America

from $2,495* per person 6 Days Year-round
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Geographic Expeditions 18 people max
  • Airport near oaxaca, mexico
  • Active & Adventure trips
Fans of Mexico (and to go there is to become one) know that the southern state of Oaxaca is a synthesis of all that attracts us to this dear country. Our six-day trip is short but superb. It takes us first to the brilliant old UNESCO World Heritage Site city of Oaxaca. Founded by the Aztecs, Oaxaca was freshly designed in 1529 by the Spanish Empire’s premier architect, Alonso García Bravo. His genius is everywhere to be found, especially in the city’s famed square, the Zócalo, which softens the heart. We’ll visit the World Heritage Site Zapotec pyramids in Monte Albán, once one of the largest cities in the Americas. Nearby is the Place of the Gods, the sublime, mile-high Sierra Norte village of Teotitlán, overlooked by towering green peaks. We’ll do some gentle hiking in the Norte’s pine forests, famed in naturalist circles as the Oreoamuna mexicana forest. At 20 million years or so of age, this is one of the world’s oldest and most diverse ecosystems (among much else, the Sierra is home to 350 species of butterfly). We’ll overnight in a community-owned lodge that exemplifies the modern movement toward sustainable tourism, then head back to Oaxaca for some of its signature cuisine before heading home, well refreshed and uplifted.

Locations visited/nearby

Mexico, Central America

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Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.

Itinerary

Day 1

USA TO OAXACA Depart from your hometown, arriving Oaxaca in the afternoon. Upon arrival, you
will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel. You will have time to relax, take a stroll
through the historic city center and have dinner before meeting your guide for a short briefing.

Day 2

OAXACA This morning, you drive to the
ancient ruins of Monte Alban on the
outskirts of Oaxaca and spend a few hours
hiking and exploring this magnificent
Zapotec site. Named the People of the
Clouds, the Zapotec people made this site
their most developed cultural center. In the
afternoon, you will head out to the
southern part of the valley and explore the
weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle.
Here you will get a chance to visit a
villager’s home workshop for a
demonstration of this fascinating Old
World weaving process where the rich
colors borrow from the bounty of the surrounding landscape. Your day will conclude with a visit to the
Chagoya Mezcal distillery to learn about this famous spirit. After sampling some of the local nectar you
will head back to Oaxaca and your charming hotel courtyard for a few hours of free time.

Day 3

OAXACA Folk arts thrive in Oaxaca. Pottery, hand-woven textiles, jewelry, rugs, and carvings, all are
represented in styles unique to the area. Today you visit artisan and market villages in the central valleys:
San Bartolo de Coyotopec, where renowned polished black pottery is made, San Martín Tilcajete, known
for its carved and painted copal wood figures, also called Alebrijes, Santo Tomas Jalieza, a
weavers/textiles market held on Fridays, and/or Ocotlan, a bustling Friday market. In the afternoon you’ll
return to the zocalo (city plaza) and enjoy free time to explore the multitude of markets, architecture and
museums that abound in the city center.

Day 4

OAXACA TO LATUVI After breakfast, you transfer to the pine forests of the little known Sierra Norte
Mountains and the small village of Benito Juarez. You’ll hike through the cloud forest towards the small
village of Latuvi. The hike is about five miles of easy to moderate walking – many locals take this trail to
get from town to town. This unforgettable scene is a must-see for even the seasoned traveler. Your
night’s accommodation is in the warm and welcoming community-owned lodge, which offers bunk beds
and shared bathrooms. By staying here you are contributing directly to responsible travel in the
community and ensuring the preservation of the surrounding forest.

Day 5

OAXACA An optional morning walk to a mirador (lookout point) allows you to explore deeper into the
pristine forest. Others may choose to simply enjoy the picturesque town of Benito Juarez with its
panoramic views. In the afternoon you’ll transfer back to Oaxaca for a free afternoon in town to wander
the markets and museums that enliven this lovely city.

Day 6

DEPARTURE TO USA Morning departure from Oaxaca and on to your hometown.

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