HighlightsMexico city | Puebla | Lucha Libre' performance | Famous food markets of Oaxaca | Mazunte | Ecolodge stay on Pacific coast
Description of Mexico small group holiday, a food adventureThis nine day Mexico small group holiday is not only a journey around some of Mexico’s finest cities but also a delicious food adventure. Because so much of Mexican culture revolves around food, and drink of course.
Starting in Mexico City, we feast from morning until night, from breakfast bakeries, to taco street food to mezcal bars. While leaving you plenty of time to explore the archaeological and architectural gems of this great city at your own pace. From the main capital city to Puebla, which is considered the foodie capital by many, and which you will discover on a culinary tour that allows us to gorge on dishes that have both Spanish and pre-Hispanic influences. Puebla is also a very beautiful town with its snow-capped mountainous backdrop and UNESCO city centre.
UNESCO may, however, consider our next stop of Oaxaca first for food, as it has officially listed and protected its cuisine with World Heritage status, describing it as ‘intangible cultural heritage’. You can, however, touch and taste plenty of it here, because whether you are a cheese or chocoholic, or indeed carnivore, Oaxaca is sizzling when it comes to that all important sense of taste.
Mexico’s weather is also sizzling, and so beach time is a must here, and we spend a couple of our final days in Mazunte, on the Pacific coast where you can chill and chow down, with no shortage of ceviche and cerveza.
Responsible tourism Responsible tourism: Mexico small group holiday, a food adventure Show More As a global operator, we take our role in the tourism industry very seriously. We recognise the impact that tourism has on local communities and the environment, and we plan and operate all our tours with this front of our minds. We believe that every tour operator must be responsible in the way they conduct their business, to ensure the welfare of all people and the conservation of the environment. We are committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way we provide our travellers with real life experiences. These values are more than just words on a page; they are ingrained in our culture and the daily operations of every office and every trip. In addition, we expect our staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel - respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development. We believe that responsible travel is about the attitude you take with you and the choices you make when travelling - to respect and benefit local people, their cultures, economy and the environment We take care to use local transport throughout and stay in small, locally owned hotels and guesthouses. We source produce locally throughout the trip, eat at local restaurants and encourage our travellers to purchase souvenirs from local artisans and recruit our on the ground team from the local community. This tour will lead you on a cultural and culinary journey with countless opportunities to interact with the locals and learn their gourmet secrets, from the vibrant Abastos Markets where you will sample the distinct Oaxaca regional specialities with the stallholders to sharing a glass of Mezcal with the locals in the Mezcal bars of Mexico City. This not only gives a fantastic insight into the country and a snap shot of day to day life, but it also puts valuable financial resources back into the local economy, creating jobs and supporting local businesses. We encourage our travellers to reduce their excess waste using a reduce, re-use and recycle policy. We also in avoidance of animal cruelty never visit places known to use cruel practices in rearing and/or slaughtering of livestock. We also make sure that foods from the endangered species list are not served on the trip. As company our responsibilities don’t stop when our tours end. Our own in house foundation has been in operation for over 10 years; a not-for-profit fund that has distributed over AU$3 million to more than 70 non-government organisations since 2002, from health care, education, human rights, child welfare, sustainable development and in environmental and wildlife protection. Donations come from our travellers and are then matched by us dollar for dollar. We are proud to be a carbon neutral company. We offset all our global carbon emissions and offer a carbon offset option to passengers booking their flights through us. Through these schemes, significant financial contributions are being made on behalf of our business, suppliers, staff and travellers to internationally certified carbon abatement projects, equating to over AU$1 million since 2007. Since then, we have offset over 45,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. That's equal to approximately the amount of carbon that 2,796,047 trees would absorb over 10 years, or taking over 4,753 passenger cars off the road for an entire year! We invest in internationally accredited offset projects that are based in our biggest destinations. These projects not only offset our emissions but they also improve the environment of the local communities by providing an alternative to fossil fuels and therefore produce less pollution. Our current project is the Alize Çamseki wind farm in Turkey. The wind turbines produce approximately 82,000 MWh of electricity annually and in doing so prevents 52,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere each year.
|Day 1:||Mexico City. Bienvenidos! Welcome to Mexico City. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7pm on Day 1. Please check with the hotel reception where and when it will take place. This evening your leader will take you on a 'taco crawl' around town. You'll taste Mexico City’s delicious street-food staple, tacos al pastor, among others. Along the way you'll stop in for a sip of mezcal at one of the many mezcal bars that have started popping up all around Mexico City.|
|Day 2:||Mexico City. Enjoy breakfast at a Mexico City institution: a two-storey bakery brimming with cakes, breads and biscuits, then embark on a walking tour of Mexico City's Centro Historico. Take in the beautiful Bellas Artes Palace, travel down the Paseo de la Reforma (the city's main thoroughfare) and marvel at the impressive Zocalo (Latin America's largest main square). Along the way you'll visit Mercado San Juan, the city’s main food market, then roam the surrounding streets and watch local vendors at work. If you come across tortillas being freshly pressed, be sure to try them warm with a sprinkle of salt. Pull up a chair at one of the best seafood stands in the city for a late lunch. The rest of your day is free for your own exploration. Perhaps relax in Chapultepec Park or take in some of the city's notable museums, including the renowned Museo Nacional de Antropologia (anthropological museum), which is considered one of the finest in the world. Alternatively, head to the leafy district of Coyoacan – a world away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Mexico City. There you can enjoy the Sunday markets or perhaps check out the home of artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. This evening you will again be able to explore more of Mexico City’s vibrant dining scene.|
|Day 3:||Puebla. Travel by local bus to Puebla (approximately 2 hours). Although it's a rapidly growing city, Puebla has managed to retain a strong sense of its past. This city is also obsessed with food and is regarded by many as the gastronomic capital of Mexico. Its cuisine is a mixture of pre-hispanic fare and Spanish influenced dishes, including mole poblano and chiles en nogada (the latter is seasonal and should only be eaten in restaurants between May and September). Enjoy a culinary tour that spans some lovely food and beautiful architectural and historic sites. Try dishes like cemitas (similar to Mexico City's tortas – crusty sandwiches filled with goodies) and tacos arabes (meat-filled tacos cooked on a large spit and served with salsas and fresh lime). Finish up at Calle de los Dulces, or 'Sweets Street', to sample camotes (yam-based candies flavoured with fruits) or Tortitas de Santa Clara (round shortbread-type cookies topped with a sugary pumpkin-seed glaze). You'll also witness a 'Lucha Libre' performance today. This popular sport combines wrestling and theatre.|
|Day 4:||Oaxaca. This morning you have free time to explore Puebla and perhaps enjoy a few more chalupas, before catching a local bus to Oaxaca (approximately 4 hours) arriving by early evening. It will soon become apparent why Oaxaca is known for its cuisine. For dinner, you'll have the option to dine at a restaurant where the local chef is dedicated to the preservation and sharing of dishes and specialises in ancient cooking methods from all over the state of Oaxaca.|
|Day 5:||Oaxaca. Partake in a traditional breakfast of chocolate, tamales and pan y yemas, then join a local chef on a walk through Oaxaca's renowned markets for an introduction to some distinct regional specialties. Taste everything from cactus fruit to grasshoppers to the heavenly Oaxacan cheese, queso oaxaca. Pick up some ingredients to take back for a cooking class, in which you'll discover the secrets to preparing Oaxacan delicacies at home. Feast on your creations over lunch. Your afternoon is free to explore Oaxaca’s many other culinary delights. Any carnivores will relish the pasillo de carnes asadas (grilled meats hall) at Mercado 20 de Noviembre, where freshly purchased meat is barbecued right in front of you. Those with a sweet tooth can find several shops on Calle Mina (just south of Mercado 20 de Noviembre) at which to learn about the production of real Oaxacan chocolate – and of course taste this regional specialty. Alternatively you can visit the archaeological site of Monte Alban, an outstanding example of a pre-Columbian ceremonial centre. The terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds of Monte Alban were carved out of the mountain.|
|Day 6:||Oaxaca. Today you will venture out of Oaxaca for an insight into regional life. Visit Mercado Tlacolula, one of the oldest markets in Mesoamerica. This is a unique opportunity to witness the ancient Zapotec cultural traditions of dress, cuisine and language, as the community gathers together from neighbouring villages. Here you will indulge in a meal of Oaxacan barbacoa. Then head to the ancient ruins of Mitla. Mitla (the Nahuatl word for 'underworld') is an important Zapotec archaeological site and was the main religious centre for the Zapotec people. On the way back to Oaxaca, stop into a mezcaleria (mezcal distillery). Although this tequila-like drop is experiencing a resurgence in popularity all over Mexico, it is largely produced in Oaxaca. It's generally enjoyed straight-up, so it's not for the faint-hearted! In the evening, jump on an overnight bus (approximately 9 hours) for the Pacific coast, where delectable seafood and lovely beaches await.|
|Day 7:||Mazunte. Your bus will arrive in Puerto Escondido early this morning. From here it is just under an hour by taxi to the hotel in Mazunte and you will arrive around 9 am. Please note that your room may not be ready immediately upon arrival, however you will be able to leave your luggage at the hotel. Your accommodation is at an eco-lodge which has amazing views overlooking the ocean. Rooms are simple but comfortable and like most properties in the area, there is no air conditioning, however there are fans. This is your chance to relax and unwind, as this town belongs to one of the most beautiful stretches of beach on Mexico's Pacific coast. It's also quieter and less touristy than some of the bigger beachside spots, although these are accessibly by taxi. Pull up a chair at one of the restaurants or laze in a hammock outside your bungalow. Perhaps pay a visit to the seafood market at the port in nearby Puerto Angel. This evening enjoy a traditional dinner celebrating the bounty of the Costa region of Oaxaca.|
|Day 8:||Mazunte. Head out on an early morning fishing expedition. If you're lucky you might spot turtles, stingrays or even dolphins while you're out on the water. Sail back to shore with your catch of the day. Back on land, enjoy a masterclass on preparing Mexican coastal-style ceviche (raw fish cooked in citrus juice) and savour this over lunch. The rest of the day is free for you to explore or simply relax by the water. Make a toast to the end of your adventure with dinner and glass of mezcal by the ocean.|
|Day 9:||Mexico City. Fly back to Mexico City, arriving at Benito Juárez International Airport at around 2 pm. Your trip comes to an end here. Outbound flights are best booked for after 6 pm to allow for any delays.|