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Mythical Mezcal in Oaxaca, Mexico

A JOURNEY OF SMOKE AND SUNSHINE IN THE VIBRANT HEART OF MEZCAL COUNTRY

Itinerary

Destination

Start

Oaxaca Mexico

Finish

Oaxaca Mexico

Early 2023

Duration

5 Days

Format

Guided

Group Size

Small group

Overview

Oaxacan gastronomy ⋅ Hands-on cooking class ⋅ Mezcal bar crawl ⋅ Agave fields

There are spirits, and then there’s mezcal. The pungent, smoky drink is an integral part of the Oaxaca region, a sensory feast of vibrant culture, colorful architecture, rich history and spectacular culinary experiences. The earthy complexities of mezcal stand proudly at its heart and we discover it all, from the agave fields of artisanal producers to the perfect mezcalarita in a buzzing local bar.

Highlights

In Oaxaca deep indigenous roots interweave with modern flair, resulting in a historical and cultural vibrancy as evocative as it is unique. With farmer families and maestro mezcaleros as our guides, we blend good times with great spirits on a journey to the soul of mezcal

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01 | BOLD FLAVORS

We’ll elevate our palettes with an in-depth tasting at Mezcaloteca, a home-grown project dedicated to the conservation and diffusion of traditional mezcal and their biocultural processes

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02 | TIERRA MAGICA

We get up close and personal with the plant and the producers, visiting agave fields and palenques. From artesanal to ancestral, we’ll sample it all

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03 | SALT AND SMOKE

We head into the kitchen for an in-depth, hands-on cooking lesson that celebrates the unique flavors of the Oaxaca region. From aqua fresca to mole amarillo and cactus salad, this fun and friendly feast will make a chef out of all of us.

Itinerary

Day 01

HELLO AGAVE

City discovery walk ⋅ Artisanal tasting ⋅ Mezcal bar crawl

We kick off this journey of smoke and sunshine in Oaxaca City with a walking tour of the colorful historical center with our Tastemaker, who will be bringing this trip to life. Agave and architecture are on display as we make our way to the trendy Jalatlaco neighborhood, with a refreshing paleta stop to sample the beloved Mexican popsicle that’s as cool as it comes.

Next we elevate our palettes with an in-depth tasting at Mezcaloteca, a home-grown project dedicated to the conservation of traditional mezcal-making methods. We test unique varieties and sample small-batch productions from near and beyond.

Dinner is at the restaurant of a young chef who brings the flavors of the desert to life with a mouth-watering, vegetable-forward menu. Afterwards we start exploring the town’s many mezcal bars – from expansive espadín to aromatic arroqueño, the options are as endless as the dazzling night sky.

Day 02

MEZCAL MAGIC

Zapotec ruins ⋅ Agave field visits ⋅ Twilight rooftop drinks

The day begins with an optional visit to the bustling local food market for a taste of lip-smacking chocolate con leche. We gather mid-morning to head out into the arid landscapes that produce the world’s best mezcals.

First up is a guided visit to the impressive archaeological site of Mitla, a center of Zapotec culture since pre-Columbian times. Then we spend the morning getting to know the agave plant and its producers, visiting fields, palenques, and a small-batch producer where mezcal magic is made. From artisanal to ancestral, we sample it all.

This afternoon, after a rustic lunch in Santiago Matatlán, we visit a nearby weaving village before returning to Oaxaca for some downtime. This evening, we gather on our favorite rooftop bar for happy hour before a free-form dinner so you can experience this vivid city your way. Informal taquerias, destination dining, mezcal nieves: our Tastemaker has the perfect recommendation.

Day 03

FRESH FLAVORS

Ethnobotanical gardens ⋅ Hands-on cooking class ⋅ Mezcal mixology

We awaken the senses with a walk through the ethnobotanical gardens, a landscape of unexpected shapes and textures emblematic of Oaxaca’s unparalleled biodiversity. Then it’s into the kitchen for a hands-on cooking lesson that celebrates the unique flavors of the Oaxaca region. A whole lot of fun – plus a menu to impress at your next dinner party, from aqua fresca to mole amarillo and cactus salad.

After free time to explore the galleries, museums and shops of Oaxaca, we gather this evening in one of our favorite local bars to meet a mixologist friend who teaches us the secrets of the perfect mezcalarita. From there the night is yours – take your pick in a town with a restaurant scene that is habanero-hot.

Day 04

HOT SALSA

Top-shelf mezcal ⋅ Oaxacan gastronomy ⋅ Dance all night

Today a leisurely breakfast gives way to an easy-going day that you can make your own. Take an optional trip to the impressive archaeological site of Monte Alban and visit a traditional ​​temazcal (sweat lodge) or spend time in central Oaxaca with its myriad cafés, galleries and outdoor markets.

This evening we come together for a final celebration, raising a glass surrounded by new friends in Oaxaca’s best mezcal bar. We move on to discovering contemporary Oaxacan gastronomy at Origen at the table of local superstar chef Rodolfo Castellanos, where seasonal and locally sourced is the order of the day.

From there, we shift salsa from the plate to the dancefloor at our favorite club where we bust our best moves over a last mezcal or two.

Day 05

NOS VEMOS!

This morning it’s time for farewells and departures. Until next time!

Accommodation

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Accommodations are hand-selected for each and every trip from a portfolio of rigorously-vetted hotels. Our Trip Design team prioritizes location, comfort, and design to ensure your stay is a winning mix, every time. In Oaxaca, we often stay in hotels such as Hotel Azul Oaxaca.

Hotel Azul Oaxaca

Boutique, and oh-so charming, the Azul has a proud place as a center for Oaxacan art, culture, design and gastronomy – from rooms curated by renowned local designers to an inviting gallery space, contemporary meets pre-Hispanic cooking, and a terrace bar perfect for connecting.

What's Included

Almost everything.

Curated activities, local cuisine and libations, new knowledge, delightful travel companions – and so much more.

  • Four nights hotel accommodation

  • Daily breakfast

  • Meals per the itinerary

  • Nightly round of drinks

  • Activities mentioned in the itinerary

    • Walking tour of historic Oaxaca
    • Mezcaloteca mezcal tasting
    • Visit to Mitla
    • Palenque tour and tasting lunch
    • Cooking class lunch of regional specialties
    • Mixology masterclass
  • Return transportation to from all scheduled activities when required

  • Return transportation from Oaxaca international airport to hotel

  • Services of a brilliant local Tastemaker (=Trip Leader)

  • Tips and gratuities at hotels and at group meals

  • All local taxes

What's Not Included

  • Flights are not included

  • Tours, events, and activities outside those noted in the itinerary

  • Transfers not noted in the itinerary

  • Any food or drinks outside except where specified/detailed

  • Personal items and expenses

  • Any additional services at the hotel (room service, phone calls etc)

  • Travel insurance

FAQs

Question

  • What is a Spirited Stories trip and what makes it different?
  • Who are Spirited Stories trips for?
  • My friends and I want to book a private trip, is that possible?
  • I have never done a group trip before. What is the group like?
  • Is Spirited Stories a travel agent?
  • How do I contact you?
  • Where can I submit a press inquiry?

Answer

  • Spirited Stories are traveling celebrations. Over three to five days we bring people together in a casual way around food and drink. Think the dreamiest long weekend you can imagine, with great local friends doing all the curating. You just turn up and enjoy the fun.

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