If you are an avid traveler you prioritize learning the local history, culture, and customs over generic sightseeing. You value firsthand engagement over cookie-cutter tours. If you’ll be in Oaxaca de Juarez these are the top immersive tours and excursions all of which can be personalized to your liking.
If you are a nature enthusiast this is the adventure for you. Prepackaged tours include short hiking excursions, full day hiking or mountain biking and an overnight camping trip. But the sky’s the limit here. Personalize your tour to include water activities, rock climbing up a waterfall, zip lining, visiting a Mesoamerica sweat lodge, mezcal tasting, and more. It’s best to immerse yourself in nature as part of a guided tour as trails are absent of signage.
Full day tours include meals and engaging with locals in the nearby villages. One of their most popular tours is the 8-hour hike in Hierve el Agua. Hike through paradise learning a bit about the regional foliage and view one of Mexico’s magical sights.
Fundación En Vía
Fundación En Vía is a local non-profit who provides microfinancing and education to women and children in the small villages surrounding Oaxaca. Your tour proceeds help to create sustainable change and a path out of poverty.
You have several tours to choose from including a general tour to meet the women and children who have been empowered by their microloan. This immersive tour allows you to experience a day in the life of locals and make a few friends along the way. They also have a Day of the Dead week package and an Alternative Spring Break package that includes hiking, a tamale making class, traditional weaving and dying, learning how to build a fuel-efficient stove, and spending the week working and learning alongside locals.
Mezcal Educational Excursions of Oaxaca
Tequila gets all the attention but Mezcal is a spirit that must not be forgotten. Native to the state of Oaxaca the local distilleries (palenques) have been making mezcal for multiple generations.
This tour is unique in that you get to see the hands-on process up close. From harvest to the making of the clay pots used for distillery and tasting the finished product. It’s an immersive tour where you get to delve in and engage with the distillers—most often family-owned businesses. No need to be fluent in Español as your tour guides translate. It is best to book a month or more in advance to have a custom tour designed for you. This could be a full day visiting a variety of palenques, or a 2 to 7-day food and drink adventure.
Oaxaca Eats Food Tours
So much more than a food tour! Where to eat next is always a priority when traveling. Not only do you need to fuel your body, but you want to enjoy as much regional cuisine as possible. The challenge is you only have so much time and so much room in your belly. As a city known for its cuisine, it makes the decision more of a challenge.
This 4-hour culinary excursion stops at 5 locally owned restaurants, tasting and learning the story behind over 20 regional foods and beverages. Mole, mezcal, coffee, chocolate, gourmet meat and poultry, and more! You will be stuffed by the end, but you will walk away having experienced the flavors Oaxaca is best known for. This is a walking tour that will take you past several local landmarks where your foodie tour guide will share a bit about the history, culture, and traditions. Book early in the week so that you can return to your favorite locations. You can also book a customized private tour.
Tlayudona is a woman-owned and operated business whose goal is to facilitate meaningful socio-cultural experiences by immersing tourists in the local culture. This is a hands-on cultural and learning experience.
Tours are prepackaged or personalized and include having an Indigo dye party or learning the history of folk art painting (Alebrijes) and taking a painting class—where you get to take home your work of art. Guests can learn how to make authentic mole, tamales, stone soup, or tortillas from scratch. Coffee lovers can learn more about local beans, roasting methods and the art of ancient brewing. Guests can take a guided to a mezcal distillery, market, or popular sights and attractions. They even have Spanish and Language-Learning experiences and can facilitate volunteer experiences.
Here’s to the best vacation yet!