Best of Oaxaca Tour

“The Best of Oaxaca” Tour
March 4 to March 12, 2017
Coordinated by Sharon Giles

So why should I take this tour?
As a craftsperson, artist, or designer, crafts such as woodcarving, weaving, pottery, metal working, baskets and masks are just a few of the crafts that appear everywhere, and are an integral part of every day life in Oaxaca. When you travel to the villages you will see the primitiveness of this area and their craft work reflects their wonderful culture. You will experience the markets which come alive with sights, smells and sounds that one will never forget. The markets have vast selections of all types of crafts. Oaxaca (Wah-Hah-Kah) is the ancient home of the Zapotec and Mixtec civilizations, builders of Monte Alban and Mitla. It is a charming colonial city, with grand churches, museums and public buildings. The zocalo (town square) is a place where people relax, listen to the mariachi bands, and is an area where cars are banned.

Since the early 1990’s, Sharon has concentrated some of her textile, craft and travel interests to the Oaxaca region of southern Mexico. As a fiber artist, collector of textiles and an avid traveler to Mexico, she has been drawn to this area which is especially rich in traditional Mexican crafts and has many interesting mountain villages that are home to native craftspeople. Over the years she has enjoyed becoming friends with many of these Mexican craftspeople, merchants, museum curators and lodging owners. This trip will be an opportunity to visit some non-tourist regions of Mexico. Sharon has over a dozen successful tours to the state of Oaxaca, Mexico as well as Guatemala and the state of Chiapas, Mexico. Future tours to Peru, Mexico’s Copper Canyon and Arizona for the Heard Museum Native Indian Market are in the planning stages.
You will stay at a bed and breakfast that is owned by an American and only a few minutes walk to the town square. The rooms are set around a verandah and flower filled gardens. Their friendly staff gives personal service and prepares delicious home style meals.
This will be a fantastic experience with trips to the archeological sites, visits to the craft villages and markets and the ability to meet the craftspeople of this area. Do not expect the normal run of the mill tour. This will be a once in a lifetime trip with Sharon as your guide to some wonderful, exciting places in Oaxaca. Maximum of 8 travelers. Contact Sharon Giles for a complete itinerary.

Sharon Giles
26 Hill Road, Fleetwood, PA 19522

March 4 – SATURDAY (D)
• Travel Day – Arrive in Oaxaca, Mexico. Transportation from Airport to Casa Colonial y via taxi/van to the Casa Colonial which will be our home for the next 8 days.

March 5 – SUNDAY (BLD)
• Tlacolula Market, visit the Dominican Chapel in Tlacolula, shopping time in the market
• Santa Marie del Tule – large, 2000 year old tree
• Free time in afternoon

March 6 – MONDAY (BLD)
• Visit to the archeological site of Monte Alban with our own personal tour guide.
• Atzompa – pottery making demonstration and visit the village co-op.
• Walking tour of Oaxaca City to include the Santo Domingo Church, sites around the Zocola and surrounding streets, to the Benito Juarez and 20 de Noviembre markets and ending at a chocolate making factory to see the process of how chocolate is made.

March 7- TUESDAY (BLD)
• Weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle – demo of the spinning, dyeing and weaving processes. Visit to the town market and church.
• After lunch a visit to the home of a candle maker with a demonstration of how they make the elaborate church alter candles.

March 8 – WEDNESDAY (BD)
• Today is a free day as there is so much to see and do in the city. Sharon will provide the group with a list of museums, churches and markets, but there are so many galleries and everyone loves just strolling up and down the streets at their own pace.

March 9 – THURSDAY (BLD)
• Visit the village and archeological site of Mitla with our own personal guide. Lunch in the village and plenty of time for shopping.
• Stop at Mescal factory where we sample this fiery drink made from the agave cactus.

March 10 – FRIDAY (BLD)
• Travel to Ocotlan for the weekly market, visit the beautiful town church and a visit to the home (now a museum) of painter Rodolfo Morales.
• In the afternoon visit to a woodcarving home/studio in San Martin Tilcajete for a wood carving and painting demonstration.

March 11 – SATURDAY (BD)
• Today will be entirely at your own pace. Recommendations: Abastos Market, Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art, Benito Juarez Market (has a great selection of huipils and other textiles), 20 de Noviembre Market, Basilica La Soledad, just 2 blocks from the Casa with a small museum and a courtyard with vendors that sell nieves (a cross between water ice and ice cream.)
• Very special farewell dinner planned.

March 12 – SUNDAY (B)
• Coffee, juice and toast before we leave the Casa for an early departure to the airport and travel back to the United States.

Costs: “The Best Of Oaxaca” Tour includes lodging, all meals (as noted in the itinerary), ground transportation to and from the airport, walking tour of Oaxaca, daily tours per the itinerary, museum/archeological site admissions. Lodging at a B&B in Oaxaca City where they serve wonderful Oaxacan cuisine. This tour is limited to 8 people. Single rooms are very limited – you may be paired with another single traveler. $1750 pp/double (2 people in 1 room), $1750 pp/single If Available – (small single room with bath) $2100 pp/ 1 person in a double room.