October 28: Depart San Antonio at 10:40 a.m. on Mexicana Airline. Arrive Mexico City at 12:35. Depart Mexico City at 2:15 p.m. arrive Oaxaca at 3:10. Coach transfer to Hostal de La Noria for check in. 8:30 dinner at Restaurant Catedral.
Located two blocks from Oaxaca’s main square, the Hostal de La Noria has 70 uniquely decorated rooms. Housed in a lovingly restored colonial mansion, the family owned hotel has been featured in several interior design magazines for its attention to every detail.
October 29: Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 a.m. Slow paced orientation-walking tour of the historic center. A friendly and thorough introduction to the city, its history and culture. This tour offers an overview of Oaxaca’s many attractions and prepares you to explore this historic area further.
5:30 p.m. Private art gallery reception with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (I have been assured that the buffet table is copious-you will not need dinner afterwards); lecture on traditional Oaxacan arts and crafts.
October 30: Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 a.m. Guided excursion to Cuilapan, a magnificent Dominican monastery with open-air chapel, built in 1550. An architectural and historical wonder in a setting of breathtaking mountainous beauty. We will then visit the village of Arrazola to visit the now famous families of wood carvers who create extraordinary creatures, both realistic and fanciful. Pictured below is a dragon that followed me home after an earlier trip to Arrazola.
1:00 p.m. return to Oaxaca. Lunch at Los Jorges, a coastal oasis in the city of Oaxaca. Fresh seafood is flown in daily from the Oaxacan coast. Start with shrimp tacos and an ice-cold beer followed by red snapper cooked in a wood burning clay oven. Outdoor garden seating makes for a great start to a lazy afternoon.
Afternoon and evening free.
October 31: Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 a.m. Guided excursion to Mitla archeological site, famous for the many fine geometric mosaics decorating the palace walls. We will stop along the way at the village of Santa Maria del Tule, home of one of the world’s largest and oldest trees (it is magnificent).
Return to Oaxaca with early afternoon free.
5:30 p.m. A very special evening observing the Day of the Dead: Starting with a lecture and slide presentation highlighting the significance and mystery of this indigenous holiday followed by a fabulous Oaxacan dinner. We then depart to the village of Xoxocotlan where we will be given flowers and candles so we too can participate in the preparation for the homecoming of the departed.
November 1: Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.
9:00 a.m. Guided excursion to Monte Albán and the village of Santa Maria Atzompa. Monte Albán was founded approximately 500 years before the birth of Christ. It was the capital of the Zapotecs for over a millennium and served as the epicenter of their culture and a place of divine worship. We will also stop at the Atzompa community market, famous for its hand made green (copper oxide) glazed pottery.
1:00 p.m. return to Oaxaca. Afternoon free.
8:00 p.m. dinner at the renowned restaurant El Naranjo.
November 2: Buffet Breakfast at the hotel.
Morning free for some last minute shopping or exploring some sites you missed earlier. Airport transfer in time for Mexicana flight leaving Oaxaca at 3:45, arriving Mexico City at 4:45. Depart Mexico City at 5:45, arrive San Antonio at 7:45.
Dan Rains & Catherine Gilbert
Rick Herold & Dale Matlock
Joe Di Dio & Robert Terhune
Jim & Franci Plunkett