This trip takes you to the source of some of the nation’s most iconic foods, from delicious tacos to spicy mole and beyond. In Oaxaca you’ll enter the heart of pre-Hispanic cuisine; taste chiles, chocolate, mezcal and the surprisingly delicious chapulines (grasshoppers). It may not be edible, but a Lucha Libre (theatrical ‘freestyle wrestling’) match in Puebla is an entertaining and memorable cultural experience. Take a guided ‘taco crawl’ through Mexico City’s bustling markets
Get an authentic taste of Mexico on this journey through some of the country’s most famous culinary regions. Meander through Oaxaca’s aromatic markets; take to the streets of Puebla to sample some the city’s local specialties; indulge in fresh seafood on the beach; and take to the streets of Mexico City on a taco crawl to experience a delightful culinary heritage that goes back thousands of years. If you’re after cultural richness, authentic experiences and flavoursome food that’s tinged with fiesta, then this Real Food Adventure is for you.
Breakfast Included: 5 Lunches Included: 4 Dinner Included: 3
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Mexico City. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 7 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and travel group. 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 venues that continue to pop up all around Mexico City.
Indulge in a sweet morning with a visit to a local Chuerreria making Mexico's signature cinnamon dusted fried dough churros. Then enjoy a visit to a Mexico City institution: a two-storey bakery brimming with cakes, breads and biscuits, followed by 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.
Catch a local bus to Puebla, Mexico’s culinary capital. The city is renowned for dishes which combine Spanish and pre-hispanic influences, such as chiles en nogada (stuffed chillies covered in creamy walnut sauce). Venture out on a culinary city tour – start with some Pueblan street food before making a beeline for Calle de los Dulces (Sweet Street) to sample tortitas de Santa Clara (shortbread biscuits) and camotes (sweet potato lollies). Check out the much-loved and very colourful Lucha Libre wrestling this evening, a unique combination of sport and theatre!
This morning you have free time to explore Puebla and perhaps enjoy a few more chalupas, before catching a local bus to Oaxaca (approximately 4-6 hours depending on traffic) - a beautiful colonial city nicknamed the ‘land of the seven moles’. Visit the fabulous Mercado Benito Juarez, a bountiful market taking up a full city block and brimming with produce, mole spices and pastes, and towers of Oaxacan cheese. Maybe try local specialties like chapulines (grasshoppers)!
Chocoholics won’t want to miss a trip down to the shops on Calle Mina for a taste of real Oaxaca chocolate – it’s no wonder it’s seen as the food of the gods! For dinner, you'll have the option to dine at a traditional local restaurant featuring regional specialties.
Partake in a traditional breakfast of chocolate, tamales and pan y yemas. 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.
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. Perhaps also pay a visit to Teotitlan del Valle to watch traditional Zapotec rug weaving done by local families. 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!
Board a morning bus for the long but scenic drive to Huatulco (appx. 9 hours). We will stop at a local village for lunch along the way. 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 and we stay minutes away from the water. 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 perhaps pay a visit to the local food markets. We spend the night in Huatulco (approximately 1 hour).
Enjoy a cooking class and feast on your creations in a traditional meal celebrating the bounty of the Costa region of Oaxaca. After savouring these traditional coastal dishes, head out on a boating expedition. If you're lucky you might spot turtles, stingrays or even dolphins. The rest of the day is free for you to explore or simply relax by the water. Perhaps make a toast to the end of your adventure with a glass of mezcal by the ocean.
Your adventure ends today. There are no activities planned for the final day.