This tour is sold out.
January 20 - 26, 2014
Known for its magnificent Spanish Colonial architecture, Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by the majestic Sierra Madre del Sur Mountains. Operated by National Trust Tours, the Oaxaca, Mexico with Historian Florencio Moreno experience explores the sights and sounds of this 16th-century community, home to 17 indigenous groups. Each day, travelers will visit museums, outlying villages, and archaeological sites to uncover the vibrant offerings of this treasured destination.
Formerly a 16th-century convent, Quinta Real Oaxaca is a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide and affords the ultimate Spanish Colonial style and luxury. Situated in the heart of the city, just four blocks from the vibrant zócalo, this elegant hotel affords guestrooms decorated with Mexican tiles and regional textiles, centered around bougainvillea-filled courtyards, bordered by hushed passageways lined with fine historic paintings.
- Academic leadership of Florencio Moreno, a native Oaxacan who has led numerous cultural tours to Oaxaca and throughout Mexico
- Visits into the Oaxacan countryside to explore the vibrant craft traditions and village life of the Zapotec and Mixtec cultures
- Visits to Oaxaca’s finest art galleries
- Tours to the city's most distinguished examples of Spanish Colonial architecture with visits to plazas, convents, and other historic structures
- Meet with Oaxacan painters, sculptors, and craftspeople at their homes and studios, to learn about their techniques, and observe works in progress
- Explore Monte Albán, an ancient Zapotec ceremonial center, and Mitla, a Mixtec palace complex
- Sample delectable Oaxacan cuisine
Study Leader Information
Florencio L. Moreno is a cultural geography scholar from the UNAM Mexico City, with concentrations in Colonial iconography, iconology, and astroarchaeology. As a member of the Astronomical Society of Mexico, Florencio teaches at local schools and also lectures within and outside of Mexico on Mesoamerican and Mexican anthropology and history. He is a native of Oaxaca and fluent in English, Spanish, and Zapotec. Mr. Moreno is also a licensed guide and applies his broad knowledge and expertise leading tours for numerous U.S. alumni associations and art museums.
January 20 - Monday - USA / Oaxaca
Fly to Oaxaca and transfer to the five-star Quinta Real Oaxaca, a member of Historic Hotels Worldwide. Formerly the 16th-century Convent of Santa Catalina, this luxurious hotel is a lovely Colonial oasis situated in the heart of historic Oaxaca.
January 21 - - Tuesday - Oaxaca’s Colonial Center
Begin at Santo Domingo Church, which Aldous Huxley described as "one of the most extravagantly gorgeous churches in the world," then the Museo Regional de Oaxaca, housed in a former Dominican monastery, where magnificent Zapotec jewelry discovered in "Tomb 7" of Monte Albán can be found. A welcome lunch overlooking the vibrant zócalo will be provided after a stroll along Oaxaca's cobblestone streets. In the afternoon, visit the colorful city market, filled with mountains of flowers, hand-woven textiles, mounds of freshly ground Oaxacan chocolate, breads formed in every shape imaginable, and clusters of fresh produce. A wine reception will be hosted in a contemporary art gallery.
January 22 - Wednesday - Monte Albán, Pottery, & Paper
Tour the awe-inspiring Monte Albán, the ancient Zapotec capital that was inhabited for 3,000 years and became a leading center for artists and merchants. This archaeological site features a ceremonial plaza as well as a ballcourt, observatory, various tombs, and a number of pyramids. Special attention is given to the building of Los Danzantes, one of the most evocative features of the site. In the craft village of Santa María Atzompa, renowned for its emerald green-glazed pottery, artisans studios populate the community along with the Mercado de Artesanías, a village cooperative for artists. Following lunch, explore the Oaxaca Paper Workshop, a restored textile mill from 1883 and the brainchild of famed Oaxacan artist Francisco Toledo. Observe paper being made by hand out of locally grown plants and trees before visiting its wonderful gallery. In the evening, meet a local artist in his studio, and learn about art initiatives in Oaxaca.
January 23 - Thursday - Craft Villages
Travel into the Oaxacan countryside to San Bartolo Coyotopec, known for its black pottery, and see a private demonstration in a notable family studio. Continue to San Martín Tilcajete, home of the internationally famous Oaxacan woodcarvers, and meet a family of carvers in their home studio to examine the whimsical and imaginative styles produced by various craftspeople in the area. In Ocotlán, visit the delightful Popular Arts Museum, founded by the late artist Rodolfo Morales, and view Morales’ whimsical murals in the old town hall. Following a luncheon of local cuisine, visit the homes of the Águilar sisters and see their handmade, brightly painted ceramic figures that depict everyday life in the village, which are collected worldwide. Return to Oaxaca in the late afternoon.
January 24 - Friday - Oaxaca & Mitla
Drive into the Oaxacan Valley, to the palatial ruins of the Mitla archaeological site that features impressive stone mosaics. Original Mitla designs are incorporated into the patterns of distinctive textiles displayed in the textile market near the site. Continue to Teotitlán del Valle, a major Zapotec weaving village famous for its traditional weaving techniques and use of natural dyes. Meet one of the village’s most prominent families of weavers, who will demonstrate the hand dying of wool and weaving on treadlelooms before hosting travelers to lunch. Return to Oaxaca in the afternoon and enjoy a reception in a contemporary art gallery.
January 25 - Saturday - Archaeological Treasures
At the Museo Rufino Tamayo, view the personal collection of priceless artifacts representing the artistic developments of the pre-Hispanic era donated to Oaxaca by renowned artist Rufino Tamayo. In the evening, bid adiós to Oaxaca during a festive farewell dinner celebration.
January 26 - Sunday - Adiós Oaxaca
Following breakfast, join a private group airport transfer.
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