WHET YOUR APPETITE
With its vibrant indigenous cultures, colorful festivals, stately colonial architecture, an impressive archaeological legacy, an array of excellent museums and art galleries and a thriving folk art tradition, Oaxaca enjoys a well earned reputation as one of Mexico’s cultural centers of gravity. Add to that its renown as one of the gastronomic capitals of Latin America, and it is easy to see why travelers who visit Oaxaca once find themselves returning year after year.
One of the greatest pleasures for many visitors is contemplating this city’s abundant charms from an outdoor table overlooking its tree-lined central plaza, the Zócalo and enjoying a local organic coffee or some aged mescal with its smoky aromas and distinctive toasty flavors.
There is perhaps no better time to experience its magic than during the annual Day of the Dead festivities. While the Día de los Muertos is celebrated in many parts of Latin America, nowhere is it more charged with cultural symbolism or more vibrant than in the UNESCO World heritage city of Oaxaca. There is a palpable buzz in the air as families visit markets, prepare homemade mole, hot chocolate and pan de muertos for their friends and family, both living and departed.
In addition to its spectacular art, architecture and archaeological treasures, Culture Xplorers provides travelers an unparalleled access to the people and living culture of Oaxaca.
FARM TO TABLE
After shopping for seasonal produce at the open-air market, roll-up your sleeves with Oaxaca’s top contemporary chef during a delicious, hands-on workshop focused on fresh preparations of classic regional dishes.
LIFE AT GROUND LEVEL
Whether enjoying insights into pre-Hispanic traditions during a hot chocolate workshop at a friend’s home, creating a Day of the Dead altar with fellow travelers or sharing mescal, mole and laughter with a mixed media artist and his neighbors, CX travelers experience local life at ground level.
ACCESS & EXPERTISE
Meet some of Oaxaca’s internationally recognized artists at their homes and workshops. Enjoy private demonstrations of their art, followed by lively conversation and a home-hosted meal.
EXTEND YOUR EXPERIENCE
MEXICO CITY UNVEILED
Dive into Mexico’s thriving metropolis with a mural-themed walk taking in its revitalized historic center. Discover one of the world’s great museums, the Museo Nacional de Antropología. Its superb collection is designed with a room dedicated to each of Mexico regions or ancient cultures. Follow the lives and artistic development of two of Mexican most compelling figures, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Explore the ancient City of Gods, Teotihuacán. This imposing site reflects the importance of the city, estimated to have been the sixth largest city in the world in its heyday from 450 – 600 A.D.
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
At Culture Xplorers, we insist on being not only responsible travelers, but on making a positive impact on the communities with which we come into contact. We work hand-in-hand with local leaders in the destinations we visit to spend time as well as money in their communities, to exchange views and to support the living traditions that make these destinations unique.
As a catalyst to these deep-rooted partnerships in each of our destinations, the non-profit Culture Xplorers Foundation was created in 2007 with the goal of fostering the sustainability of local culture in indigenous communities worldwide.
We constantly look for ways to minimize our carbon footprint before, during and even after our travels. We start in the office by not producing or printing any printed brochures. We have adhered to this leading-edge environmental practice since 2005, sending all our correspondence electronically as PDFʼs, from program itineraries to comprehensive pre-departure materials, to invoices, to our feedback & evaluation forms after the journey ends.
Traveling in extremely small groups (maximum 10 travelers) helps us minimize our ecological footprint in other ways. We stay in locally run, upscale boutique lodging brimming with local character — often in converted historic buildings, rural haciendas & renovated manor homes. This re-purposed lodging not only transmit a deeply authentic sense of place, they eliminate the need for additional tourism infrastructure.
When it comes to food ways and traditions, we emphasize visits with farmers and local producers and during each of our trips we participate in a hands-on culinary workshop focused on locally sourced foods & regional specialties.