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Real Food Adventure - Mexico
Transport - Bus, Plane
Accommodation - Hotels (8nts)
Meals - 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Transport - Bus, Plane
Accommodation - Hotels (8nts)
Meals - 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Discover the flavours of Mexico as you explore the tasty cities of Oaxaca, Puebla and Mexico City. You will shop at markets, explore ancient ruins, take cooking classes and sample foods from streetside vendors. This trip is a Mexican fiesta style spicy real food adventure.
Take a flight to Mexico City. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel
Hola! Welcome to Mexico.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 2.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Mexico is an intoxicating land of archaeological treasures, vibrant cities, vivacious culture and welcoming locals. With jungles, mountains, beaches, reefs and caves to explore – and museums, cafés, bars and markets to visit – any time spent in Mexico will never be long enough.
This evening your tour leader will take you on a "taco crawl" to enjoy tacos from around town, including Mexico City’s street food staple, tacos al pastor.
On the way, we’ll also stop in for a sip of mezcal at one of the many mezcal bars that have started popping up all around Mexico City.
- Mexico City - Taco crawl
Hotel (2 nts)
Today you fly (approx. 1 hour) to Oaxaca.
Oaxaca is a UNESCO World Heritage site celebrated for its pre-Hispanic ruins, colonial architecture and, of course, its cuisine! The region has been inhabited by pre-Hispanic tribes for thousands of years and Oaxaca remains home to more than fourteen ethnic groups – including the Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, whose influence is omnipresent in the state's culture, customs and cuisine.
Abastos Market is one of the most vibrant markets in the country and will be in full flight when you visit on Saturday, its main trading day. This will be your first introduction to the building blocks of Mexican cuisine, as well as to some of Oaxaca’s distinct regional specialties – taste everything from cactus fruit to grasshoppers to the heavenly Oaxacan cheese, queso oaxaca.
Finish at the less crowded, but equally interesting Mercado 20 de Noviembre. Any carnivores will relish lunch at the pasillo de carnes asadas (grilled meats hall) and the yellow mole empanadas available outside Mercado 20 de Noviembre also come highly recommended.
Your afternoon is free to explore the markets as well as Oaxaca’s many other culinary delights. Perhaps check out the crafts at Benito Juarez Market or, if you are after real Oaxacan chocolate, there are several shops on Calle Mina (just south of Mercado 20 de Noviembre) where you can see this regional specialty being made.
Alternatively, you may wish to visit the impressive Monte Alban.
Monte Alban was inhabited over a period of 1,500 years by a succession of cultures (Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs) and it is an outstanding example of a pre-Columbian ceremonial centre. The terraces, dams, canals, pyramids and artificial mounds of Monte Alban were literally carved out of the mountain.
Tonight you journey to a nearby town to sample some of the region’s famous ‘barbarcoa’, or ‘slow, pit-cooked’ meat. Toast the meal with a glass of mezcal before sitting down to enjoy our final Oaxacan feast.
On Sunday you visit Mercado Tlacolula, one of the oldest markets in Mesoamerica and a unique opportunity to witness the ancient Zapotec cultural traditions of dress, cuisine and language, as the community gathers together from neighbouring villages.
Afterwards you head out to lunch at a truly old-world Oaxacan restaurant. The restaurant has no electricity and no menu and serves excellent traditional Oaxacan fare..
This afternoon you visit Mitla archaeological site.
Mitla is an important Zapotec archaeological site and was the main religious centre for the Zapotec people. It was originally built as a gateway between the world of the living and the world of the dead and the name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl word Mictlan, meaning ‘underworld’.
On our way back to Oaxaca, stop into a mezcaleria (mezcal distillery). Mezcal is an alcoholic beverage, related to tequila, which is produced from the maguey plant. Although mezcal is experiencing a resurgence in popularity all over Mexico, it is largely produced in Oaxaca. Not for the faint-of-heart, mezcal has an enticing smoky flavor and is generally enjoyed straight up – salud!
This evening is free for your own Oaxaca food adventure. Your leader will tell you about a range of Oaxaca's best kept dining secrets, so you can decide on what best takes your fancy for dinner.
- Oaxaca - Mercado Abasto tour
- Oaxaca - Mercado Tlacolula visit
- Oaxaca - Mezcaleria visit
- Oaxaca - Mitla ruins visit
- Monte Alban Ruins - USD10
Hotel (2 nts)
Before leaving Oaxaca, breakfast at a unique street-side restaurant. At any one time they have three different types of corn dough made from different types of corn gathered from cooperatives of farmers who work throughout the Oaxaca state.
After breakfast you travel by local bus to Puebla (approx. 5 hours)
Although it's a rapidly growing city, Puebla has managed to combine modern development with its colonial past and there are plenty of well-maintained churches and colonial buildings to admire. Puebla is also a city obsessed with food and regarded by many as the gastronomic capital of Mexico. Its cuisine is a mixture of pre-hispanic fare and Spanish influenced dishes, including mole poblano and chiles en nogada. Bear in mind, chiles en nogada is seasonal and should only be eaten in restaurants between May and September.
Enjoy a culinary tour peppered with stunning architecture and historic sites in Mexico’s fourth largest city.
Start at the traditional Mercado de Sabores Poblanos, a great introduction to Pueblan street food, where a multitude of stalls produce local dishes cooked up by different chefs. Try dishes like cemitas (like the Mexico City tortas – crusty sandwiches filled with goodies), large tostadas called chalupas and tacos arabes, which are tacos filled with meat cooked on a large spit and served with salsas and fresh lime.
You then stop at Calle de los Dulces, or “Sweets Street”, to sample camotes (yam-based candies flavoured with fruits) or Tortitas de Santa Clara, which are round shortbread type cookies topped with a sugary pumpkin-seed glaze.
Conclude the tour at a pulquería that sells the viscous "pulque", which is a lightly alcoholic fermented sap of the maguey plant.
This evening is free for you to continue exploring Puebla's renowned food scene.
For something equally traditional but perhaps less flavoursome, why not pay a visit to a "Lucha Libre" match. This sport - part wresting, part theathre - is next to religion in Puebla.
- Puebla - City food tour
- Puebla - Lucha libre - USD8
Hotel (1 nt)
Spend your final morning in Puebla learning how to recreate some of the city’s most prized dishes in a hands-on cooking class. Enjoy your creations for lunch.
Later in the afternoon you head back to Mexico City by local bus (approx. 2 hours). This evening you can spend at your own leisure.
In Mexico City your leader will take you on an orientation walking tour of the 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 hugely impressive Zocalo (Latin's America's largest main square).
Along the way, we’ll stop for a traditional desayuno (breakfast) of café de olla (sweetened spiced coffee) and pan dulce (sweet rolls). You also visit Mercado San Juan, the city’s main food market, before roaming the surrounding streets, watching tortillas being freshly pressed (they are amazing warm and sprinkled with salt) and winding up for lunch at one of Thomasina Miers's favourite local restaurants in Mexico City.
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), considered one of the finest in the world.
This evening you will again be able to explore more of Mexico City’s vibrant dining scene. Choose to make a reservation in one of the city’s top dining establishments or delve into another of the wonderful local restaurants to be found around town. There are no shortage of amazing options!
On the morning of day 7 you visit Coyoacan, a tranquil, leafy precinct located a short metro ride away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Thursday morning is market day and you enjoy a stroll around the various stalls in the square, indulging in churros filled with cajeta, a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised milk.
After the market, you may want to walk to the nearby Frida Kahlo and Leon Trotsky museums. Both were residents of Coyoacan and the museums are in their former homes.
On the final night of your Mexican Real Food Adventure you celebrate with an included dinner at a wonderful old school cantina in the heart of Mexico City.
- Puebla - Cooking class
- Mexico City - Centro Historico food tour and lunch
- Mexico City - Coyoacan visit
- Cholula visit - USD6
- Fridah Kahlo museum - MXN75
- Leon Trotsky museum - MXN40
Hotel (3 nts)
Your adventure ends today and those on group flights will be transferred to the airport for their overnight flight home to London.
Discover Oaxaca a culturally diverse city with beautifully preserved colonial buildings, impressive archaeological sites, amazing markets and tasty cuisine from crunchy grasshoppers to heavenly cheeses. Chocolate is handmade here and BBQ meat never tasted better than when cooked slowly in a fire pit. Raise a toast your adventures with a firey Mezcal - salud.
Puebla is a city obsessed with food and regarded by many as the Gastronomic Capital of Mexico, stunning architecture and historic sites complete the menu. Sample some street food from a multitude of stalls. Try dishes like cemitas – crusty sandwiches filled with goodies, large tostadas called chalupas and tacos arabes, which are tacos filled with meat cooked on a large spit and served with salsas and fresh lime. For desert stop at Calle de los Dulces, or “Sweets Street”, to sample camotes (yam-based candies flavoured with fruits) or Tortitas de Santa Clara, round shortbread type cookies topped with a sugary pumpkin-seed glaze. Get hands on at your cooking class enjoying your creations for lunch.
Mexico City has a vibrant dining scene and there is much to taste and discover here, watch as tortillas are freshly pressed. Thursday morning is market day just outside the city in Coyocacan, enjoy a stroll around the various stalls in the square, indulging in churros filled with cajeta, a Mexican confection of thickened syrup usually made of sweetened caramelised milk.
Our Real Food Adventure - Mexico trip is just one of our Latin America tours. To find out more visit our Americas holidays page.
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We just wanted to express how impressed we were with the entire experience. The planning of the itinerary and the opportunities to meet the local people and get to know thier culinary secrets was amazing.