General information

Oaxaca, Mexico8 hours

Program details

Full day tour discovering some of the best attractions in the state of Oaxaca

Monte Albán was the ancient capital of the Zapotecs, built in the center of the Oaxaca valley. The extraordinary archaeological area of Monte Albán, a site which preserves evidence of its empire of over 1500 years and which in 1987 was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, had a great connection with Teotihuacán. While visiting this area you can appreciate the style of its buildings, the ceramics and the mural painting.

The city of San Antonio Arrazola is famous for being the place where alebrijes are produced, one of the finest handicrafts in all of Mexico. The artisans make alebrijes with "zompantle", "copal" or "copalillo" which is extracted directly or purchased from "copaleros". Alebrijes are mystical beings: the wood must be carved before it dries to give it the shape it will have, once this process is finished it is sanded and prepared for decoration. The craftsmen paint the wood and draw it with various techniques to give the colors and the final design to these figures.

The Cuilápam convent was a former convent in Mexico, located in the municipality of Cuilápam de Guerrero, in the Central Valley region of Oaxaca. It is a 16th century building, of impressive size, but never completed. Among its most distinctive architectural spaces is an open chapel, a type of religious construction characteristic of the early years after the conquest of Mexico, designed with the aim of bringing together a greater number of natives to convert to Catholicism.

The black clay of San Bartolo Coyotepec is famous all over the world. The process of working the pieces is long and requires enormous skills on the part of the craftsman, making each article produced a unique piece. First the clay is kneaded until it becomes smooth and then it is molded into the shape that the piece will take. Once modeled, it is dried in the sun for four days, after which if no cutting is necessary, if the piece is shiny and if there are no stains, the work is considered complete. In case the piece needs a cut, this is done by steady hands, as it is a very precise job. The glossy effect is obtained by polishing the piece by hand with quartz crystals. After being scraped, it is left to dry in the sun for a few more days. After this time, the piece is placed in the oven (usually wood fired) for a day. It is during this process that black ceramic acquires its distinctive color. This is a unique way to acquire that black coloring, and it's only done in San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca.

The tour includes: tranportation, english guide, entrances