Lane Series Director Natalie Neuert, and UVM Music Department Faculty member Alex Stewart team up to lead a group (limited to 12) to one of the great culinary and cultural centers of the world: Oaxaca, Mexico. Participants will enjoy eight days experiencing a diverse and vibrant culture focusing on music, food, art, and historical treasures.
About the Trip
Alex and Natalie will take the group off the tourist path to explore the extraordinary cultural treasures of Oaxaca. We’ll be based in Oaxaca City, home to museums, nearby archeological sites, botanical gardens, and music of many genres from classical, to jazz, to traditional. We’ll attend formal concerts in venues like the beautiful Teatro Acala, and/or the contemporary Teatro Benito Juarez. Late night, we’ll hear jazz at the Collectivo Centrale, and other hot spots in this city where traditional brass and string bands perform. Other nightlife options include community dancing in the town square or Zócalo, outdoor movies in Spanish and English; and just roaming this enchanting colonial city.
What is Included:
- Daily light breakfast (fruit, sweet breads, coffee)
- Travel during the week (by van, taxi, public transportation)
- Lectures and Talks
- Snacks for outings
- Admission to sites, museums, and concerts
- Donation to community groups who will host us
- 5 Comidas, (the largest daily meal, served at around 3 pm) and several lunches
- All day market tour and cooking class with Susana Trilling, renowned Mexican chef, and Host of “Seasons of my Heart,” on PBS
What is NOT Included:
- Flight to Oaxaca City from your city of origin.
- Transfer from airport to hotel and return (an inexpensive and quick van ride)
- Additional food, snacks, alcoholic beverages, and bottled water
- Group arrives (making own travel arrangements) in Oaxaca afternoon/evening. Meet your hosts, Natalie Neuert and Alex Stewart at our hotel, Las Mariposas in Oaxaca City.
- Morning: talk and discussion with Alex and Natalie: an intro to the music and culture of Oaxaca: We will learn more about this unique musical culture and prepare ourselves for some of the week’s musical adventures.
- Afternoon: For our introductory walking tour of the markets and shops of Oaxaca, we’ll be joined by Cynthia Belliveau, Dean of UVM’s Continuing Education who is an expert on the market based cuisine of the region. Our market tour will include sampling some delicious treats such as hot chocolate. We will then enjoy comida at Tortilleria Itanoni.
- Late Afternoon: Siesta, or explore on your own.
- Evening: Concert at the spectacular Teatro Alcalá or Teatro Juarez
- Morning: We explore the ancient Zapotec site of Monte Albán, with its grand plaza and tombs spread out over roughly a square mile.
- Group comida, followed by siesta and/or exploring on your own.
- Evening: We’ll enjoy an open air band concert in the Zócalo, and then set off in search of other street music and food.
- TBA: Potential organ tour and evening house concert.
- A Day with the Seasons of My Heart Cooking School founded by renowned author Susana Trilling We start at 9 am when we will be picked up and taken on a tasting tour by one of the Seasons of My Heart staff where we will try exotic foods and meet the charming people of one of Oaxaca City’s bustling markets. After a light lunch at the market, we head out to Rancho Aurora for a lecture on Oaxacan cuisine and a presentation of the day’s ingredients. Then everyone grabs an apron and we create and enjoy a five-course meal. (transportation back to Oaxaca City at around 6 pm).
- Evening on your own or join with fellow tour members and leaders for the late night music scene.
- Morning: Some time to explore, shop, or tour other museums/galleries or churches (we will give you a list). Everyone can grab some lunch and snacks and meet back at our hotel courtyard for a lecture/talk on the afternoon and evening activities.
- Afternoon: Visit to the Cathedral Santo Domingo which houses an excellent museum of Oaxacan culture. Afterwards we’ll tour the exquisite Botanical Gardens. Afterwards, enjoy Comida on your own or with a smaller group. We’ll give you a list of some nearby restaurants to enjoy and or time to explore and shop on your own.
- Evening: We’ll attend the Danzón in Oaxaca City’s Zócalo.
- Morning: We will venture out of the city by van or taxi to the weaving town of Teotitlándel Valle where we’ll visit with several weaving cooperatives and artisans. Other options in this direction will include visiting a mezcaleria where we can taste various styles of mescal and learn how it is made. We’ll stop at Santa Maria del Tule, the site of a 2,000 year old Cyprus tree which is one of the largest in the Americas and/or visit Mitla, an important Zapotec archeological site. We will have Comida before returning to Oaxaca City for some down time.
- Night: Live music at a local nightclub.
- Morning: We’ll head out of the city to visit CaSa: Centro de las Artes de San Agustin. CaSa is a restored textile factory that is now a museum and international center for graphic arts. We’ll also visit the nearby paper workshop where we’ll see kites, handmade books, and other extraordinary crafts and art.
- Afternoon: Return to Oaxaca City for free time and shopping on our last day.
- Evening: We’ll enjoy drinks and a later dinner this evening at one of Oaxaca’s finest restaurants and talk over our week’s adventures and what we’ve seen and learned.
- Check out of hotel and depart.