Day 7 — Details

“There's something magical about Oaxaca and the vibe of the people.” — Mike White
Day 7

Oaxaca Redux

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks & Beverages

All over Mexico, and at almost every meal in Oaxaca, you’ll see or be served aguas frescas — “cool waters” — “fresh waters” in Spanish.

These light, non-alcoholic beverages — made from one or more fruits, cereals, flowers, or seeds blended with sugar and water — complement the rich chiles, herbs, and spices of Mexican cuisine and refresh the palate.

Some of the most common flavors include limón (lime), pineapple, guava, cucumber, mint, watermelon, nopal (prickly pear), papaya, hibiscus, tamarind, and melon.

¡Buen provecho!

Today our Academic Exploration begins at the La Merced — a local market popular with Oaxacans for breakfast and lunch.

We’ll start with chocolate con agua and pan dulces — dipping the sweet breads into the hot chocolate is the only way to go!

Next, we’ll progress to more substantial platters of enchiladas, tlayudas, and some incredible tamales — all available with an egg on top, if you desire.  

Oh, and you can enjoy some of the best aguas frescas on the planet!

This breakfast is a big meal! — about 2 hours of delicious foods and beverages. We’ll work it off by exploring this big, fascinating market.

Our Academic Exploration moves on to the Zócalo — the central plaza of Oaxaca — with a stop along the way at Mayordomo — the pre-eminent chocolate store of Oaxaca.

At Mayordomo, you’ll have the opportunity to buy Oaxacan chocolate so you can make your own chocolate con agua when you get back home.

You’ll even get to create your own blend of chocolate — made to your exact specifications. You chose how much sugar, cinnamon, almond, and vanilla to add to the freshly ground cacao for your unique chocolate creation. The staff will grind and blend it for you as you watch and wait!

An array of other incredible chocolate beverage mixes also are on display for purchase, and you can enjoy samples to help you choose.

By the way, Mayordomo chocolate is very affordable, of excellent quality, and makes a wonderful, tasty present for anyone on your gift list.

Next on our Academic Exploration stop is a tour of the Teatro Macedonio Alcalá, which opened in 1909 and is considered one of the most important theaters in Mexico.  

You’ll marvel at the ornate architecture, gilded interior, and opulent dressing rooms that harken back to the famous opera houses and theaters of Europe.

Santo Domingo

The Academic Exploration continues to the Templo de Santo Domingo — the Church of Santo Domingo — the iconic church of Oaxaca.

Construction of Santo Domingo began in 1565 and took almost 200 years to complete. This stunning church has been fully restored, and its decorated interior includes more than 60,000 sheets of 23.5-karat gold leaf.

You’ll enjoy a private tour of the church and learn all of its secrets — including its role in the Mexican Revolution where it served as army barracks.

Next up on our Academic Exploration is a visit to the Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca — the Museum of the Cultures of Oaxaca.

The museum is housed in the ornate former monastery buildings of the Templo de Santo Domingo. Considered one of the finest museums in Mexico, its displays take you through the evolving history and cultures of Oaxaca, focusing on the continuity between pre-Hispanic, Spanish Colonial, and contemporary cultures in areas such as crafts, medicine, and food.

You’ll get a brief orientation about the museum and its exhibits and then time to explore on your own.  

This is complex is a photographer’s dream!

Don’t miss shots of the views looking out on Oaxaca through the arched hallways — they’re truly spectacular and look like paintings.

Our Academic Exploration ends today in the mid-afternoon at the hotel.

This is our last day in Oaxaca. We have a big evening tonight, and your flight leaves very early tomorrow morning.

You’ll have time to organize your bags, discuss with your journey-personnel any last-minute purchases you may like to make, then relax and get ready before we head out for the evening. 

Trust us, organizing your bag this afternoon will make your 4 AM wake-up call and 4:3o AM departure all the more easy — and your final evening all the more enjoyable! Academic Exploration takes pride in including an important cultural event in your journey to Oaxaca.  

Tonight — for dinner and a show — we’ll go to the Quinta Real Hotel — a 16th-century convent converted to a luxury hotel. This complex is simply spectacular, and you’ll certainly want to capture some photos of the incredible original frescos and amazing Spanish Colonial architecture. 

Dinner — a sumptuous and delicious buffet of Oaxacan specialties from salads to hot dishes to tantalizing desserts — and the show take place in the high-vaulted chapel of the former convent.

The show is a colorful re-creation of the annual Guelaguetza dance festival held in Oaxaca each July — a spectacular indigenous dance extravaganza!

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