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Highlights of Mexico:...

Highlights of Mexico: Oaxaca to Mexico City

9 days |  12 days with Riviera Maya extension
Group size1022 travelers
travelers walking in front of the metropolitan cathedral in mexico city
dancers wearing traditional bright red skirts lined with colorful ribbons
bowls with plant materials for dying textiles in oaxaca
an evening street scene in mexico with yellow pink and red buildings
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
This tour itinerary varies by year
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    See the best of Mexico, from historic civilizations to modern cities.

    Start in mountainside Oaxaca, making your way through vibrant cities and picturesque countryside to Mexico City, the bustling capital. As you go, you’ll see the impact of ancient empires, immerse yourself in the local culture, and taste mouthwatering regional dishes. On this small group Adventure Tour through Mexico, discover a country of strong traditions, rich history, and memorable flavors.

    Your tour package includes

    • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
    • 8 breakfasts
    • 1 lunch
    • 2 dinners with beer or wine
    • 1 cooking class
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    Included highlights

    • Benito Juárez Market
    • Tasting chocolate & mole
    • San Bartolo pottery demonstration
    • Teotitlan del Valle textile workshop
    • Organic mezcal distillery
    Read more
    Start planning today

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    Day-by-day itinerary

    Print itinerary
    Oaxaca3 nights
    Day 1: Arrival in Oaxaca

    Welcome to Mexico! Arrive in Oaxaca late this evening and transfer to your hotel.

    Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Oaxaca & San Bartolo pottery demonstration
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Welcome lunch

    Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most beautiful cities. Today, discover this UNESCO-recognized urban center on a sightseeing tour.

    • Make your way around Plaza de la Constitución, viewing the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption as you go
    • See the Church of Santo Domingo, a former Dominican monastery
    • Stroll along Calle Macedonio Alcalá, a pedestrian street named for the talented Mexican musician
    • Learn how chocolate is made at a local factory and enjoy a tasting
    • Browse the stalls of Benito Juárez Market and 20 de Noviembre Market

    Travel to the town of San Bartolo for a cooking demonstration and welcome lunch at a local family’s home.

    • Meet the family, learn about the dishes you’ll be eating, and opt to help cook
    • Enjoy a welcome drink of mezcal, tequila, or beer with some antojitos, light snacks from Oaxaca
    • Sit down to enjoy multi-course welcome lunch

    Later, head to a pottery workshop to learn about the town’s famous black clay pottery and watch a demonstration to see how it’s made.

    Day 3: Teotitlan del Valle textile workshop & mezcal tasting
    Included meals: Breakfast, Liquor tasting

    Spend a free morning in Oaxaca or add an excursion.

    This afternoon, visit a textile workshop in Teotitlan del Valle, a village famous for producing traditional Zapotec wares.

    • Learn how the artisans use natural dyes and wool to create rugs, sarape shawls, and clothing
    • Watch the family members demonstrate how to use a loom and learn different weaving techniques

    Then, continue on to an organic mezcal distillery.

    • Join a local guide on a tour of the agave farm
    • Hear how artisanal Mezcal is produced, from cooking and crushing the agave piñas to distilling the liquor
    • Discover the smoky flavor mezcal is known for as you sample three different varieties

    Spend a free evening in Oaxaca or add an excursion.

    Oaxacan Cooking Class & Dinner

    From $149 per person

    Ancient Mexico: Monte Albán

    From $70 per person

    Puebla2 nights
    Day 4: Transfer to Puebla & walking tour
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Travel to Puebla and explore the city on a short walk with your Tour Director.

    • Pass through the Main Square, which reflects the Old Spanish style
    • Walk through tree-filled plazas and past fountains
    • See the Municipal Hall of Puebla and the city’s cathedral
    • Arrive at a local restaurant where you’ll try the chocolatey mole poblano, a regional specialty, during an included dinner
    Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Puebla
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

    Get to know the UNESCO-protected City of Angels on a food-themed walking tour led by a local guide.

    • Enter Mercado Carmen Serdán, one of Puebla's traditional food markets
    • Step inside several local eateries to try local food like chalupas, quesadillas, tacos, enmoladas, and sopes
    • Learn about the region's culinary traditions along the way

    Spend free time in Puebla or add an excursion.

    Historic Cholula

    From $65 per person

    Mexico City3 nights
    Day 6: Transfer to Mexico City & Lake Xochimilco boat ride
    Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

    Travel to Mexico City and explore the waterways in the Xochimilco neighborhood.

    • Board a vividly-colored, open-air boat known as a trajinera
    • Float through the canals along Lake Xochimilco, which are the last remaining remnants of the water network built and used by the ancient Aztecs
    • Enjoy Mexican street snacks, as well a beer or glass of wine, aboard the ship
    • Listen to mariachi bands play songs as they pass by on their own boat

    Spend a free evening in Mexico City or add an excursion.

    Mexico City Home-Hosted Dinner

    From $130 per person

    Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Mexico City
    Included meal: Breakfast

    This morning, set out to explore Mexico City’s UNESCO-protected city center on a guided tour.

    • Pass by Alameda Central park and the Art Nouveau Palacio de Bellas Artes, the city’s cultural hub
    • Walk through Plaza de la Constitución, colloquially known as "El Zócalo"
    • Enter Palacio Nacional, home to the Federal Treasury and National Archives, to view Diego Rivera’s famous murals depicting events from Mexican history
    • Pay visits to the Metropolitan Cathedral and Templo Mayor, an archaeological site and museum

    Spend free time in the Mexican capital or add an excursion.

    Coyoacán & Frida Kahlo Museum

    From $75 per person

    Day 8: Free day in Mexico City
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

    Enjoy a free day in Mexico City or add an excursion.

    Later this evening, join your group to raise a toast to your trip at a farewell dinner.

    Teotihuacán Archaeological Site & Guadalupe Shrine

    From $99 per person

    Flight Home
    Day 9: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

    Extension to Riviera Maya
    Fly to the Yucatán Peninsula, famous for its Mayan ruins and fabulous beaches, to continue your adventure. You’ll take a sightseeing tour of the Coba ruins and Punta Laguna Nature Reserve, then dip your toes in ancient history (and some sparkling Gulf waters) in Playa del Carmen on Riviera Maya.
    Playa del Carmen3 nights
    Day 9: Flight to Cancún & transfer to Playa del Carmen
    Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

    Fly to Cancún and continue on to your hotel in beachside Playa del Carmen, which is located on Riviera Maya. Sit down for an included dinner this evening.

    Day 10: Sightseeing tour of Coba Mayan ruins & Punta Laguna Nature Reserve
    Included meal: Breakfast

    Discover the Coba Mayan ruins with a local guide this morning.

    • Learn about the ancient Mayan city and civilization as you explore the archaeological site
    • Walk along a network of stone causeways through the jungled ruins to Nohoch Mul pyramid, the tallest Mayan pyramid on the Yucatán Peninsula
    • Opt to hike up a steep set of stairs to the top of the pyramid for views overlooking the jungle and Yucatán Peninsula
    • Enjoy free time for lunch in the town of Coba

    This afternoon, join a local Mayan guide for a walk through the Punta Laguna Nature Reserve.

    • Learn about the flora and fauna, as well as the local efforts to maintain native species
    • Walk along the jungle paths and try to spot spider monkeys, howler monkeys, lizards, birds, and grasshoppers
    • Hop aboard a canoe and paddle across the lagoon
    • Enjoy an opportunity to swim in a cenote, or flooded cave
    Day 11: Free day in Playa del Carmen
    Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

    Enjoy a free day in Playa del Carmen or add an excursion.

    Celebrate your trip at a farewell dinner this evening.

    Cenotes Sac Actún & Akumal Bay Snorkeling

    From $190 per person

    Flight Home
    Day 12: Departure
    Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

    Transfer to the Cancún airport for your flight home.

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    Overall rating 4.7 out of 5
    Based on 16 authentic and unedited traveler reviews
    Sort by
      Very good trip.
      01/25/20 by 8th-time traveler Mary

      This was such a nice trip. Good guide and driver, nice people to travel with, excellent places to visit, and I got to swim in a ceynote. I highly recommend this trip.

      EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 08/12/21

      Hi Mary, thank you for your review. We are so happ...

      Read more +
      11/02/19 by 2nd-time traveler Mary F.
      03/09/19 by 8th-time traveler Diane

      So glad we were able to tour several areas of Mexico. The experience of the history, culture, beauty and friendliness of Mexico was lovely. Go Ahead did a great job with our tour!

      Show more reviews

      Traveler photos

      Hotels, flights & FAQ

      Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


      We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
      Hotel Victoria Oaxaca
      Hotel Victoria Oaxaca

      This modern rustic hotel is located in the Area sin Asignacion de Nombre de Colonia, located just minutes from the historic center of Oaxaca. Guests e...

      Read more +
      San Pedro Hotel
      San Pedro Hotel

      This colonial hotel is located in the UNESCO-listed Historic Center. Guests enjoy a terrace bar, an outdoor pool and jacuzzi, and a restaurant. Nearby...

      Read more +
      Hotel Galería Plaza Reforma
      Hotel Galería Plaza Reforma

      This contemporary hotel is located in Juárez. Guests enjoy a fitness center, gift shop, and rooftop pool. Nearby, you'll find the Monument to the Revo...

      Read more +
      Gamma Mérida El Castellano
      Gamma Mérida El Castellano

      This contemporary hotel is located in Merida. Guests enjoy a fitness center, Wi-Fi, and an outdoor pool. Nearby, you'll find Santa Lucía Park, Big Pla...

      Read more +
      Hacienda Paradise Boutique Hotel
      Hacienda Paradise Boutique Hotel

      This colonial-style hotel is located in La Antigua. Guests enjoy Wi-Fi, laundry service, and a nightly Marimba show. Nearby, you'll find Antigua Guate...

      Read more +


      Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
      Add our airfare package and you'll get:
      • Round-trip flight for your tour
      • Airport transfers at your destination
      • A great price locked in today
      • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
      • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
      • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
      • Find out more about flights

      Local weather

      Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
      Weather averages
      High 79 °FLow 70 °F
      Mexico City, Mexico
      Weather averages
      High 76 °FLow 49 °F
      Puebla, Mexico
      Weather averages
      High 74 °FLow 49 °F
      Oaxaca, Mexico
      Weather averages
      High 77 °FLow 48 °F
      Merida, Mexico
      Weather averages
      High 91 °FLow 65 °F


      Print FAQ
      Passport, visa & entry requirements
      • In order to enter Mexico, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
      • We recommend having at least one blank passport page for entry stamps.
      • There is no visa required for U.S. or Canadian citizens.
      • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact Mexico’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code MAP.
      Tour pacing & mobility
      • You will walk for about 3 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with some hills and stairs.
      • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance. Adding optional excursions may increase the total amount of walking on your tour.
      • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times.
      • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
      • If you have any mobility and/or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
      Transportation & arrival information
      • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in Oaxaca and depart from Mexico City (or Cancún for the tour extension). A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
      • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
      • On the tour extension, a flight from Mexico City to Mérida is included in the price of your tour.
      • All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach.
      Baggage allowance
      • Please note that our travelers are limited to one checked bag and one carry-on bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other transfers, which may include train connections or flights.
      • Contact your airline(s) for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flights, which may include on-tour flights in addition to your round-trip flights to and from tour. Please note that your included on-tour flights may have more restrictive baggage limits.
      • Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage or exceed baggage size and weight restrictions. Be advised that you are responsible for any baggage fees incurred on all flights.
      • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag.
      Clothing & packing tips
      • We recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered to accommodate varying temperatures, as well as a light jacket or rainwear.
      • A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is recommended for sightseeing.
      • A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road.
      • You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance.
      • It is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
      • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cdc.gov.
      • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour as well as any possible delays encountered.
      • Due to Mexico's proximity to the equator, the sun can be more intense than it is in other regions. Be sure to take proper care for sun exposure by regularly applying sunscreen or covering up with long layers.
      • There are inherent risks associated with snorkeling and other water sports, particularly for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Discuss your planned activities with your doctor or healthcare provider for the best advice on participation.
      • We recommend that you only drink bottled water and refrain from using the tap, including when brushing your teeth.
      • Additionally, avoid eating any fresh fruits and vegetables, unless they are cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
      • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
      • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to goaheadtours.com/entry-requirements and searching the code MAP.
      • Mexican cuisine fuses locally available staples like corn, tomatoes, chili peppers, squashes, avocados, and seafood with ingredients brought by the Conquistadors: herbs and spices as well as dairy products and meats like pork and beef. Corn tortillas are served alongside most meals. Mole poblano, a savory sauce of peppers and chocolate, is the unofficial national dish—it’s served atop everything from turkey at weddings to seafood at Christmas.
      • Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply.
      • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches.
      • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
      Electricity & air conditioning
      • Mexico operates on 127 volts and uses Types A or B plugs. As these are the same as the plugs used in the U.S. and Canada, a voltage adapter is not needed.
      • The strength of the air conditioning in some Mexican hotels may not be as strong or as cool as what you might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel.
      • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
      Time zones
      • The areas in Mexico through which you will be traveling operate on Central Time (CT), which is one hour behind Eastern Time (ET).
      • When it’s noon in New York City, it’s 11am on tour.
      • You will use the Mexican peso in Mexico.
      • Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive.
      • We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be used to withdraw cash at local banks as needed.
      • You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees.
      • Inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
      • International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.
      • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity in local currency. Please keep current exchange rates in mind.
      • We recommend tipping the equivalent of $7USD to $10USD per person per day for your Tour Director and the equivalent of $3USD per person per day for your driver.
      • If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD per local guide.
      • Tips can only be paid in cash.
      Purchasing excursions on tour
      • Most optional excursions will be available for purchase while you are on tour.
      • Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa, or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions.
      • Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged.
      • Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See page four of your tour itinerary for more information. International travel is, by its very nature, unpredictable. We must therefore reserve the right to change this itinerary, without advance notice, to meet with local conditions at the time of travel. We appreciate your understanding. Please refer to our website for Terms & Conditions, dates, and prices.

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