Differently from the Tequila, worldwide considered as Mexico’s beverage, mescal is the most popular beverage inside Mexico. In Mexico city and other big cities, many mescal producers have opened their doors in the recent years to offer the different tastes of mescal. The most demanding people choose the mescal of Oaxaca, a little town which hides many mescal producers.
Oaxaca, capital of Oaxaca, is a colonial city famous for its beautiful architecture and for its gastronomic richness, although Oaxaca is a synonym of Mescal. Hundreds of artisanal producers dedicate their time to travel to the central valleys and recollect plants to distil mescal. Nobody should ask them about tequila and the differences between the two beverages. Although both are distilled from the same plant, the process and result are different.
DAY 01: OAXACA
Arrival at Oaxaca, capital of the Oaxaca state. Reception at the airport and transport to the hotel.
DAY 02: OAXACA – MONTE ALBAN
Trip to Monte Alban, one of the most important archeological sites of Mexico, located at 25 min from the city of Oaxaca. You will visit the Main Square and its ceremonial buildings: the Palace of Monte Alban and the southern platform, in which you will see replicates of carved stelas; the building S, the building J (unique in Mesoamerica), the platform of the dancers. The superior part of the main platform is a strategic viewpoint to see the ceremonial center. Then you will return to Oaxaca. Free time for lunch (not included).
In the afternoon, you will visit the historical center, which was declared World Heritage by the UNESCO. First, you will visit the Temple of Santo Domingo de Guzman, one of the best examples of the baroque architecture of XVI century. Afterwards you will visit the Museum of the Cultures of Oaxaca, where you will appreciate archeological pieces of Monte Alban, Mitla and other archeological areas. You will learn about archeology, history and ethnography. To finish the tour, you will walk by the touristic street named Macedonio Alcala, which has many architectonical monuments, galleries, and artisan stores. You will finally visit the historical center where you will see the cathedral and other buildings. At the end you can continue the tour on your own or return to the hotel.
Included meals: Breakfast.
DAY 03: SANTA CATARINA MINAS – ROUTE OF MESCAL
You will visit many distilleries in which you will appreciate the process of mescal, as well as artisanal “palenques” and see the ancient process of the elaboration. There will be time for lunch (included) a buffet without beverages in the restaurant La Choza, where you can taste the gastronomy of Oaxaca.
Among the places we will be visiting to see the elaboration of mescal are: Santa Catarina Minas, an altar to the mescal, where we will have the opportunity of visiting the factory “La Concepcion del mescal Real Minero”. During the visit you will learn about the different varieties of aloe, the five processes to elaborate the traditional mescal. You will also taste (not included) mescal and see the different food that combines with mescal, like the regional food of the central valleys of Oaxaca. You will continue to San Baltazar Chichicapan, where you will find the artisanal distillery of Don Alfonso Sanchez, who will show you how he elaborates mescal in spite of his old age. The next stop is Santiago Matatlan, self-proclaimed world capital of the mescal (as a sign by the entrance indicates). Dozens of small shops will offer different kinds of beverages, souvenirs, beer among other things. The most famous factory here is “El Rey Zapoteco”. This “Palenque” is the oldest in artisanal production of mescal in Oaxaca. With 60 years of age, it continues producing mescal with natural resources. After some explanations of this process, you will return to Oaxaca.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
DAY 04: BENEVA RANCHO ZAPATA – ROUTE OF MEZCAL
Transport to Beneva Rancho Zapata, distillery funded 15 years ago. This is a 100% Mexican company which arose from a dream, thanks to the will of Pedro Mateo Lopez, born in Santiago Matatlan, Oaxaca, who learned the process of mescal production from his grandparents, and now, integrates new technologies to process mescal. In less space and time, Beneva produces more mescal without losing the traditional flavor as the national and international markets demand.
You will visit the processing plant of Mescal Beneva, located at km 22 of the highway Oaxaca-Istmo, in the central valley of Oaxaca, in an area known as the “world capital of mescal”, which has a certificate of origin. It produces 4 varieties of mescal: young, with worm of maguey, old, and extra old. Under the same concept 3 brands are elaborate: Gran Reserva Beneva, Reserva Tio Pablo Beneva and Machos.
After this visit you will have lunch (included) in the restaurant “El Famoso”. You will then go to the city of Oaxaca to the “Mezcaloteca”, where mescals and distills of aloe from Oaxaca and other states of Mexico are kept, which have the necessary requirements to be catalogued in the traditional mescals.
Once in a while some tastings are organized as well as gastronomic lessons. However, you can taste (not included) and buy mescal from other producers. You will go on a trip with the flavors of mescal, which is drank in traditional rites and parties all around the world. Your trip has reached the end and we hope you will promote this beverage which the gods gave to these people.
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch.
DAY 05: OAXACA
Transport to the airport to fly back home or continue to one of Mexico’s beaches.