Zen Recreations

Day 3

An afternoon of exploration and shopping

Travel out to the Cochineal Farm   9 - 9.30 AM

Today on our 3rd  day you can enjoy an unparalleled insider’s peek into the village traditions and art steeped in the ancient hills which surround the city of Oaxaca. Each village specialises in a specific craft. Get ready for an afternoon of walk and shopping as we make our way to Santo Tomas Jalieza, Ocotlan de Morelos and San Martin Tilcajete.

Discover an ancient and unique insect that consumes nothing more than a desert cactus and offers the brightest hues of garnet and ruby red. On day 3 we start our day at 9 am and head out of Oaxaca City to the Cochineal Farm.

Cochineal Farm 9.30AM-10.30AM

A guided visit to the intriguing farm where you see the little Cochineal bugs who live on the cactus which they feed off before being crushed into the most valuable products Mexico gave to the world (aside from an exhaustive list you will soon discover!)

We all enjoy the guilty pleasure of brightly coloured candy or drink, but have you ever wondered if nature had something natural to replace them with? This natural pigment no longer relegated to the archives is making a huge comeback and popularity it richly deserves. Travel time one hour.

Jalietza 11.30 AM- 12 PM

Get ready for an afternoon of walk and shopping as we make our way to tour outlying artisanal communities and  encounter authentic regional craftsmanship first-hand. Each town on the tour specializes in a different craft, offering you the opportunity to view the broadest possible scope of the remarkable work produced by Oaxaca’s artisans.

Santo Tomás Jalietza is known as the “town of belts” (cinturones) for the attractive embroidered cloth and leather belts that are made using the backstrap loom technique here. The townsfolk have also adapted their designs to clothing, purses, bags and crafts with cotton and silk thread dyed with natural dyes. Next, we travel out to Ocotlán, travel time 30 minutes.

Ocotlán 12.30 PM -2.30 PM

Enjoy the famous open-air market In the town of Ocotlan de Morelos which offers crafts made of black and red clay, as well as crafts made of wicker, regional candies, and knives beautifully carved with ornaments.

We start from the hometown of the famous Oaxacan painter Rodolfo Morales and we will visit the church, museum, and market. We will see craftspeople such as the Mendoza sisters and Mr. Angel Aguilar dedicated to the development of traditional cutlery .

Lunch at Azucena Zapoteca 2.30 PM to 4 PM.

Today’s lunch is a very special  gastronomic eatery which offers the very best  of Oaxacan cuisine. Operated by famed carver Jacobo Angeles Ojeda and his wife Maria.(Beverages not included)

 Azucena Zapoteca a restaurant full of color, flavor, and traditions which thrives on the satisfaction and positive feedback from its diners! It is here you will find fresh produce from their own farms and fresh sauces ground on stone and light tortillas made from soft masa dough baked on comal mud stoves. Also Oaxaca’s unique tortillas: their secret lies in preparing the dough. This is an incredibly labour intensive process, involving lime and soaking and grinding corn. The result is a velvety soft corn dough that makes light tortillas.  

With a satisfied smile, we head over to San Martin tilcajete, travel time 15 minutes.

San Martin Tilcajete 4.15 -5.15 PM

San Martin Tilcajete boasts the finest traditional wood carvings in the state of Oaxaca. Carvers create whimsical, mythical creatures that are unique conceptualizations of ancient Mexican religious beliefs.These carvings called alebrijes are made of copal wood and painted with different colorful paintings.

Once a year it’s carnival time in San Martin Tilcajete. Tradition has it that Fat Tuesday is the last time to celebrate before the lent season when ritual fasting begins!