Oaxaca with Ray Garcia

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Oaxaca Art & Soul

Explore Oaxaca's food, art and culture with chef Ray Garcia

September 12 - 18, 2021

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7 Days, 6 Nights

Oaxaca City, Teotitlan del Valle, Monte Alban

Price from


per person, based on double occupancy

Questions? Text or call us
+1 (855) 219-8018

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We will contact you if and as space becomes available.

“This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.” It’s a phrase you’ve said more than once today, let alone this week. You’re eating your way through a bustling central market, sampling everything you can get your hands on. Seared meats a la plancha send smoke into the air, baskets brim with fresh produce, mole powders, flowers and coffee beans. You crunch into sweet and aromatic nixtamalized corn elote like you can’t get anywhere else. How can such deceptively simple ingredients yield such intoxicating flavors? You’re in Oaxaca, that’s how.

Sampling beside you is Ray Garcia. He’s the multi-award winning chef behind famed Los Angeles restaurants Broken Spanish and B.S. Taqueria. A native Angeleno, Ray’s roots are in Mexico, and his cooking prowess flows from his grandmother’s after-school meals to his own brand of perfectly inauthentic cuisine.

Want to explore the heart and soul of Mexico? This trip is for you. Get ready to meet artisans whose generations-old techniques define Oaxaca’s vibrant feel. We’ll prep our own farm-to-table lunch and eat the tastiest street foods. We’ll drink mezcal right from the source. This is Mexico like you’ve never imagined.


Yourself in Oaxaca: colorful food markets, artist workshops, agave farms, ancient pyramids


Rich mole sauces, spiced chocolate, street tacos—even toasted grasshoppers!


Traditional weavers and sculptors, modern artists and shaman healers


Oaxacan traditions, its vibrant art scene and culture, alongside award-winning chef Ray Garcia

3 Reasons to Travel with Ray Garcia

Ray thrives on the unknown. This multi-award-winning Los Angeles chef honed his skills working his way through every chapter of Cooking For Dummies; today he runs some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles. He’s the perfect person to discover and revel with us in the flavors of Oaxaca.

He's a Little Loco

Ray opened two LA restaurants—Broken Spanish and B.S. Taqueria—within a three-month span. Where many chefs would’ve dropped the proverbial taco, Ray succeeded with the accolades to prove it—including Esquire’s Chef of the Year 2015.

He's Got Mexican Roots

Ray is a third-generation Los Angeles native, with roots nestled firmly in Mexico. He’s ready to explore Oaxaca through the lens of a chef and with his familial connections.

His Ingredients Matter

Ray's commitment to responsible food production has granted him awards like StarChefs' “Rising Star” for sustainability and the crown of “King of Porc” at the Cochon 555 heritage pig breeding event.

Your Experience

“The first step to travel is letting go. It's about letting the trip guide me, and not the other way around.”
Ray Garcia

Oaxaca City, Monte Alban, Teotitlan del Valle

“This is my first time to Oaxaca. It's special when people are seeing something together for the first time. To share that pure experience is exciting for me.”
Ray Garcia

Day by Day

Day 1

Bienvenidos a Mexico! We’ll meet up with the group and get oriented with one of Latin America’s great colonial wonders: Oaxaca City. We’ll walk through the cobblestone streets and snack through its central markets, a feast of the senses where tasajo (dried meats) hang, open fires grill delicious tlayudas (toasted tortillas topped, pizza-style, with Oaxacan string cheese and thin-grilled meats), and vendors scurry past offering chapulines (roasted grasshoppers) and pastry-like pan de yema stacked in woven baskets. Yummy (even those grasshoppers, we promise).

In the evening, we’ll toast the start of our adventure with local mezcal—of course—then have terrace seats overlooking Oaxaca’s flood-lit cathedral domes for an inspired, open-air dinner together.

Day 1 Highlights

  • Welcome cocktails
  • Walking city tour
  • Welcome dinner
  • Stay at El Callejon in Oaxaca

Day 2

Oaxaca’s sense of art is vibrant, ageless—and everywhere. Today we go to its source, artist home-studios in nearby mountain villages. First we’ll drive into the Mixtec Mountains and meet local ceramicists Manuel Reyes and Marisela Gómez. They’ll invite us into their home studio and show how they use local clay and natural fibers to craft their signature figurines. Then the artist couple will sit with us for a home-cooked meal of red mole and mezcal. Next we visit Casa de Arte San Agustin. This cavernous former textile factory was converted into an art space and donated to the rural community by the great Oaxacan artists and philanthropist Francisco Toledo.

Afterwards we return to the city, where the evening is ours to explore Oaxaca’s irresistible food and nightlife: world-class restaurants open for dinner and taco stands set up along the lit-up zocalo, just a few blocks from our hotel.

Day 2 Highlights

  • Visit local ceramicist studio
  • Home-cooked meal in artist home
  • Visit Casa de Artes san Agustin
  • Stay at El Callejon in Oaxaca

Day 3

Today we get the true Oaxacan farm-to-table experience. Our morning is at Rancho 314 (Tres Catorce to the locals), an urban farm on the edge of the city that supplies the top local restaurants with produce. We’ll break into small groups and take turns making mole, tamales, Oaxacan cheese, and get a hands-on look into the local flavor profiles. We’ll be led in the art of tamale making before we lunch together al fresco. Savor the feast and enjoy all the local delicacies we had a hand in preparing. Back in the city, after some time to relax or freshen up, we’ll meet for a street-food walking tour and dinner, savoring the unforgettable flavors of Oaxaca.

Day 3 Highlights

  • Rancho 314 farm experience and lunch
  • Street food walking tour and dinner
  • Stay at El Callejon in Oaxaca

Day 4

We begin this epic day at the hilltop ruin of Monte Albán, a vast complex of pyramids, a palace, shrines dating from 500 BC—and easily one of Mesoamerica’s grandest sites. We explore its monumental scale and the intricate carvings of bas relief sculptures, with one of Mexico’s great colonial cities sprawling below us.

Next, we’ll stop for a traditionally cooked lunch in San Martin, feasting on succulent barbecued goat the traditional way—roasted in the ground overnight—and prepared just for us as honored guests. Then we stop in the village of Coyotepec, a Zapotec community with a pottery tradition that goes back more than 2,000 years. We’ll meet the master artisans who use barro negro (black clay) to produce stunning high-sheen pieces decorated with intricate openwork flowers and geometric forms. We end our art-filled day back in Oaxaca, with dinner on our own.

Day 4 Highlights

  • Visit Monte Albán temple complex
  • Traditional lunch
  • Meet Coyotepec potters
  • Stay at El Callejon in Oaxaca

Day 5

Today we head back into the mountains, where villages devoted to arts and crafts lurk in valley shadows. We’ll stop at the Zapotec village of Teotitlan del Valle, a weaving village with about 5,000 people (and 2,000 looms). We’ll meet a local Zapotec weaving family, who’ll demonstrate their intricate craft using natural fibers for dyes (and even a grounded insect for the bright reds), just as they have for the past 14 generations. A home-cooked Zapotec lunch awaits us, with a chance for us to learn and to prepare local recipes.

In the afternoon, we travel by row after row of agave plants in the mountain valleys, to meet up with a traditional mezcalero. Agave is everywhere here. We’ll learn how these passed-down, timeless techniques turn agave hearts into mezcal, the smoky cousin-spirit of tequila and one of Oaxaca’s famed exports. After a tasting, or two, of the artisanal mezcal on hand, we’ll return to Oaxaca where the night is yours to track down an unforgettable meal, craft beer bars or – porque no? – more mezcal.

Day 5 Highlights

  • Visit Zapotec weaving village
  • Home-cooked meal with Zapotec family
  • Mezcal tasting
  • Stay at El Callejon in Oaxaca

Day 6

Today is ours to revitalize the spirits. We’ll meet with a local shaman, who’ll share the secrets of a cleansing ritual that’s been in practice here for thousands of years, using smoked copal to bid farewell to negative energies. We’ll leave feeling electric and magical, and toast the results at our huge final dinner—prepared by Ray with ingredients sourced from local organic farms and producers—at Rancho Portozuelo, an organic ranch owned by Chef Alejandro Ruiz of Casa Oaxaca. Our dinner is private, our access is deep, and the food and live music unforgettable, capturing the traditions, heritage and true flavors of Oaxaca.

Day 6 Highlights

  • Meet local shaman
  • Farewell dinner cooked by Ray Garcia
  • Stay at El Callejon

Day 7

All great things come to an end, alas. We’ll have a big farewell breakfast at the hacienda: hot chocolate (not too sweet, not too rich), hand-patted just-made tortillas, huevos rancheros blanketed in a richly flavorful mole. Then we’ll bid farewell to Ray and to Oaxaca, and pack our things for a short drive back to Oaxaca City for wherever your journey next takes you. Buen viaje!

Day 7 Highlights

  • Transfers to airport

Where We Sleep

A peaceful oasis in Oaxaca City—our accommodations are small-scale and boutique, the ideal ways to get acquainted with Oaxaca life.

El Callejon

Oaxaca City

Off a central side street, a few blocks from the zocalo and central shops and eateries, a street gate opens into a breathtaking oasis that’s our Oaxaca City home: a boutique hotel with a dozen spacious rooms blending the city’s distinctive styles. Serenity reigns in its thoughtful garden spaces, with palm trees, covered walkways and an outdoor patio bar.

I loved eating goat just after it was lifted from the pit, sipping on a mezcal.
Diana C.
This is more than just a trip. It’s authentic and joyful, and a powerful reminder of why we travel.
Scott M.
The meals made for us in local homes were just heavenly.
Andrew B.

Book Oaxaca with Ray Garcia

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per person, based on double occupancy

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  1. What does the price include?

    Six nights at unique four- and five-star accommodations; private travel for all day trips and excursions; private tours with local guides and cultural experts; exclusive VIP access and tastings; guided activities, adventures and expeditions; entrance fees; daily breakfasts, most lunches and dinners; local beverages with meals.

  2. What does the price not include?

    International roundtrip airfare; travel insurance; transportation to the trip’s starting point; activities not included in the trip itinerary; hotel incidentals including room service, laundry service and hotel bar tabs; food and beverages not included in itinerary; gratuity for tour leader.

  3. What are the arrival & departure details

    Our adventure begins and ends at the El Callejon Hotel in Oaxaca, Mexico. The closest airport is the Oaxaca International Airport (OAX). Our last day Modern Adventure will provide a group transfer to OAX airport; your flight home should be scheduled to depart at 1pm or later from here.

  4. What travel documents are needed?

    US citizens are not required to have a visa for tourist visits to Mexico, but are required to show a valid US passport. It is recommended that your passport is valid for six months after your travels are over. On arrival in the airport, you will be issued a visitor’s permit, known as a FMM (Forma Migratoria Multiple). For citizens of other countries, please check with the Mexico Embassy or Consulate for information and requirements.

  5. Do I need to pay a solo traveler supplement?

    For solo travelers, there is a $2,000 single-supplement fee—paid at the time of booking to secure a private room. If you would like us to pair you with a roommate, that option may be available upon checkout—these spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  6. Who is going on this trip?

    Our adventures typically have between 10 and 20 guests, and our Modern Adventure Team. Our experiences are fun and inclusive and you can expect to be joined by a diverse group in terms of age, background and interests—including solo travelers, couples and friends traveling together. This adventure is for travelers age 18 and above.

  7. Who is leading this trip?

    This trip is led by an expert Modern Adventure Trip Leader. They’re an experienced travel guide, a representative of Modern Adventure and your go-to person for questions or concerns on the trip. We’ll be joined throughout our adventure by local, expert guides who are deeply knowledgeable with respect to local cultures, customs and history and are passionate about sharing that with us.

  8. What is the cancellation policy?

    You may cancel on or before May 14, 2021 and receive a full refund minus a $500 per-person service fee. If you cancel on or after May 15, 2021 there is a 50% cancellation fee. On or after July 14, 2021 there is a 100% cancellation fee. We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance as we are not able to make exceptions to this policy in cases of family/medical emergency or of the trip being canceled for unforeseeable reasons (see our Terms and Conditions for full details). Please note that for guests who are transferring trips or traveling on rescheduled trip dates, your cancelation terms will vary from the above, and are generally non-refundable. Please refer to your correspondence from our Customer Experience team for specific details.

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Modern Adventure makes the Fast Company list of the world's most innovative travel companies in 2020.

“I’d had Oaxacan food before, but few restaurants served meals like this—'celebration food' worth the effort only for births and weddings. And, apparently, for Modern Adventure.”

“Modern Adventure is curating a slew of foodie getaways, each spearheaded by the world’s most prolific culinary influencers. Who wouldn’t want to venture to faraway lands... eating really, really good food?”