ARTravel: Art & Cuisine of Oaxaca

April 10-17, 2023

Oaxaca is a thriving, colorful city at the center of an ancient valley in southern Mexico, surrounded by indigenous villages that have pursued their specialized art forms—ceramics, textiles, colorful wooden sculptures known as alebrijes—for centuries, and in some cases for millennia. Today, the city is known for its friendly people, its agave-based mescal, its delicious food, its colorful colonial architecture, and its thriving contemporary art scene. 

We’ll tour Oaxaca’s world-famous ethnobotanical garden with a Oaxacan biologist, learn about the city’s special focus on printmaking, and share a meal with a contemporary Oaxacan artist while learning about his work. Free time during the afternoons and evenings will be scheduled to allow independent explorations of the city’s many galleries, markets, and artisan shops featuring local work remarkable for its originality and stunning craftsmanship. We’ll participate in a Zapotec cooking class with one of Oaxaca’s top chefs, and gain special access to one of the finest collections of pre-Columbian art in Mexico, not open to the public, that was curated by twentieth century Oaxacan artist Rufino Tamayo with an eye to the aesthetic rather than the historical significance of the artifacts.

Group dinners will take place at some of Oaxaca’s finest local restaurants, with an equivalent number of evenings free to explore the city’s phenomenal cuisine in small groups and independently. We’ll have lunch together at the Mercado 20 de Noviembre, where family restaurant-stands feature local delicacies such as tlayudas, mole, and chapulines, the region’s surprisingly delicious fried grasshoppers. 

From our base in the city we’ll take a number of fascinating excursions: to the stunning Zapotec archaeological sites of Monte Albán and Mitla; to ancient village markets to sample localized fare; out into the agave fields to taste various forms of mescal and learn about how it’s made. We’ll have a chance to learn firsthand about traditional Zapotec healing practices from a Oaxacan curandera, and we’ll spend a night in simple cabañas up in the cool and fragrant Sierra Norte, where a unique pine forest teeming with birds and dotted with madrone, cactus, and bromeliads will provide a living classroom for learning about biodiversity and a tradition of plant-based healing dating back thousands of years.

This trip entails a good deal of walking over uneven surfaces, both in Oaxaca and on excursions in the surrounding countryside. Good mobility, comfortable footwear, and decent physical conditioning will be necessary.

In the research and planning of this trip a special emphasis has been placed on working closely with local and indigenous-owned businesses in the interest of contributing to sustainable tourism that is of direct benefit to the local people and communities of Oaxaca and the surrounding region. 


Dates: April 10-17, 2023

Price per person: $3,900 for double occupancy (single supplement: $800), includes lodging, breakfasts, ground transportation including airport transfers, local excursions, guides, and experts, museum entrance fees, group lunches and dinners, and a $400 tax-deductible donation to the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. A mix of group and independent lunches and dinners will give participants ample opportunities to sample Oaxaca’s world-class restaurants and market dining on their own.

To register: Complete this registration form and pay non-refundable deposit of $800 by February 9. (Early-bird discount: Register by October 25, 2022, and receive a $150 discount.) Balance due by February 15, 2023

Space is limited to preserve the intimacy and flexibility of the experience, so we encourage you to reserve your place early.

Click here to register now.

Getting there: The trip will begin and end in Oaxaca, Mexico, either at the Xoxocotlán International Airport (OAX) or at our hotel if you’re traveling overland in Mexico before the program. Participants should try to arrive at OAX no later than 4 p.m. on April 10, and should arrange to fly out of OAX no earlier than the morning of April 17. An ARTravel representative will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel.

Accommodations: In Oaxaca we will stay at the Hotel Con Corazon, a locally-owned, sustainably operated hotel an easy walk from the city’s historical center, which donates its profits to support local children and adolescents with limited access to education. (Click here to read more.The group will spend one night up in the Sierra Norte mountains in rustic cabins with hot running water and firewood heating. 

Trip Leader: Tim Weed, a Vermont-based author and educator with extensive experience throughout Latin America and Spain, has spent his entire career developing and leading high quality educational travel programs abroad. He graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in Spanish literature and holds master’s degrees from the University of California, San Diego, and the Warren Wilson College MFA for Writers. Tim directed college semester abroad programs for the School for International Training in Spain, Venezuela, and Australia; as a director of Putney Student Travel and National Geographic Student Expeditions, he played a key role in developing new photography, archaeology, and wildlife conservation programs around the world. He is the co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program and has served as a featured expert on National Geographic Expeditions programs in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego. Tim is on the core faculty of the Newport MFA in Creative Writing at Salve Regina University and has published two books of fiction as well as many nonfiction articles on travel and the outdoors. He is a member of the Vermont Humanity Council’s Speakers Bureau and has led previous ARTravel programs in Cuba and Spain. 

Tim was easy going, very well connected, and clearly well liked by the many people we crossed paths with. He managed complications with grace and always was cool, calm and collected. He was wonderful – he has the ability to quietly manage everything so the trip just flowed so nicely. Tim also was able to be spontaneous, and found creative things for us to do in all areas.

— ARTravel participant

View photos from the 2023 ARTravel Trip: Art & Cuisine of Oaxaca

For more information: Contact Chelsea Osborne at 802-257-0124, ext. 101 or