Share this Post
Wild Mushroom Festival in Oaxaca
Always a host of cultural and environmental splendor, Oaxaca has two important festivals that coincide at the end of July. First is the Feria de Los Hongos, or the Wild Mushroom Festival, directly followed by the traditional Festival of Guelaguetza. Crooked Trails is offering a program for those interested in mycology and the natural world mixed with culture and adventure.
At 10,000 feet in the heavily forested Sierra Norte of Mexico, the ground is heavy with pine needles and wildflowers, as well as over 340 varieties of mushrooms. Participants will spend several days within the mountain communities learning about the cultural, medicinal and gastronomical importance of mushrooms to this region. Centered in a grouping of small Zapotec villages, locals and visitors go out on a mushroom hunt together to collect as many specimens as possible. Afterward, there are seminars on mycology as well as the pleasure of using the mushrooms to prepare typical meals. There will also be opportunities for stunning hikes to far-reaching views through fragrant pine forests.
The festival of Guelaguetza can only be compared in importance to the Day of the Dead, and we will catch it directly after we descend from the Sierras and the Hongo Festival. The Guelaguetza has pre-Hispanic roots within the indigenous cultures of Oaxaca, in which all communities of the state gather in celebration with parades, traditional dancing, and artisanal crafts and goods. It is a magical time to be in Oaxaca, as the city comes alive and the pride and energy of the community are palpable.
DAY 1 - Wednesday, July 12
Arrive in Oaxaca
Bienvenidos! Upon your arrival in Oaxaca City you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Get some rest and explore the area a bit. At 4:00pm you will embark on a guided tour of 20th de Noviembre Market. Then, at 7:00pm enjoy dinner at La Catedral. If you would like an extra day of exploring (and to ensure you are able to attend the market tour), you can plan on arriving on the 20th.
DAY 2 - Thursday, July 13
Teotitlan - The Sierra Norte
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and get packed up. Your driver will arrive in the morning to take you to Teotitlan to learn about the incredible weaving community which exists in this valley. The textiles here are world famous!
Afterward, the road heads up into the Sierra Norte and in just 1.5 hours you will be in the small village of Llano Grande. Get checked into your cabin and relax, or enjoy an afternoon hike in the dense pine forests. Dinner is at the local 'comedor', served by women from the village who take turns cooking. The food is locally grown and delicious. Be sure to step outside to enjoy some amazing stargazing.
DAY 3 - Friday, July 14
Trek to Cuajimoloyas
You have the option to take part in a dawn hike to see the sunrise while sipping Mexican hot chocolate and snacking on bread. Afterward, it's breakfast at the comedor and then get packed up for your 3-hour trek to the village of Cuajimoloyas where the Feria Regional de Hongos Silvestres (Wild Mushroom Festival) takes place.
Upon arrival in Cuajimoloyas, get set up in your cabin. There is an opportunity to meet with the local traditional medicine woman (curandera) who will be talking about mushrooms as well as other herbal medicines of the mountains. Dinner will be in the village comedor.
DAY 4 - Saturday, July 15
Mushroom Hunt & Activities
This morning, you'll rise early and enjoy breakfast at the comedor. Then get your hiking shoes and baskets ready to head to the mountains and forests for the mushroom hunt. Tourists and locals depart in groups and collect as many as they can. The forests are teeming with hundreds of varieties of mushrooms. In the afternoon, there are classification workshops and other activities with fellow mushroom enthusiasts. Dinner at the local comedor with lots of sharing and festivities.
DAY 5 - Sunday, July 16
Wild Mushroom Festival
Today after breakfast is the formal festival procession and exhibition of all the mushrooms that were collected. Awards go to the biggest and rarest. There are talks on the importance of 'hongos' along with more workshops on cultivation and cooking with mushrooms. In the late afternoon, you will be transferred back to Oaxaca City and checked into the hotel.
DAY 6 - Monday, July 17
Guelaguetza and Mezcal Festivals
Breakfast will be at the hotel. At about 9:00am your guide and driver will take you to the festival grounds for the elaborate Guelaguetza celebrations. A feast for the eyes, beautiful dresses and dances fill the celebration with people coming from all over the area. You will have the afternoon from 2:00-6:00 free and then it’s off to learn about and enjoy the local liquor of the land at the Mezcal Festival. Dinner will be on your own, or with the group at the delicious 15 Letras restaurant.
DAY 7 - Tuesday, July 18
Enjoy breakfast and whatever free time you have available before your flight. We will arrange to transfer you to the airport in time for your outbound flight. Or, you can plan on staying 2-4 more days for time on the beach, which we can arrange for you.
7D / 6N
July 12 - 18, 2017
Oaxaca City - Teotitlan - Llano Grande - Cuajimoloyas - Oaxaca City
Village experience, Customizable
APPLY FOR THIS PROGRAM
Share this Trip