Oaxaca is a beautiful safe colonial city in the heart of Mexico (Unesco World Heritage Site). It is known for its vibrant cuisine and culture, and is home to a large ex-pat artists' community. Oaxaca City is at 5,000 feet above sea level.
Awaken to the sounds of roosters and Mexican music echoing across the valley, yet you’re only 20 minutes from the zócalo, the heart of downtown Oaxaca with its art galleries, museums, colonial churches and restaurants featuring world-renowned gastronomic excellence.
How to Get There
Fly to Oaxaca City from Houston on a direct flight - BEST OPTION!
Another option is to fly to Mexico City from several major US airports, and then take the domestic flight to Oaxaca City.
Rancho Pitaya is a private B&B-style ranch nestled at the foothills of protected lands in the great valley of Oaxaca only 20 minutes from downtown Oaxaca.
The Ranch is owned and operated by Mary Jane Gagnier, a US ex-pat, and a national winner of 50 and 60-mile horse riding competitions. Mary Jane is also the author of "Oaxaca Celebration" published in 2005 by Museum of New Mexico Press - about culture and traditions in Oaxaca. She is our ideal host and guide.
Rancho Pitaya offers the perfect balance between spectacular scenery, exotic flora, and fascinating cultural and historical destinations.
The ranch is nestled at the foothills of protected lands perfect for trail running, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
Rancho Pitaya is about outdoor living. Enjoy endless safe self-guided hiking in the communal lands just west of the ranch, a biosphere rich in rare, old growth native flora. Or jump on a complimentary all-terrain bicycle and explore the many sites of interest along the quiet backroads stretching east from the ranch. Relax on the guest patio with a book from our well-stocked library or take a cooking class to learn authentic local dishes.
Accommodations are double occupancy. Unless you indicate a single room on the Registration Form, we will do our best to place you with another participant in a double room.
2-Day Trek in Mountain Villages (facilitated by Tierraventura)
Pueblos Mancomunados, or United Villages, is an eco-tourism project and are located about 60 km (40 miles) northeast of Oaxaca city.
They comprise eight small towns perched in a common land territory of mountains and woods situated between 7,500 and 10,500 feet above sea level. They offer the opportunity to enjoy nature and get a first-hand experience of rural life in this region of Mexico.
The area of Pueblos Mancomunados has extremes in elevation and climate. Be prepared for mountain conditions. Temperature is usually warm during the day but it can drop to around 0° C (32° F) at nighttime in higher elevation (for example in Llano Grande). Sleeping bags will be provided for you but bring warm clothing, good walking shoes, long trousers, a hat and sunglasses.
Our van goes with our luggage from village to village, so that you only have to carry a day pack.
Overnight stays are in the guest houses of the villages, they are simple but very comfortable with private bathrooms fireplaces and hot water.
Included on the Retreat
What to Bring (more detailed list after registration)
Image: Ancient Zapotec site in Sierra Norte
General Day-to-Day Itinerary - This is a tentative Schedule!
(All times and activities are subject to change; A more detailed itinerary will be shared with registered participants within a week of the trip)
Prior to the start of the Retreat:
Day 1 - Arrival Day, Saturday, December 2
Day 2 - Sunday, December 3
Day 3 - Day#1 in Sierra Norte Highlands, Monday, December 4
Day 4 - Day#2 in Sierra Norte, Tuesday, December 5
Day 5 - Day#3 in Sierra Norte, Wednesday, December 6
Day 6 - Horses and Weavers, Thursday, December 7
Day 7 - Friday, December 8
Day 8 - Departure Day, Saturday, December 9