Oaxaca Sacred Mezcal Experience
Visit a palenque and learn about mezcal from a local family
|Meeting Point||Pickup at your Oaxaca City hotel|
|End Point||Drop off at your Oaxaca City hotel|
|Duration||Up to 10 hours|
|Physical Level||Moderate – this experience involves short-distance hiking around agave fields and hills in the sun|
|Cultural Rating||Moderate – a good balance of cultural interactions, and engaging with a local family of mezcal producers|
|Ages||18+ (the trip includes alcohol)|
|Group Size||Private – Max 6 people per booking|
Itinerary for visiting the Mezcal Palenques in Mina, Oaxaca
You will be picked up from your Oaxaca City hotel at 9:00 a.m. to get an early start out to the Agave plantation and mezcal production location, known as a Palenque.
We will be going to visit one family in Santa Catarina Minas town (1 hr south of Oaxaca) to learn their story and family history. Once we arrive, we will hop into their pickup truck to visit their agave fields. The fields are around a 10-minute drive from the home of the mezcaleros we are visiting. We will be spending the first half of the day hiking around these fields and learning about all the varieties of agave plants that grow here, what makes them special and how long each variety takes to mature. Some varieties take up to 25 years for maturation, before they can be harvested!
We will take a break to eat some snacks while in the fields (you will be able to let us know your dietary requirements in advance), and keep your energy levels up. Once we’ve refilled our bellies, you will have the unique opportunity to plant a baby agave for yourself – connecting you to the sacred land we are visiting! Very few foreigners are ever given this privileged opportunity, as you become part of the process, and part of the sacred land the farmers pass down from generation to generation! This plant may end up living in your newly assigned home for up to 25 years! You can come back to visit it any time you are in Oaxaca and see how your efforts have become part of this land – and part of the Oaxacan culture.
At this point, we head back to the mezcalero’s home. You will be able to learn about the process which happens next. From the harvest to the fermentation, to the distillation – it is an ancestral practice that gets passed down from one generation to the next. You may be surprised at just how labour-intensive it is, to turn the sacred maguey (agave) into the delicious spirit you know as mezcal. We are sure you will find a newfound appreciation for this unique Mexican drink.
We will of course, then take the opportunity to try several of the varieties that this mezcalero produces on his land, seeing the difference between each plant, and experience the subtle nuances that the smokey mezcal drink has become famous for. You of course will have the opportunity to buy a bottle or two of your favourite type, should you choose to do so, but there is no pressure whatsoever. The mezcaleros are paid for their time with us, so any purchase you make is entirely up to you (paid in cash only, so if you plan to, please be sure to bring at least 1000-2000 pesos in cash to be sure you have enough – there are no ATMs nearby).
After the mezcal tasting, we are going to stop in a local Oaxacan restaurant. Here we will try some delicious Oaxacan food, local to the area. If the weather permits, they also have a big swimming pool, where you can take a dip and cool off after a long and rewarding day out in the Palenque.
This is a full-day experience where you will learn and appreciate the hard work of the mezcal producers. It will be a window into a normal day in these people’s lives and allow you to connect on a deep level by participating in their activities and connecting to the land they live off. The objective is that you can get a bond with nature and the sacred practices of mezcal production – in the ways the mezcaleros have bonded with this practice for generations.
Please note: There is not a Dress Code! Though you revisiting a traditional family in the villages, dressing semi-respectfully is appreciated. You don’t need to dress to impress – you will be getting your hands dirty. It is recommended to just bring comfortable clothes, which are modest, and that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty in. A more detailed list of suggested clothing attire can be found below.
What to bring on the Oaxaca Sacred Mezcal Experience?
Though this could vary seasonally, this is the basic list of what we suggest you bring. Keep in mind that your transport is private and secure, so you are able to leave some items in the vehicle when not needed:
– Jeans or long pants (we will walk in the fields, which do have bugs and cactus). You can also bring shorts and you can change once we are back in the palenque.
– Sneakers/comfortable shoes. No sandals (during the hiking)
– Long sleeves or bug spray (there are mosquitos in the fields).
– Covid Mask.
– Swimsuit/bikini (pool attire)
– Cash. The producer does not accept credit cards if you want to buy bottles of mezcal after your tasting. There is no pressure to buy anything. The producer always gets paid fairly for his time, regardless. Bottles of mezcal range from 250 to 1400 Mexican Pesos, depending on size and variety.
What is included with the Oaxaca Sacred Mezcal Experience?
Your sacred experience includes:
– information provided before your experience to educate you and properly prepare you
– a specially trained and licensed English-speaking guide who will facilitate your experience
– transportation during the tour (a private vehicle to and from Mina, as well as a pickup truck out into the fields)
– translations with your mezcalero
– meal (includes snacks in the field, and a meal at the end of the day. Alcoholic beverages are not included with the meals)
– Mezcal tasting (please drink responsibly, you are at someone’s home)
– a special small gift to take home with you
What is not included when on your Sacred Mezcal Experience?
– Local Payment of 1000 Mexican Pesos per person (payable at the start of the tour directly to your guide)
– Travel Insurance (Compulsory)
– International flights
– Transportation (outside of included itinerary)
– Accommodation in Oaxaca
– Alcoholic beverages (outside of the included mezcal tasting)
– Gratuities and tips
– Spending money if you wish to purchase additional mezcal, souvenirs or items.
Supporting Local Projects with our TRiP Foundation
Every TRiP that you go on with WSE Travel, we will donate 2% to an environmental or community-based project in the country you’re visiting. We want to ensure that every guest we help, in turn, helps support and preserve the destination we’re experiencing together as a direct result. We live by an ethos of Travel Responsibly & Impact Positively (TRiP).
For more information on the projects supported by this experience, please visit our Mexico TRIP projects.
Cancellations & Rebooking
All tours, services, and experiences booked through WSE Travel are bound to our Terms and Conditions, which were modelled after most other travel services such as flights, hotels and other tour operators.
Should you need to cancel or change your reservation for any reason (including but not limited to missed flights, illness, or change of mind), you will still be bound to the terms and conditions agreed to at the time of booking.
Should you give us more than 14 days’ notice of a change in your reservation, we can store your payment in the ‘safety deposit box’, to be used for a future travel date, either by you or be transferred to a friend or family member. Refunds are not available unless your reservation is cancelled by WSE Travel for circumstances outside of our control.
Should you give us less than 14 days’ notice of a change in your reservation, a rebooking fee will be imposed. We do try to be flexible for our guests, but not at the sacrifice of the livelihoods of all locals hired for your private experiences. As these are private experiences, your guide and any other local service provider block their days off from other work to accommodate your reservation, and may not be able to fill that day again in the event of cancellation. To be fair and responsible to them and their reliance on your reservation’s promised work, your guide will still be paid for your reservation. As such, last-minute cancellations or changes within 2 weeks of departure will be subject to a rebooking fee of the online deposit, to re-hire a guide for your future travel date.
This flexibility is a bend in our Terms and Conditions to try to be fair to both our guests and the locals hired to facilitate your reservation. If you feel there is a high chance of cancellations or changes, please make sure you buy appropriate travel insurance which will be able to reimburse you for cancellations of things such as flights, hotels, and tours.
Aryn (verified owner) –
Five Stars are not enough!! I would rank this tour a 10 if possible!
Conejo and his family are absolutely amazing and are so knowledgeable. He has a great personality and a sense of humor. I found it very unique to learn about the difference between Wild Agave and Farmed Agave and how that impacts the sugar and taste of the Mezcal. Most tours I researched were very basic in the sense of only focusing on the tasting room and general facts about Mezcal. However, on this tour, we did a small hike and were actually able to plant our own baby Agave of our choice.( I hope to return back in 9 years to be able to taste my own Mezcal when it comes time to harvest). Everything was timed out well and we weren’t rushed at all. One huge point that I really appreciated was how Victor and Conejo worked together and translated everything perfectly. Conejo would explain everything step by step with pauses and Victor then cued in perfectly to translate. I never left lost or that he only translated half of what was said. Last but not least the MEZCAL!! I nearly bought every bottle that was for sale. I drink a lot of Mezcal back in the States and never had any that were this smooth or had so many unique profiles in each bottle. How they process the Mezcal and the pride in doing so really reflects in the final product and just for that I would refer everyone to learn and taste from Conejo’s family.
Ryan Brown (verified owner) –
I’ve been on quite a few mezcal tours over the years and this one was by far the most in-depth and authentic experience I’ve had. It was incredible to see how ancestral mezcal is produced by Canejo and his family, and the incredible amount of hard work and passion that goes into it. Getting out to see the wild agave fields and learn about so many different types of agave plants and the mezcal they craft with them was definitely the highlight, and hearing about the traditions and history shared by the family. I enjoyed actually walking around the fields and spotting the types of agave, which doesn’t happen on a lot of mezcal tours, before getting to plant our own agave which Canejo’s son will grow up to harvest. Of course, I also looooved the mezcal, and tasting the varieties I’d never even heard of before. If you’re looking for a mezcal tasting experience or tour that is not just simply about drinking, and one that leaves you with memories and intimate knowledge about mezcal, this is the tour.
Laura (verified owner) –
This was an amazing tour, one of the best we did in Mexico. It far exceeded our expectations. Learning about the plant up close, the different varieties and seeing first hand the love & care that go into mezcal production is amazing. The opportunity to plant our own agave was a nice touch, as was the swim at the end! The guide Victor was equally wonderful, and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. If you’re thinking about booking this, do it.
Rick Eaton (verified owner) –
This was an absolutely great tour and so much more than we expected. If you want to immerse yourself in a true cultural experience, do not think twice about booking this tour. Every aspect was fun and enjoyable from the hike through the hills learning about agave to the tour of the palenque learning about the process of making Mezcal- and of course the tasting of the absolutely delicious Mezcal itself. The local family is wonderful as was our excellent guide Victor. Overall a wonderful time.
Cutler (verified owner) –
This tour was fantastic. Toured an agave farm and learned about a bunch of different kinds of agaves, then the farmer showed us his family’s distillery they’ve been using for generations and explained the whole process, then we got to taste several different kinds of mezcal. If you like mezcal, highly recommended.
Frank (verified owner) –
This mezcal tour was more than we could ask for. Our tour guide Jose was very courteous and made sure our party understood the entire process. The mezcal master welcomed us and provided a knowledgeable tour. I would highly recommend this experience if you want to learn more about mezcal and have fun doing it this is the tour for you
Barbara (verified owner) –
A really fun, engaging and insightful experience. The Oaxaca Sacred Mezcal tour was a wonderful time! Victor and Conejo gave us an amazing and interactive experience – we couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to mezcal in Oaxaca 🙂
George Button (verified owner) –
The Mezcal Experience far exceeded my expectations or any other tour I’ve been on, absolutely a 10/10 day. Conejo (owner of the palenque himself) was extremely hospitable. He seemed genuinely happy to take the time to show us the land and to share the history and culture of the community, the agave/maguey, and the mezcal. He even shared a home cooked meal with us under the shade of a tree in his field. As a tourist, the opportunity to share a day (and many laughs) with these kind and generous locals was very memorable. Our guide Victor was also extremely knowledgable about the region and the mezcal industry as well as being a great translator and always ready with an ice cold bottle of water when the heat of the day started to get to us. It was HOT and dusty and full of spiky hazards but the tour is well planned and includes a stop at a swimming pool on the way back to Oaxaca to soak and reflect (a very nice touch). I came back with a ton of knowledge about the art and culture of Mezcal production (especially the ancestral method that they practice on Conejo’s Palenque) that I am excited to share with my community at home (most likely until they cant stand it any more lol). Highly recommended!
Rebecca Viale (verified owner) –
We had such a great time with WSE on our Palenque tour! It was way more informative than other tours that I have been on where they only try the mezcal and don’t explain anything. Our tour guide Victor was extremely friendly and clear. We absolutely loved being able to plant our own agave plants and will definitely be back to visit them. The day was hot so don’t forget your sunscreen! The food was so delicious and the pool was extremely refreshing after a day of walking around. Everything about this tour was perfect, I highly recommend it while in Oaxaca!
Marleen Munkelberg (verified owner) –
It was not just a tour, it was kind of a journey and the life of Mezcal. The day was long, but great in every minute. We got a lot of information about the spirit in this country, the different types of agaveplants and how to produce on an old way! Highly recommend to everyone who don‘t wants to do just a normal Mezcaltour!
Franz Schäfer (verified owner) –
What a nice and true mezcal experience here in Oaxaca. We couldn’t be happier that day to learn from Conejo himself about how to grow and produce ancestral mezcal.
From seeing his actual farm, to have a family cooked lunch + mezcal under a tree at the farm and plant your own maguey to tasting so many kinds of mezcal and see how a small destillery produces small batches of this amazing spirit.
I tried to kindly wrap up this awesome full-day tour WSE Travel has to offer.
I will show this spirit to as many people as I can back home because it’s not well known in europe.
Maxime Senior (verified owner) –
If you’re interested in learning about mezcal, this tour covers it all! I’ve taken many mezcal tours, and this one is very unique. This isn’t a simple mezcal tasting, but a full experience to learn about the production process from start to finish. I loved the time that we spent with the family behind the mezcal brand.. from walking their land and learning about agave, to being at their palenque to learn about distillation, to being in their home and tasting the mezcales. Such an amazing experience and where I genuinely learned so much! I’d do it over and over again!
Kristel Flores (verified owner) –
This exceded my wildest expectations for what a tour of this type could be. Having been to whiskey distillery tours in Scotland and another tour to taste Cachaça in Brazil, I expected to learn very little and be pushed to buy alcohol. This was the exact opposite as this was about a shared experience learning about this sacred spirit, the life of this family and their mezcal farm. We spent the day hiking around the beautiful hills getting to know the different varieties of agave and learning about the process of making artisanal mezcal. This was an opportunity of a lifetime to share in the passion of a third generation mezcal producer. It wasn’t just educational, as we had fun planting our own agave plant and tasting through the families’ lineup of amazing mezcals. Don’t waste your time with one of those four stop mezcal tours when you can take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity to share in the heritage and culture of Oaxacan mezcal.
Gabriel Glasier (verified owner) –
This tour was so much more than we could have ever expected. Upon arriving, we were met by the smiles of the kids of the mezcalero. We instantly realized that we were not at some mezcal production facility, but at the home and farm of a small batch mezcal distiller. Soon after, we were introduced to the maestro mezcalero Conejo himself and we began the adventure of exploring the farm, learning about the individual maguey plants, and eating a lunch on the farm. Our guide Victor and Conejo then had us pick out our own maguey that we got to name and plant ourselves. Next we headed back to the house to see the process of how the mezcal is distilled from roasting the maguey to the final product which we then got to taste. We expected to get a surface level understanding of what mezcal is and we ended up with a masterclass on artisanal mezcal. I would take this tour again not only for the education but because we had such a great time. Plus the mezcal was stunning!
Luna Rodriguez (verified owner) –
I had a wonderful experience with WSE Travel. This tour will give you a complete overview of how the mezcal business and production work. Not only do you get to see the distillation process but also you will first stroll around the agave fields and then by the end of the visit at the palenque, you will taste several of the amazing mezcals! My favourite part – planting a baby agave! It is certainly the best mezcal tour in Oaxaca!