Oaxaca Red Clay Pottery Experience – visit a red pottery women’s co-op

Oaxaca Artisanal Red Clay Pottery – Private Tour

We believe one of the best ways to connect with a culture is through its arts.

On this unique artisanal tour, you will engage with red clay pottery makers and dive deep into their multi-generational traditions and practices! You will see how their art techniques have been passed down through the generations and be part of their ancestral traditions.

You will be learning about Oaxacan Pottery in a way very few people ever get the chance to. You will learn how one woman, Macrina Mateo Martínez, broke the multi-generational gender norms in her village of San Marcos Tlapazola, and has transformed her culture through a women empowerment co-operative! This is the most profound connection to this art you may ever get!

All bookings are private, so booking with friends works out more cost-effectively, as you share some expenses (such as guide, transport, etc). Discounts are auto-magically applied when you make your reservation.

Are you planning to be here for the Day Of The Dead? You may also be interested in our in-depth, interactive experience taking you deep into the culture, traditions and practices of the Day Of The Dead in Oaxaca:
Book Your Oaxaca Day Of The Dead Experience here!

Make a Deposit to confirm today!
All booking deposits are in USD and must be made in advance so that we can prepare this experience for you. Your initial deposit covers some expenses payable in advance of your tours, such as your guide fees and other inclusions. Need to reschedule the date? With 2+ weeks’ notice, you may be able to without any rebooking fees! See Cancellations & Rebooking terms at the bottom of the page.

This tour requires a Local Payment in MXN
The Local Payment is a portion of your overall tour cost paid in Mexican Pesos on the morning of tour departure. It includes “on tour” expenses that cannot ordinarily be pre-paid such as money that goes directly to the host families, food vendors and meals. It is an additional cost to the price of your tour when you make your deposit.

The Local Payment for this experience is 1000 Mexican pesos per person (approximately $50 USD).


Oaxaca Artisanal Red Clay Pottery Experience

Visit an indigenous, women-run red pottery co-op outside Oaxaca


Item Details
Meeting Point Your centrally located Oaxaca City hotel (you tell us your hotel after you reserve)
End Point Your centrally located Oaxaca City hotel
Duration Up to 6 hours (+/-)
Physical Level Low – this experience involves moderate walking through small towns
Cultural Rating High – a good balance of cultural interactions, and engaging with local artisans
Ages 12+ (under 18 must be accompanied by a guardian/parent)
Group Size Private – Max 6 people per booking


Itinerary for learning about Oaxaca pottery making

Embark on a journey into the heart of Oaxaca’s cultural heritage with the Oaxaca Artisanal Red Clay Pottery Experience. Uncover the hidden artistry in the rustic village of San Marcos Tlapazola, where you’ll meet Macrina Mateo Martínez, the creative artisan who elevated the region’s red clay pottery to global renown. This unique experience offers an unparalleled glimpse into a world filled with rich history, delicate craftsmanship, and an art form steeped in tradition and local wisdom. From the moment you’re picked up at your hotel in central Oaxaca, prepare to be embraced by the warmth and creativity of this vibrant region.

Your private tour begins with a scenic drive to San Marcos Tlapazola, guided by an expert tour leader who will not only navigate the roads but also the rich tapestry of Oaxacan culture. Once in the village, you’ll be welcomed by Macrina herself, as she shares her inspiring story of leaving the village, founding a women’s empowerment co-op, and her relentless pursuit of artistic mastery. Engage in a hands-on workshop under her tutelage, molding, shaping, and crafting something beautiful from the very clay that has defined the region’s artistic identity. Learn about the intricate process of sourcing this unique clay from the mountains, a task both challenging and rewarding, reflecting the true spirit of Oaxaca.

As the day unfolds, you’ll immerse yourself in more than just pottery. You’ll come to appreciate the resilience and innovation that have shaped the lives of the artisans in this community. Conclude your experience with a special local meal on your way back to the city, reflecting on the connections you’ve made and the skills you’ve acquired. The Oaxaca Artisanal Red Clay Pottery Experience isn’t just a tour; it’s a celebration of art, community, and empowerment. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or a curious traveler, this journey promises to enlighten, inspire, and leave you with a piece of Oaxaca’s soul. Reserve your place today and become part of a story that’s as timeless as the red clay itself.

For anyone who has an eye for art, and appreciates the efforts of those fighting for equality and progressive steps being taken by cultures – we know you will leave satisfied on all fronts with this special artisanal experience!

Please note: There is not a Dress Code! You will be visiting some food vendors who are a bit more traditional, so dressing respectfully is appreciated. You don’t need to dress to impress – you will be getting your hands dirty (literally). It is recommended to just bring comfortable clothes, which are modest, and that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty in (food spillage happens to the best of us). A more detailed list of suggested clothing attire can be found below.

What to bring to the Oaxaca Red Clay Pottery Experience?

Though this could vary seasonally, this is the basic list of what we suggest you bring with you. Keep in mind, your transport is private and secure, so you are able to leave some items in the vehicle when not needed:
– Jeans or long pants (this is most customary in Mexico, though shorts/dress are fine if you are most comfortable in that).
– Sneakers/comfortable shoes.
– Umbrella (for the rainy season, May-Nov)
– Sunblock.
– Hat/cap.
– Cash. The producers do not accept credit cards if you want to buy any red pottery after your experience. There is no pressure to buy anything. Unlike other tour companies, the producers we work with will always get paid fairly for their time, regardless if you buy some of their pottery or not.

What is included with the Oaxaca Red Clay Pottery Experience?

Your ancestral 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
– transport from/to your Oaxaca hotel or AirBNB (must be located in Oaxaca City, otherwise a central meeting point will be set)
– translations and demonstrations with the local food vendors
– meals (alcoholic beverages are not included with the meals)
– a special small gift to take home with you

What is not included when on your Oaxaca Red Clay Pottery Experience?

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 food, souvenirs or items.

Supporting Local Projects with our TRiP Foundation

For 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 preserves 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 this experience supports, 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 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 both to our guests, as well as 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 that will reimburse you for cancellations of things such as flights, hotels, and tours.

2 reviews for Oaxaca Red Clay Pottery Experience – visit a red pottery women’s co-op

  1. Frieda (verified owner)

    Es un tour espectacular. Conocer a Macrina en persona es un honor con mucha pasión. Christian es un guía con mucho conocimiento, súper flexible, y te da información que no encuentras en Google. Marina te demuestra cómo se hace una pieza de el principio al producto casi final. Te comparte la historia cuál ella cambió la vida de las mujeres viviendo en el pueblo de San Marcos Tlapazola con coraje, perseverancia, y amor a su arte. Súper recomendable este tour. Y para superar la experiencia puedes un pieza de arcilla roja

  2. Lisa Dinowitz (verified owner)

    This was a lovely tour! We especially liked our guide Christian who was incredibly knowledgeable about our trip as well as other aspects of Oaxaca.

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