See the world’s thickest tree, the Zapotecan ruins of Mitla and modern-day weavers at work—all on this 4-hour coach tour of the Oaxaca Valley. The substantial size of tule tree ( Arbol del Tule) in the town of Santa Maria will take your breath away, until you turn your eyes upon the magnificent ruins of Mitla. Tour the archeological site with an informative guide before stopping briefly in the town of Teotitlan of the Valley (Teotitlán del Valle). Round-trip hotel transport from Oaxaca is included.
Board a comfortable, air-conditioned coach upon pickup from your hotel at 10am and head to the town of Santa Maria del Tule. Just a 5-mile (9-km) drive east from Oaxaca city, Santa Maria boasts a huge 2,000-year-old Montezuma cypress—also known as a tule tree—located within the church grounds at the town center. Listen as your guide describes how the roots of this natural wonder are actually entwined within a family of ancient trees. You’ll be astonished by the size of the 509-ton tule, whose thick trunk reaches a girth of 173 feet (53 meters), believed to be the thickest of any in the world.Continue by coach to the nearby archeological site of Mitla, whose construction began in 850. Learn about the Zapotecs who used the city as a religious center, relatively isolated until Spanish conquest in the early 1500s. Tour the ruins with your guide, who will describe the once-hierarchical Zapotecan society, and view the colonial Church of San Pablo, built by the Spanish in the 16th century.Admire the elaborate and intricate design of the mosaics, made with finely cut and polished stone pieces. Amazing fretwork decorates tombs, panels, friezes and entire walls, making Mitla significant among well-preserved Mesoamerican sites of the Oaxaca Valley. Hear your guide discuss the unique geometric harmony of its buildings and plazas as you explore.Your final destination is the Zapotec community of Teotitlan of the Valley, where artisan weavers construct wool rugs on domestic looms, using natural dyes to color their pictorial designs—including reproductions of Matisse and Picasso! Stop briefly at a local weaver’s home for a look before heading back to Oaxaca with drop-off at your hotel.