Oaxaca Mezcal Pechuga Camp

The most intensive, immersive experience we offer, you’ll trek into Oaxaca’s Sierra de Juarez mountains to actually make mezcal on the outskirts of San Cristobal Lachirioag.

Each year, we join Mezcal Tosba’s maestro mezcalero Edgar González to participate in every step in the process of making “mezcal de pechuga.” This experience begins and ends in Oaxaca City, and we spend two days and nights camping out at the palenque in a lush jungle environment. The road is long and serpentine and the conditions are rustic, but the camaraderie, mezcal, and local pre-Hispanic cuisine make it well worth it.

The Zapotec village of San Cristobal Lachirioag is a remote location that few outsiders have visited. The microclimate and terroir are unique in the world of Oaxacan mezcal—magueys grow amongst various types of wild plantains and cultivated coffee beans. We will participate in unloading cooked maguey from the earthen pit oven, harvesting maguey and re-loading the oven, breaking down and milling cooked maguey, formulating it for fermentation, and distilling a special mezcal de pechuga throughout the night.

All of our food will be prepared on-site, and the majority of it is pre-Hispanic, indigenous cuisine. The menu is based entirely on what is fresh and caught that week, and has included chachalaca, wild boar, venison, crayfish, and the best turkey mole you’ll taste anywhere. As special guests, you can work making mezcal as much, or as little, as you like. For the more recreationally inclined, there are waterfalls and a pristine river for bathing and swimming.

Most of us will camp out at the palenque, close to the still. If you’d prefer a bit more comfort, there is a basic hotel in the village of 2,000 people that we’ll provide transportation to and from. We recommend this experience for guests in good general health who don’t mind roughing it a bit.

*Please note: the drive is long, windy, and worth it. Tosba is remote and the closest small village is 30 minutes away.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Class

A professional bilingual team

You’ll have a driver, a hospitality specialist, and a tour leader who is well versed in all things mezcal. You will be taken care of and have all aspects of mezcal production, tasting, culture, history, Oaxaca, and Mexico illuminated for you by enthusiastic professionals who live and breath mezcal and Mexico.

Active participation in the mezcal making process

Work as much or as little as you like, relax as much or as little as you like. You will have the opportunity to participate in (or just observe) every step of the process: loading and unloading the earth oven with maguey, burro-and-stone milling, hand  formulation, and distilling pechuga.

Boutique hotel accommodations and space for camping

We’ll stay in a boutique Oaxaca City hotel on the first and last nights. We’ll spend nights two and three camping at the palenque (camping gear not provided). If you prefer, there are dormintory-style beds in the palenque, and the option of a very basic nearby hotel.

Rural Oaxacan hospitality at its finest

All meals are included, and at the palenque you’ll enjoy Zapotec home cooking with fresh, local ingredients. There will be plenty of mezcal, live music and a small party on night three, as well as your own bottle of the pechuga mezcal we make to take home.

Included:

  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Private, comfortable ground transportation to and from Tosba
  • Professional bilingual team
  • Two day, two night experience at Mezcal Tosba
  • Four nights accommodations—hotel and camping space
  • Meals and beverages

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • Camping gear
  • Tips
  • Additional mezcal to take home
Oaxaca Map

Public Tour Details

Duration:
Five days, four nights

Dates:
November 28-December 2, 2019

Group Size:
Up to 10

Cost (US Dollars):
$795/person (double occupancy)
$915/person (single occupancy)

A non-refundable 50% deposit is required to book. The remainder is due one week before the tour starts.

MAKE IT PRIVATE

Book this experience as a private tour.

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Want a longer, more in-depth experience?

SAMPLE Camp ITINERARY

This is a sample itinerary only. Distilleries, hotels, restaurants and times are subject to change at any time due to production schedules, availability, weather conditions, or other circumstances.

Various: Oaxaca International Airport arrivals, hotel transfers
Various: Sightseeing / shopping /relaxing in colonial Oaxaca City
5:00pm:  Mezcal orientation at the hotel
7:00pm: Dinner in Oaxaca City
9:00pm: Optional drinks around Oaxaca City
Lodging: Casa Antigua, Oaxaca City

Check out of hotel

6:00am: Depart hotel
8:00am: Breakfast in Cuajimoloyas
9:00am: Depart Cuajimoloyas
1:00pm: Arrive San Cristóbal Lachirioag
1:30pm: Lunch at the palenque
3:00pm: Maguey orientation, trek to swimming hole, R&R
7:00pm: Dinner at the palenque
PM: Palenque Tosba, San Cristóbal Lachirioag

8:00am: Breakfast at the palenque
9:00am: Unload earth oven Further Palenque activities: milling, formulation, etc.
1:30pm: Lunch at the palenque
Free time R&R at the river and in the village
7:00pm: Dinner at the palenque
PM: Pechuga distillation, live music
PM: Palenque Tosba, San Cristóbal Lachirioag

8:00am: Breakfast at the palenque
9:00am: Load earth oven
10:30am: Depart San Cristóbal Lachirioag
2:00pm: Lunch in Cuajimoloyas
3:00pm: Depart Cuajimoloyas
5:00pm: Arrive Oaxaca City
8:00pm: Dinner TBD in Oaxaca City
PM: Hotel Casa Antigua, Oaxaca City
Lodging: Casa Antigua, Oaxaca City

Various: Breakfast and departures

Tour FAQ

All our multi-day and custom tequila tours begin with a driver who meets you as you exit customs at Oaxaca City’s Xoxocotlán International Airport (OAX) and transports you to the hotel. Your tour also includes drop-off back at the airport at the end of the experience.

It’s not that intense, but it is camping. There is a very basic hotel in the nearest village for those who prefer. But those who opt for the hotel generally regret having to leave the rest of the group at the palenque each evening. For those who camp at the palenque, think “car camping.” There is electricity, basic bathroom and shower facilities, and dorm-style lodging inside for those who opt not to bring camping gear. For those who bring a tent, there is plenty of space around the palenque to choose from.

For the three days we’re in the country, wear work clothes (long pants, long-sleeved shirt, sturdy footwear, work gloves) that you do not mind getting very dirty. It’s important to have your skin covered when handling maguey, or you could end up with a nasty rash.
In the city, dress in comfortable clothes and good walking shoes. We strongly discourage sandals, cowboy boots and heels during the day. We will be at high elevation with lots of sun, so bring a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Plan for warm days and cool nights – you’ll want a light jacket, sweater or wrap for nighttime. In general, Mexicans dress more formally than North Americans. You may want to bring one nicer outfit for going out at night.

Oaxaca is warm and dry most of the year. We tend to avoid scheduling experiences during the rainy season (June-early September), which features near daily thunderstorms. However, climate change is a reality in Mexico and the weather is increasingly unpredictable. We recommend bringing a light jacket just in case. April is the hottest month of the year in Oaxaca, and January is the coolest. Expect daytime highs between 80-90 F (27-32 C), and overnight lows between 45-60 F (7-15 C). Overnight lows at the palenque may be ten degrees Fahrenheit lower.

Since our guests come from various time zones, day five is essentially just a departure day. Breakfast on day five is included, but there are no other formal activities on the itinerary. Feel free to book your departure flight as early as needed. On the other hand, we’re also happy to make recommendations for extra hours or days in and around Oaxaca City.

Still have questions? Explore our FAQ page »

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