Mexico 2019

Main Conference

24 October - 3 November 2019

Oaxaca, the capital city of the southern Mexican state of the same name, contains a fabulous wealth of pre-colonial heritage sites, as well as colonial and contemporary architecture. Aside from its historical treasures, the city is also known for its cobbled streets, shaded squares, colonial churches and busy markets. Oaxaca has some outstanding restaurants, cafés and bars, together with top-notch museums and art galleries. Nearby are charming colonial towns and some of the finest Mesoamerican architecture where the Zapotecs (the original inhabitants of Oaxaca) once made their homes.

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THURSDAY 24 OCTOBER 2019           DALLAS

Depart Australia and fly to Dallas. Stay overnight in the Dallas Airport Hotel


FRIDAY 25 OCTOBER 2019    OAXACA                       B

Fly to Oaxaca via Mexico City and transfer to your gorgeous colonial hotel.

This evening join fellow delegates for a Welcome Cocktail Party at the hotel.

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SATURDAY 26 OCTOBER 2019          OAXACA                       B

Morning conference session.

This afternoon take an introductory walking tour of Oaxaca’s cultural and historical heritage.  Enjoy the bustle of the Zocalo (central square) shaded by tall trees and surrounded by elegant arcades. Admire the marble State Government Palace and its intricate mural depicting Oaxacan history. Visit the city’s most splendid church, Templo de Santo Domingo, with its intricately carved baroque façade and over-the-top gilt designs inside. Your walk will include stops at markets, food stalls and chocolate makers to sample famous Oaxacan delicacies – like roasted grasshoppers, served with chili, garlic, salt and lime juice! Cleanse your palate (and set your gut on fire) with a Mezcal tasting. Mezcal is a spirit made from the agave plant, held in spiritual reverence by the locals.

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Your evening is free to try one of the many wonderful restaurants in town and enjoy the ambience of people eating, drinking, and often singing and dancing.

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SUNDAY 27 OCTOBER 2019       OAXACA                      B

This morning drive a short distance out of Oaxaca to visit Tlacolula Sunday markets. Throngs of buyers and sellers are packed around the Capilla del Santo Cristo church. Local craft, cooked foods and everyday goods are on sale. It is a fabulous atmosphere! Peek inside the church and you will be awed by the golden indigenous-inspired decorations. Don’t miss the martyrs carrying their own heads.

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After this visit the Yagul archaeological site. The city was a leading settlement of the Zapotecs between AD750 and AD900. See the Ball Court and learn about the ritual game, explore some underground tombs, and climb to the top of the fortress to take in the views, all the while gaining an understanding of pre- colonial life. Visit the prehistoric caves, which have yielded evidence of the earliest plant domestication in North America and paintings more than 10,000 years old.

Afternoon conference session.

Evening free for you to explore on your own. Many galleries and museums stay open until 8pm.

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MONDAY 28 OCTOBER 2019       OAXACA                 B,L

Today enjoy a full-day tour. Visit Monte Alban, one of Mexico’s most spectacular archaeological sites standing on a flattened hilltop. Inhabited over a period of 1,500 years by a succession of peoples – Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs – the site is known for its unique dimensions, which exhibit the basic chronology and artistic style of the region. Wander through the remains of magnificent temples, ball courts, tombs and bas-reliefs with hieroglyphic inscriptions. Admire the main part of the ceremonial centre, which forms a 300-metre esplanade running north-south with a platform at either end.

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Next visit the small town of San Bartolo Coyotepec and learn how the local traditional black pottery, famous for its colour, sheen, unique shapes and decorative designs is made.

After a traditional lunch soak your weary bones in the thermal springs of Hierve el Agua which afford spectacular views of the surrounding peaks, including the famous ‘petrified waterfalls’, sparkling stalactite cliffs created from the mineral content in the springs. Take a short walk past an ancient Zapotec irrigation system and down to the bubbling source of the spring. Stand at the edge of this buttress of stalactites for a dramatic view of the pools and valleys below.

Return to Oaxaca and try some of its world famous restaurants.


TUESDAY 29 OCTOBER 2019         OAXACA                   B

Morning conference session.

This afternoon participate in a visit to a local hospital to share knowledge with colleagues.

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WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2019      OAXACA                           B,D

Morning conference session.

The afternoon is free for you to take an optional tour out of town, check out those last few museums and galleries or finish off your shopping.

Tonight join colleagues for a fantastic Farewell Dinner – don’t forget your camera.

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THURSDAY 31 OCTOBER 2019      B

Begin your homeward journey. Fly via Mexico City to Dallas and stay overnight (with late check-out)


FRIDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2019

Depart Dallas in the evening arriving in Sydney on Sunday 3 November.

OR join the optional post conference tour to experience the Day of the Dead and round off your Mexican experience.