Ocotlán de Morelos, Santo Tomás Jalietza, San Martín Tilcajete & San Bartolo Coyotepec

Rene Cabrera


OCOTLÁN DE MORELOS is a town and municipality in the state of Oaxaca, about 21 miles south of the City of Oaxaca on Highway 175. It is part of the Ocotlán District in the south of the Central Valleys. The area had a significant population at the time of the Spanish Conquest, and for that reason, an important Dominican monastery was established here in the 16th century. The complex still exists, with the church still being used for worship and the monastery is used as a museum. The town is known for the famous painter Rodolfo Morales, who painted aspects of his hometown in his works and sponsored projects to save and restore historic monuments here. For generations, the municipality has been known for its crafts, which include ceramics created by the Aguilar sisters who make beautiful pottery.

SANTO TOMÁS JALIETZA is a town and municipality located about 17 miles south from the city of Oaxaca. It is part of the Ocotlán District in the south of the Central Valleys Region. The Zapotec weavers in Teotitlán del Valle may be more renowned, but the backstrap loom weavers of Santo Tomás Jalieza are practicing the art in a way that dates to Pre-Hispanic times. The local market is set up in the main square and every day you can see weavers at work and browse the products of their labor. They sell belts, handbags, change purses, table runners and placemats.


SAN MARTÍN TILCAJETE is a town and municipality located about 16 miles from the city of Oaxaca, in the state of Oaxaca. It is part of the Ocotlán District in the south of the Central Valleys Region.

It is a traditional and historically Zapotec village. The Zapotec language was lost three generations ago, but the municipal government falls under the legal category of “traditional uses and customs” based on ancient community norms. The community is best known for its production of “Alebrijes”, which are wooden carvings of real or fantastic animals painted in bright colors and intricate patterns.

SAN BARTOLO COYOTEPEC is a town and municipality located in the center of the Mexican State of Oaxaca. It is located in the Centro District of the Central Valleys Region which is about 18 miles south of the city of Oaxaca.

The town is best known for its black clay pottery. For hundreds of years, pottery has been made here with a gray matte finish, but in 1953 a technique was devised to give the pieces a shiny black finish without painting. This has made the pottery far more popular and collectible. The town is home to the State Museum of Popular Art of Oaxaca which was opened in 2004, with a large selection of black clay pottery and Oaxacan Folk Art.


We will meet at Casa de las Bugambilias B&B or at the front desk of your hotel, from where we will drive 21 miles south on Highway 175 to visit the market day in Ocotlán de Morelos. We will visit the market and the “tianguis” which is an open-air market that is traditionally held on certain market days. We will taste tamales, chapulines, tejate, pulque, and nicuatole during the walking tour. After that, we will drive 15 minutes to Santo Tomás Jalietza to see the weavings made in a back-strap loom. We will visit the home of Crispina Navarro Gómez who is one of the finest weavers from México to learn how they weave using an ancient technique. We will then go for lunch to the Restaurant “La Azucena Zapoteca” in San Martín Tilcajete to taste the traditional food of that region. After lunch, we will drive 10 minutes to see a demo about the “alebrijes” (wooden carvings) made with copal and painted with natural dyes in the workshop of Jacobo & María Ángeles. At the end of the demo, you will have the opportunity to see and to buy the finished wooden carvings made in the gallery of Jacobo & María Ángeles.

After that, we will drive 20 minutes to get into San Bartolo Coyotepec where we will visit the workshop of Doña Rosa Real de Nieto to see how they make the black pottery by hand. At the end of the demo, we will drive back to Oaxaca City and we will arrive around 5 p.m.

All the customers lodged in downtown Oaxaca will be picked up at the front desk of their hotel or at any other place in downtown Oaxaca.
We will establish a meeting point by telephone or email for travelers residing outside the city.
All tours normally end at the starting point, but this can be changed to another place in downtown Oaxaca if the customer prefers.

8 hours. Weather and traffic conditions might affect the length of the tour.

VW Transporter Mod. 2019 with A/C, liability insurance, purified water and driver.

See the Map

The service includes transportation, an English-speaking tour guide & soft drinks.

Lunch and additional beverages.

We recommend you bring walking shoes, sunblock, a hat, sunglasses, and a camera.

1-2 persons: $100 USD per person
3-5 persons: $75 USD per person
6-9 persons: $50 USD per person

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Some more photos of “Alebrijes”:

Some more photos of textiles:

Some more photos of this tour:

One comment on “Tour 5: The Magic Route of Handcrafts

  1. Hi,

    Do you have any space for two adults to do TOUR 5: THE MAGIC ROUTE OF HANDCRAFTS this week?

    Kind regards,
    Michelle Collins

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