Oaxaca food tour and its seven different moles


Mole is a typical Mexican dish, it is so famous that it even has its own song, La cumbia del mole written by singer and composer Lila Downs. And there is no better way to talk about this ancestral dish than with the couplets of a melody made to celebrate this great discovery of Mexican gastronomy whose main ingredients are: peanuts, bread, almonds, chiles, chocolate and cinnamon, although this is an understatement; if we consider that in Oaxaca alone there are seven different types, which although they are not the only ones, they are the most famous.

The word mole comes from the Nahuatl word mulli, and alludes to the fine ground sauces and smooth texture.  These four letters combined mean not only a good taste, but also the possibility of reuniting with loved ones who have passed away on the Day of the Dead and the opportunity to bring the family together to eat and laugh. Perhaps that is why this dish is a must when thinking about Mexican food.

That said, it would be worthwhile to dedicate a trip just to know it, since there is not only one type of mole, but many. Do you dare to know which ones?



The word mole comes from the Nahuatl word mulli and refers to finely ground sauces with a smooth texture. In addition, mole is the dish that the living and the dead enjoy together once a year. For this reason, mole is an obligatory reference when thinking about Mexican food.

We do a food tour with Rutopia through the state of Oaxaca while enjoying its local cuisine.

Book a trip here.

Oaxaca food tour: Are there more than seven moles of Oaxaca?

There are different classifications, among which is the “7 moles”, created to highlight the varieties found in the central valleys. Now this is not the only way to distinguish them, there are those who classify them according to their degree of complexity, or by ingredients and characteristics in common. As if this were not enough, each type is used in different events and festivities.

An example of this is mole negro and machamanteles, which are associated with weddings and baptisms. In other hand, the preparation of “los chichilos” -a dark sauce, with a light consistency, tortilla tatemada and water that is characterized by its simple and bitter flavors- is related to mourning and mourning funerals.

That said, here is a brief, but very informative selection of what you will taste when you decide to travel with Rutopía.


In any case, to call yourself a connoisseur of Mexican gastronomy, it is essential to try each of these Oaxacan delicacies.

And what better way to do it than traveling with Rutopia.

The seven moles of Oaxaca: Oaxaca food tour

In this Oaxaca food tour, we will explain that given the range of combinations that exist, the most popular method to distinguish a mole is “by name and surname.” These can refer to a region (mole poblano), color (amarillito, coloradito, negro), or event (mole de boda, mole de fiesta.) Some of these prefixes are region-specific or refer to some characteristic.

Traditionally people cook mole with turkey for special occasions (weddings, Day of the Dead). Its characteristic color is due to the shade provided by the toasted chiles and the burnt tortilla. Although the recipe varies from region to region, it is prepared with more than 30 ingredients such as; toasted chiles (black chihuacle, red chilhuacle, mulato, pasilla), tortilla, egg yolk bread, plantain, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, onion, tomato, avocado leaf, cloves, pepper, oregano, chocolate, raisins, cinnamon, salt, and sugar.





Mole amarillo or amarillito

Mole Amarillo is one of the most versatile moles because it can be served with meat or vegetarian options. The result is interesting because it mixes ingredients such as chile ancho, guajillo, chilcostle and yellow costeño, tomato, onion, garlic, cumin, cloves, pepper, tortilla, cilantro, chochoyotes, and hierba Santa. Although people call it yellow, its color is orange, and it gets its name from the yellow chilhuacle chile.



The festive mole coloradito

It is so-called because of the color of the sauce, and it is a thick and sweet mole. The main ingredients are chilcostle, guajillo, yolk bread, chocolate, tomato, garlic, salt, and sugar.



The green mole and its herbal flavor

It is the only mole of Oaxaca in which the ingredients are used fresh and can be made with fish. The broth provides, together with the aromatic herbs, that herbal flavor. Its ingredients are pepitas, tomato, green chile, epazote, parsley, hierba Santa, onion, garlic, cloves, and corn masa.


The unknown mole Chichilo

The mole has a fiery red color, and fruits such as plantain, pineapple, peach, or sweet potato are added. Ingredients include black chihuacle chile, pasilla, mulato, tomato, pepper, cloves, and toasted tortillas (this gives it its color). The combination will cause an explosion of flavor.


The end of the Oaxaca food tour with Red mole

This preparation uses red chilhuacle, ancho chile, sesame, almonds, chocolate, garlic, onion, and epazote. In addition, cookers can add dried shrimp and pumpkin seeds for a better flavor. This mole is famous for being spicy and sweet at the same time since its preparation includes chocolate and banana, but also guajillo and ancho chiles.




We concluded that if we don’t stain our clothes, even a little bit when we eat mole, we don’t live the whole experience.

So don’t miss this Oaxaca food tour! Enjoy! Request your trip here.

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July, 2021
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We had an amazing honeymoon thanks to Rutopia & Jorge. Initially I had just contacted them to get some ideas about my trip, but I ended up booking our trip to Mexico with Rutopia, after a lot of back-and-forth planning with Jorge. We wanted to visit and see both cultural/historical/gastronomical/vacation places in Mexico and our trip made that happen. Our hotels were excellent. Our drivers and guides were always on time. The activities were fun and informative. Couldn't ask for more. We did not encounter any problems, we did not have to pay any extra money for an activity either. Everything went perfectly well. Special thanks to Angel who was our guide in Merida and Chichen Itza.
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Enero, 2020
Perfect trip for a woman in Mexico
The Mexican Eco company Rutopia is excellent. As a solo female traveller, I was very pleased with the custom itinerary planned for me by Sibila. All of my requests were fulfilled, from urban tours and decent, clean hotels in CDMX to horseback riding, hikes and cooking lessons in beautiful Guanajuato. All drivers and guides were professional , knowledgable and arrived on time. I was very reassured by Melina from Rutopia, a warm and and very diligent person who checked in with me every step of the way both before my trip and during my days in Colonial Mexico. I heartily recommend this company as a reliable source for trip planning in Mexico.
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Richard G.

Diciembre-Enero, 2020
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Jorge and Melina did a great job and I was very happy with my trip. On very short notice during the high season, Jorge put together a perfect itinerary. I hate to plan and Jorge took all the work out of it. He put together a good balance of the big, can’t miss sites and activities that were a little more off the beaten track. Jorge helpfully worked with me to adjust the itinerary to meet my interests, and in hindsight, I only wish I had gotten more involved. Every tour they arranged was fun and worthwhile with knowledgeable and professional guides and comfortable transportation. During my travels, Melina kept close tabs on me to make sure things were going smoothly. The few times I sent her a message, she quickly responded and she would check in on me every couple days when I hadn’t been in touch.
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Jul 2 - Jul 9, 2021
A dream vacation in México
My husband and I had the best vacation of our lives while visiting Oaxaca, Mérida, Valladolid and Puerto Morelos in México. Vanessa helped us tailor the trip and then Marisol coordinated the final details. Anita, from Rutopía, was always responsive to our questions and concerns while we were in México. In Oaxaca, Alex, our guide from Etnoturismo, made sure we fell in love with that city. And we did indeed. The colors, the food, the people are just amazing and have a special place in our hearts. The guide we got for Chichén Itzá, Juan, was very knowledgable and took great photos of us. The hotels chosen by our local specialists were breathtaking. We wouldn't have been able to plan such a wonderful vacation without their help. Muchas gracias!
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Mayan Site Tour in Yucatan Penninsula Mexico
Rutopia did an outstanding job with the arrangement and execution of a 9 day tour of Mayan sites in the Yucatan peninsula. We provided Rutopia with the general parameters of the trip we wanted and they suggested an itinerary. After our approval, they set up the hotels, transportation within Mexico, and site tours. The hotels were good quality, and all of the drivers and tour guides showed up on time. We were very impressed with the quality of the tour guides and learned a lot on the trip. Jorge handled setting up the itinerary, and Melina handled the execution of the trip and was readily available via WhatsApp throughout the trip for any questions or issues. Melina was particularly helpful in changing our transportation arrangements to the airport at the last minute per our request. I would recommend Rutopia and would use them again for future trips.
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July, 2021
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My wife and I had a fantastic holiday in Mexico thanks to Marisol, Ana, Teresa and their colleagues & partners. The entire itinerary and arrangements were put together in less than 4 days. What we really liked about Marisol & her team was that they were only a message or a phone call away for any query/suggestion, etc. The trip was bespoke to the extent that Rutopia had kept in mind about our interests, food habits & executed bookings, tours. They were also very flexible in catering to last minute changes/requests. The team took upon them to ensure that our entire trip was comfortable & safe by taking care of even small stuff that one normally finds out post getting to a place. We would definitely like to use their services again!!
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July, 2021
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July, 2021
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We had a wonderful time. We started out in Mexico City with a 2 day tour filled with museums, food, and beautiful sights. We then went on to Cholula to experience the culture in a smaller town, see a local market, and eat traditional food. We finished the tour in a small town called Cuetzalan, where most people speak an indigenous language. All of our guides were great. Thank you for a memorable vacation!
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Septiembre, 2020
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I have traveled twice with Rutopía (family trips) and both have been wonderful experiences. Places of enormous beauty and biocultural richness, impossible to get to know in conventional tourism. Best of all: the hosts! Lovely people who know and love their cultures and territories and know how to transmit it with affection, pride and a great sense of hospitality. Undoubtedly, we will travel with them many more times!
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I traveled to Chiapas for an ecotourism experience with Rutopia and I liked it very much, the team responds very quickly to all questions and accompany the traveler throughout the experience, I missed my flight and they were very flexible to accommodate the entire itinerary, My destination was the lakes of Tziscao, where I was received by Neri with his family in very nice cabins next to a lake with incredible views and a magnificent tranquility, with them you make experiences of beekeeping and coffee and tours to nearby lakes, Montebello is a must! 100% recommended.
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Marzo, 2021
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We have worked with Rutopia for several tours in Mexico in the Yucatán and Chiapas and we have never been disappointed. Authentic experiences, with locals, in magical places and off the beaten tourist track. Our contact Marisol was always super available and responsive, understanding and anticipating our desires. And she speaks very good French. I highly recommend Rutopia!
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Abril, 2021
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We were traveling as a group of friends with nothing organized. We like to improvise and be able to find alternative plans to the conventional tourist routes. We arrived in Puerto Escondido - Mexico's paradise - and started looking for options. A Mexican friend recommended us to contact Rutopia and we did. We explained our way of traveling - which they quickly understood - and in a few hours they came to us with a perfect selection of activities. We chose one of them and the next day we found ourselves galloping through beautiful hills, crossing a small lagoon in canoes, bathing on an unspoiled beach at sunset and sipping freshly picked coconuts with some mezcal. We had dinner in the only hut on the beach, eating fish that had been caught that day from the lagoon. Then we went to see the luminescence of the placton with paddle canoes until we were surprised by one of the biggest and reddest moons I have ever seen in my life. We ended up sleeping in bamboo huts a few meters from the waves. There were no more than 5 huts on the miles of beach that we could see. And at ALL times with an exquisite treatment - sympathy, kindness and attention. This is just one of the plans we booked with Rutopia, which definitely changed the course of our trip. Without a doubt, I would repeat this experience in any place I would like to visit in Mexico. Viva Mexico!
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Claudia A

Septiembre, 2020
Super organization, great accommodations and nice team
The trip was perfectly organized, we were always exclusive or in very small groups and had freedom to do our own activities. All accommodations were fantastic and sustainable, the food almost always local and very good, we could always fill our Rutopia water bottles and travel as plastic free as possible. We were met at the airport and had assistance getting a rental car. After that, we traveled independently but had our fixed dates and reservations with Rutopia. It was the perfect mix!
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Marzo, 2020
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Discovering wonderful and surprising sites, Mayan communities with an unforgettable welcome, breathtaking landscapes, a very pleasant climate in the middle of March...and smiling people! A big thank you to Rutopia and his team for the elaboration of this ideal circuit, alternating nature, city life, simplicity and comfort. Thanks to Mélina for the follow-up during our trip. We don't speak Spanish well enough, and we appreciated having a French-speaking contact person who could be reached if necessary. We still have a lot to discover and hope to come back very soon, and with Rutopia without hesitation!
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Marzo, 2020
For those who don't like to manage logistics like hotels, rental cars, activities. And above all, to have someone who speaks fluent French that we can reach at any time for the unexpected... You are in the right place! Thank you to Chloe for the preparation of our trip, to Melina our Ariadne's thread and Teresa for her welcome and help at the arrival and departure. A big thank you to Enrique and Blanca from Nuevo-Durango for their welcome, their smiles, their family, a lot of emotions at the time to leave you. Thanks to Mémo for your teaching of Mexican customs (Sian Ka'an) The Yucatan is a magnificent region. And the population is very pleasant. Only downside Holbox... Too much dust, too much smell of fuel oil, too much tourist. I will keep in memory these wonderful moments!
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