The Best Puerto Escondido Mezcal Tour: An Honest Take On Puerto Mezcal Tours

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Ashlea J. Russell

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When I decided to explore southern Mexico I knew that if there was ever a time to do a mezcal tour it would be in the state of Oaxaca, the world capital of mezcal.

Mezcal is the national spirit of Mexico and although this region produces the vast majority of all the world’s mezcal it was surprisingly difficult to find an authentic mezcal tour on the Oaxaca Coast. Being an avid fan of the spirit, I scoured the internet and found the best mezcal tour around.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about this unbeatable mezcal experience along with what to expect on the tour.

This mezcal tour in Oaxaca is a great way to have fun and make friends.

The BEST Mezcal Tour

This mezcal tour in Puerto Escondido was the best thing I did while I was there! The experience is so much fun, excellent value, and I made friends I still talk to today! This is THE ONLY mezcal tour you need to try. 🍹

About Puerto Mezcal Tours

Quick Facts

Who Runs The Tour? Antoine and Arely with the help of family members from a local ancestral distillery

When Does It Run? Tours run rain or shine on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 3:30pm.

How Long Does It Take? Approximately 2.5 hours.

Where Does It Go? The tour visits an ancestral mezcal distillery just outside of Puerto Escondido on the Oaxaca Coast.

What’s Included In The Puerto Escondido Mezcal Tour

  • Round-Trip* Transportation (Air-Conditioned) within Puerto Escondido**
  • Snappy Interactive Presentation About Mezcal History with Fun Facts
  • Tour of an Ancestral Artisanal Mezcal Distillery
  • Brief Walkthrough of Mezcal Production and Equipment
  • Tasting of 10 of the Finest and Rarest Mezcals Produced In Puerto Escondido
  • Tasting Notes and Score Sheet
  • Orange Slices to Enhance the Flavour
  • Time To Purchase Mezcals (Including Carry-On Size Bottles)
  • Digital Group Photo to Remember the Tour!

*If you don’t want to return to your accommodation after the tour you can choose to be dropped off anywhere in Puerto Escondido.

**Transportation outside of Puerto Escondido is also available for an additional cost.

Meet The Tour Guides

Puerto Mezcal Tours is a small town tour company run by Antoine and Arely, an engaged couple who make their home in Puerto Escondido. They started running tours using their shared love of mezcal after realizing that nothing like this was being offered in the area.

When you think of a mezcal tour in a somewhat remote town of Oaxaca you probably wouldn’t think of Antoine as a tour guide. He is young, vibrant, sociable, and French. He’s one of those electric people who boost your energy just by being around them and you can tell he’s full of great ideas and grand plans.

Three years ago, Antoine visited Puerto Escondido from France for a couple weeks. During this trip he met Arely, originally from the State of Guerrero which neighbours Oaxaca to the west and moved his life to be with her.

What To Expect On This Puerto Escondido Mezcal Tour

This mezcal tour in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca is incredible value for money and was the best value tour of any kind I found in the area.

Things in Mexico can be a bit casual at times and if you’re like me that can be disconcerting, but Antoine was so refreshing to deal with.

He allowed me to book well in advance, he reconfirmed a few days before the tour, he was transparent about the cost, he advised on what we needed to bring, he provided an exact pick-up time the night before and he was prompt.

Antoine is the perfect guide for this Oaxaca mezcal tour.
Antoine, Founder and Guide of Puerto Mezcal Tours

The Pick Up

The experience began with an included pick-up transfer in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle. Antoine met me in the hotel lobby, introduced himself and welcomed me to the tour.

We then headed off to pick up a couple more guests before kicking off the tour by making our way to the ancestral mezcal distillery which is just a quick 15-minute drive from the town.

The mezcal tour visits an ancestral distillery located just outside of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.
Ancestral Mezcal Distillery, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Meeting The Team

Along with Antoine and Arely, the tour is facilitated by Tomas and Perla a young husband and wife couple who work at the distillery.

Tomas’s parents own the distillery and Tomas is actually a 6th generation mezcal producer making this a true family business with years of experience. He was also the driver for the day while Perla served the tasting and explained the production process alongside Antoine.

Once we met the team and had a moment to exchange niceties with the other guests, we gathered around a table for the presentation portion of the Puerto Escondido mezcal tour.

History of Mezcal Presentation

The presentation is a quick and easy 30-minutes jampacked with fascinating history and interesting fun facts. It covers important details about mezcal production and the main differences between tequila and mezcal like how tequila is made from blue agave but mezcal can be made from over 30 different agave species.

Antoine’s passion for mezcal is apparent as he gushes about the spirit, often referring to it as “the Elixir of the Gods”.

Ancestral Mezcal Distillery Tour

Now equipped with some knowledge of what mezcal is and where it comes from, we headed over to the production area to learn how it’s made.

This Oaxaca mezcal tour includes an explanation of the traditional production process.
Perla Explaining Mezcal Production

Perla takes great pride as she walks the group through each of the 5 steps of the industrial process from harvest to the fermentation process to the distillation process. She explains the entire process in Spanish and then Antoine translates to English.

The process is fascinating, and this family affair opts for traditional methods and tools like clay pots in the mezcal production process.

We also had an opportunity to taste some of the mezcal at different stages to see how it changes by each step before reaching the final product. The alcohol content of the distilled spirit at first distillation is like drinking fire so it’s interesting to see how the flavour evolves.

This portion of the experience lasted about 15-minutes and then it was on to the moment we had all been waiting for.

Mezcal Tasting

This is not Oaxaca City and unlike other larger mezcal distilleries, there is no fancy tasting room here. Instead, we made our way to a rustic bar area for the tasting.

Each guest is given a small clipboard with the 10 mezcals we are about to taste. Alongside is a list of some different flavour categories and a spot to rank our preferences as we went. This would come in handy when it came time to do some shopping.

Clipboard in hand, we stood and chatted and laughed as we worked our way through the 10 carefully curated and very different types of mezcal.

A common misconception, and one I had myself, was that all mezcal is smoky but this could not be further from the truth. Depending on the type of agave the mezcal flavours vary hugely. One of the mezcals was sweet, almost like a Moscato dessert wine, another was really herbal bordering on medicinal, some were fruity and some were earthy.

The mezcal tour includes a tasting of the famous worm.
Mezcal with Worms, Known as “Gusano”

As a group we tasted small batches of both traditional and wild mezcals, and with the help of our local guide, became better and better friends with each round. It was fun to see how different people reacted to the different flavours and to discuss and banter over who was right and who was wrong.

My favourite part of the tasting was when we got to the infamous, mythical worm. We tasted the same mezcal, one distilled without the worm and one distilled with the worm.

Watching everyone laugh and chatter wide-eyed as Perla poured our drinks from a bottle with bloated worms floating inside was an awesome moment.

Time To Shop

At the end of tasting, feeling loose and giggly we had an opportunity to purchase a mezcal bottle or two for our personal collections, available in small, medium and large bottles – cash and card accepted.

The tour includes time to shop at the end and even offers carry on size bottles.
Mezcalería with Mezcals Made By This Distillery

Then we took a couple of group photos and hopped back into the gloriously air-conditioned vehicle for a ride back to town for dinner.

Okay, But Was It Fun?

This 2-hour mezcal tour wasn’t just a good time, it was a great time! This unique experience was so much fun I would call it a must-do for anyone visiting the area.

Our group was made up of people from the United States, Canada and Australia, of various ages and interests. We had someone who didn’t drink much and others who were pseudo connoisseurs.

Sharing a new experience is the best way to bring people together and this mezcal tour has us all laughing and chatting. In fact, friendships were formed here that carried on to dinner and the beach.

This mezcal tour in Oaxaca is a great way to have fun and make friends.
Puerto Mezcal Tours Group with Arely (left) and Antoine (centre)

Why You Should Take A Mezcal Tour In Oaxaca, Even If You Hate Tequila

Like many naïve teenagers, I once took an ill-advised left turn into a bottle of tequila which ended with me spending the next seven years recoiling at the mention of it.

Fast forward to being 23 and living in London, England I was taken on a date to a tequila bar – not ideal. Reluctant to try anything, I forced myself into Cafe Pacifico in Covent Garden, one arm of Tomas Estes’s tequila empire.

My perspective on Mexican liquor was about to change forever.

Mezcal Cocktail

I explained to the bartender that I could not physically drink tequila and after probing me with a few questions about what I liked and didn’t like I was presented with a small snifter of mezcal.

I had never heard of mezcal and all I knew about tequila was that Jose Cuervo was my archnemesis. I remember the bartender using the words “just trust me” as I raised the glass and steadied my stomach.

The smell was so unexpected, landing somewhere closer to whiskey than tequila. It was smoky and spicy and couldn’t be farther from what I was dreading so much.

Tasting mezcal for the first time, I was surprised. Intended to be sipped, it was smoky, warm and earthy. I was floored, this might be my new favourite drink!

The moral of the story is, mezcal is not tequila. Mezcal used to be a very “under-the-radar” spirit but that’s changing. Now that mezcal is becoming better known, mezcal cocktails are popping up on menus across the world.

“The only way to find out where your mezcal sweet spot is, is to doing a tasting.”

Where tequilas tend to have a similar flavour profile, mezcals can vary hugely. Smoky, fruity, bitter, sweet, earthy, herbaceous, the list goes on. The only way to find out where your mezcal sweet spot is, is to doing a tasting.

In addition to the fact that a tasting is fun, what makes this tour one of the best mezcal tours around is that it also delves into the history and importance of mezcal in Mexican culture.

FAQs About The Mezcal Tour

How Do I Book A Tour With Puerto Mezcal Tours?

Click here to book this mezcal tour in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca online.

Do I Need To Book In Advance?

Antoine and Arely are very accommodating but being that this tour is the only one of its kind in the area and with increasing popularity it can get busy and book up.

To avoid disappointment I would reach out to Puerto Mezcal Tours at least a couple of days in advance.

Is Transportation Included?

Included transportation is available to anyone staying in Puerto Escondido. This includes hotels, hostels, AirBnbs and even rental homes. If you’re in Puerto Escondido, they’ll find you!

Guests staying outside of Puerto Escondido are also welcome to join the tour, transportation can be offered at a fee, just contact Antoine!

At the end of the tour the team will drop you off anywhere you choose in town.

What Should I Bring On The Mezcal Tour?

You’ll want to make sure you dress comfortably and casually, bring water, wear sunscreen and don’t forget the bug spray. You should also bring money to purchase any mezcal you can’t live without (cash or card) and you may want to bring some cash to tip.

The weather conditions in Puerto Escondido can be very hot and this distillery is away from the coast. You may want to bring a hand fan – this will also help to swat the flies away!

I’m Travelling Alone, Can I Still Take The Tour?

Absolutely! This tour operates only with small groups and the friendly nature of the tour makes it easy to socialize and make new friends. This tour would be comfortable for solo travellers as well as friends or couples.

I actually made a few friends on this tour to go to dinner with and a beach day later in the week.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Take The Tour?

The drinking age in Mexico is 18 years old, so this is how old all participants in the tasting must be. It is possible to join the tour under this age but since the primary activity is the tasting it may be better to skip the tour.

Summary: The Only Puerto Escondido Mezcal Tour You Need To Try

This tour by Puerto Mezcal Tours is the best mezcal tour I have found in Oaxaca and should be on the list of anyone visiting this area. Antoine and Arely are fantastic at what they do and their love and knowledge of mezcal is truly contagious.

Whether your interest is in Mexican culture, the history of mezcal, visiting an ancestral distillery, or you’re purely in it to sip the sauce, this tour will not disappoint.

With mezcal crossed off the list, there are so many more things to do and see in Puerto Escondido.

After your tour make your way to Almoraduz, an incredible Oaxaca restaurant on the Rinconada in Puerto Escondido, for mezcal cocktails and one of the best meals of your life.

If you’re looking for a magical experience while in town, don’t miss the bioluminescence! And for more about where to stay in Puerto Escondido click here.