Escorted Colonial Jewels of Mexico

  • Destination:
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Price: from $1,550 per Person

To get a taste of the real Mexico, this journey will start in Mexico’s capital city. This is where all of Mexico comes together. Then travel through the colonial cities of Central Mexico, many of which earned the World Heritage status because of their extraordinary beauty, architectural uniqueness, and historical significance. Immerse yourself in history and tradition. Be serenaded by mariachi in Guadalajara, learn how to properly drink tequila, and join the ‘viejitos’ in Patzcuaro in their traditional dance.

Day 1

FRIDAY: WELCOME TO MEXICO CITY

You will be amazed by the size of the city from the moment you arrive. Meet and greet with a local representative and transfer to your hotel. After check-in, free time to start exploring the city. As the country´s capital, the “Distrito Federal” is a mosaic of contrasts but most of all an experience in which all of Mexico comes together. It’s the perfect place to start your trip in Mexico.

Over Night in Mexico City at Casa Blanca

Day 2

SATURDAY: CITY TOUR AND ANTHROPOLOGY MUSEUM

Get to know one of the world´s biggest and most exciting cities! With its distinct mestizo culture, blending native Indian (Nahuatl) and Spanish heritage, this mega city is the beating heart of the country. Enjoy a guided visit in the historical center, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage. This interesting tour will include “The Zocalo”, the heart of the city, where you will visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the oldest and largest of the Americas, and the National Palace, home of the famous murals of Diego Rivera. You will also see the ruins of the Templo Mayor, one of the most important temples of the Aztecs in their ancient capital city of Tenochtitlan. Next, we drive down the beautiful Paseo de la Reforma Avenue to arrive in Chapultepec Park. In pre-Hispanic times a summer residence for the noble class of the Aztecs, now it is Mexico City’s largest park and one of the largest city parks in the world. We will visit the Museum of Anthropology (closed on Mondays). This museum is considered to be among the world’s finest of its kind. Here you will admire the famous Aztec calendar stone, models of Tenochtitlán, a fascinating market place diorama, giant stone Olmec heads from the jungles of Tabasco and Veracruz, among many other interesting treasures.

Overnight in Mexico City at Casa Blanca (Breakfast)

Day 3

SUNDAY: PYRAMIDS OF TEOTIHUACAN AND THE SHRINE OF GUADALUPE

Teotihuacán, ‘the place where gods were created’, is one of the most impressive archaeological sites of the country. The history of Teotihuacan is quite mysterious. The earliest buildings were constructed around 200 BC. It is assumed that the city may have counted 200,000 inhabitants during its period of prosperity. In those years, Teotihuacán was the biggest city of the American continent and one of the biggest of the world. Until its inhabitants abandoned the city around the 8th century, Teotihuacan was probably the most significant and civilized cultural centre of ancient Mexico. During this guided excursion you will encounter the magic and mystery of Teotihuacan. Admire (and climb?) the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Walk down the Avenue of the Dead, visit the Temple of Quetzalcoatl with its unique stone sculptures of plumed serpents, the Temple of the Butterflies, and the Fortresses. Before arriving back at your hotel, we make a stop at the Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, a pilgrimage place for millions of Mexicans and people from all around the world.

Overnight in Mexico City at Casa Blanca (Breakfast)

Day 4

MONDAY: TULA – QUERETARO – SAN MIGUEL

Today we will leave the big city en route to Tula. Once upon a time, after the fall of Teotihuacan, Tula was the capital of the Toltecs and one of the most powerful cities of Mesoamerica. The most famous building of this archeological site is the temple of ‘Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli’, an impressive pyramid with beautiful statues of Toltec warriors (Atlantes) on top of it.

We will then continue to Queretaro which is an attractive city that has played a crucial role in Mexican history. After a short tour around the town´s well-preserved historic center, recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage, we will go to San Miguel de Allende, one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. Let us show you the highlights of the city, including the famous “Parish of San Miguel”, the iconic church in Neo-Gothic style, with the pink, sugar-candy pointing towers. These bizarre towers were designed by an untutored Indian, Zeferino Gutierrez, in the late 19th century. In the main chapel you will see the much revered image of the Cristo de la Conquista, made from cornstalks and orchid bulbs by Indians in Patzcuaro in the 16th century.

Overnight in San Miguel de Allende at Imperio de Angeles (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 5

TUESDAY: SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE – GUANAJUATO

In the morning we will go for a short drive to the town of Atotonilco. Here we will visit the Chapel built in the XVI century. You can see the fusion of the European and Pre-Hispanic cultures in its walls and ceilings. We will continue to the town of Dolores Hidalgo, a small town where Miguel Hidalgo, father of Mexico, delivered his famous “Grito de Dolores” (Cry for Independence). This cry symbolizes the start of the Mexican independence movement in the early nineteenth century. In the evening we will arrive in Guanajuato. After check in at the hotel we will go for a night-tour to see the illuminated center of the city.

Overnight in Guanajuato at Holiday Inn Express (Breakfast)

Day 6

WEDNESDAY: GUANAJUATO – SAN LUIS POTOSI – ZACATECAS

With its history as an important mining center, Guanajuato derived great wealth from its abundant silver deposits. The city is a true jewel among Mexico´s colonial cities. You will be surprised by its beauty, with its winding lanes, its plazuelas shaded by Indian laurels, its large variety of decorative styles, and its curious underground avenue. In the morning we will further explore the city. Enjoy sights such as the Hidalgo market, Juarez Theater, the University, the “Alley of the Kiss”, the Alhondiga de Granaditas, and the monument of El Pipila.

After this we will travel to San Luis Potosi. Panoramic tour of the center and then continue to the beautiful city of Zacatecas, a magnificent historic monument of the vice royal era, located on a hillside of the Cerro de la Bufa. At night we will go for a walk to get a first impression of this colonial jewel.

Overnight in Zacatecas at Hotel Emporio (Breakfast)

Day 7

THURSDAY: ZACATECAS – TLAQUEPAQUE – GUADALAJARA

Pink quarry stone constructions and plazas, filigree ironwork on balconies, narrow streets and stone paved streets, polished by time, characterize Zacatecas. The city was founded in 1548, originally as a residence for those working in the surrounding mines. In time it became a cultural center with a beautiful architecture. Visit the cathedral, built in 1752, which is considered a masterpiece of the baroque style. You will have a gorgeous panoramic view of the city from Cerro de la Bufa, where we take the cable car and visit the Eden mine. It will be a great experience entering the mine, as we hop on a small train with narrow wagons, similar to those used in the New Spain era to transport precious minerals. Next, travel to western Mexico, to the pottery village of Tlaquepaque. Tlaquepaque is probably Mexico’s largest and most important arts and crafts center, hosting wares from all over the country. Present day Tlaquepaque is still rich in local tradition and art.  It attracts many of Jalisco’s most talented artists, and has a reputation for the quality and diversity of its products.  Many summer homes have been converted into shops, which house crafts, arts and restaurants. The heart of Tlaquepaque is El Parian, a popular place to relax for people wishing to watch other people, enjoy a local bite, or simply to sit and watch the world go by, enjoying the steady pace of life of this small town. We proceed to nearby Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city and home of many of Mexico’s most beloved traditions.

Overnight in Guadalajara at Hotel de Mendoza (Breakfast)

Day 8

FRIDAY: TEQUILA AND GUADALAJARA

Today we start with a visit to the town of Tequila, to the origins of Mexico´s most famous liquor. On the way to Tequila, we will enjoy spectacular views of agave plantations. In the colorful town of Tequila, we will visit one of the most recognized haciendas dedicated to the production of tequila, to learn about the production process of Mexico´s national drink. Of course we will also have the opportunity to taste some tequila! Afterwards, return to Guadalajara. Before arriving in the city we will visit the impressive crafts market of Tonalá. Back in Guadalajara we will go for a tour including the huge twin-towered cathedral surrounded by attractive plazas, the “Government Palace”, Degollado Theater, and Hospicio Cabañas.

Overnight in Guadalajara at Hotel De Mendoza (Breakfast)

Day 9

SATURDAY: GUADALAJARA – PATZCUARO – MORELIA

In the morning, departure to Lake Chapala, the biggest lake in Mexico, surrounded by mountains. We visit Chapala and then continue to Ocotlán, where we will visit the Temple of the Merciful Lord. We then continue to the State of Michoacán. A short visit is planned in Tzintzuntzan, once capital of the Purepecha people. Next stop will be Pátzcuaro, a magical town located on a large lake, famous for its colonial beauty and unique for its traditional customs. Among its attractions are the “Basilique of Our Lady of Health”, the “House of the Eleven Patios”, and the historic centre. Don’t miss the traditional “Danza de los Viejitos” (Dance of the Old Men), probably the most entertaining Purépecha tradition. After some free time, at the end of the afternoon, we proceed to Morelia. This beautiful city was founded in 1541 by Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza, with the name of Valladolid. In 1828 its name was changed to Morelia, to honor Don Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, hero of the Mexican independence movement. Morelia is known as the aristocrat among Mexico’s colonial cities. Enjoy the wide variety of cafes and restaurants with typical dishes from the region.

Overnight in Morelia at Hotel De la Soledad (Breakfast)

Day 10

DAY 10- SUNDAY: MORELIA – MEXICO CITY

Tour through the historic center of Morelia, listed as World Heritage. Here you can see some of the most beautiful examples of baroque architecture from the XVII and XVIII centuries. We will visit the Cathedral – with a Baroque exterior and Neoclassic interior – Plaza de Armas, the Government Palace, the Clavijero Palace, and the monumental Aqueduct. After this we will depart towards the town of Tepotzotlan, for a short visit of this beautiful place and its impressive church (nowadays the Vice Regal Museum). Late in the afternoon we continue towards Mexico City, arriving around 06:00pm. Possibility for drop-off at the airport, without an extra charge, or inquire about an extension in Mexico City.

Included: Breakfast

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