package

Colonial Jewels of Mexico

Location

Mexico

Duration

10 days

Shared

This trip is shared with other travelers from SC (or its partners); included tour guides and transportation are for the entire group.
Departure time is fixed and prices are calculated based on max capacity, so they are fixed and per person.
$ 1905
Brief

Get a taste of the real Mexico on this journey. Starting in Mexico’s capital city, 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

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.

Overnight in Mexico City.

Day 2

Mexico City

Get to know one of the world´s biggest and most exciting cities! Enjoy a guided visit to the historical center, a UNESCO World Heritage site, including “The Zocalo”, the Metropolitan Cathedral, one of the oldest and largest of the Americas, and (if open) 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, drive down the beautiful Paseo de la Reforma Avenue to arrive at Chapultepec Park, to visit the Museum of Anthropology. Here you will admire, among many other interesting treasures, the famous Aztec calendar stone.

Overnight in Mexico City (Breakfast).

Day 3

Mexico City

Discover Teotihuacán, ‘the place where gods were created’, one of the most impressive archaeological sites of the country. It is assumed that the city may have been home to 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 8C, Teotihuacan was probably the most significant and civilized cultural center of ancient Mexico. During this guided excursion, you will see (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 (Breakfast).
 

Day 4

Mexico City - San Miguel de Allende

Today you will depart to Tula in the morning. 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, an attractive city which has played a crucial role in Mexican history. In Queretaro, you will enjoy an included lunch. After a short tour around the town's well preserved historic center, you will continue to San Miguel de Allende, one of the most beautiful colonial cities in Mexico. A guided tour will include the highlights of the city: the famous “Parish of San Miguel”, the iconic church in Neo-Gothic style, with the pink, pointy towers. These bizarre towers were designed by an untutored Zeferino Gutierrez, in the late 19C. In the main chapel, you will see the much-revered image of the Cristo de la Conquista, made from cornstalks and orchid bulbs by Natives in Patzcuaro in 16C. In the evening, you will have some free time for dinner and to enjoy the night ambiance of the city. Also a great opportunity for shopping for traditional crafts. 

Overnight in San Miguel de Allende (Breakfast, Lunch).

Day 5

San Miguel De Allende - Guanajuato

In the morning, go for a short drive to the town of Atotonilco where you will visit the Chapel built in the 16C. You can see the fusion of the European and Pre-Hispanic cultures in its walls and ceilings. You 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 19C. In the evening, you will arrive in Guanajuato. After check-in at the hotel, you will go for a night-tour to see the illuminated center of the city.

Overnight in Guanajuato (Breakfast).

Day 6

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, you will 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, you will travel to San Luis Potosi where you will enjoy a 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, you will for a walk to get a first impression of this colonial jewel.

Overnight in Zacatecas (Breakfast).

Day 7

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. Visit the cathedral, built in 1752 and considered a masterpiece of the baroque style. You will have a gorgeous panoramic view of the city from Cerro de la Bufa, where you will take the cable car and visit the Eden mine. It will be a great experience entering the mine, as you 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 center of arts and crafts, 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. You will then proceed to nearby Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city and home of many of Mexico’s most beloved traditions.

Overnight in Guadalajara (Breakfast).

Day 8

Guadalajara

Start your day with a visit to the town of Tequila, to the origins of Mexico's most famous liquor. On the way to Tequila, enjoy spectacular views of agave plantations. In the colorful town of Tequila, you 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. You will also have the opportunity to taste some tequila! Afterward, return to Guadalajara and enjoy a tour which will include the huge twin-towered cathedral surrounded by attractive plazas, the “Government Palace”, Degollado Theater, and Hospicio Cabañas.

Overnight in Guadalajara (Breakfast).

Day 9

Guadalajara - Patzcuaro - Morelia

In the morning, depart to Lake Chapala, the biggest lake in Mexico, surrounded by mountains. Visit Chapala and then continue to the State of Michoacán. A short visit is planned in Tzintzuntzan, once the 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 center. 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, 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, the 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 (Breakfast).

Day 10

Morelia - Mexico City

Tour through the historic center of Morelia, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Here you can see some of the most beautiful examples of baroque architecture from the 17C and 18C. You 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, you will head 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, you will continue towards Mexico City. You can request for a dropoff at the airport, without an extra charge, or inquire about an extension in Mexico City.

(Breakfast).

package code: MX229668
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