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Mexico’s

Colonial Gems

Sample Itinerary

DAY 1 : ARRIVE MEXICO CITY

LAS ALCOBAS
Arrive to Mexico City and transfer to your delightful hotel in the chic Polanco neighborhood.

DAY 2 : MEXICO CITY

LAS ALCOBAS
Full day of exploration with your private guide of the subtler aspects of Mexico City. Head to the charming suburb of San Angel for the Bazar Sabado, the bustling market held along the cobblestone streets with pretty San Jacinto Plaza featuring a lovely mix of jewelry, ceramics, glassware, and household items. On to Coyoacan, your lunch at Los Danzantes is reserved and included today. Explore the Bazar Artesanal de Coyocan where you will find everything from gypsy silverwork to indigenous pottery and weavings. You may also opt to visit the now famous Casa Azul, the former home of Frida Khalo, where you can see original work by Frida as well as photos and other artifacts from her life. After Coyoacan, you will visit the ancient Aztec waterways of Xochimilco, which remind you Mexico’s many layers of cultural and historical past. You have up to a two-hour private ride in one of the traditional Trajineras (river boats in Nahuatl) to ply the ancient waterways with perhaps a stop in the Nativitas Embarcadero to the large crafts market for some shopping. Visit the Dolores Olmedo Museum which houses 137 original works by Diego Riviera and also includes 25 works by Frida Khalo and more than 600 pre-Hispanic artifacts. (B,L)

DAY 3 : MEXICO CITY / TEOTIHUACAN / SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

CASA DE SIERRA NEVADA
Morning exploration of the stunning archaeological zone of Teotihuacan, famous for the world’s third and fourth largest pyramidal structures, the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Head to San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to gorgeous mansions with bougainvillea draped walls, luxuriant gardens and burbling fountains. Check in to your luxury hotel in the center of the city. Evening free to wander the charming cobblestone streets where art galleries, boutiques and cafés abound. (B,L)

DAY 4 : SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

CASA DE SIERRA NEVADA
The best way to experience the wonders of San Miguel de Allende is on foot, so today you will take a walking tour to see the Parroquia of San Miguel, a neo-Gothic cathedral unique in Mexico. Then take a stroll through the town’s history at the Casa de Allende and enjoy a tasty lunch at a local restaurant. The history and lore of San Miguel are intertwined with the Independence Movement, and the energy and spirit of freedom of expression have continued on in the lively creative enclave of modern day San Miguel. (B,L)

DAY 5 : SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

CASA DE SIERRA NEVADA
Day at Leisure in San Miguel Allende. This afternoon, spend some time in El Jardin, the central square; visit some of the stellar art galleries or private gardens that have put the town on the map; or browse one of the bustling markets full of handicrafts. Perhaps return to your hotel for a relaxing afternoon in the colonial-style spa or try on your chef’s hat and whip up some local specialties at the hotel’s cooking school. (B)

DAY 6 : SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE / GUANAJUATO

VILLA MARIA CRISTINA
Depart by private vehicle this morning to Guanajuato. Take a captivating journey through the winding streets and subterranean passageways of this UNESCO World Heritage city. View the grand Teatro Juárez, the city’s most prestigious theater; the Alhondiga de Granaditas, a massive building that could store a year’s worth of grain and site of the first rebel victory in the War of Independence; and the cast-iron-and-glass Hidalgo Market, designed by Gustave Eiffel. In the afternoon tour a local mine to learn about the rise of the mining industry after the discovery of silver in the 16th century. (B)

DAY 7 : GUANAJUATO

VILLA MARIA CRISTINA
Today is dedicated to further exploration of this incredibly interesting and historical city with your private guide. Visit the central plaza (or Zócalo, as it is known in all Mexican towns and cities in the Republic), Callejón del Beso (Alley of the Kiss), Museo y Casa de Diego Rivera (Museum & Home of Diego Rivera), the Museo de las Mómias (Mummy Museum), and more depending on time and interest. Enjoy the atmosphere in the city center before returning to your hotel for the night. (B)

DAY 8 : GUANAJUATO / PÁTZCUARO

CASA DE LA REAL ADUANA
This morning, head to the highland colonial gem of Pátzcuaro, a few hours drive, where you check in to your lovely boutique hotel with just five guestrooms, Casa de la Real Aduana. The hotel is housed in a 16th century manor that has been designated a historical landmark with a superb location right off of the Central Plaza and Basilica. Enjoy some free time to explore the city center on your own. Upon deeper exploration, the cobble stone streets and 17th Colonial Architecture give way to the Tarascan and Purépecha traditions of the indigenous inhabitants in a delightful blend of modern Mexico that piques your interest and imagination. (B)

DAY 9 : PÁTZCUARO AREA

CASA DE LA REAL ADUANA
Depart on a full day exploration of this area with your guide beginning with a tour of Isla Janitzio and the fascinating crafts villages that surround Lake Pátzcuaro. This picturesque lake is accented with the now famous Island of Janitzio, one of the most important and visited villages for Día de los Muertos ritual celebration when thousands of visitors descend on the area to pay respects to their deceased family members. During the rest of the year, the island and surrounding villages offer a window into pre-Columbian times and the friendly Purépecha indigenous people who are glad to share a smile or invite you into their workshops to browse the rich crafts traditions. You have ample time to visit the silver shops for which Santa Clara is famous for before continuing on to the Purépecha ruins of Tzintzuntzan for a brief, but interesting visit. You may even opt for a visit to Santa Clara del Cobre, a former copper mining town where artisanal methods continue to thrive. Here you can observe coppersmithing and have the opportunity to see exquisitely crafted pieces that have gained local artists recognition as far away as New York, Paris and London. Late afternoon return to the hotel. (B,L)

DAY 10 : PÁTZCUARO / MORELIA

CASA GRANDE
Take a leisurely morning to enjoy the shops and plazas of Pátzcuaro. Before noon transfer to the economic center of Michoacán, the impressive colonial city of Morelia. Named after one of the most important fathers of the independence movement and hero of countless epic battles, José María Morelos y Pavón, the exquisite colonial architecture and 16th century ambiance have made the historic center of Morelia a UNESCO world heritage site. Lunch is on your own at one of the many fine restaurants in the Historic City Center before returning to your well-situated hotel nearby, a notable 18th century mansion that belonged to the last descendant of Michoacan’s King. In the afternoon, you will have free time to see the important historic sites including: The Cathedral (which took over a century to build!), the Palacio Clavijero (site of the Jesuit school of St. Francis Xavier), and the Casa de Artesanias where you’ll find a robust array of handicrafts from all over the state of Michoacán and beyond. (B)

DAY 11 : MORELIA

CASA GRANDE
This morning is free for you to enjoy the city center and soak up the local flavor of the Plaza. It is here where the daily life of Morelianos is transacted and despite the international recognition and acclaim Morelia has received, this still remains very much a typical Mexican City. This afternoon embark on a guided tour to visit local artisans in their workshops specializing in clay, woodcarving, weaving, furniture, and more. Alternately you may opt to focus on colonial history, architecture, or the archaeological past of this rich city and surrounding countryside. (B)

DAY 12 : DEPART MEXICO

EN ROUTE
This morning you are met and transferred to the local airport in Morelia or back to Mexico City for your return flight(s) home. (B)

COST OF ADVENTURE PER PERSON

Please contact Destinations & Adventures at 1-800-659-4599 and one of our expert travel consultants will prepare pricing for your own custom-designed journey based on exact dates of travel and number of persons traveling.

800.659.4599