|Welcome to Mexico! Please schedule flights to arrive by 4 pm in time to meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome drink. A transfer from Mexico City International Airport to your hotel is included.
|Treasures of Mexico Start your day in Mexico's capital city with a visit to the Palace of Fine Arts. Later, a guided sightseeing includes Paseo de la Reforma Avenue, the historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) featuring the Zocalo, the National Palace, the Metropolitan Cathedral, and Templo Mayor (the great temple of the Aztec capital). This evening is at leisure. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for shopping, dining, and additional sightseeing. (B,L)TOUR HIGHLIGHTCULTURAL GEM Soak in the culture of Mexico as you attend the Folklorico Ballet Show at the beautiful Palace of Fine Arts. The National Ballet of Mexico is the most important ballet company of the country. It was created more than 3 decades ago and is made up of more than 400 people. During the show, you'll see folkloric dances of several regions of Mexico such as Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco and more.
|Sites & Bites in the City of Angels Today, travel to Cholula where a guided sightseeing tour includes the famous Church of the Lady of Remedies, which sits atop the largest pyramid in the world. There's time to stroll the charming streets before continuing to Puebla, known as 'the City of the Angels.' Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant to sample [LF] Poblano mole (a traditional regional dish). Afterwards, visit Puebla's historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), see the many brick houses with tiled 'Talavera' facades in shades of blue or turquoise, the Cathedral, and the Parian Handicraft Market. (B,L)LOCAL FAVORITE TASTES & TRADITIONS Over lunch today, learn the history of Mexican mole and how it was created over 300 years ago by nuns to honor the archbishop. It is one of the most recognizable dishes in Mexican cuisine and is made from a unique mixture of chocolate and peppers. While many Mexican dishes have changed significantly throughout the centuries, mole poblano is one notable exception. It features the same ingredients, preparation method, and serving styles as it did 300 years ago.
|San Miguel de Allende
|Legendary Beauty Travel to San Miguel de Allende, considered one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour of the historic main square with Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, a 17th-century church known for its soaring pink spires. This afternoon is free to explore on your own. Stroll the cobbled stone streets, shop for a souvenir, or browse one of the many art galleries. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening. (B,D)
|San Miguel de Allende
|Art & Leisure in San Miguel This morning, visit the Fabrica la Aurora and attend a [LF] local artist interaction. The remainder of the day is at leisure. You may choose to return to the historic center, visit the quirky mask museum, or just relax by the pool at your hotel. Your Tour Director will have suggestions to make the most of your time. (B) LOCAL FAVORITE CULTURE & TRADITION Be charmed by the artistic environment that San Miguel de Allende is well-known for. Visit the Fabrica La Aurora, a former textile factory that has become a culture center and home to art galleries, studios, and stores selling furniture, jewelry, linen and more. While here, visit the Fernando Diaz Art Studio and have an encounter with him and other local artists. You're sure to leave understanding the beauty of San Miguel de Allende and the appeal it has to artists from all over the world.
|The Fight for Freedom Our first stop today is Dolores Hidalgo where in 1810 priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, led the fight for Mexican independence from the Spanish empire. After a short orientation tour, continue to Guanajuato, a former silver mining town set in the mountains of central Mexico. A walking tour includes the historic center (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Basilica, the University, and the famous Callejon del Beso (the Alley of the Kiss). See the city's underground streets and panoramic views from atop El Pipila. Tonight is free to explore this magical city on your own. (B,L) TOUR HIGHLIGHT LEGENDARY LIVES Visit Dolores Hidalgo to learn about the inspiring life and legacy of the priest and founder of Mexico - Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. Hear the heroic stories of how this humble priest became a great leader in Mexico's War for Independence in the fight for liberation and his influence on those who would pick up his mantle for freedom. Today, Hidalgo's remains lie in a Mexico City monument known as "the Angel of Independence" along with other Revolutionary heroes.
|Arts & Craftsmanship This morning, travel to Tlaquepaque, best known for their production of Mexico's handcrafted goods. You'll see artists at work on glass blowing, pottery, jewelry and more. While here, visit [LF] Paco Padilla's Taller de Ceramica (ceramic workshop). Over a late lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a traditional mariachi show and music. This evening is at leisure. Your centrally located hotel is within walking distance to restaurants, shopping, and sightseeing. Your Tour Director is available to answer questions and give suggestions. (B,L) TOUR HIGHLIGHTHERITAGE & TRADITION New Orleans is famous for jazz and Scotland for its bagpipes. Mexico is famous for mariachi. Originating in the 1880s, mariachi began as a rural tradition in western Mexico. The music is known for its violins, trumpets and guitars, with its musicians known for their three-piece suits, embroidered ties, belts, buttons, and wide-brimmed sombreros. While enjoying your lunch, take in this traditional and loved Mexican culture experience. Your toes will be tapping before you know it! LOCAL FAVORITE LOCAL MASTERPIECES Meet award-winning artist, Paco Padilla. Learn the importance of ceramics in the region as well as the history of the Padilla family. A tour of the workshop explains the process of creating these pieces of art. Next, enjoy a [LF] hands-on ceramics experience. Before you leave, you might even be treated to story or song or two by Mr Padilla, an accomplished singer and musician as well as potter!
|Magical Mexico Travel this morning to the Agave Landscape of Tequila (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Enjoy an orientation walk through the city center followed by a guided tour of the Mundo Cuervo (Jose Cuervo) distillery. Return to Guadalajara and this evening join your Tour Director and fellow travel companions for a festive farewell dinner. The perfect ending to your time in magical Mexico! (B,L,D)TOUR HIGHLIGHTLOCAL LIBATIONS Tour the famous Mundo Cuervo (Jose Cuervo) distillery, founded in 1758 and home of the ancient and famous Mexican drink, tequila. Learn the history of the company and the process of harvesting and making tequila. Afterward, enjoy a tasting of some of the company's most popular tequilas. Ole!
|Adios, until we meet again! Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. A transfer to the Guadalajara International Airport (Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Airport) is included. (B)