Days / 8 Nights
The Spanish Conquerors
first arrived in Mexico in the XVI Century. Undoubtedly they are remembered
as having plundered Mexico of much of its natural wealth especially gold
and silver, but they also left a legacy of impressive buildings and colourful
traditions. On this journey through some of the beautiful cities left
behind by the Conquerors, we will see many of the reminders of this turning
point in Mexican history.
Day 1 - Meet
and greet at the airport by your English speaking guide. Transfer to the
hotel in an air-conditioned coach. Overnight.
Day 2 - After breakfast there will be a chance to see the historic
heart of the city and its wide plaza known as the "Zocalo".
It will include visits to the National Palace with the famous murals of
Diego Rivera, the 18th Century Cathedral and an option to visit the excavated
site of the Templo Mayor - the main temple of Aztec Tenochtitlan (not
included). Then there will be a short walking tour which will more than
display the colonial beauty of Mexico City. Following this you will be
taken out to see the magnificent Pyramids at Teotihuacan, which was Mexico's
biggest ancient city, with perhaps 200,000 people at its peak, and finish
off the day at the world-renowned Museum of Anthropology. Overnight.
The visits will take approximately 8 hours.
Day 3 - Breakfast. Out to Tepotzotlan, where one of the greatest
treasures of the Colonial era lies, - The Museo Virreinal which was originally
the church of San Francisco Javier, built from 1670 to 1682, the façade,
with its single tower is a phantasmagoric array of carved saints, angels,
people, plants and more, while the interior walls are covered with a circus
of gilded and multicoloured ornamentation. It was in the 1960s that the
church, its adjacent monastery and peaceful gardens were restored and
transformed into the Museum. After visiting this impressive Museum you
will carry on to the City of Queretaro, conquered by the Spaniards in
1531, becoming -in the early 19th century- a centre of intrigue among
the criollos plotting to free Mexico from Spanish rule. There will be
a short walking tour of the centre of the city, which looks so much like
a typical city of Spain. Continuing on from here the next stop will be
the lovely town of San Miguel de Allende, which is an attraction for artists
of all types, because of its beautiful cobble-stoned streets lined with
bougainvillaea and houses opening out into courtyards. There will be a
visit to the magnificent Cathedral before you continue on to your destination
for the night, Guanajuato. Overnight.
DISTANCE - Approx 370 kms. TIME - Approx 10 hours.
Day 4 - Breakfast. The day will be devoted to a visit to this
most famous colonial city. For two centuries almost 40% of the world's
silver was mined in Guanajuato, the silver and gold mines found here were
among the richest in the world, many of the colonial structures built
from this wealth remain intact, making Guanajuato a living monument. We
will visit such famous buildings as the Cathedral, containing a jewel-covered
image of the Virgin, patroness of Guanajuato, given to the city by Phillip
II of Spain in thanks for riches which accrued to the Crown, and of course
the famous "Callejon del Beso", the narrowest of the many narrow
alleys (or "callejones"), legend says that lovers living on
opposite sides used to exchange furtive kisses from these balconies! You
will feel as if you are in 'Old Spain' as you walk through this marvellous
legacy of the Spanish Conquest. Return to the hotel and at night there
will be a chance to hear one of the typical "Estudiantina" bands
which perform in the streets of Guanajuato. Overnight. TIME - Approx 8
Day 5 - After breakfast, you will leave Guanajuato and drive south
to the state of Michoacan and its beautiful capital city of Morelia, officially
founded in 1541. Virrey Antonio de Mendoza named it Valladolid, after
the Spanish city of that name and encouraged families of Spanish nobility
to move here. These families remained, and maintained Valladolid as a
very Spanish city, at least architecturally until 1828. Even today, with
its downtown streets lined by colonial buildings, Morelia still looks
as Spanish as it probably did before Independence. The scenic drive will
take you past the lovely lakes of Yuriria and Cuitzeo - the road actually
runs along a causeway over the latter lake. On arrival in Morelia there
will be a walking tour with the magnificent Cathedral being the centre
of attraction, it took over a century to build, from 1640 to 1744, architecturally,
it is a combination of Herresque, baroque and neo-classical styles. It
has a sculpture of the Senor de la Sacristía made from dried maize
and topped with a gold crown from the 16th century Spanish King Phillip
DISTANCE - Approx 200 kms. TIME - Approx 6 hours.
Day 6 - Just a short drive away from Morelia is the peaceful Lake
of Patzcuaro. After breakfast, this will be the destination for the day.
You will pass through small villages with such names as Tzintzuntzan (place
of hummingbirds in Purepecha language) before reaching the lake. On arrival
you will board a launch which will take you out to the Island of Janitzio,
the largest island in the lake. The launch trip offers views of villages
along the shore while local fishermen demonstrate the use of their famous
butterfly-shaped fishing nets. There is a huge statue to the Independence
hero, Morelos, dominating the island, inside the statue is a set of murals
depicting his life, you have the choice to climb up inside all the way
to his raised fist, from which there is a terrific view. Time will be
spent on the island in order to explore all the area and the return to
Morelia will be in the late afternoon. Overnight.
DISTANCE - Approx 40 kms. TIME - Approx 1 hours.
Day 7 - After breakfast the coach will continue to Guadalajara,
the second biggest city in Mexico and reputed as the nation's most "Mexican"
city as many of characteristically Mexican things and traditions were
created here, including mariachi music, tequila, the Jarabe Tapatio, the
broad-rimmed sombrero and charreadas. On arrival you will visit the area
of Tlaquepaque, known as a great centre for handicrafts and artisan's
work. Many flowers, small benches and monuments grace the plaza. The shops
are full of ceramics, mache paper animals, bronze figures, handmade glassware,
embroidered clothing, leather gear, carved wood and more. There will be
time here for shopping and looking around before continuing to the Hotel,
DISTANCE - Approx 360 kms. TIME - Approx 5 hours.
Day 8 - Breakfast. There will be first a tour of the centre of
Guadalajara to see some of the beautiful colonial buildings in the centre
like its huge twin towered Cathedral, begun in 1558 and consecrated in
1616, it has a mix of Churrigueresque, baroque, neo-classical and other
styles, 11 richly decorated altars given to Guadalajara by King Ferdinand
VII of Spain, Gothic vaults and Tuscany-style pillars. Hospice Cabañas
is a huge neo-classical gem, constructed between 1805 and 1810 by the
Spanish architect Manuel Tolsa. Between 1936 and 1939 José Clemente
Orozco painted a series of murals in the main chapel that are regarded
by many critics as his finest work. And the Degollado Theatre, begun in
1856 and inaugurated 30 years later, over the columns on its front is
a frieze depicting Apollo and the Nine Muses. Inside, the five-tiered
theatre filled with lush red velvet and gold decoration is crowned by
a Gerardo Suarez mural based on the fourth canto of Dante's Divine Comedy.
Following this you will continue out of the city and over the Sierra Madre
Mountains to the Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta, with its cobble-stones
streets lined with old fashioned white adobe buildings, and red tile roofs
that make Vallarta one of Mexico's most picturesque coastal cities. On
arrival there will be time for a first swim. Overnight.
DISTANCE - Approx 350 kms. TIME - Approx 6 hours.
Day 9 - Breakfast. A full free day in Puerto Vallarta to enjoy
the sun and the sea. Late afternoon transfer to the airport for the flight
back to Mexico City and continuation to your destination. Or the possibility
of staying on for a few relaxing days in beautiful Puerto Vallarta.
End Of Our Services ***
2009: Mar; Apr 11; May 9; Jun 6,27; Jul; Aug 8,29; Sep 19;
Oct 10,31; Nov 21,28.
Prices per person: $1667 in double per person.
Single supplement: $580 per person
- This program is operated on a SEAT-IN basis with people from all
over the world.
- The program will only be guaranteed with a minimum of 4 pax for
- The program will be run with 4-11 pax in a Van with an English-speaking
driver/guide and for 12+ pax in a full-sized coach with an English-speaking
- The English speaking guide will not stay with the people in Cancun.