Mexico: UNESCO Heritage Challenge

From USD $840.00
  • Duration: 8 Days (approx.)
  • Product code: PUDZ11

Overview

Join our 8-day tour around Central Mexico to see 12 objects inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and fully immerse in Mexican culture, traditions & cuisine. Visit natural & cultural gems during the day while hanging out & having fun in the evening!

Highlights

  • Get to know diverse Mexico City - the largest and one of the oldest cities in Latin America.
  • Visit impressive colonial cities of Queretero, Puebla, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende.
  • Enjoy impressive UNESCO-listed colonial center of Morelia.
  • Get charmed by Janitzio - a picturesque island in the middle of Pátzcuaro Lake.
  • Walk on a 45-km long Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System constructed in the 16th century.
  • Visit breathtaking pyramids of Teotihuacan & Xochicalco.

Itinerary

Day 1: Mexico City 

Bienvenidos a la Ciudad de Mexico - the largest city in Latin America where ancient and modern coexist in harmony. Arrive at any time before meeting your group and Tour Leader in the evening: welcome meeting, optional welcome & get-together with the rest of the group in one of local restaurants/bars.

  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Mexico City
  • Activities: welcome meeting

Day 2: Mexico City

Join your group to explore UNESCO-listed architectural gems of Mexico City: Historic Centre of Mexico City (walking tour), Luis Barragán House and Studio (guided visit), Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (guided tour), Xochimilco (boat tour).  Optional dinner & get-together with the group in the evening.

  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-owned hotel/B&B in Mexico City
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: walking tour in the Historic Centre of Mexico City & Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; guided visit to Luis Barragán House and Studio; boat tour in Xochimilco.
  • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (3x): the Historic Centre of Mexico City & Xochimilco; Central University City Campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Luis Barragán House and Studio.

Day 3: Mexico City - Xochicalco - Cuernavaca - Tepoztlan

Firstly, go to Xochicalco - ruins of the ancient Mesoamerican city whose apogee came after the fall of Teotihuacan and that, allegedly, may have played a part in the fall of the Teotihuacan empire. After exploring the archeological zone, we will continue to Cuernavaca. Known as "the city of eternal spring", this capital of the state is flanked by imposing hills and is festive all year round.

After a walking tour around the historic center, optional lunch, a visit to UNESCO-listed Cuernavaca Cathedral & nearby 40-meter high San Anton Waterfall we will go to Tepotztlán. Located at the foot of Tepozteco Mountain, this "Magic Town" is the result of the combination of the unique ancient traditions and wisdom that enrich its many cultural expressions, such as esotericism, pre-Hispanic and vice-regal treasures, the counterculture, ecotourism or the simplicity of its everyday life. Check-in, walking tour around the historic center, optional dinner & get-together with the group in one of local restaurants/bars.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B/guest house in Tepotztlán
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Activities: guided visit to Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco; walking tours in Cuernavaca & Tepotztlán
  • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (3x): Archaeological Monuments Zone of Xochicalco; Cuernavaca Cathedral; Convento de la Natividad o de la Anunciación in Tepoztlán.

Day 4: Tepoztlan - Tlayacapan - Oaxtepec - Puebla

After a visit to Tepozteco Mountain with an impressive Prehispanic temple, we will go to a "Magic Town" of Tlayacapan. Being there is like stopping time and enjoying a break in your life, while observing the majesty of perfectly carved murals in the UNESCO-listed Former Convent of San Juan Bautista, with walls that seem to form a celestial vault to guard the recently discovered mummies.

After a walking tour around the historic center of the town, we will move to a nearby town of Oaxtepec to visit local UNESCO protected Ex-Convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán. Finally, we will finish our day in Puebla - a vibrant capital of the same-named state that retains a fantastically well-preserved center, a stunning cathedral, and a wealth of beautiful churches. After check-in and some rest at our accommodation, we will go out for an evening walking tour around the historic center and optional dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B/guest house in Puebla
  • Activities: guided visit to El Tepozteco archaeological site (entrance & explanation); walking tours in Tlayacapan, Oaxtepec & Puebla.
  • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (3x): Ex-Convent of San Juan Bautista in Tlayacapan; Ex-Convent of Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Oaxtepec; Historic Centre of Puebla

Day 5: Puebla - Cholula - Teotihuacan - Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque - Queretaro

To begin with, we will visit Cholula - the oldest city in America inhabited without interruption since its origins. There we will see The Great Pyramid of Cholula, the world's largest pyramid topped by the Virgen de Los Remedios church. After a walking tour around the historic center of the town, we will go to Teotihuacan - a complex of awesome pyramids, set amid what was once Mesoamerica’s greatest city. After a guided visit to the archeological zone, we will go to visit an impressive Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System built by the Jesuits in the 18th century and surrounded by beautiful landscapes.

TO conclude our day, in the evening we will arrive in Querétaro one of the most representative examples of Spanish Colonial cities with buildings from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. After check-in and some rest at our accommodation, we will go out for an evening walking tour around the historic center and optional dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B/guest house in Querétaro
  • Activities: guided visit to Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacán & Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System; walking tours in Cholula & Querétaro
  • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (3x): Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacán; Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque Hydraulic System; Historic Monuments Zone of Querétaro

Day 6: Queretaro - San Miguel de Allende - Guanajuato

In the morning go to San Miguel de Allende - a small city with a huge cultural heritage and a cosmopolitan population that preserves its true colonial feeling.  After a walking tour around the historic center and optional lunch, we will go to Guanajuato, passing by UNESCO-listed Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco - a church complex built in the 18th century that features mural work of Antonio Martínez de Pocasangre that is often dubbed the "Sistine Chapel of Mexico." Evening arrival to Guanajuato - an opulent colonial city, located among gold and silver deposits, with its greatest peak in the 17th and 18th centuries. After check-in and some rest at our accommodation, we will go out for an evening walking tour around the historic center and optional dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B/guest house in Guanajuato
  • Activities: walking tours in San Miguel de Allende & Guanajuato; guided visit to the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco; cable car to Monumento Al Pipila in Guanajuato
  • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (2x): Protective town of San Miguel de Allende and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco; Historic Town of Guanajuato and Adjacent Mines

Day 7: Guanajuato - Isla de Janitzio- Patzcuaro - Morelia

In the morning, go Isla de Janitzio - the main island of Lake Pátzcuaro whose town is famous for the butterfly fishermen that you can see on the back of the 50-peso Mexican banknote. Afterward, we will be back to Pátzcuaro - a picturesque colonial town founded in the 1320s as the capital of the Tarascan state and later its ceremonial center. Finally, after a walking tour around the historic center of a town and an optional lunch, we will go to the last destination of our trip - Morelia. Known as the "City of the Pink Stone", it is home to numerous Baroque and Neoclassical monuments.  After check-in and some rest at our accommodation, we will go out for an evening walking tour around the historic center of the city and optional farewell dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B/guest house in Morelia
  • Activities: walking tours in Morelia & Pátzcuaro; boat tour to Isla de Janitzio
  • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1x): Historic Centre of Morelia

Day 8: Morelia - Mexico City

Morning departure to Mexico City.
In winter, on the way, we will visit nearby Monarch Butterfly UNESCO Biosphere Reserve - a breathtaking over-wintering site of the eastern population of the monarch butterfly. In summer, instead, we will go to Angangueo - a small town with rich mining traditions located in high rugged forested mountains: walking tour around the historic center and optional lunch.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Meals & Drinks: breakfast
  • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1x): Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (in winter only)

Why go with us

  • Small groups of up to 13 travelers: closer communication, easier coordination, more adventures & fun!
  • Off-the-beaten-track tours with maximum immersion in local nature, culture, and traditions.
  • The easy-going atmosphere of our tours is perfect for informal travel & making new friends among co-travelers and locals.

Logistics

  • DEPARTURE: We will leave our accommodation in Mexico City on Day 3 morning.
  • ARRIVAL: We will be back in Mexico City on Day 8 afternoon around 4-5 pm.
  • ACCOMMODATIONS: An exact list of accommodations is sent together with trip notes 2 weeks before the departure date. Most of the accommodations are centrally located, tourist-class, locally-owned properties with private facilities in each room (unless otherwise specified in the itinerary). We can arrange pre- & post-tour accommodations but not earlier than 2 weeks before the departure when we send you final trip notes. However, this time is normally enough to arrange it with normal pricing & enough availability.
  • ROOMS: Most Triple Rooms have 2 separate beds from which at least one is king- or queen-size and are for 2 people; if Triple Room is not available on a particular day of the tour, you might be provided with 1 double/twin and 1 single room instead (based on availability and cannot be guaranteed). Most Quad Rooms have 2 separate king- or queen-size beds - each for 2 people; if Quad Room is not available on a particular day, you might be provided with 2 double/twin rooms instead (based on availability and cannot be guaranteed).
  • TRANSPORT: The type of private vehicle for inter-city transfers depends on the size of the group and may include car, 7-seater, minivan. Inside urban areas, walking is the most common way of transportation.
  • ACTIVITIES: Participation in all activities is optional - just be sure to be in time for departures. Both walking tours (>2h, normally in historic centers of bigger cities) and orientation walks (<2h, normally in smaller towns & villages) focus on local history, culture & gastronomy and are led by a Tour Leader.
  • FOOD: Food & drinks included in the tour (be it breakfasts at our accommodations, Market Food Experiences, lunches, or dinners) can normally meet most of the common dietary restrictions. However, due to the active program of the tour and different menus in each place, satisfying a special diet or food preferences of a particular traveler will depend on circumstances and cannot be fully guaranteed.
  • PHYSICAL CONDITION: This tour involves a decent amount of hiking & walking. Therefore, travelers should have at least moderate physical fitness condition.
  • WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU: Comfortable clothes & (preferably hiking) shoes; swimming suit & slippers; a smaller backpack for daily tours; hat/cap, sunglasses & sunscreen; travel insurance; good mood & curiosity.
  • PRICING: The price of the tour/person depends on the number of travelers & room option you choose.
  • GROUP VS. PRIVATE TOUR: Group Tour: take a trip with other travelers. Private Tour: take a trip on your own, with friends, couple, or family. While offering more privacy and exclusivity such tours may cost more than group ones. If you wanna take a private tour with a group that is bigger than 4, please contact us and we will send you a personalized offer. For private tours, the dates of departure (and in some cases the itinerary & activities) can be customized to your request.