Mexico: UNESCO Heritage Challenge Tour

 Mexico: UNESCO Heritage Challenge Tour
From USD $987.00
  • Duration: 8 Days (approx.)
  • Product code: PUDZ11

Overview

Join our 9-day heritage tour around Central Mexico to see 12 objects inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and fully immerse in Mexican history, culture, and traditions. From the magnificent colonial centers of Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende to the stunning ruins of Teotihuacan and the unique thermal springs of Los Azufres, this trip takes in all the natural, cultural and historical highlights of 7 Mexican states.

Highlights

  • Discover diverse Mexico City - the largest and one of the oldest cities in Latin America.
  • Wander stunning colonial centers of Queretero, Puebla, Guanajuato, Morelia and San Miguel de Allende.
  • Get charmed by Janitzio - a unique picturesque island in the middle of Pátzcuaro Lake.
  • See the impressive 45-km long Aqueduct of Padre Tembleque built in the 16th century.
  • Visit the breathtaking pyramids of Teotihuacan and 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: informational meeting, welcome dinner & optional get-together with the rest of the group in one of the local restaurants.

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

Day 2: Mexico City

Join your group to visit and explore the UNESCO-listed 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 (walking 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 Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: walking tours 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 (4x): 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. After exploring the archeological zone, 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 of the historic center, optional lunch, a visit to the UNESCO-listed Cuernavaca Cathedral & a nearby 40-meter-high San Anton Waterfall, head to Tepotztlán. Located at the foot of Tepozteco Mountain, this "Magical 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, orientation walk of the historic center, optional dinner & get-together with the group in one of the local restaurants.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B in Tepotztlán
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: guided visit to 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 guided hike to El Tepozteco Archaeological Zone, 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 see the UNESCO-listed 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 orientation walk of the historic center and optional dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B in Puebla
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: guided hike to El Tepozteco Archaeological Zone; orientation walks 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

Start your day in Cholula - the oldest city in the Americas inhabited without interruption since its origins. There see the Great Pyramid of Cholula, the world's largest pyramid topped by the Virgen de Los Remedios church. After an orientation walk of the historic center of the town, 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 built by the Jesuits in the 16th century.

Finally, in the evening we will arrive to Queretaro - 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
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B in Querétaro
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: 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 of its historic center and optional lunch, go to Guanajuato, passing by UNESCO-listed Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco on the way. This church complex built in the 18th century features the 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, go out for an evening orientation walk around the historic center and optional dinner in one of the local restaurants.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B in Guanajuato
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: 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, visit Janitzio - the main island of Lake Pátzcuaro that is famous for the butterfly fishermen that you can see on the 50-peso banknote. Afterward, continue our "Mexico: UNESCO Heritage" tour in Pátzcuaro - a picturesque colonial town founded in the 1320s as the capital of the Tarascan state. Finally, after a walking tour of Pátzcuaro and an optional lunch, we will go to Morelia. Known as the "City of the Pink Stone", it's home to numerous Baroque and Neoclassical monuments.  Check-in, walking tour of the historic center, optional dinner & get-together in one of the local restaurants in the evening.

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

Day 8: Morelia - Los Azufres

In the morning, take your time to explore the city independently or join your Tour Leader for a continuation of a walking tour of Morelia. In the afternoon, head to Los Azufres - a rustic spa resort situated in the middle of the mountains with several hot springs and a sulfur mud lake. Once there, relax your body and mind in thermal springs and vapor rooms, or get an optional massage. Optional farewell dinner & get-together in the local restaurant in the evening.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Accommodation: conveniently located, locally-own hotel/B&B in Morelia
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: walking tours in Morelia & Pátzcuaro; boat tour to Isla de Janitzio; access to spa facilities in Los Azufres (thermal springs with sulfur mud, vapor rooms)
    • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1x): Historic Centre of Morelia

Day 9: Los Azufres - Mexico City

Morning departure to Mexico City.
In winter, on the way, we will visit the 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.

  • Transportation: private vehicle
  • Meals Included: breakfast
  • Activities Included: orientation walk of Angangueo (Mar-Oct) or guided hike in Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Nov-Feb)
    • Objects on the UNESCO World Heritage List (1x): Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve (Nov-Feb 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 & ARRIVAL: We will leave our accommodation in Mexico City on Day 3 morning and return back to Mexico City on Day 9 afternoon.
  • AIRPORT TRANSFERS: This tour doesn't include airport transfers. Mexico City International Airport is just 30 min away from the center of the city and is easily accessible by both taxis and public transport.
  • ACCOMMODATIONS: You will receive a list of accommodations together with trip notes 2 weeks before the tour. Most 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.
  • ROOM OPTIONS:
    • Shared Twin Room: Single bed in a twin room shared with another co-traveler of the same gender. This option was specifically designed for solo travelers.
    • Private Double/Twin Room: Private room for 2 people. You can choose between double (1 queen-size bed for 2 people) or twin (2 single beds) room options.
    • Private Triple Room: Private room for 3 people. It normally has 1 queen-size bed for 2 people and 1 single bed for 1 person.
    • Private Quad Room: Private room for 4 people. It normally has 2 queen-size beds for 2 people each.

  • TRANSPORT: The type of vehicle depends on the size of the group and may include a car, 7-seater, minivan. Inside urban areas, walking is the most common way of transportation.

Notes

  • FOOD: Meals and Gastronomic Experiences included in this tour 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 walking and hiking. Therefore, travelers should have at least moderate physical fitness condition.
  • ACTIVITIES: Participation in all activities is optional - just be sure to be in time for daily departures. Most of the included activities such as walking tours (>2h, normally in historic centers of bigger cities), orientation walks (<2h, normally in smaller towns & villages), guided visits & hikes focus on local nature, history, culture & gastronomy and are led by a Tour Leader. You will receive suggestions for optional activities in trip notes. Extra day tours and activities can be booked by your Tour Leader for an extra fee.
  • WHAT TO TAKE WITH YOU: Comfortable clothes & shoes; swimming suit & slippers/water shoes; a smaller backpack for daily tours; hat/cap, sunglasses & sunscreen; travel insurance; good mood & curiosity.
  • GROUP VS. PRIVATE: Our multi-day tours offer both group and private departures (see pricing at checkout). Group tour - take a scheduled trip with other travelers. Private tour - take a trip on your own, with friends or family. Private tours are customizable (you can depart any day and we can add additional stops & activities on your request) and thus may cost more than group tours.
  • PRICING: * The price of the tour/person depends on the number of travelers and the room/tour option you choose.