Colonial Mexico Culture and Art Trip

Day 1 | Mexico City
Bienvenida a Mexico! We will begin our adventure from one of the World’s biggest cities, Mexico City. Here we will meet our guide, spend the night, and get some rest before exploring the spectacular megalopolis! (D)

Day 2 | Mexico City -Teotihuacan
We start the day today with an early breakfast and then walk around the most historical center, Zocalo. Besides the histrorical buildings we get to admire the famous painter, Diego Rivera’s, wall paintings in the most important buildings.

From the center we make our way to the famous Museo Frida Kahlo.  Guillermo Kahlo, Frida’s father, built this
Casa Azul at the corner of Londres and Allende Streets for his family in 1908, less than a year after Frida’s birth on July 6, 1907. Frida Kahlo lived in the house for most of her life. She spent all of her childhood there, when Coyoacán was still a village south of Mexico City, and continued to live there off and on, with and without Rivera, after their marriage in 1929 and remarriage in 1940.  Frida Kahlo died in the Casa Azul on July 13, 1954, just one week after her forty-seventh birthday. Today her ashes are kept there, and the house has been transformed into the Frida Kahlo Museum. We will enjoy a box lunch, Mexican tortas!

Next, we will head to world renowned National Anthropology Museum.  In bringing together the rich history of Mexico with the depth of modern Mexican culture, the National Museum of Anthropology has achieved a truly magnificent collection. We will browse through all of the the major arch eological and ethnographic collections gathered in Mexico since the 18th Century, when interest in the Mexico’s native heritage first began.

After a full day of history, culture and art, we will travel to Teotihuacán.  Shortly after the Olmec civilization vanished, a new civilization arose in the second century BC in the valley of Mexico. This grand civilization would dominate the culture of the valley of Mexico for almost a millennium and stands as the most significant cultural influence throughout the history of Central American civilizations. This civilization was centered around the city of Teotihuacán. At its peak, Teotihuacán was a city of over one hundred thousand people—not only was it the largest city in America, it was one of the largest cities in the ancient world, period. Tonight, we have the special treat of staying inside the archeological site at The Hotel Villa Arqueologica, the only hotel located in the archaeological zone at only 5 minutes walking distance from the main entrance of the site. After a long day of exploring and learning we are going to relax in a Mayan sauna “Temazcal” which means a “house of heat” in Nahuatl language. (B, L, D)

Day 3 | Teotihuacán- Guanajuato
After breakfast, we head for a more in depth exploration of Teotihuacán, but to add more adventure to it, we do it by bike. The ancient city of Teotihuacán is the most visited of Mexico’s archaeological sites and a must-see. The site is impressive for its scale, both in the size of the Pyramid of the Sun (the third largest pyramid in the world) and the majesty of the Calle de los Muertos (Street of the Dead) – originally 4km long and flanked by temples, palaces, and platforms. Look for amazingly well preserved murals in the Palace of the Jaguars or the Palace of the Quetzal-butterfly and bold sculptures in the Temple of Quetzalcoátl. Be prepared for lots of walking and climbing here, and remember that the altitude will make your exertions more tiring than usual. The Pyramid of the Sun is the tallest of the two major pyramids, though it is an easier climb than the Pyramid of the Moon which has larger steps.  After taking in all there is to see, we head to the historical city of Querétaro for lunch. Querétaro is  the city where Mexicans first declared their independence.After a small walking tour around the city, we head to one of Mexico’s most picturesque city, Guanajuato, where we will stay for the next two nights. (B, L, D)

Day 4 | Guanajuato
Today we will explore this city by foot and enjoy it’s colourful scenery. Founded by the Spanish in the early 16th century, Guanajuato became the world’s leading silver-extraction centre in the 18th century. This past can be seen in its ‘subterranean streets’ and the ‘Boca del Inferno’, a mineshaft that plunges a breathtaking 600 m. The town’s fine Baroque and neoclassical buildings, resulting from the prosperity of the mines, have influenced buildings throughout central Mexico. The narrow streets and alleys that have give rise to a pastime called “callejoneadas” and tunnels are the most noticeable features of the city. Guanajuato was originally built over a river, which flowed through tunnels underneath the city. However, after years of raising buildings to accommodate repeated flooding, in the mid-twentieth century, engineers built a dam and redirected the river into underground caverns. The tunnels were lit and paved with cobblestones for automobile traffic, and this underground road carries the majority of cars driving through the city today. We will also visit the monument of “El Pipila” which is build for a local hero from the Independency times. Guanajuato is also home or place of origin of three important painters: Diego Rivera, José Chávez Morado and Olga Costa. We will have time to visit Diego Rivera’s home museum. In the afternoon we have some free time to explore the city and do some shopping. For the night we have a must-see Gala event planned called Callejoneada. It is a spectacle of traditional dance and music. The locals even say: If you don’t see Callejoneada “when you are in Guanajuato, it’s like you’ve never been there”. (B, L, D)

Day 5 | Guanajuato – San Miguel de Allende
Today we will continue our Independency road to San Miguel de Allende. On the way we will visit the city of Dolores Hidalgo, from where the Mexican War of Independence started. The city was a small town known simply as Dolores when Father Miguel Hidalgo uttered his famous cry for the independence of Mexico (the Grito de Dolores) there in the early hours of September 16, 1810, in front of his parish church. Still even today in Mexico City Sep 15, the President traditionally re-enacts the Grito before ringing a bell: the very bell from the town of Dolores rung by Hidalgo in 1810. After patriotic morning we will continue to San Miguel de Allende which is a cosmopolitan and picturesque colonial city, internationally renowned for its beautiful architecture and artistic community. Today, high quality artistic and cultural events are carried out here, like the International Hall Music Festival, the Winter Classic Music Festival, the Wool and Brass Fair, the traditional Pamplonada in September, and the Jazz Festival, among others.

In the afternoon we will visit the famous art and design center La Aurora. If the group desires we are able to organize art classes with the artists of the Fabrica La Aurora. (B, L, D)

Day 6 | San Miguel de Allende
Today we will enjoy biking around the city and see many of it’s attractions. First we bike to learn more about the Mexican silk industry.  We will also visit the interactive Botanical Gardens which is displays a vast botanical collection of cacti and other Mexican plants, many of which are rare, threatened or in danger of extinction. After lunch visit of the Institute of Allende. Learning never stops, here we have a possibility to learn some basic Spanish. (B, L, D)

Day 7 | San Miguel de Allende
Today is our last day in San Miguel.  Our art theme for the day is the Murals of Mexico. Mexico has had a tradition of painting murals, starting with the Olmec civilization in the pre Hispanic period and into the colonial period, with murals mostly painted to evangelize and reinforce Christian doctrine. In the afternoon we will have some freetime to explore the city and in the evening we will learn about Mexican food and culture and cook our farewell dinner ourselves! (B, L, D)

Day 8 | San Miguel de Allende – Home
After breakfast we will be transferred to the airport in Mexico City for our flight back home. Adios! (B)

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Mexicans first declared their independence in Querétaro, one of Mexico’s smallest states. Today, Querétaro’s major cities are home to industrial complexes that produce metal goods, machinery, chemicals and processed foods.