1 day. Oct. 28.
Arrival in Mexico City, the capital of Mexico. Transfer to the hotel. Vacation.
Day 2. Oct. 29.
Getting to know one of the largest, most dynamic and contrasting cities in the world – Mexico City. We’ll start with a tour of the city center. We’ll see:
- The city’s main avenue, Paseo De Reforma, with a huge number of monuments and historical monuments;
- the central square of the Zocalo and the ruins of the main temple of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan;
- Latin America’s largest church, the Catedral Metropolitana, which took about 250 years to build.
Then we will go to the mysterious City of the Gods – Teotihuacan, the history of the prosperity and decline of which remains a mystery to this day, as well as the disappearance of this once great civilization. We will walk along the Road of the Dead, where grand processions once moved, climb the majestic pyramids of the Moon and the Sun – the oldest in Mexico. They are compared to the Egyptian pyramids at Giza.
Day 3. Oct. 30.
In the morning after breakfast, we will visit the National Museum of Anthropology, which has a unique collection of pre-Columbian artifacts found throughout Mexico. We will see the original Mayan Calendar, the treasures of the burial place of King Pacal, statues of the Gods, sculptures of different civilizations – Olmec, Toltec, Maya, Aztec and others. Further along the route we will see the places from which these items were brought.
We will then leave the Mexican capital and head south to the city of Taxco , a jewel of colonial architecture, one of the most beautiful cities in the Americas and the “silver” capital of Mexico. Thanks to the mine discovered here, the town, which became a center for silversmiths, is still made up of large and small jewelry workshops and stores selling items of 925 proof, which does not darken over time. We will see many old palaces, mansions, visit one of the most impressive churches in Mexico, a treasure of the Mexican Baroque – Santa Prisca Church, built with the money of silver magnate Jose De La Borda.
Day 4. Oct. 31.
In the morning we will be treated to a tour of the impressive natural wonder that is the Cacahuamilpa Caves, which are millions of years old. The amazing underground world of these caves consists of ninety large grottos with inconceivable natural formations of stalactites and stalagmites, separated by large stone walls and connected to each other through a central gallery. However, only about twenty of them are fully explored and open to the public. Each is on average 40 meters wide and 20 to 81 meters high. It is the largest “living” cave system in the world.
By evening we will arrive in the famous “city of angels” – Puebla. The city of Puebla, surrounded by four volcanoes, is considered the cradle of Mexican Baroque and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. The city has preserved a huge number of old buildings, historical monuments and about 100 churches in its central part alone. The facades of the buildings are decorated with ceramic tiles of talavera, which is a kind of business card of the city. We will learn about traditional pottery painting, walk through the artists’ district with galleries, workshops and art schools, and visit folk art markets with pottery, glass and clay products. Puebla is also called the gastronomic capital of Mexico for a reason, here you can taste the famous chocolate mole sauce and Mexican sweets. After the city tour, we will have free time and accommodation at the hotel.
Day 5. Nov. 1.
In the morning we will leave the city of Puebla and travel to Oaxaca , the capital of one of Mexico’s most colorful and Indian states and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will admire the old colonial buildings, numerous squares and galleries, see the main cathedral and the church of Santo Domingo, visit the central city market and taste the main Indian delicacy – fried grasshoppers soaked in chili, garlic or lemon juice.
And it is here that we will be able to participate in the celebration of one of Mexico’s major holidays, the Day of the Dead. Multicolored skulls, skeletons in finery, flowers, sweets and special bread of the dead are symbols of this holiday, the day – when the souls of the dead and the living unite. We will participate in festive processions with music and dancing, and at night we will travel with the locals to the Indian cemetery.
Day 6. 2
In the morning we will climb to the top of the hill where one of the most important cities of Mesoamerica, the main political and economic center of the Zapotec civilization, the city of Monte Alban, was built at an altitude of about two thousand meters above sea level. The ceremonial center of this city is a monumental complex with palaces, terraces and multi-level squares connected by numerous stone staircases. Remains of pyramids, temples, a ball field, an ancient observatory, many burials and tombs have been discovered here, with many ancient artifacts and gold jewelry.
Then we will have an opportunity to see one of the oldest trees on earth – theTule tree – the age of which is more than 2000 years, and also to visit a home factory for the production of mescal – a drink, popular in Mexico no less than tequila, produced from a special variety of agave.
Then our path will take us towards another Mexican natural wonder – the frozen waterfalls – Hierve El Agua. Hierve el Agua – in Spanish, means “boiling water” – the name comes from the bubbling natural mineral springs. These springs create small pools of mineral water on the cliff. When approaching here, one sees a waterfall as if frozen on the mountainside. It is actually a mineral deposit formed many thousands of years ago by the flow of mineral-laden water that overflowed over the edge of the cliff and trickled down the rocks.
By evening we will return to Oaxaca and continue to participate in evening processions to celebrate the Day of the Dead.
The end of the short travel program.
Day 7. 3
Short program participants make their own way to the Oaxaca airport and fly home.
Participants in the long program continue the journey.
Along the mountain road we will head towards the coast and the famous surfing resort of Puerto Escondido. This is where the most famous surfing beach, Punta Zicatela, is located and is known for producing the third largest pipeline style waves in the world. Watching surfers conquer these waves is simply mesmerizing. The beach itself has a boardwalk with stores, restaurants and many different diving and surfing stands.
And for those who like calm seas, there are the beaches of Carisalillo, Roca Blanca and Puerto Angelito with turquoise and clear waters ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
Hotel accommodation in Puerto Escondido for 2 nights.
Day 8. 4
In the morning we will travel to Chacahua Lagoon National Park, an amazing place with an Afro-Mexican population and unspoiled tropical nature. Here we will travel through the lagoon and mangroves where we will observe wild birds, crocodiles and iguanas. There will be time to relax with a swim on the deserted and pristine beach and eat freshly fried fish at one of the coastal village restaurants.
By evening we will return to Puerto Escondido, where we will have time to enjoy the nightlife of the small resort town.
Day 9. Nov. 5
Today we’ll be heading to one of the newer resorts on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, the town of Huatulco. Along the way we will visit the magical village of Mazunte and the Mexican Turtle Research Center. We will stop at the gathering place of travelers from all over the world (hippies) – Zipolite Beach and the fishing village of Puerto Angel.
Day 10. 6
A vacation at sea. Huatulco National Reserve is more than 40 kilometers of coastline with white sand beaches and calm waters and 9 bays with the richest flora and fauna. Today we will take a catamaran trip through 7 major bays: Chachacual. Chahce, Conejos, Maguey, San Agustin, Santa Cruz and Tangolunda, where we will have time to relax, swim and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Day 11. 7
Return to Mexico City from Huatulco International Airport.
If desired, a vacation at the sea can be extended.