The Arts of Mexico
The exquisite hues and textures of Mexican ceramics, basketry and textiles have crossed borders to identify the true character of this land… The magnificence of Spanish Convents, its churches and golden altars will capture your imagination, just as much as the explosion of liveliness and colour you will discover beyond the Mixtec Sierra… On this tour you will explore the unparalleled beauty of colonial art, and the whimsical shape of indigenous creativity in all sorts of different handcrafted items… As you appreciate colonial sacred images and beautiful indigenous pueblos you will understand the true spirit of Mexico…
Arrival into the Benito Juarez International Airport from the US. Your hosts, Ecotourism & Adventure Specialists, will meet and greet you at the airport & deliver your travel documents. Transfer to your hotel for overnight. Overnight at Hotel Camino Real.
After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to the National Museum of Anthropology & History, where you will discover the vast cultural wealth of ancient Mexico and understand different aspects about the Spanish Conquest. Lunch at the Villa Maria Restaurant, where you will begin to discover the variety of gourmet dishes which come from different regions, before you proceed to Puebla de Los Angeles. Puebla was founded in the XVI century and was a stronghold for the Conquerors of New Spain during the Golden Age, which flourished on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean… Dinner on your own at recommended restaurants. Overnight at Hotel Camino Real or at your private colonial villa, La Casa de la Iluminada.
After breakfast at your villa or hotel, our guide will take you on a fascinating discovery of Puebla’s colonial art and architecture. We will start on our Colonial History Walking Tour by visiting the Cathedral and the Zocalo, or Central Square. We will visit the largest book collection in Latin America at the Palafoxiana Library, within the Casa de la Cultura. We will proceed to the Museo Amparo, which houses an impressive Pre- Columbian and Colonial art collection before lunch at your hotel’s courtyard. In the afternoon, we will visit the House of the Dean and The Rosario Chapel in Santo Domingo Church. The rest of the afternoon will be free to walk around the Zocalo, and discover the Candy Street and the hand crafted ceramic shops on your own. Overnight at Hotel Camino Real or at your private colonial villa, La Casa de la Iluminada.
After breakfast at your hotel or villa, our driver will pick you up to take you for a quick visit to the Gardens & Church of Analco and the Ovando Bridge. We will proceed to the Forts of Loreto and Guadalupe at the 5 de Mayo Civic Center to discuss an interesting passage of Mexican History and appreciate the Loreto & Guadalupe Forts. After our visit to the Museum of Non-Intervention we will appreciate a magnificent vista of the city of Puebla de los Angles, or Puebla de Zaragoza as its name was changed by Benito Juarez after the incidents which took place in these Forts... We will return to the Ovando Bridge to enjoy exquisite Mexican cuisine. After lunch we will visit the Parian Market and the Barrio del Artista, before we visit the House of the Serdan Brothers. Here we will explore another passage of Mexican History, the Revolucion Mexicana. In the evening you will enjoy a colonial music recital in a private colonial villa, the former residence of one very special XVIIth Century nun… by candlelight. Overnight at the Hotel Camino Real or at your private colonial villa, La Casa de la Iluminada.
After breakfast at your hotel you will have time to relax on your own or see the Talavera ceramics workshops and showrooms. We will recommend the finest artist ateliers as well as marvellous antique shops for connoisseurs. We will enjoy an early lunch right after check out time to proceed to the State of Oaxaca. We will travel by car for about 4 hours crossing the Sierra Mixteca, adorned by endless cacti & appreciating the breathtaking views of Popocateptl, Ixtacihuatl and Pico de Orizaba (Citlalteptl) Volcanoes. Upon arrival in Oaxaca check in at your hotel. Enjoy free time on your own to become acclimated with Oaxaca’s laid back & enchanting atmosphere. Dinner on your own at recommended restaurants. Overnight at Hotel Camino Real Oaxaca.
After breakfast at your hotel we will take a short drive up one of the hills adjoined to the valley of the City of Oaxaca. Here we will appreciate a magnificent view of the central valleys and explore one of the most important cities in Pre-Columbian Mexico: Montealban. This was the ancient capital of the Zapotec culture, occupying some 40 square kilometres in its hey day when 40 thousand people lived in the region during the Classic Period… After lunch at the site, with an amazing panoramic view, we will proceed to the village of San Bartolo Coyotepec, where we will appreciate black clay pottery and continue to San Martin Tilcajete, where we will participate in making “alebrijes”, hand-painted wood carved figurines representing animals. We will then head back to Oaxaca, where you will spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the colonial beauty of the city on your own. Dinner at recommended restaurants on your own. Overnight at Hotel Camino Real.
After breakfast at your hotel transfer to Santa Maria del Tule, where you will visit an impressive 2,000 year old tree. Its survival to this day may be considered a true miracle as greedy eyes have seen this tree in a different perspective and have tried to turn it into furniture. The proud people of this village have protected the Arbol del Tule, which they consider their God-given heritage… We will then proceed to Mitla, or “Place of the Dead or Underworld”, an important archaeological Zapotec site. It name comes from the Nahuatl “Mictlan”. It was a fortified city which flourished in the Late Post-Classic period, and dominated the central valleys of Oaxaca upon the arrival of the Spanish Conquerors. You will have some time to explore the market before we continue to Teotitlan del Valle, where we will appreciate hand woven carpets & tapestries, and visit the community’s Museum. We will return to Oaxaca for a late lunch after a quick stop at Tlacochahuaya to visit a XVIth century convent and church which houses magnificent colonial paintings made with natural dyes. Lunch on your own at a restaurant of your choice and free afternoon to explore Oaxaca’s many museums, galleries and shops. In the evening we will gather for a dinner party. Our meeting point will be at our hotel’s lobby to walk to La Casa de la Cultura where we will appreciate a private presentation of The Guelaguetza, a traditional dance which displays the traditional costumes and music of Oaxaca’s seven different regions. (This does not apply to groups coming on the 2 last Mondays of the Month of July, when the Lunes del Cerro authentic presentations may be enjoyed at the Guelaguetza Auditorium). Overnight at Hotel Camino Real.
After breakfast at your hotel we will visit the Santo Domingo de Oaxaca Cultural Center, where we will appreciate the impressive offerings and burial found at Montealban’s Tomb 7. We will appreciate more examples of magnificent Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art & visit the Ethnobotanical Gardens. (Today SHOULD BE SATURDAY) to visit the market & enjoy the lively ambiance in the city. Lunch on your own at recommended restaurants and free afternoon to go shopping… Overnight at Hotel Camino Real.
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back ho