Mexico City’s House of Tiles
Day 1 - ARRIVAL - Arrival at Mexico City airport; transfer to hotel, where tour members are welcomed with a tequila cocktail while checking in. Depending on arrival time, group will be taken on a short orientation walk, to gain a first impression of the great metropolis, and get used to the unusual altitude of over2000 metres above sea level. Balance of the day at leisure, and overnight at hotel.
Day 2 – THE CITY AND THE PYRAMIDS – Morning start on comprehensive visit of the ancient Aztec capital, including the Zócalo, with National Palace and painter Diego Rivera’s famous murals, the impressive Cathedral and the vestiges of the pre-Hispanic Templo Mayor.
Continue to the Basilica de Guadalupe, theholiest shrine for millions of Mexicans. From here, proceed to San Juan Teotihuacan, to inspect the awe-inspiring pyramids of the Sun and Moon and walk down the Road of the Dead to the Citadel, to wonder at the extraordinary Temple of Quetzalcóatl,
Temple of Quetzalcóatl
with its stone-sculpturedplumed-serpent heads. Return to Mexico City, where the evening is free for individual activities.
Day 3 – CUERNAVACA AND TAXCO - Early departure over a modern freeway, down to Cuernavaca, the “City of Eternal Spring”, the favourite summer residence of both
Conqueror Hernán Cortes and of Emperor Maximilian. After a visit to the continent’s oldest cathedral, an imposing, fortress-like, solid-stonecolonial construction with an ultra modern main altar- we continue our drive into the rugged mountains of the central Sierra Madre, to the quaint silver mining town of TAXCO. A sightseeing walk takes us to the beautiful baroque church of Santa Prisca, with its splendid Churrigueresque gilded altarpieces.
Free time to browse through the many, smart silver shops and workshops, and to stroll through thischarming town’s cobble-stoned streets, before enjoying luncheon on a terrace-restaurant with a spectacular panoramic vista over the city and the surrounding mountains. Return to Mexico City in the late afternoon.
Panoramic view of Taxco
The evening is free to explore some of the city’s exciting gastronomic venues.
Day 4 – MAYAN WORLD – Transfer to Airport for an early morning flight toVillahermosa, capital of the tropical state of Tabasco. A short transfer takes us to the Archaeological Park of La Venta, where we shall wonder at the giant monolithic heads of the Olmec mother culture. Native poet Carlos Pellicer created the park in the ‘50s, in order to preserve the magnificent sculptures that had been recently discovered in the middle of the jungle. We then continue ourjourney through Tabasco’s rich pasture country. Well-fed zebu cattle can be observed along the way, as we slowly enter the tropical jungle region of northern Chiapas, eventually reaching the small but thriving city of Palenque, which only few decades ago was a tiny village lost in the middle of the rainforest. Accommodations at one of the areas attractive hotels, with time for a refreshing dip in theswimming pool before luncheon.
In the afternoon we start our visit to one of the most beautiful and emblematic landmarks of the classical Mayan culture: the ruins of the city of PALENQUE. Its most important monuments include the Temple of the Inscriptions, where an important burial chamber was discovered in the '50s, and the imposing architectural complex of El Palacio, one of the most beautifulconstructions to be found in the entire environment of Maya culture. Also the smaller temples of the Sun and of the Cross, with their magnificent bas-reliefs, which constitute absolute jewels among the high cultures of Middle America, will be visited.
El Palacio complex
Evening at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Palenque.
Day 5 – CHIAPAS – Morning drive to Misol-ha cascade, surrounded...