- The Historic Center
- Explore the National Museum of Anthropology
- Climb the Pyramids of the Sun and Moon at Teotihuacan
- Explore Museums and Markets in San Angel and Coyoacan
- Attend a Performance of the famed Ballet Folklorico de Mexico
- Learn about the Masters of Mexican Muralism
- Take a Side Trip to Puebla and Cholula
- Optional Lucha Libre!
Day 1: From our various destinations, we arrive in Mexico City, where you will be greeted at the airport. After settling into this city of over 20 million people, that sits at over 6,000 feet, we begin our journey with a lovely welcome dinner at a Mexico City favorite, La Fonda del Refugio, known for great guacamole, margaritas and tacos of huitlacochtle (a dark blue fungus that grows on corn). (D)
Day 2: We begin our day by traveling to the southern side of the city, to Coyoacan and San Angel. Our first visit is to the Anahuacalli Museum, an amazing architectural space designed by Diego Rivera to house his collection of pre-Hispanic art. Also, on Saturday's the Bazaar Sabado weekly craft market, is the place to be. Here, we will see some of Mexico's finest art and folk art as we stroll the cobblestone streets of San Angel. We lunch at the famed and charming San Angel Inn. From here, we walk across the street to the Diego and Frida Studio Museum, where both lived and worked. (B,L)
Day 3: We begin our Sunday by attending a performance of the Amalia Hernandez Ballet Folklorico at the Palace of Fine Arts. This renowned troup of dancers will exhibit Mexico's most colorful and meaningful regional dances. Attending this performance will also allow us to see the amazing Tiffany glass curtain depicting the snow capped mountains of Mexico: Popocatepetl and Iztaccihautl.
Also, we will see some of Mexico's finest murals by the masters, Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Following the performance, we tour the Alameda Park region, stopping to see the Diego Rivera Mural, "Dream of Sunday Afternoon in Alameda" and the Fonart folk art store on Juarez. Lunch is at another local favorite, the Cafe Tacuba, where we can try their mouth watering enchiladas. After lunch we walk to the Zocalo to see the National Cathedral and National Palace, to see a series of murals painted by Diego Rivera. In addition to seeing the murals, we will receive a full lesson on Mexican history (no exams!). (B,L)
Day 4: Today we enjoy an excursion to Puebla and Cholula to see the traditional Talavera pottery, with roots back to 15th Century Spain. Actually, the designs and tradition of these tiles date back to the 8th Century Islamic cultures that inhabited the Iberian Peninsula, and were later adopted in Italy, during the Middle Ages.
This pottery style is often referred to as majolica and involves long clay fermenting and cure periods and very high temperature firing. In Cholula we visit the Spanish and Indigenous churches of Santuario San Francisco Acatepec and Santa Maria Tonantzintla. We lunch on the famed mole Poblano at the Fonda Santa Clara. (B, L)
Day 5: Today is dedicated to one of Mexico City's treasures: The National Museum of Anthropology. Our guided tour will orient us to the great civilizations that emerged and thrived in Mesoamerica, including the Olmec, Zapotec, Huastec, Maya, Toltec and Aztec. We lunch at a favorite neighborhood eatery, Los Panchos for "carnitas" and posole. Our afternoon is open to explore Chapultepec Park, The Castle, or another museum, such as the Museum of Modern Art or the Rufino Tamayo Museum. (B,L)
Day 6: Now that we have oriented ourselves to the historic timeline, we visit the Toltec site, Teotihuacan, whose influence spread throughout Mexico as far as Yucatan at Chichen-Itza. We learn about how the great structures of the Sun and Moon, plazas, avenues, ball court are oriented according to the cardinal points and the movement of the sun. (B,L)
Day 7: Today, we return to the southern section of the city to Coyoacan to see the Frida Kahlo Museum, or Casa Azul, the home where Frida grew up. After our visit, we lunch in the charming plaza in Coyoacan, followed by a visit to the Dolores Olmedo Museum, the former home of Dolores Olmedo who was a patron of the arts in Mexico and particularly of Diego Rivera. Following our museum visit, we relax in a "trajinera" boat as we genly glide down the canals of Xochimilco. Originally, the chinampas were an early form of agriculture developed by the Aztecs to grow corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, chiles and flowers. On the way home we stop to see the spectacular UNAM library building, designed by Juan O' Gorman. (B, L)
Day 8: Today, we leisurely visit more of Mexico City's Alameda Park and Historic Center to see the Museum of Popular Art and to shop at the Ciudadela, a great market for Mexican crafts. We visit the famed Cafe Bar La Opera, where it is said to have a bullet hole produced by Pancho Villa. Tonight we have a fabulous farewell dinner in Polanco at Patricia Quintana's Izote restaurant, regarded as one of Mexico’s most innovative restaurants fusing traditional Mexican ingredients in non-traditional dishes. The style has come to be known as nouveau Mexican cuisine! (B, D)
Day 9: Today, we sadly depart from this extraordinary and culturally rich city. Of course, you are welcome to extend your stay and enjoy more of it!
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North America Mexico Local Culture Cultural Journey
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