Please note that this is simply a sample itinerary to give you an idea of what we've done before and what we could create for you.
Touch down at Mexico City’s Benitez Juarez International Airport before meeting your English-speaking Mexican tour guide! The cultural, culinary and revamped Mexican capital promises an adventure on every corner, and so before heading to our hotel we will spend a couple of hours touring the centro historico of Mexico City – including the Zócalo (the world’s third largest city square), the main Cathedral, the National Palace and its Diego Rivera murals, and ruins of the Templo Mayor, dating back to Aztec times. After this colorful City Tour, we’ll refresh in our hotel before enjoying a welcome dinner at renowned Café Tacuba to enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine and be serenaded by live musicians in a beautiful traditional setting frequented mainly by locals.
After a good night’s rest, we’ll enjoy a leisurely Mexican-style breakfast (so many options to choose from!) before departing for an excursion north of the city led by our guide. Our first stop is to the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, where most of us will want to climb the Pyramid of the Sun, reportedly the third largest pyramid in the world, and touch its ‘power point’ at the top. In the early afternoon we’ll return to Mexico City to visit the famous National Museum of Anthropology, where we will have a late lunch or ‘Sunday dinner’ in the museum’s spacious outdoor patio. We’ll then embark on a two-hour tour of the Museum itself, highlighting the incredibly rich cultural history of Mexico’s pre-colonial civilizations. You will soon understand why the museum ranks as one of the 10 best in the world! After our inspiring tour, pause outside the museum to take in the atmosphere of the Chapultepec Park, the city’s huge green area. The rest of the evening is free to explore and do as you please – remember we will be rising early tomorrow to depart early in the morning for ‘Monarch Country’!
After cresting the high hills that separate Mexico City from the State of Mexico, take in the beautiful scenery on our way to Zitácuaro, ‘capital’ of Monarch Country and the place where we will stay for the next two days! After some time to explore this breathtakingly beautiful region, we’ll head off into the mountains to visit the ‘El Rosario’ Monarch butterfly sanctuary, which is managed and cared for the El Rosario community – it is also where the largest concentrations of Monarchs are found! Mid-afternoon we’ll head back down past the Visitors Center to check out the handicrafts of local artisans – it is difficult to resist buying something unique to this very special place. After a fascinating day of exploration and ecological wonders, we’ll make our way back to town to freshen up and enjoy a dinner, followed by a walking tour of this charming small Mexican town.
After breakfast at our hotel we’ll drive up to the nearby highlands for two walking tours: (1) one of the Alternare Training Center that teaches local community leaders (within the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve) how to manage their community forests and watersheds and produce more food on less land for a more sustainable future (amazing work!); and (2) a tour of Angangueo, an old gold mining town facing the challenges of building a greener future. We will enjoy a light almuerzo (lunch) before beginning our intense afternoon program in the community of Valle Verde (near Zitácuaro), involving:
- Student presentation at the ‘Forestry’ Secondary School with youth leader Jésus Arriaga Vazquez
- A visit to the ‘Carpinteros’ Secondary School and discussion of student reforestation projects
- La Comida – Mid-afternoon we will partake of a typical Mexican ‘main meal of the day’ prepared by a well-known local chef at Hotel México
- Opening ceremony of the Festival Nacional de la Mariposa Monarca (National Monarch Butterfly Festival) with:
- Presentation by local artists from the schools
- Presentation by the ‘Raices Otomies’ Folkloric Dance Group
- Mexican-style dinner or “Cena” [Yes, it is true Mexicans eat four times a day … and the food is wonderful!]
Unfortunately today marks the end of our tour. Enjoy one final Mexican breakfast before an early departure, via minibus, for Mexico City Airport.