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Hidden Gems of Mexico

• MEXICO CITY   • QUERETARO
• JALPAN DE SERRA   • XILITLA 
Join us on this fascinating tour highlighting the rich heritage and natural beauty of Central Mexico!

We start in the the world-class cultural hub of Mexico City, where the ancient co-exists with the modern in perfect harmony. We’ll explore the city by coach and foot, fully immersing ourselves in the sights, sounds and storied history of this vibrant capital.  

Next up is the sophisticated, yet genuinely Mexican city of Querétaro, one of the most important cities in Mexico during the colonial period. The city's old town has charming andadores (pedestrian streets), gorgeous plazas, historic churches and many beautiful baroque-style buildings that add to the city’s grandeur.

Jalpan de Serra is designated one of Mexico’s “Magical Towns”, for its natural beauty and cultural riches. As we walk the cobblestone paths we’ll immerse ourselves in the culture and history of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
We end our tour in the remote hillside town of Xilitla, surrounded by remarkable tropical scenery and a variety of landscapes. A highlight will be our visit to the Edward James Surrealist Garden - a fantastical jungle sculpture garden curated by eccentric British poet Edward James.

Highlights:

• Mexico City’s famous National Museum of Anthropology 
• The important religious site of Guadalupe Shrine
• Teotihuacan Archaeological Site (UNESCO)
• The Wine and Cheese route of Queretaro
• Missions of the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro (UNESCO)
• The Magical Town of Xilitla
* This tour is suited only for the fit and active traveller .

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Mexico City. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel located in Mexico City’s most beautiful area, Reforma Avenue. This evening is our Welcome Dinner.
This morning we tour Reforma Avenue where we’ll see many fabulous statues and monuments like the “Angel of Independence” and the amazing Palace of Fine Arts. Then on our guided walking tour of the historic center we’ll visit the Cathedral, National Palace and see the ruins of ancient Tenochtitlan.
This morning we’ll visit one of the best museums in the world - the National Museum of Anthropology, where we’ll learn about the ancient cultures and see the impressive Stone of the Sun (the Aztec Calendar).
This morning we’ll visit the Shrine of Guadalupe - one of the world’s most visited Catholic pilgrimage sites. Then we proceed to the Teotihuacan Archaeological Site - the largest pre-Colombian site in the Americas (and a UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Morning at leisure, and then we depart for Queretaro. Our hotel is a restored mansion in the heart of the historic center.
We begin with a guided walking tour of the historic center, then continue to the Hill of the Bells. We’ll see winding streets, baroque and neoclassical monuments, tree lined plazas, the best preserved aqueduct in Mexico, and the Government Palace (the birthplace of Mexican Independence).
A full day tour to Peña de Bernal - a picture perfect village known for its 10 million year old monolith. On our tour of this old mining town we’ll see the colorful facades and amazing views of the monolith, then continue to visit one of Mexico´s finest wine regions. We’ll tour the vineyards, explore the wine cellars and enjoy a tasting of the special wines and cheeses of Queretaro.
We proceed to Jalpan de la Serra, via the fabulous area called “Sierra Gorda” (Fat Mountains) - a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique natural scenery dotted with ancient Franciscan Missions. Within this protected area live several endangered species such as jaguars, green macaws and Humboldt butterflies. Due to the cultural and natural richness this area has been classified as the main biosphere of Central Mexico.
This morning we will visit the oldest of the Franciscan Missions, Mission of Santiago - an amazing complex built in stucco and stone, featuring indigenous and Catholic symbols side by side. We continue to the Museum of the Sierra Gorda. Located in a 16th century fortress, the museum gives an overview of the cultural heritage of both pre-Colombian times and the Colonial period. We finish with a visit of Landa Mission - considered the most ornate and beautiful of the Franciscan Missions.
We drive to Xilitla, via the magical natural work of art known as the Huasteca Potosina. This stunning rain forest has magnificent waterfalls and some of central Mexico´s most breathtaking scenery. We’ll walk around the town of Xilitla, known as a “Visual Poem”, and visit the convent of Saint Agustin.
We spend most of this unforgettable day at the jewel known as Huasteca - the Edward James Surrealist Garden, where this eccentric man decided to build his home and the “Garden of Eden”. It features an incredible sculpture park surrounded by beautiful waterfalls and lush vegetation.
Enjoy the beautiful scenery as we return to Queretaro. Tonight we will dine in a lovely outdoor restaurant on one of the plazas in order to enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful city.
A day at leisure. Tonight we will join a wonderful night tour with young actors and live music as we walk the town on a Legends and Myths of Queretaro Tour - an experience you’ll never forget.
Morning at leisure in Queretaro. In the afternoon we return to Mexico City, and this evening is our Farewell Dinner.
We fly home to Canada.
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