Day 1. Monday, October 8: International flight
This morning fly to Mexico City. Upon arrival, meet your tour escort and board your private motor-coach for a transfer to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Mexico City. (D) .
Day 2. Tuesday, October 9: Mexico City – Teotihuacan
Begin the day with a visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the most visited Catholic shrine in all the Americas. It was here that in 1531 Our Lady appeared to the Indian Juan Diego and where one may venerate the miraculous image imprinted on Juan Diego’s tunic. Afterwards, travel northeast to Teotihuacan, one of the most impressive cities of the ancient world. Founded before the Christian era, this colossal Aztec urban center once housed up to 125,000 people; the ceremonial center bears witness to the city’s splendor. Return to Mexico City for dinner and overnight. (BB, D).
Day 3. Wednesday, October 10: Mexico City
After breakfast, visit the Church of the Holy Family and Blessed Father Pro Museum, a Jesuit priest devoted to the secret ministry of the sacraments to Mexican Catholics during the Cristero War of 1926-1929. Continue to visit the Archaeological Museum, which houses a world-renowned collection of finds from Mexico´s pre-Columbian cultures. Tonight, enjoy the famous Ballet Folklorico of Amalia Hernandez at the Palace of Fine Arts. (BB, D)
Day 4. Thursday, October 11: Mexico City
Today, enjoy a walking tour of Mexico City center with a visit to the biggest church in Latin America, Mexico City’s Cathedral. Taking almost three centuries to complete, it has five main altars and 16 side chapels containing valuable collections of paintings, sculptures, and church furniture. Next, stop for a glimpse of the National Palace where you will admire some of the murals made by the famous painter Diego Rivera. Afterwards, visit the Chapultepec Castle, where in 1847 a crucial battle was fought and army cadets died trying to defend the fortress against invading US troops. In 1860, the castle became the palace of Austrian Emperor Maximilian. Tonight, dinner is on your own. (BB)
Day 5. Friday, October 12: Mexico City – Puebla
Travel southeast to the beautiful city of Puebla, a state capital and university city that has preserved its rich heritage of colonial architecture. Start with a panoramic view of the city, including the forts where the Mexican Army defeated the French troops. This battle is commemorated as the Cinco de Mayo celebration. In Puebla’s downtown, enjoy a walking sightseeing and visit the Church of St. Dominic to admire the Rosary Chapel built in 1690. This is an outstanding example of Mexican Baroque, with dazzling use of gilded stucco and onyx stonework. Afterwards, stop at a talavera ceramic workshop for a shopping opportunity and to see how this colorful, glazed pottery is produced. Dinner and overnight in Puebla. (BB, D)
Day 6. Saturday, October 13: Puebla – Cholula – Mexico City
This morning, journey west to visit the city of Cholula, considered the oldest city in America, inhabited without interruption since its origins. Visit the former Franciscan Convent of San Gabriel, one of the oldest in America, and its Royal Chapel. Both the city and the convent rise up next to the Popocatepetl volcano, as if they are trying to reach that snowy giant. From this point, you will see the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios, built in the 16th century with its domes covered in tiles. Continue to visit the Church of St. Francis Acatepec, known for its Mexican Baroque architecture and its talavera mosaic façade combined with red brick. Next, visit the Church of Santa María Tonanzintla, a clear example of fusion of Christianity and the indigenous culture. Admire its exuberant interior decorated with indigenous motifs. Continue to Mexico City for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 7. Sunday, October 14: Mexico City
Today’s sightseeing will take you to San Angel, a neighborhood located in the southern part of the city, where Dominican and Carmelite friars chose to settle after the Spanish conquest. Walk through Plaza San Jacinto, which marks the heart of San Angel and is a square well known for its beauty. Next, visit the Museo del Carmen, a former monastery which houses fine religious paintings as well as furniture from the colonial era. Continue to Coyoacan to stroll along old colonial streets. See the house of conquistador Hernan Cortes and his Indian mistress “La Malinche”. Next, visit the house of Frida Kahlo, now a museum. Here she painted some of her famous works and on display are her letters and diaries as well as other everyday items. Close by, visit the home where exiled Russian revolutionary Trotsky lived and was assassinated. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 8. Monday, October 15: Mexico City – Excursion to Taxco
Today’s all-day excursion is to the city of Taxco, famed for its silver jewelry production and Spanish colonial architecture. Plaza Borda, the main square, is home to the landmark Church of St. Prisca, an 18th-century rose-colored church in the elaborate Churrigueresque style. Then, visit an orphanage or a school to meet the children and workers as well. After some free time to explore on your own this charming colonial town, return to Mexico City for dinner and overnight (BB, D)
Day 9. Tuesday, October 16: Mexico City – Merida
Take a morning flight to the city of Merida, in the state of Yucatan, with a rich Mayan and colonial heritage. Enjoy a panoramic view of the city and a visit to its beautiful Cathedral. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. You may want to walk along the famous avenue Paseo Montejo, modeled after Paris Champs Elysees, with mansions of Merida´s old aristocracy. You may also find many stores and market places offering beautiful handcrafts from the local area. (BB, D)
Day 10. Wednesday, October 17: Merida – Day Excursion to Uxmal
This morning, drive south to reach Uxmal, one of the largest cities of the Yucatán peninsula on the Puuc Route, where at its height, was home to approximately 20,000 inhabitants. Uxmal is one of the most complex and harmonious expressions of Puuc architecture. Most of the buildings date from the 7th-10th centuries AD, when Uxmal dominated the region. On your return to Merida, visit the Hacienda Sotuta de Peon, at the heart of the old henequen area of Yucatan, where you will enjoy lunch. Built at the end of the 19th century, its architecture and finishes admire the grandeur and richness that characterized an era of Henequen economic and commercial splendor. It contains a Henequen plant, a museum, a magnificent garden, and a cenote with crystalline water. Return to Merida for dinner and overnight. (BB, L, D)
Day 11. Thursday, October 18: Merida – Chichen Itza – Cancun
En route to Cancun, the famous resort city bordering the Caribbean Sea, stop at Chichen Itza, a world-renowned complex of Mayan ruins. The most recognizable structure here is the Temple of Kukulkan, also known as El Castillo. This glorious step-pyramid demonstrates the accuracy and importance of Mayan astronomy—and the heavy influence of the Toltecs, who invaded around 1,000 AD and precipitated a merger of the two cultural traditions. After centuries of prosperity and absorbing influxes of other cultures like the Toltecs, the city met a mysterious end. Leisure time to wander through this interesting site. Afterwards, journey east to reach Cancun, one of Mexico’s easternmost points, for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 12. Friday, October 19: Cancun
Surrounded on three sides by a lagoon, bay and the Caribbean Sea, Cancun is famous for its clear turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Cancun offers some of the world’s best scuba diving, snorkeling and fishing, with the Great Mayan Reef (largest coral reef in the Northern Hemisphere) just offshore. Relax, explore, and enjoy Cancun and its exquisite Mexican cuisine. (BB, L, D)
Day 13. Saturday, October 20: Homebound flight
Early this morning, catch your flight back to the USA. (BB)
Buffet Breakfast (BB); Lunch (L); Dinner (D)
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more trip information or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.