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Exploring Central México’s Pueblos Mágicos Guanajuato

Exploring Central México’s Pueblos Mágicos Guanajuato

$2295 per person
9 days 8 nights | Group size: 6 - 12

Central Mexico is known for being home to some of the countries most enchanting “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Villages) and this September we are thrilled to be taking your there, and just in time to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day!

What’s a Magical Village you ask?

The Mexican government created the ‘Pueblos Mágicos’ program to recognize places across the country that imbue certain characteristics that make them unique, historically significant, with great traditions, and offer magical experiences to its visitors. A “Magical Village” is a place with symbolism, legends, history, important events, festivals, traditions, great food, and fun interactive shopping and day to day activities.

During our time in Central México we will immerse ourselves in the local culture, learn about history, enjoy delicious meals and take in breathtaking views of the gorgeous cities and surrounding countryside. This town also has a particular emphasis on art as we will be meeting with artisans, taking a drawing focused tour throughout the city center, making our own ceramic pieces with a famous potter and visiting various museums and galleries! This trips also includes visits to a silver mine, a picnic at a Mexican winery, a tour of Toltec ruins, a relaxing temazcal experience and much more!

We invite you to explore Guanajuato with us this September on our first ever trip offered in this region of México!

Cost & Packages

Services

Included

All transportation within Guanajuato including private shuttles, busses, boats etc.

8 nights of boutique hotel/Airbnb accommodation

Entrance fees, tickets and local guide fees for all activities included in the itinerary.

8 breakfasts, 11 additional meals

24/7 access to bilingual (native English speaking) Heart of Travel guides.

Assistance searching and booking international flight

Spanish language immersion opportunities for those interested.

Not Included

International airfare to Guanajuato

Meals not indicated on the itinerary

Additional tours/activities done individually during free time (we can assist in coordinating these for you)

Tips to local guides

Dates

Saturday, September 7th – Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Itinerary subject to small changes at the discretion of The Heart of Travel guides in order to provide you with the safest, and most comfortable and enjoyable travel experience possible.

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    Tour Plan

    1
    DAY ONE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th: D included

    Airport pick-up: Upon arriving at the airport, one of the Program Directors will be waiting to escort you to the center of Guanajuato city to your boutique hotel/ or Airbnb so that you have time to get settled in before the welcome dinner that evening. Normally international flights arrive between 12pm and 3pm. If you need assistance booking your international airfare please let us know!

    Upon checking in if you need any assistance going to the bank, store, pharmacy, etc. Chelsea or Ana will be more than happy to accompany you. In the event you arrive early in the morning and would like to coordinate any specific activities during the day just let us know so we can accommodate your requests.

    Later in the afternoon we will go to the Hidalgo market where we will purchase everything needed to prepare a delicious traditional dinner!

    7:00 pm: Welcome dinner with Tabula Rasa (included)

    Enjoy a traditional Mexican meal and learn about the ingredients and how to prepare a traditional recipe during this interactive dining experience in the southern end of Guanajuato city. As we enjoy the food we will meet the guides and fellow travelers and discuss the upcoming activities for our adventure here in Central Mexico.

    2
    DAY TWO: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th: B & L included

    8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    Interactive Walking & Drawing Tour

    9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Start your first full day in Guanajuato with a walking tour of the city. We will begin our art tour in the heart of the historic city discovering the most picturesque sections of the underground passages, stopping at the world famous Callejón del Beso and immersing ourselves fully in the culture, handicrafts and the spirit of Guanajuato by visiting the Mercado Hidalgo.

    In the first of several stops we will explain all the various art techniques, from watercolor and gouache, to charcoal, and even pencils and inks. Additionally, we will study tricks of how to draw in movement and express the different colors that surround us in this beautiful city.

    We will visit the Regional Museum of Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas. The Alhóndiga de Granaditas is an emblem of the Mexican identity and nationality and home to the first insurgent battle, essentially the origin of Mexican Independence.

    In addition to the art walk and visit to Alhóndiga de Granaditas, we will show you the hidden streets, facades and nameless alleys of Guanajuato as we visit famous sites such as the San Roque Temple, San Fernando, Baratilla, the University, the Juarez Theater, the Plaza Mexiamora and the El Potrero alley, stopping in perfect places to tell you the history, legends and curiosities of the city while we draw.

    2:00 - 3:00 pm: Lunch (included)

    3:30 - 6:00 pm: Free time to explore the Historic Center on your own. Maps, suggestions and recommendations will be given!

    Visit the interior of the Juarez Theater

    6:00 pm: The Teatro Juarez is considered to be one of the most beautiful theaters in all of Mexico. Since its inauguration by General Porfirio Diaz in 1903, it has been the center and venue for the most important artistic events in the city of Guanajuato and the entire region.

    7:00 pm: Dinner (not included). We are happy to give you a list of recommendations of places to eat and grab a drink if you’d like to eat independently or we can all go somewhere together as a group!

    Traditional Callejoneada

    8:30 pm: We will enjoy a night tour of the city of Guanajuato, hand in hand with a estudentina. What’s an estudentina you ask? It’s the Mexican equivalent of a student marching band that presents a musical, magical, romantic and cheerful show through streets, squares and most important alleys of the city.

    3
    DAY THREE: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th: B, L & D included

    8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    Botanical Garden, San Cayetano Mine & Templo Mellado

    9:00 am: Enjoy a tour of the little known Botanical Garden of the Ex Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera, touring its 17 gardens (from where we can see part of the Guanajuato River that goes down the ravine), old structures and the seventeenth century mansion now restored.

    11:00 am: We will continue the tour with a visit to the La Valenciana or San Cayetano Mine, the sites of the largest vein of silver found in Mexico. We will learn the origins of the mining city, going down the pithead to the tunnels, 220 steps below ground! When we finish with La Valenciana Mine, we will visit La Valenciana or San Cayetano church that was built by Antonio de Ordóñez y Alcocer, the owner of the mine, to give thanks to his patron saint, Saint Cajetan, for the riches the mine provided. Here we will discuss the importance of mining in Mexico’s history as well as the role in plays today, including controversy over foreign mining companies in Latin America.

    12:00 pm: The next stop will be Templo de Mellado. The facade is very simple, and the small atrium has a very peaceful environment inside the church lives its hidden treasure, a baroque wooden organ of the 19th century. We also stop at the Ex-Convent of the Mercedarians and check out the Mirador de Rayas, a viewpoint from where you can see an astonishing view of the colorful city.

    Lunch & Museum of the Mummies

    1:00 - 3:00 pm: After a morning exploring the surrounding towns we will eat lunch (included) and take a short 20 minutes drive back to the center of the city to explore the Museum of the Mummies and the Santa Paula Pantheon of Guanajuato. The Mummies of Guanajuato are a number of naturally mummified bodies interred during a cholera outbreak around Guanajuato, Mexico in 1833.

    Other options that you might be interested in visiting during this time are:

    • The Museum of Diego Rivera, the museum is in his own childhood home.
    • Iconographic Museum of Quixote, this museum houses an important collection of paintings, engravings, drawings, tapestries, coins, sculptures, porcelains, ceramics from different periods and countries, inspired by the gentleman of the sad figure and his inseparable squire, Sancho Panza.

    Just let us know so we can accommodate your request!.

    4:00 - 6:00 pm: Downtime for rest or independent exploration. We are happy to give you an additional list of recommendations of places to grab a drink or coffee!

    6:30 pm: Dinner at Valadez Restaurant (included)

    7:45 pm: After a delicious dinner we will do a light hike to visit El Pipila Statue. The statue of El Pipila stands high above Guanajuato and commemorates the hero of the city. His brave actions achieved the first victory of the Mexican independence struggle and he has become a folk hero ever since. From here you will enjoy an excellent panoramic views of the city while having drinks and listening to music!

    4
    DAY FOUR: TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th: B & L included

    8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    9:30 - 11:00 am: We will meet at the hotel entrance and get picked up in our private shuttle as we head to Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia (1 hour drive), where we will be staying the night. Upon arriving at our hotel we will check in and drop our bags before hitting the streets to explore!

    Interactive Artisan Workshop

    11:00 - 1:00 pm: Get your hands dirty as you make a souvenir to take home with you at the end of your trip. We will meet with the national ceramic award winner Abel Avalos Guerrero. Here he will teach us about the majolica (glazed pottery) and we will make our own piece of majolica to take home!

    Lunch (Included) & City Tour

    1:00- 4:00 pm: We will return to the historical center of Dolores Hidalgo to eat and enjoy traditional ice cream, enjoying the beautiful architecture and history of this place which is deeply significant to the history of Mexico.

    4:30 - 6:00 pm: After the tour of the city, we will stop at El Museo Bicentenario and La Casa de Hidalgo. The Bicentennial Museum has a total of 827 pieces of the celebration of the first centenary of Independence, among which include jewelry, weapons, music, portraits, photographs of buildings and uniforms. Hidalgo’s House Museum used to be the home of Miguel Hidalgo, a priest and revolutionary who stood out initiating the first stage of the War of Independence of Mexico with an act known in Mexican historiography as Grito de Dolores.

    You will then have the rest of the evening free to relax or explore independently. We are happy to give you a list of recommendations of places to eat, grab a drink or listen to some live music!

    5
    DAY FIVE: WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th: B & L included

    8:00 am: Breakfast in the hotel (included)

    9:30 am: We will meet at the hotel entrance to board our private shuttle for a 40 minutes drive to the nearby city of San Miguel de Allende, one of México’s most famous “pueblos mágicos”.

    11:00 am: Upon arriving, we will visit Dos Búhos, a wine hacienda with a newly remodeled central patio where we’ll enjoy a tour and wine tasting. At the end we’ll go on a picnic (included) including a selection of cheeses, quiche, salad and dessert, while enjoying the natural surroundings.

    2:30 pm: After a morning exploring the vineyard and enjoying the wine, we will head up to El Mirador de San Miguel de Allende, a viewpoint from where you have the best panoramic view of the city, making it the perfect spot for pictures.

    3:00 - 5:00 pm: Our next stop is Fabrica La Aurora to see the best of contemporary Mexican art and design. What was once a textile factory, today is home to canvases, sculptures and artisanal craftwork made by the great artists who live in San Miguel.

    You will then have the rest of the evening free to relax or explore independently. We are happy to give you a list of recommendations of places to eat, grab a drink or listen to some live music!

    8:00 pm: We will meet once again to enjoy a night of mezcal!!!

    6
    DAY SIX: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th: B, L & D included

    8:00 am: Breakfast in the hotel (included)

    9:30 am: Along with local architects and designers, we will enjoy our personalized walking tour of the historical center of San Miguel Allende, with stops at all major plazas and points of interests where we will enjoy the traditional Spanish Baroque style buildings, the handicraft market, boutiques and main art galleries in the city.

    1:00 pm: Lunch (included)

    2:30 - 5:00 pm: After a morning exploring this colorful city, we will board our private shuttle for a short drive to the countryside of San Miguel Allende and we will be taken on a tour through The Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery. The house and grounds provide the backdrop for a volcanic eruption of creativity. From the block-long mosaicked wall they call “Kismet Street," to the garden overflowing with greens and flowers, to the paths under your feet, to the art, and the furniture, and the jewelry, and the walls of the house itself... every surface that can be enhanced with Anado's amazing artistic ingenuity has been!

    5:30 pm: Once again, we will board our van to go back to the center of the city and visit the Ignacio Ramírez Cultural Center "El Nigromante", restored 18th century convent with art exhibitions, workshops and classes of different types of art, a beautiful patio and a cafeteria.

    7:30 pm: Group dinner (included)

    7
    DAY SEVEN: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th: B & L included

    8:00 am: Breakfast in the hotel (included)

    9:00 am: Pick up at the hotel to visit one of the most recent archaeological sites to be excavated: The Cañada de la Virgen. Just 16 km south of the city, this site was abandoned for 900 years and today tells the story of how the Tolteca culture developed. As a natural protected area, it has been an important reference for restoration and landscape since 2011.

    3:00 pm: Lunch at the Ranch of the Cañada (included). This very local menu includes tortillas made to order on the comal, fresh ranchero cheese and organic beans from the same ranch, quesadillas, nopales, rice, fresh sauces, guacamole and salad. All local and all organic :)

    3:00 pm: We will arrive back in San Miguel de Allende where everyone will have free time to relax and enjoy a leisurely and relaxing evening independently.

    5:00 pm: 15 minute walk to visit the Casa de la Cuesta’s fine collection of Mexican folk art, crafts and antiques (you will see works in Tehuan silk stitchery, amate paper, wooden toys and alebrijes, all handcrafted all around the country). Most importantly, the “Another Face of Mexico Mask” museum is part of the Casa de la Cuesta Complex, where owner and curator Bill LeVasseur has spent more than 25 years acquiring an extraordinary collection of over 500 Mexican ceremonial masks. A unique glimpse into the culture not to be missed!

    (Dinner not included) We are happy to give you a list of recommendations of places to eat, grab a drink or listen to some live music!

    8
    DAY EIGHT: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th: B, L & D included

    8:00 am: Breakfast in the hotel (included)

    9:30 am: We’ll make our way back to Guanajuato, stopping for a holistic experience of meditation and a temazcal ceremony. A temazcal is a type of “sauna” that have been used by various indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica for the medicinal purposes of detoxification and purification. After greeting the four directions (very important in Mesoamerican culture), playing drums and conch, we will enter the temazcal. Inside there are hot stones to which we will add an infusion of medicinal herbs and water to create a steam bath, accompanied by songs, breathing techniques and meditation. At the end we will drink an herbal medicine tea and relax.

    1:30 pm: After a relaxing experience we will connect with nature with a visit Santa Rosa, a natural reserve immersed in the mountain range, known for it’s delicious and authentic mexican food, where you’ll find the best enchiladas mineras of the state. Lunch (included)

    3:30 pm: Heading back to Casa de Adobe, you will have the rest of the afternoon free to relax or explore independently. We are happy to give you a list of recommendations of activities to do in the reserve (from hiking, horseback riding, getting a massage or even a healing ritual) before dinner our final farewell dinner.

    7:30 pm: Farewell dinner! (included)

    9
    DAY NINE: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th: B included

    7:00 - 10:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)

    Transportation to airport (included), please confirm your departure date and time with us so we can coordinate your transportation to the airport.

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