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Guanajuato: Art & Architecture in los Pueblos Mágicos January 2021

Guanajuato: Art & Architecture in los Pueblos Mágicos January 2021

$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 we are thrilled to be taking you there!

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!

Please ask for special family pricing if you are traveling in a group of 3 or more and would like a triple or family room as we may be able to accommodate this request for you to keep the trip more cost-effective! 

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.

Dates

Friday, January 15th – Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Services

Included

All transportation within Guanajuato including private shuttles, buses, 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, 10 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

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

Tips to local guides

International airfare to Guanajuato

Meals not indicated on the itinerary

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Tour Plan

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DAY ONE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 15th: D included

Airport pick-up: Upon arriving at the airport, one of our 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 12 pm and 3 pm. 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 at 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.

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DAY TWO: SATURDAY, JANUARY 16th: B & L included

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

9:00 am - 12:00 pm: Interactive Walking & Drawing Tour

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

At the first of several stops, we will explain all of the various art techniques, including watercolor and gouache, charcoal, and even pencils and inks. Additionally, we will study tricks on how to convey movement in art and express the different colors that surround us in this beautiful city. We will then visit the Regional Museum of Guanajuato Alhóndiga de Granaditas. The Alhóndiga de Granaditas is an emblem of 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’ll show you the hidden streets, facades, and nameless alleys of Guanajuato that make the city so special. We also visit famous sites such as the San Roque Temple, San Fernando, Barilla, the University, the Juarez Theater, the Plaza Mexiamora, and the El Potrero alley. We’ll stop in just the right places to tell you the history, legends, and curiosities of the city while we create our own art!

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

3:30 - 6:00 pm: Free Time

After lunch, you’ll have free time to explore the Historic Center on your own. Maps, suggestions, and recommendations will be given!

6:00 pm: Visit the interior of the Juarez Theater

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!

8:30 pm: Traditional Callejoneada

We’ll enjoy a night tour of the city of Guanajuato hand in hand with an 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 the most important alleys of the city.

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DAY THREE: SUNDAY, JANUARY 17th: B, L & D included

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

9:00 am: Botanical Garden, San Cayetano Mine & Templo Mellado

Enjoy a tour of the little known Botanical Garden of the Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera! We’ll tour its 17 gardens from where we can see part of the Guanajuato River that goes down the ravine, old yet awe-inspiring structures, and the seventeenth-century mansion now restored.

11:00 am: Visit to the La Valenciana or San Cayetano Mine

We’ll continue the tour with a visit to the La Valenciana Mine, the site of the largest vein of silver found in Mexico. We’ll learn the origins of the mining city, going down the pithead to the tunnels 220 steps below ground! When we finish with the mine, we will visit San Cayetano church, which was commissioned by Antonio de Obregón 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 continue to discuss the importance of mining in Mexico’s history as well as the role it plays today, including the controversy over foreign mining companies in Latin America.

12:00 pm: Visit to Temple de Mellado

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 that belies its hidden treasure, a baroque wooden organ of the 19th century. We’ll also stop at the Ex-Convent of the Mercedarians and check out the Mirador de Rayas, where you will experience a breathtaking view of the colorful city.

1:00 - 3:00 pm: Lunch (included) & Museum of the Mummies

After a morning exploring the surrounding towns, we will eat lunch and take a short 20-minute 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 in 1833.

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

- The Museum of Diego Rivera, which is in Rivera’s own childhood home.

- Iconographic Museum of Quixote, which houses an important collection of paintings, engravings, drawings, tapestries, coins, sculptures, porcelains and ceramics from different periods and countries, inspired by the Knight of the Sad Figure himself and his inseparable squire, Sancho Panza.

Just let us know so we can accommodate your request!

4:00 - 6:00 pm: Free Time

Next, you’ll have some 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: Visit to Statute of El Pipila

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

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DAY FOUR: MONDAY, JANUARY 18th: B & L included

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

9:30 - 11:00 am: Travel to Dolores Hidalgo Cuna de la Independencia

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!

11:00 - 1:00 pm: Interactive Artisan Workshop

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 commemorate the trip!

1:00 - 4:00 pm: Lunch (Included) & City Tour

We will return to the historical center of Dolores Hidalgo to eat lunch and enjoy traditional ice cream, all while taking in the beautiful architecture and rich history of the area which is deeply significant to the overall history of Mexico.

4:30 - 6:00 pm: Visit to el Museo Bicentenario and la Casa de Hidalgo

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 from the celebration of the first centenary of Independence, among which include jewelry, weapons, music, portraits, photographs of buildings and uniforms. La Casa de Hidalgo used to be the home of Miguel Hidalgo, a priest, and revolutionary who stood out for initiating the first stage of Mexico’s War of Independence with an act known as Grito de Dolores.

6:00 Free Time

After our visit to El Museo Bicentenario and la Casa de Hidalgo, 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!

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DAY FIVE: TUESDAY, JANUARY 19th: B & L included

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

9:30 am: Drive to San Miguel de Allende

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: Visit to Dos Búhos wine hacienda and picnic lunch (included)

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. To conclude our tour, we’ll have a picnic of a selection of cheeses, quiche, salad, and dessert while enjoying the natural surroundings.

2:30 pm: Views from El Mirador de San Miguel de Allende

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: Visit to Fabrica la Aurora

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 talented artists who live in San Miguel.

5:00 - 8:00 pm: Free Time

After our visit to Fabrica la Aurora, 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: Mezcal!

After you’ve gotten some rest or continued exploring, we will reconvene once again to enjoy a night of mezcal!!!

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DAY SIX: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20th: B & L included

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

9:30 am: Walking Tour of San Miguel Allende

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 at Nectar Restaurant (included)

2:30 - 5:00 pm: Tour of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray Gallery

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: Visit to the Ignacio Ramirez Cultural Center “El Nigromante”

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,” a restored 18th-century convent with art exhibitions, workshops, and classes of different types of art, as well as a beautiful patio and a cafeteria.

7:30 pm: 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!

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DAY SEVEN: THURSDAY, JANUARY 21st: B & L included

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

9:00 am: Visit to the Cañada de la Virgen archaeological site

We’ll pick you 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 but today it 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.

1:00 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: Free Time

We will arrive back in San Miguel de Allende where everyone will have free time to relax and enjoy a leisurely afternoon.

5:00 pm: Visit to Casa de la Cuesta

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!

7:30 pm: 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!

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DAY EIGHT: FRIDAY, JANUARY 22nd: B, L & D included

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

9:30 am: Cleansing in a temazcal sauna

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 has 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. In the end, we will drink herbal medicine tea and relax.

1:30 pm: Visit to Santa Rosa natural reserve and lunch (included)

After a relaxing experience, we will connect with nature with a visit to 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.

3:30 pm: Head back to Casa de Adobe and free time

7:30 pm: Farewell dinner! (included)

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DAY NINE: SATURDAY, JANUARY 23rd: B included

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

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

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