New Year’s Eve in Mexico City: Dec 2019/Jan 2020
CDMX, unlike most big cities in Latin America, is not just a place for a layover, it’s a destination it its own right. Having experienced quite the renaissance, CDMX has ditched its reputation of being dingy and dangerous and is quickly becoming a major destination known for its culture, art and gastronomy. With an approximate population of 21.3 million people, Mexico City is a bustling metropolis that balances a rich history and tradition with modern innovation and world class amenities.
From a stroll through the charming La Condesa neighborhood, to a ride downtown on the overloaded metro there is something for everyone in Mexico City. Plus, you’ll truly be hard pressed to find a city that beats CDMX when it comes to food, art, and museums.
With so much to see, do, eat and drink in Mexico City a week is enough time to just get your toes wet in exploring this incredible city. We will start our adventure by getting settled into a quant boutique hotel which will serve as our home base for 8 nights and is the perfect place to come back to after a long day exploring the city or a night of salsa 😉
During our time together we will immerse ourselves in history, culture and everyday life in Mexico City through a diverse array of activities. A few of the major highlights of this trip are our visits to many of CDMX’s art and history museums, a night at the famous folkloric ballet, a morning boat ride down the river in Xochimilco with mariachis and marimbas aboard, stuffing our faces on unique Mexican fare at Mercado Jamaica, drinking tequila in Plaza Garibaldi and staring out across the city from the top of the Teotihuacán pyramids!
Cost & Packages
Friday, December 27th, 2019 – Saturday, January 4th, 2020
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.
DAY ONE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27th, D included
Arrive in Mexico City: Participants will be flying in from a variety of different places therefore travelers are welcome to choose the flight path that best suits their travel preferences and needs. That being said, we encourage participants to book flights that arrive in Mexico City in time to get settled in before the welcome dinner that evening. If you need assistance booking your international airfare please let us know!
Upon arriving at the airport one of the Program Directors, Chelsea or Dominique, will be waiting to escort you to the hip La Reforma or La Condesa neighborhood via private shuttle (30 minute drive). Once in the heart of the city you will be checked into your hotel and be given a brief orientation of the area. 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 request
7:00 pm: Welcome Dinner (included)
DAY TWO: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28th, B & L included
8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)
9:00 am - 1:00 pm: Walking Tour of Centro Histórico and lunch (included) On our walking tour of the historic center our fabulous local guide, Daniel, will lead us through one of CDMX’s most iconic areas. Since it’s a Monday, it will be a bit quieter which will allow us to take a more leisurely pace as we check out some of the most fascinating points such as the Zocálo, Templo Mayor (Aztec temple), the Cathedral, a street dedicated solely to wedding and quinceañera gowns, a three story bakery, the Palacio Nacional (awesome Diego Rivera mural inside) the gorgeous golden post office and mucho más!
2:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Free time to explore the Historic Center on your own! We’ll give you recommendations on points of interest to check out and we will set a designated meeting point to catch a ride back to the hotel.
6:30 pm: Optional Group Dinner (not included) nearby the hotel!
8:00 - 9:30 pm: Lucha Libre Mexican Wrestling Show or Soccer Game: Depending on what’s available: For those looking to live a more local experience we will hit a stadium that even either to catch a soccer game or see México’s famous Lucha Libre wrestling show. While it’s a bit hokey, this is an iconic part of modern day Mexican culture and fun to check out for a couple hours to enjoy some cerveza and popcorn ;)
DAY THREE: SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29th, B & L included
8:00 am: Breakfast at the hotel (included)
9:00 am - 1:00 pm: Tour of Paseo de La Reforma and Chapultepec Park via bike with a stop at the Chapultepec Castle and the National History Museum - (every Sunday, Mexico City shuts down major streets to cars and opens them up to the public. They call this “Muévete en Bici” - or move yourself with your bike. As a visitor, this is a unique time to explore the city!)
1:00 pm: Lunch @ Tizoncito for some quintessential tacos al pastor (included)
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Free time to rest and freshen up for a fun evening in the historic center!
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: We will meet in the lobby to drive to the historic center for a delicious dinner at Azul (not included)
8:30 pm - 10:30 pm: We will then walk over to the gorgeous Palacio de Bellas Artes to see one of the most impressive pieces or performing arts in Mexico City, Amalia Hernández’s Ballet Folklórico.
*El Palacio de Bellas Artes is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography*
DAY FOUR: MONDAY, DECEMBER 30th, B & L included
8:00 am: Breakfast at hotel (included)
9:00 am - 1:00 pm: Guided Tour of the Teotihuacán Pyramids: We will spend the morning with once again with Daniel to explore the famed site of Teotihuacán, whose original builders remains a mystery. This complex of majestic temples is known for its two massive pyramids that are commonly referred to as the Pirámide del Sol (Pyramid of the Sun) and Pirámide de la Luna (Pyramid of the Moon). On our tour of this important archaeological site we will dive deeper into Mexico City’s history and civilization prior to the Spanish invasion and how it relates to the rest of México and other Mesoamerican countries.
1:30pm - 2:30 pm: Lunch @ La Gruta
Just a few steps away from the Teotihuacan Pyramids, La Gruta Restaurant is one of the most traditional places in the area. Here you will get the chance to taste delicious dishes that mix local cuisine ingredients with pre-Hispanic culinary heritage.
2:30 pm - 6:00 pm: Drive Back & Visit to The Basilica: We will begin our ride back to city center but first we will make a stop at the Basilica! The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic church, basilica, and National shrine of Mexico in the north of Mexico City which houses the cloak containing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The grounds and general alone are beautiful and photo worthy and Mexico’s strong ties to Catholicsm, and primarily to the Virgin Mary, are also fascinating, making this stop well worth it!
Once back at the hotel, everybody can enjoy a free evening to rest or explore and enjoy the city on your own! If you want to have dinner or plan an activity with your tour leaders they are happy to hang out with you or provide recommendations for things to do independently if you prefer!
DAY FIVE: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31st, B & D included
8:00 am: Breakfast at hotel (included)
9:00 am - 11:30 pm: Boat Ride Xochimilco Canals: We will start the morning by meeting once again with tour leaders and local guide, Daniel, to drive to the southern end of Mexico City, Xochimilco. Here we will stroll down the river on the colorfully painted boats known as trajineras. On our ride not only we will appreciate on board mariachis and marimba music and floating food vendors, but we will also learn more about pre-hispanic Mexico City.
What we know today as CDMX was once a large Aztec city that was comprised by an intricate series of man-made islands “chinampas” and canals on what was once el Lago Texcoco. The lake was later drained and filled in by the Spaniards who then began to build the historic buildings we see today. Xochimilco is one of the last remaining places where you can get a feel for what the area was like prior to the conquista.
11:30 pm - 12:00 pm: Drive to the Coyoacán: Upon finishing our boat ride we will drive over to the beautiful neighborhood of Coyoacán. A quirky and intellectual neighborhood blended with the independent character that comes from the area’s history as a village separate from the larger city that surrounds it, make Coyoacán a favorite among many visitors. Here we will enjoy lunch, take a small tour of the area and finish with a visit to the Frida Kahlo museum!
12:00 pm - 3:30 pm: Lunch @ El Centenario 107 (not included) followed by a tour of the neighborhood and a visit to the Servin Ceramic booth in the local market to meet our friend Brenda and learn about her family’s pottery business! We highly recommend taking a piece home with you as their handmade stuff is truly stunning and unique!
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm: We’ll visit the Frida Kahlo Museum, a historic house and art museum dedicated to the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
6:30 pm: We should be back at the hotel by 6:30 pm and you’ll then have time to rest and refresh before the evening’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations!
9:00 pm - 1:00 am: Dinner (included) & New Year’s Eve Festivities!
DAY SIX: WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1st, B included
Free Day for rest and relaxation or independent exploration after last night’s party! We are more than happy to accompany you as well if you’d like and we can break up into smaller groups if there are people wanting to check out different things during their time in CDMX. Keep in mind that many things may be closed since it’s the 1st so we encourage you to take this day to chill out and explore neighborhoods such as La Condesa and La Roma. We are happy to put together a laid back walking tour of these areas for whoever is interested (included) if you’d like more structure in your day!
7:00 pm: Optional Group dinner (not included)
9:30 pm - 1:00 am: Evening of Salsa Music & Dancing @ Mama Rumba (optional, not included)
DAY SEVEN: THURSDAY, JANUARY 2nd, B, L & D included
Breakfast included at hotel whenever you wake up :)
You will have another portion of the day free to explore as many things may not have been open on the 1st. We are more than happy to accompany you as well if you’d like and we can break up into smaller groups if there are people wanting to check out different things during their time in CDMX.
5:00 pm: Dinner @ Roldán 37 with cooking demonstration (included) Here we will enjoy a delicious meal prepared by Chef Rómulo Mendoza in his family’s beautiful historic home!
DAY EIGHT: FRIDAY, JANUARY 3rd: B & D included
Breakfast included at hotel whenever you wake up :) We recommend eating early or very light since we will be stuffing our faces a bit on today’s food tour!
11:00 am - 2:00 pm: Walking Food Tour of Mercado Jamaica: This market is bustling and one of the principal ones in the city for fruits, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants in the city. On this tour you’ll learn about the area’s history and will also try many of Mexico’s unique ingredients and flavors that make their cuisine so tasty and unparalleled.
2:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Stop at the Artisanal Market La Ciudadela: This is the perfect opportunity to do last minute shopping as this market is home to many artisan crafts as well as everyday items. If you are looking for textiles, pottery, woodworks, art, jewelry, chocolate, coffee or pretty much anything - you’re likely to find it here! If you not as much of a shopper have no fear, Chelsea’s favorite coffee shop/mezcaleria is tucked inside this market so you can pull up a sit for a coffee, chocolate or a mezcal. If you are feeling adventurous you can even get a beverage that has all three!
7:30 pm: Farewell Dinner (included) We will celebrate the end of another incredible adventure with Heart of Travel and our Mexico City team by enjoying a fun meal together!
DAY NINE: SATURDAY, JANUARY 4th: B included
8:00 am: Breakfast at hotel (included)
Airport departures from the hotel to the airport to catch your international flight home. Your guides will come give you an “abrazo” goodbye and make sure you get picked up safely and on time for your fight!