The pyramids at Teotihuacan for example, that pre-date even the Aztecs, are only 50km north-east of Mexico City. The charming streets and gem-like squares in the towns of Santiago de Queretaro and San Miguel de Allende will take you to the heart of the colonial period, whilst the jumble of Guanajuato’s characterful buildings and the time-untouched Parzcuaro Santa Clara del Cobre, Zirahuenwill keep your camera very busy.
London – Mexico City
Your exploration of the colonial cities of Mexico begins with the country’s largest – one of the most populous places in the world. You fly from London – comparatively small and quiet by this city’s standards – to Mexico City. You will be met at the airport by your driver and guide and shown to the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel.
You’ll find yourself at the heart of one of the city’s most prominent entertainment districts; conveniently close to the sights, restaurants, cultural opportunities and nightlife. It’s a great start to your tour, giving you diverse options ranging from ancient pyramids and monuments to museums and galleries, bazaars and boutiques.
Stay: Two nights in the Four Seasons, Mexico City.
Santiago de Queretaro
Drive out of Mexico City on your way to Santiago de Queretaro and the bustling streets gradually give way to impressive countryside, tiny villages and wide open skies. As you arrive at Santiago de Queretaro you’ll be presented with a quaint town offering a history that stretches back almost half a millennium.
The architecture and small streets give you a glimpse of life in colonial times whilst the wonderful aqueduct, the palaces and mansions once belonging to wealthy merchants will show you why this town is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Mexico. The following day you will be shown around the atmospheric Pyramids of Teotihuacan by an expert guide who will reveal the rituals, beliefs, cosmology and lives of the Aztecs and the Teotihuacan people who pre-dated them.
Stay: Two nights in the Dona Urraca Hotel & Spa.
San Miguel de Allende
A drive of just over one and a half hours will take you from Satiago de Queretaro to San Miguel de Allende. If you appreciate diverse styles of architecture you’ll be impressed by the array of fine buildings on display in this city – it is known for its fine architectural design. It’s also admired for its gourmet restaurants, great shopping, fine art shops, galleries and parade of sightseeing opportunities. Your luxury hotel is conveniently situated to allow you to explore to your heart’s content.
Stay: Two nights in Hotel Mathilda.
Another drive through attractive countryside takes you to what is widely regarded – and not just by the locals – as one of the most photogenic cities in the whole of Mexico. So make sure your camera is fully charged. Walking around the streets, squares and avenues of this charming town is like being inside a painting, with a new perspective at every corner. Irregular buildings – each with its own character and charm – give the streets an attractive visual bustle, enhanced by colourful shops and traditional homes.
Stay: Two nights in the Edelmira Hotel.
Now it’s time to head for the hills. With Guanajuato in your rear view mirrors you’ll drive off towards Patzcuaro high up in the Michoacan Hills. From Patzcuaro’s height of 7200 feet you’ll have spectacular vistas stretching out over the surrounding countryside, but the real eye-openers are the city’s lovely old buildings – many of them in the decorative colonial style – and the idyllic town squares that seem untouched by the passage of time. Your guide will take you on fascinating private tours of Patzcuaro Santa Clara del Cobre, Zirahuen and the historic centre of Patzcuaro.
Stay: Two nights at Casa de la Real Aduana
Mexico City – Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta will provide you with a great contrast to sprawling, ceaseless Mexico City. You’ll drive from Patzcuaro to the capital, where you’ll board a domestic flight to Puerto Vallarta. Then follows three nights of complete relaxation, indulging yourself in great Mexican and international food, some serious pampering and a choice of ways to chill.
Stay: Three nights at the Four Seasons Punta de Mita.
Mexico City – London
Return to Mexico City to board your return flight to London, arriving the following day.