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Say Hola to a tour that's more than just tacos and tequila and prepare for una buena adventure into the heart and soul of Mexico. From Aztec to Zapotec, La Copita to Pasita - travel on this cultural cocktail, that blends the best of the country's ruins, cuisines and natural wonders into an eight-day journey through colourful markets, indigenous culture and all the Mezcal you can manage. From the fiery capital of Mexico City to the culinary paradise of Oaxaca, whether you're hanging out in a quirky bar in Puebla, exploring the ancient ruins of Mitla or discovering the vibrant art scene of Oaxaca, you're guaranteed to get a taste of Mexico's magic at every turn.
Day 1: Mexico City
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Mexico. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, if you arrive earlier then why not use your free time to check out this incredible city! Modern meets ancient in Mexico City - one of the world's largest urban centres. Although crowded and smoggy, D.F. (Distrito Federal) offers a great variety of impressive museums, galleries and architecture, along with exciting night life and delicious street food. Head to the Zocalo, the city's huge central square, to see Aztec ruins and colonial architecture, relax in one of the many parks, plazas and gardens or take an Urban Adventure with an expert local guide, find out more at urbanadventures.com.
Day 2: Mexico City
Today your leader will show you around the historic city centre. Visit Zocalo Square, a prominent central meeting place since Aztec times, and soak up the sound of rapid-fire Spanish and booming drums that fill the vast space. The dome-topped Palacio de Bellas Artes is the next must-see attraction. Within the stark white marble palace, you will find walls painted by the likes of Diego Rivera. You can spend the afternoon doing whatever takes your fancy in the heart of Mexico. Why not sit down for lunch at a fonda (a home that a family has opened to the local community as a restaurant). You can usually grab a typically delicious three course meal for less than 5 AUD. Alternatively, you might like to join an Urban Adventure to the archaeological ruins of Teotihuacan where a local guide will take you down the 'Avenue of the Dead', pointing out the famous Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. Find out more at urbandventures.com
Day 3: Cacalomacan / Puebla
Say Adios to Mexico City this morning and travel by private vehicle to Cacalomacan (approximately 2 hours) and get crafty with a Mexican Metal Embossing Workshop. Learn about the art of embossing and hear the stories behind the talented artisans as you create your own piece of intricate work. After mastering the art of embossing, indulge in a delicious lunch, wash it down with ‘la copita’, a unique cocktail made of capulin, guava and tejote, and perhaps try out some of your new Spanish – delicioso! Continue on your 4-hour journey to Puebla. Learn the local lingo en route as your learned leader teaches you the all-important phrases – like how to order a cerveza! Arrive in Puebla at around 6 pm and get to know the city on a short orientation walk with your leader. The rest of the evening is at leisure, Puebla has plenty of markets where you can brush up on your bargaining skills or pick up some local handicrafts. For dinner this evening, why not try some mole poblano, a native Puebla dish that's famous all over Mexico.
Day 4: Puebla
Today is free for you to explore at your own pace. Perhaps check out one of the many well-maintained churches and buildings from the colonial period or brush up on your bargaining skills at one of Puebla’s any markets. If you're looking for something active, go for a hike near one of the area's looming volcanoes, or visit the Great Pyramid of Cholula – containing five miles of tunnels and ancient history with the enormous Popocatepetl Volcano serving as a backdrop. Puebla is also Mexico’s culinary capital, so why not head out and indulge in some street food such as chiles en nogada (stuffed chillies covered in creamy walnut sauce). For something a bit more dramatic, check out a Lucha Libre show, the famous Mexican sport where masked musclemen combine wrestling and theatre in a memorable performance. This evening, head out for an optional group dinner before joining your leader for a drink at La Pasita. Pasita is a sweet liqueur made of raisins, served in a caballito (tequila glass), and decorated with a cube of fresh goat cheese and a raisin stuck on a toothpick. This bar is particularly famous because of its particular way of serving the pasita – quench your thirst with this delicious beverage, listen to the story behind the fame, and admire the unique decor which makes the bar a stand-out.
Day 5: Oaxaca
Get cosy with the locals as you travel by local bus to Oaxaca (approximately 4 hours), where a culinary paradise will await you – this is a great time to crack a book or take a nap. Stretch your legs with an orientation walk once you arrive, and the rest is up to you. A beautiful old colonial town, Oaxaca is full of graceful arcades and colourful markets. Descendants of the Zapotec and Mixtec indigenous people selling colourful woven blankets and shawls populate the markets – a great place to shop for textiles and margarita flowers. The city is also known for its arts scene, including folk art, fine art and dance as well as its many unique regional dishes – and you should feel free to let your nose lead the way – tamales de rajas (chilli and tomato tamales) are a good place to start, a delicious hand-held meal that’s been a staple in the area for thousands of years.
Day 6: Mitla / Oaxaca
Check out more of what Oaxaca has to offer on a full day tour of the city and the surrounds. Meet your local guide this morning, who will take you to the Mitla ruins, which were once the religious centre for the Zapotec, an indigenous people of Mexico. Later, sip on the famous, tequila-like local booze, mezcal, at a mezcal factory and visit the Tule Tree, a 1500-year-old tree that's over 11 metres in girth. Head back to your hotel and if you still have the energy, the evening is free for you to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy Oaxaca’s nightlife.
Day 7: Oaxaca
Today is a free day to explore Oaxaca at your own pace. Why not try your hand at whipping up the local cuisine with a cooking class, or venture to Hierve el Agua which is a group of stunning natural rock formations where the minerals resemble cascading waterfalls, or perhaps visit to the archaeological site of Monte Alban and check out the amazing view across the three legs of the valley of Oaxaca. Alternatively, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the streets and take the opportunity to feast on some regional delicacies, including the delicious banana-leaf-wrapped ‘tamales’ to the spicy baked chilli and lime grasshoppers, there's no shortage of unique and delicious fare, usually sold by the lovely old ladies of the markets. Season depending, a folkloric ballet performance is an also a great optional activity.
Day 8: Oaxaca
Adios to those who are ending their journey here.
- Mexico City - Leader-led City Tour of Historic Center
- Leader-led Informal Spanish Lesson
- Cacalomacan - Mexican Metal Embossing Workshop
- Puebla - Leader-led orientation walk
- Puebla - Visit to La Pasita Bar
- Oaxaca - Leader-led Orientation Walk
- Mitla - Archaeological site (Entrance fee, Guide & Transport)
- Oaxaca - Guided full-day tour including the Tule Tree and a Mezcal distillery
2 Breakfast(s) Included
1 Lunch(es) Included
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Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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