EPIC DMC welcomes you to one of the most exiting capitals of the world, Mexico City! Our representative will meet and greet you at the airport. Leave it in EPIC´s hand for a smooth arrival. On the way from the airport to the hotel, absorb the hustle and bustle of this metropolis. Settle into your exclusive downtown hotel before you head to your welcome reception in the courtyard of the hotel. Overnight hotel in Mexico City.
After a scrumptious breakfast your guide will pick you up for a full day tour of the city and one of the 10th most visited museums in the world. The Historic Center with the “Catedral Metropolitana” (the cathedral was built in sections from 1573 to 1813 and is the largest cathedral in the Americas), the Aztec’s Templo Mayor (the Templo Mayor was one of the main temples of the Aztecs in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, which is now Mexico City) and its Museum, The Palacio Nacional (seat of the government, construction started in 1522, Diego Rivera murals can be viewed depicting Mexico’s history), the Zócalo (the main square), and the Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Beautiful Art), the most important cultural center in the city.
Lunch will take place at one of the fine eateries in the Historic Center. In the afternoon you will “lose” yourself in the amazing history of Mexico. The “Museo Nacional de Antropología” contains significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts from the pre-Columbian heritage of Mexico, such as the Stone of the Sun (or the Aztec stone calendar), the 16th-century Aztec statue of Xochipilli, giant stone heads of the Olmec civilization, treasure from the Maya civilization, and much more. At night, a very special private group dining experience in the Ex Convent of San Hipólito which dates back to the 16th century.
After breakfast we depart for our next stop; San Miguel de Allende named “The Top City in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler. After checking into a colonial hotel in the heart of the town, with mansions dating back as early as the 17th century, lunch awaits. Heading straight to the center of town we will begin our afternoon with a visit to El Jardin (The Garden) and the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, probably one of the most photographed churches in all of Mexico! After a 15-minute stroll down an old avenue, the famous Mercado de Artesianas awaits. Enjoy fine handicrafts such as blown glass, handsewn garments and crafts made of tin. Next, we head off to Fabrica La Aurora to appreciate the finest collection of art and antiques.
Dinner that night will take place in the private garden of one of the mansions followed by a traditional callejoneada (a callejoneada could be called a “walking serenade”). Callejon is the Spanish word for a small street or alleyway, and a callejoneada is a musical tour led by a local minstrel group. Steeped in folklore and mysterious legends, the callejoneada originated from Spain. Students where singing on the streets and knocking on doors for food and shelter. Today, the parade is led by musician followed by a donkey with tequila. The tradition still remains to knock on people homes and to invite them for a drink.
Founded in 1559, Guanajuato is a former silver mining city. It is the capital of Guanajuato state, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and charming colonial-era city situated in a picturesque valley surrounded by the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains. Guanajuato is nicknamed “the place of frogs” because the shape of its mountainous terrain is said to have resembled a frog to the city’s early inhabitants. The historic center has a distinct European flavor with hundreds of narrow cobblestone alleyways running up and down the hillside. Shady plazas are dotted with sidewalk cafes, museums, theaters, markets and historical monuments. The buildings throughout the city are fine examples of neo-classical and baroque-style colonial architecture. An underground network of tunnels runs beneath the city helping to control the flow of traffic. Known as the birthplace of Mexican Independence, Guanajuato is an important stop along Mexico’s Independence route. During the day in Guanajuato you will visit the house where Mexican painter Diego Rivera was born and raised, La Valenciana silver mines, El Pipila, an incredible lookout point of the city, followed by a panoramic tour of the city.
The Museo Casa Diego Rivera
Born Diego Maria de la Concepcion Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodriguez, this illustrious Mexican painter, muralist, and active communist was famous for giving expression to works of high social content in public buildings around the country. The museum consists of a collection which displays almost 100 original works of the master. The collection is one of the most important in the country.
The Church de San Cayetano & La Valenciana (silver mine)
The church sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Guanajuato and stands as a monument to the vast wealth of the La Valenciana silver mine and the rich history of mining during the colonial period. Construction of the church began in 1765 and was completed in 1788. Then descend into the deep mineshafts of the La Valenciana mine. It was once one of the world’s largest silver mining areas, producing over one third of the world’s entire silver.
The walking tour of Guanajuato will start at the Plaza de La Paz (Plaza of Peace) the central square and administrative center of Guanajuato. The triangular plaza is flanked on two sides by colonial architecture with the third side dominated by the yellow Basilica of Guanajuato which is the most visually striking building in the city, painted a vivid yellow with a massive rose red dome (build in 1696). On to Calle Alonso which is slightly off the common tourist route but contains fine examples of colonial multi-colored Mexican architecture and Mexicans going about their daily lives. Descending from Calle Alonso are stairs leading to the subterranean tunnels of Guanajuato; these tunnels were dug to prevent flooding in the early mining town. Dinner at night is at leisure back in San Miguel de Allende.
The most amazing way to see San Miguel is from high up! Today you will fly over the beautiful colonial town of San Miguel de Allende and the surrounding countryside. The pilots are FAA Certified and are among the most experienced in the world. Their extensive knowledge of the area combined with their passion for ballooning, makes them perfectly suited to be your special hosts this morning.
We launch from the historic surroundings in the heart of San Miguel de Allende. As one rises above the valley floor, panoramic views open up of the historical town. To the east the majestic mountain called “Los Picachos”, to the south, the magnificent lake of San Miguel. With favorable winds the balloons can climb to higher altitudes where you may catch a glimpse of the Mexico’s Bajio central valley, skyline and even the majestic mines of the Sierras of Guanajuato to the east. Flight time ranges 40 minutes to 1 hour.
On the way back to Mexico City we will be passing through the Historical City of Querétaro, formally named ‘Santiago de Querétaro’. As we pass through this very important historical city we will take a glimpse at The Aquaduct, the Temple of La Santa Cruz and the many majestic casonas (Affluent Colonial Homes) located through-out the city, making our way back to Mexico City for your last night.
Departing Mexico City, EPIC DMC will coordinate the luggage pull at the hotel, and arrange for transfers back to the airport.