X

All arrangements will be made through Andiamo Travel

Phone: 619-632-4571

Overview
Daily Itinerary
Details

EMS Photo Adventures: Colonial Mexico and Oaxaca

EMS Photo Adventures in collaboration with Andiamo Travel

Join us on this fun exploration of Mexico’s highlights and three days in culturally rich Oaxaca.

We will start our adventure in Mexico City – the ancient center of the Aztec Empire – and, then, head west to the city of Morelia visiting the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan and the magical town of Tlalpujahua, along the way. Based in Morelia, we will explore the city and, then, visit charming and quaint, indigenous villages to interact with residents in traditional dress. And, maintain a simple lifestyle filled with tradition.

Continuing the circuit of Mexican colonial cities we will reach Guanajuato, a UNESCO Site – where bright colorful homes and buildings line the streets, alleys and plazas. After two days exploring Guanajuato, we will drive to Queretaro making stops to visit Dolores Hidalgo, a historic town known as the cradle of Independence and the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, a UNESCO Site, known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas.

Queretaro is rich in colonial monuments, charming walking streets, lively plazas, and a monumental aqueduct all of which make it a UNESCO Site. Then, we will drive across agricultural fields nicely divided by stone walls and rolling hills to reach Puebla, Mexico’s fourth largest city, important for its rich history, culture and economy. On the way, we will stop at Teotihuacan, one of Mexico’s most noted archeological sites, known as the City of the Gods.

In Puebla, we will take a walk to see the markets and the fun Candy Street (a lovely little historical street containing numerous well-known candy shops) and have dinner at a noted Puebla restaurant to dine on the area’s famous “mole”- a delicious mestizo dish that originated in Puebla.

Then, we will head to Oaxaca a most captivating city. Along the way we will visit:

  • Recently established Tehuacá-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO site, protecting a wide variety desert plants decorating the mountainous landscape
  • Take a detour to Zapotlán Salinas, a small salt producing mountain village
  • Walk through the Helia Bravo Botanical Garden, set in a portion of the Reserve

We will lunch at Itandehui Restaurant, to experience many local specialties and continue on to visit San Antonio Arrazola, to see the craftsmen at work making the famed “alebrijes” carvings. The carvings are Mexican crafts invented by Pedro Linares Lopez in Mexico City in 1936. Visit a traditional cemetery – Panteon General, Xoxocotlan.

Once in Oaxaca, a most captivating city, we will take a city tour, eat dinner and rest up for the next day’s activities – the vibrant and colorful annual Guelaguetza Festival – Lunes del Cerro (Mondays on the Hill) celebration.

For two Monday’s in July, the people of Oaxaca celebrate their traditional, annual festival of the Guelaguetza Festival and the entire town is home for the festival. Each of the seven regions of Oaxaca comes to the party dressed in flamboyant costumes to dance folkloric songs and to share their traditions, food and music.

On our last day together, we will take a short drive to Teotitlan del Valle – the famous weaving village renowned for its weaving wares since pre-Hispanic times. We will enter the home of a family dedicated to the spinning and dying of the wool that is then used to weave rugs representing pre-Columbian designs or famous paintings.

As we return to Oaxaca for an afternoon free for you to explore the city, we will stop to photograph the 2,000 year old, “Arbol del Tule” – an enormous Aheuhuete (Montezuma bald cypress) tree. The tree can shelter more than 500 people and it takes 30 people, hand-to-hand, to surround it.

We will say farewell at a special dinner at a local restaurant.

Colonial Mexico and Oaxaca: Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – Friday: Mexico City
  • Fly from home to Mexico City
  • Welcome Dinner:
    • Meet at 5:30 at the hotel’s scenic terrace to meet the Group Leader and fellow participants. Located on the Zocalo, the terrace restaurant faces the Cathedral, the Presidential Palace and offers a view of the entire plaza.

Lodging: Zocalo Central, Mexico City (D)

Day 2 – Saturday: Mexico City

Spend day exploring Mexico City: As the ancient center of the Aztec Empire and the first and most important of Spanish colonial marvels in the New World, Mexico City offers culture and history in a vibrant atmosphere.

  • Walk around the historical Zocalo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Visit the:
    • Metropolitan Cathedral constructed with the stones of the Aztec’s main pyramid.
    • National Palace with a short explanation of the internationally famous Diego Riviera murals.
    • Walk through the recently excavated Templo Mayor archeological site where the base of Tenochtitlan’s main pyramid has been unearthed.
    • Continue the walk along busy folkloric downtown streets lined by sumptuous colonial buildings to reach the Alameda and visit the Correo Mayor, an eclectic emblematic Mexico City palace.
  • Drive to Coyoacan, a beautiful quaint colonial neighborhood of narrow streets, small plazas with cafes, museums, bookstores and art centers.
    • Visit the Casa Azul, the home of and now museum of the famous artist Frida Kahlo.
    • Free time to stroll along the quaint streets and enjoy the lively plaza.

Dinner: At a well known restaurant near the hotel.

Lodging: Zocalo Central, Zocalo, Mexico City (B/L/D)

Day 3 – Sunday: Mexico City – Morelia
  • Visit the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan originally located on a lake in which the Mexicas (as the Aztecs called themselves) traveled by canoes and cultivated the land using chinampas, wooden trellises set on the water.
    • A small portion of the lake and of the agricultural system still remains. Known as Xochimilco, colorful “trajineras”, small boats decorated with flowers travel in the canals through the “floating gardens.”
    • Boats with food and flower vendors and with mariachis ride alongside the visitors adding to the folkloric atmosphere.
  • Drive to Morelia with stops along the way.
    • Lunch: Stop for lunch.
    • Visit the magical town of Tlalpujahua perched on a hillside with an imposing church where affluent mining days left a rich heritage.
  • Arrive in Morelia late afternoon, the capitol of the state of Michoacan. The city:
    • Is defined as the aristocrat of the colonial cities and declared a UNESCO Site.
    • Reflects perfect urban planning with its wide avenues lined with over 200 sumptuous palaces, a prominent Cathedral, and stately plazas.
    • Has a formal, unified appearance with all its buildings built with pinkish quarry stones.

Dinner: At Hotel

Lodging: Posada La Soledad, Morelia (B/L/D)

Day 4 – Monday: Morelia – Patzcuaro – Morelia
  • All-day visit to indigenous villages and towns around Lake Patzcuaro.
    • Described as the “Soul of Mexico”, the state of Michoacan is home to the Purepecha Indigenous people. In pre-Hispanic times, the Purepecha, called Tarascos by the Spanish, had developed a powerful culture able to reject Aztec domination.
    • Today their population of over 100,000, still cling to ancient traditions and are responsible for the richness of Michoacan’s crafts, considered some of the finest in Mexico.
    • Founded in the 1320’s by the Purepecha, the small quaint town of Patzcuaro is a colonial gem of simple adobe homes painted in red and white, tiled roofs and ancient churches and convents that reveal its indigenous – colonial mestizo roots.
    • With a focus on the markets, we will walk through the plazas, the House of 11 Patios, up and down the cobblestone streets, to photograph the Purepechas trading in the open-air markets sometimes using the ancient bartering method.
    • Tzintzuntzan, once the center of the Purepecha empire, houses a 16th Century Franciscan convent and a craft market. Delight on colorful weavings, intricate woodcarvings, original ceramics and more.
  • Return to Morelia.
  • After dinner, enjoy a stroll on the main plaza to see the cathedral beautifully illuminated, and join the local people at cafés under the arches.

Dinner: At Hotel

Lodging: Posada La Soledad, Morelia (B/L/D)

Day 5 – Tuesday: Morelia – Guanajuato
  • After breakfast, explore the city on foot.
    • Walk along the stately avenues to admire the beauty of each and every palace, its construction and artwork.
    • Visit the majestic Cathedral followed by the Government Palace displaying murals by Alfredo Zalce.
    • Continue to the Church of Santa Rosa de Lima whose adjacent convent is today one of Latin America’s most prestigious music conservatory, specially known for its children’s choir, and admire the perfect symmetry of the central patio of Clavijero Palace now a cultural center.
    • The city boasts a magnificent aqueduct, one of the world’s best preserved. Built with pinkish quarry stone, the aqueduct is a mile long supported by 253 arches.
    • Near the aqueduct, enter the brightly decorated Santuario de Guadalupe, an unforgettable church.
    • Time at leisure to relax or choose a site to visit before meeting for lunch.
  • Continue the circuit of Mexican colonial jewels to reach the queen city – Guanajuato, a UNESCO Site and the home of one of Mexico’s most important cultural festivals, El Cervantino.
    • The discovery of rich silver veins in the 18th Century promoted the construction of this magnificent city. The Valenciana mine was one of the richest silver finds in history.
    • Nestled in the mountains, famous for its very narrow winding streets (callejones), stairways, small plazas (plazuelas), subterranean streets, and colorful buildings, Guanajuato reveals a unique charm.
  • Settle in the hotel located in a quiet niche of the main plaza. The life of the city is at your doorstep.
  • Just before sunset, walk a short distance to the funicular that climbs the hill to Pipila Statue and a spectacular viewpoint: the city fills a steep hillside, colorful and imposing as if it were a painting. The setting sun that illuminates the buildings gives it a magical appeal.
  • Take the funicular back to the plaza

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Note: Traditional in Guanajuato is the callejoneada, whereby a group of performers dressed in costumes singing, dancing and narrating local legends lead a magical tour through narrow steep alleys and plazas of the city. If desired, join in the fun, or remain in the plaza where music groups are always present.

Lodging   Edelmira, Guanajuato (B/L/D)

Day 6 – Wednesday: Guanajuato
  • Explore the city of Guanajuato on foot where every turn holds a new surprise.
    • Facing the central plaza is Teatro Juarez, with a dominant Roman-inspired façade and a flamboyant interior based on a European design.
    • Bright colorful homes and buildings line the streets, alleys and plazas. The alleys can become so narrow that a popular legend tells of a couple kissing from their balconies.
    • Stop to admire the imposing white stone building of Guanajuato University fronted by a wide, 133 steps staircase, viewed from the bottom!
    • Enter the Templo de la Compañía whose Churriqueresque exterior contrasts with the simpler spacious interior.
    • The striking bright yellow Guanajuato Basilica, one of the city’s most notorious constructions, is centrally located on a hilltop facing a larger plaza; it is noticeable both in the daytime and is brightly lit at night.
    • Inside, the jewel-incrusted image of Our Lady of Guanajuato had been hidden in Spain for 800 years before it was brought to Guanajuato as a token for the abundant silver that the local mines produced for Spain!
  • Lunch at local restaurant
  • Return to hotel for some downtime.
  • Late afternoon, regroup for a session with Essdras where he will present photos take to this point and conduct a discussion and answer question.

Dinner: On your own

Lodging: Edelmira, Guanajuato (B/L)

Day 7 – Thursday: Guanajuato – Queretaro
  • After breakfast, depart early morning to travel to Queretaro – on our way we will stop:
    • Dolores Hidalgo is a historic town known as the cradle of Independence. It was in Dolores Hidalgo where Father Hidalgo, a priest known as “the Father of Mexico”, gave the famous “grito”, cry for freedom, on September 16, 1810 marking the beginning of the War of Independence from Spain.
    • Continue to the Sanctuary of Atotonilco, a UNESCO Site, known as the Sistine Chapel of the Americas.
      • Declared a national monument in 1926 and recently a UNESCO site, San Miguel Allende is a lovely picturesque town of cobblestone streets, colorful colonial buildings, and an imposing parish church, an icon of gothic revival architecture.
      • Named in honor of General Allende, one of the fathers of Mexican Independence born in the city, San Miguel Allende gained international fame thanks to the establishment of Instituto Allende in the 1950s attracting foreigners to its Art and Spanish courses.
      • Take a walking tour to see the center and to appreciate the variety of architectural styles represented in its buildings.
  • Continue to Queretaro.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Lodging: Doña Urraca, Queretaro (B/L/D)

Day 8 – Friday: Queretaro
  • After breakfast, explore Queretaro:
    • Rich in colonial monuments, charming walking streets, lively plazas, and a monumental aqueduct make Queretaro a UNESCO Site.
    • The city played a major role throughout Mexican history since its founding in 1531.
      • Admire the architecture, baroque and neo-classical, that tells the story of the city from the plotting of the Independence, the execution of Maximilian of Austria, the writing of the Mexican constitution and the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe.
      • Near the hotel, enter San Augustin Temple and ex-monastery to awe at the magnificent cloister considered the most beautiful in America, while the baroque Temple of Santa Clara is one of the most opulent of New Spain.
      • Walk past the Teatro de la Republica, where in 1876 Maximilian was sentenced to death and in 1917 the present Constitution was signed.
      • Currently the Government Palace, the Casa de la Corregidora was the home of Josefa Ortíz de Dominguez, the initiator of Mexican Independence Movement.
  • Lunch: On your own in a restaurant of your choice
  • Free time to explore on your own: visit a museum, stroll on the pedestrian walks, return to the hotel to rest.
  • In the late afternoon, gather at the hotel lobby for:
    • A drive past the magnificent aqueduct, the symbol of the city with 74 arches reaching a height of 100 ft.,
    • Visit Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa temples and Cerro de la Campana, the famous spot where Maximilian was shot thus ending the French invasion in Mexico.
  • Return to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant La Casa de la Marquesa

Lodging: Doña Urraca, Queretaro (B/D)

Day 9 – Saturday: Queretaro – Puebla
  • Drive across agricultural fields nicely divided by stone walls and rolling hills that encircle Mexico City to reach Puebla, Mexico’s fourth largest city, important for its rich history, culture and economy.
  • On the way, stop at:
    • Teotihuacan, one of Mexico’s most noted archeological sites.
      • Known as the City of the Gods, from the 1st century BC up to the 5th century, the pre-Columbian city of Teotihuacan was the home of an important culture that influenced the succeeding civilizations of Mesoamerica and reached a population greater than Rome.
      • Visit the site, walk along the Avenue of the Dead, visit the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and, if desired, climb the famous pyramids to the Sun and to the Moon.
    • Lunch at Teotihuacan
  • Continue to Puebla and check in to hotel
  • Regroup and take a walk to see the markets and the fun Candy Street (a lovely little historical street containing numerous well-known candy shops.)

Dinner: Walk to a noted Puebla restaurant to dine on the area’s famous “mole”- a delicious mestizo dish that originated in Puebla.

Lodging: Quinta Real, Puebla (B/L/D)

Day 10 – Sunday: Puebla – San Antonio Arrazola, Oaxaca
  • Depart for Oaxaca.
  • The road crosses the recently established Tehuacá-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO site, protecting a wide variety desert plants decorating the mountainous landscape.
  • Take a detour to Zapotlán Salinas, a small salt producing mountain village, to walk through the Helia Bravo Botanical Garden, set in a portion of the Reserve.
  • Lunch at Itandehui Restaurant, Zapotitlan, to experience many local specialties
  • Continue to San Antonio Arrazola, Oaxaca
    • Visit San Antonio Arrazola to see the craftsmen at work making the famed alebrijes carvings, Mexican crafts invented by Pedro Linares Lopez in Mexico City in 1936.
      • These crafts are made of carved wood and painted with bright, vibrant colors – a knowledge from ancient Zapotec traditions that is passed down from generation to generation.
      • Here the ingenuity of the artisans is reflected in the copal wood to create this fantastic zoology.
      • They carvings most often represent an imaginary animal composed of physiognomic elements of several different animals.
  • Visit a traditional cemetery: Panteon General, Xoxocotlan
  • Upon arrival in Oaxaca, settle in the hotel
    • Oaxaca, one of Mexico’s most captivating cities also declared a UNESCO Site, is the home of rich indigenous cultures, of magnificent baroque colonial buildings and churches, of a delicious mestizo cuisine, of excellent crafts, of traditional celebrations, of bustling markets, of archeological sites, of Benito Juarez.
    • Walking along its ample streets and vast plaza where the city transmits peace and joy.
  • Get acquainted with the city brief walk to the famous baroque Santo Domingo Church and to the plaza ample and lively, sided by the Cathedral, the Templo de la Soledad.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Lodging: City Center, Oaxaca (B/L/D)

Day 11 – Monday: Oaxaca  
  • We will capture the people of Oaxaca celebrating their traditional, annual festival of the Guelaguetza – “Lunes del Cerro” (Mondays of the Hill)
    • The entire town of Oaxaca, Mexico is home to the ‘Guelaguetza Festival.’
    • Each of the seven regions of Oaxaca comes to the party dressed in flamboyant costumes to dance folkloric songs and to share their traditions, food, and music.
    • The parade starts in the main Plaza de Santo Domingo in Oaxaca’s downtown, where spectators line up to watch a succession of people of all ages, wearing masks, elaborate flower wigs, pineapples on their heads, and hand-made costumes worn for generations to the tune of drums, flutes, and traditional instruments.
    • The main show takes place in the Auditorio Guelaguetza on the Cerro del Fortín.
  • Organized by the institutions that disseminate the culture of Oaxaca in all its manifestations, the festival includes:
    • Folklore dances of the different regions of the state to pay homage to the City of Oaxaca
    • Gastronomic and artisan displays
    • Local customs representations of the most diverse communities of the state
    • Exhibitions, concerts and other events of cultural significance

Dinner: at a local restaurant

Lodging: City Center, Oaxaca (B/L/D)

Day 12 – Tuesday: Oaxaca
  • After breakfast, take a short drive to Teotitlan del Valle – the famous weaving village, located about 25km southeast of Oaxaca. It has been renowned for its weaving wares since pre-Hispanic times: the village had to pay tributes of cloth to the Aztecs.
    • Quality today is high, and traditional dyes made from natural sources like indigo, cochineal and moss have been revived.
    • The variety of designs is enormous – from Zapotec gods and Mitla-style geometric patterns to imitations of paintings by Rivera and Picasso.
    • Enter the home of a family dedicated to the spinning and dying of the wool that is then used to weave rugs representing pre-Columbian designs or famous paintings!
  • Return to Oaxaca
    • Stop on way to photograph the 2,000 year old, “Arbol del Tule” – an enormous Aheuhuete (Montezuma bald cypress) tree. The tree can shelter more than 500 people and it takes 30 people, hand-to-hand, to surround it.
  • Lunch and the rest of the day is on your own to enjoy more of Oaxaca
  • Late afternoon, regroup for a session with Essdras where Essdras will review work from participants (submit up to 3 photos each).

Dinner: Farewell dinner in a restaurant on the plaz

Lodging: City Center, Oaxaca (B/D)

Day 13 – Wednesday: Oaxaca – Return Home
  • The program ends in the morning. Breakfast is included.
  • The Group Leader is available to help with transfers to the Oaxaca airport.

Colonial Mexico and Oaxaca: The Details

Note: This Journey is in collaboration with Andiamo Travel

Group Size: This is a small group adventure – minimum of 8 – maximum of 12

Cost Per Person:

  • Double Occupancy: $5,650 per person
  • Single Supplement: $1,300 per person

The Package Includes:

  • Private land transportation
  • 12 nights hotel accommodations in 4, 5 star or boutique hotels
  • All breakfasts and most meals (2 lunch and 1 dinner are on your own)
  • All visits, excursions, and entrance fees described in the itinerary
  • Experienced Group Leader and local guides when appropriate
  • Taxes and tips of included hotels and meals
  • Andiamo’s personalized attention

The package does not included:

  • The cost of transportation to Mexico and from Oaxaca – including all costs associated with that activity such as baggage surcharges, taxes and fees.
  • Gratuities and personal expenses such as: alcoholic drinks, phone calls and snacks.

Booking Conditions:

  • Registration Deadline: April 1, 2019 – a $400 per person
  • Full Payment Deadline: May 21, 2019

How to Make a Reservation: Reservations will be made through Andiamo Travel

  • Phone Rosa Maria Guerra, Andiamo Travel, at 1-619-623-4571 or rosa@andiamo-travel.com and she will:
  • Gladly answer any questions or doubts.
  • Send you an enrollment form and guide you through the simple process.
  • Once your enrollment is confirmed, you will receive a confirmation pack with details on the program and Mexico, and what to pack, etc.
  • Note: A Personal Information Form (emergency contacts, health issues, food preferences, etc.) must be completed and returned to Andiamo before the start of the trip.

Cancellation Terms

  • A $300.00 fee will be held for cancellations made after Monday, May 21, 2019
  • A 50% fee will be held for cancellations made after Monday, June 18, 2019
  • No refunds for cancellations made on the day of the trip, July 19, 2019.
  • Should Andiamo cancel the trip, a total refund is provided without any other liability
  • All cancellations must be in writing.

Andiamo Travel

  • USA: +1 (619) 632 4571
  • MEX: +52 (646) 178 8909
  • Website: andiamo-travel.com
Highlights

  • Explore Mexico City – the center of the Aztec Empire
  • Visit Xochimilco known for its “floating gardens”
  • Interact with indigenous peoples in Morelia
  • Tour key Mexican cities:
    • Morelia, the aristocrat of the cities built with quarry stones
    • Guanajuato, an explosion of color perched on hillsides
    • San Miguel Allende, a picturesque cobblestoned delight
    • Queretaro, monuments that tell stories
    • Puebla, treasures housed in tile and stone-covered buildings
    • San Antonio Arrazola, home of the famed alebrijes carvings
  • End the Adventure with several fabulous days in Oaxaca

Group Size: This is a small group adventure – minimum of 8 – maximum of 12

Cost Per Person:

  • Double Occupancy: $5,650 per person
  • Single Supplement: $1,300 per person

Dates: July 19-31, 2019

Booking Conditions:

  • Registration Deadline: April 1, 2019 – a $400 per person deposit is required to confirm participation.
  • Full Payment Deadline: May 21, 2019