Arrive in the city of Guadalajara
Tour of Guadalajara & Tlaquepaque
Tour Lake Chapala region
Guachimontones Archaeological Ruins
Train Ride to town of Tequila
Road Trip: Guadalajara to Aguascalientes
Tour the city of Aquascalientes
Museum of Death
Tour of the city of Zacatecas
Silver/gold mine tour
La Quemada Archaeological Ruins
Pueblo Mágical town of Jerez
Road Trip: Zacatecas to Durango City
Pueblo Mágical town of Zombrerete
City tour of Durango
Poncho Villa Museum
Burial art cemetery tour
Wild west show
Road Trip: Durango to Mazatlán
Nature tour in Mexiquillo
City tour of Mazatlán
Cliff diving show
Farewell Dinner with your guide
Free day in Mazatlán
Free day in Mazatlán
Travel day home
Your tour representative will be waiting for you upon your arrival at the Guadalajara Airport and will then take you to the Hotel Morelos (or similar)in the central area of the city of Guadalajara.
Guadalajara (México’s 2nd largest city & capital of Jalisco state) dates back all the way to 1542, only 50 years after Columbus made his first voyage. Yes, it is an old city graced with many colonial plazas and historical landmarks. Your guide will give you an overview of the history of the city via a walking tour to visit its prominent monuments and buildings. You will see the Government Palace with its huge incredible murals painted by one of México’s famous painters, José Clemente Orozco. More of his work can be viewed at the
Instituto Cultural de Cabaña. At one time it was one of the oldest hospitals in the Americas. It also served as an orphanage and workhouse. Now it is more of a fine arts center as well as being recognized as a World Heritage Site. You will also explore the beautiful Guadalajara Catedral, the Teatro Degollado, and stroll down some of its prominent plazas like the Plaza de la Liberación and the Plaza de Armas.
Arguably one of the largest markets in the world is the San Juan de Dios Market. Try to picture this … 2,900 shops/stalls. YIKES! Stay close to your guide or you will get lost in there for a week. 😮
After lunch, everyone will take a short drive to the first of several Pueblo Mágico towns on this Road Trip. Tlaquepaque is a fun town to visit its eclectic art galleries and other artisan shops. A walking street makes it easy to “wander.” Also, you will visit the world’s largest Cantina where you most likely will hear lively Mariachi music.
Later, you will return to you hotel in Guadalajara. (B,L)
Not far from Guadalajara is México’s largest lake, Lake Chapala. It measures about 50 miles long and 8 miles wide. Yep, that’s a lot of lake! Today, you will hop on a small boat to explore Presidio Island which has quite a large fort complete with tall walls surrounding it. You will learn about the battles which took place there during México’s fight for independence from Spain.
Your group will also explore two of the lake’s many towns; Chapala and Ajijic (another Pueblo Mágico town). There are shops to explore and Mexican culture to witness in these two towns. This is also an area populated by quite a few foreigners who call this area, “home.”
On the way back to Guadalajara, you will take a detour to see a rather unique ruins site which is quite different from the others found throughout México. Guachimontones Archaeological site has a round pyramid. Not triangular but round. Your guide will let you in on what archaeologists know about this most interesting site.
Then it’s back to Guadalajara the “birth place of the Mariachis.”
Overnight in Guadalajara. (B,L)
After today, you can tell your friends back home that you were in Tequila. Since most folks don’t know there is actually a town by that name, they will probably think you’ve been “hitting the bottle.” Yes, today you will visit the town where
Tequila is made by several different manufacturing companies, including José Cuervo. And to get there, you will travel in style. Once a week, a special train will take you directly to the town of Tequila. Along the way, you can relax, have a drink, a snack, and enjoy the scenery, including viewing the blue agave fields which is the source of this popular drink.
Once there, your group will be lead by a local guide to learn all about how this world reknown drink is made. There will be time to have lunch on your own and wander around the town before heading back to Guadalajara by bus or van.
Overnight again in Guadalajara (B)
Say goodbye to Guadalajara, Jalisco and hello to the city of Aguascalientes in the state of Aguascalientes. Today your México Road Trip takes you north to explore a Spanish colonial city with the name that translates to, “hot water.” And you guessed it. It’s because of all the hot springs in the area. In addition to exploring the main Cathedral built in the early 1700s in a Neoclassical style, your guide will lead you on a tour to see the Morelos Theatre, Government Palace, and other significant landmarks. Then you will experience a very different kind of museum; the Museum of Death. Thousands of objects from decorative masks to skulls to art depicting the relationship between México’s past & present culture with death will be on display. Don’t thing “morbid.” Think “very interesting.”
Your day will conclude with a 90 minute drive to check in at the Hotel Meson de Jobito (or similar) in the city of Zacatecas. (B,L)
The urban design of the city center of Zacatecas has not changed much since the 16th & 17th centuries. There are 15 historic religious centers and many old civic buildings. Today your personal guide will lead you to some of these structures and give you a rundown as to the importance this city had as a hub for the silver/gold mines created in this region of México.
Speaking of mines, you will be issued a hard hat and then venture by train underground to visit a well-know mine called, Minas de Edén. Once inside, the well-lit paths will lead you to the varies parts of the mine. You will learn about the conditions the workers faced everyday, how the silver and gold was mined, and also hear some legends about the mine. Interestingly, inside the mine there is a small museum that has a nice collection of rocks and minerals and this mine also is the home to a popular nightclub.
FYI – Both the city of Zacatecas and the mine are a recognized UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Your tour for today also takes you to visit one of the largest mask museum in the world. The Museo Rafael Coronel is housed in a former convent containing some 3000 or more folk art masks. Some of these masks are pretty wild. The beautiful grounds of this ex-convent is also an added plus to see.
On this evening, you will overnight again in the city of Zacatecas. (B,L)
Today, a short drive from the city will bring you to the La Quemada Archaeological Ruins site. Because this ancient city was located so far from the other Mesoamerican cities, archaeologists and historians have different interpretations as to why it was there, who used it, and for what purposes. La Quemada was built on a hill with a series of platforms and terraces to create 3 main areas; a main avenue, a ball court, and a big hall that has tall round stone columns. Your guide will fill you in on some of what is known about this interesting ancient city.
Next up on today’s agenda is to take a walk around a cute little town called Jerez García Salinas. Just call it Jerez. It’s another recognized México Magic Town. Jerez means, “place of where vegetables abound.” Here some of the old buildings were constructed using a pretty pink quarry stone. There are stores and a handcraft market to investigate as well as the Hinojosa Theatre. It was modeled after the Ford Theatre found in Washington, DC.
Later everyone will travel back to the city of Zacatecas and to your hotel. (B,L)
Today it’s time to hit the road again and head northwest toward the city of Durango in the state of Durango. On the way, you can explore another Pueblo Mágico town of
Zombrerete. Historically, it was also a mining center which is surrounded on all sides by small mountain ranges. After a walk around town to see the Convent of San Francisco de Asis and the Temple of the Santa Veracruz, we will travel to the Sierra de Organos National Park where you can view some very different rock formations and also see where Beatle’s legend, Ringo Starr filmed the movie, Caveman.
In the evening, your guide will bring you to the Hotel de la Monja (or similar) in the city of Durango. (B,L)
Welcome to Durango … The Land of the Scorpions. If you are an adventurous eater, some restaurants in the city of Durango serve scorpion tacos. Now that’s definitely worth a Facebook live video to show your friends back home!
The state of Durango is also known as the place where many national and international movies have been filmed. This rugged arid region has been a prime setting for over 100 films being made there. Remember these movies? Star Wars, Episode IV, The Magnificent Seven, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Superman-The Movie, Braveheart, Shanghai Knights, Wagons East, No Country For Old Men, Doctor Zhivago, The Princess Bride, The Sons of Katie Elder, and many more. There is even a statue of John Wayne in the city!
After a morning meal, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the city which will also include a visit to the very modern General Francisco Villa Museum. This museum is dedicated to the history of one of the most famous leaders of the Mexican Revolution, Poncho Villa. This museum is housed in a very beautiful building which was for almost 200 years, the state government building.
Later, everyone will experience a very unique tour to a large nearby cemetery where a special local guide will show you some incredible art pieces created by sculptor, Benigno Montoya. You could call this, “beautiful burial art.”
Next, it will be time to grab your cowboy/girl hat as you head out to The Old West Town where you can enjoy a live performance about the old west. It will be corny and fun!
Returning to the city, you will overnight again in Durango. (B,L)
Today, your México Road Trip continues west with your first stop at the Mexiquillo nature park. There you will encounter forests, waterfalls, ravines, and cool rock formations on an ATV trail ride. It will be a nice outdoor adventure before starting your journey over the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and then down to the Pacific coast. Along this very scenic drive, you will pass over dozens of bridges and tunnels through these rugged mountains. At one point, your group will travel over one of the tallest bridges in the world.
In Mazatlan, you will check into the beautiful beachside resort, The Inn of Mazatlan (or similar). (B,L)
After a relaxing morning, you can become more familiar with this Pacific coast resort city by going on a little sightseeing tour. After lunch, you will be able to get some action shots of the cliff divers who will perform for tips.
In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner with your tour guide as this will be the last evening will your group. (B,L,D)
Days 12 & 13
On these two days, you can relax and enjoy the beach and pool area all under México’s tropical sun. If you are interested, there will be several optional day tours to choose from for an additional fee. (B)
You can make arrangements with the hotel desk for transportation to the Mazatlán Airport at the appropriate time for your flight home … or to your next adventure destination. (B)
2018 Trip Dates: May 9 – 22 / September 26 – October 9
(Want a private tour? Other dates can be arranged. Contact us for availability)
Trip Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Group Size: 8 – 16 people
Suggested Minimum Age: 10 years old
Arrival & Departure Location: Guadalajara (GDL) / Mazatlán (MZT)
Deposit: $350 USD per person
2018 Trip Prices: $2497 USD per adult / $2247 USD per child (10-17) when accompanied by 2 adults in same room
Single Supplement: $616 USD
INCLUDED IN TOUR FEE
English/Spanish speaking local host guide, airport pickup on day of arrival, all ground transportation, tours per itinerary, all entrance fees, 13 nights of hotel lodgings, 13 breakfasts, 10 lunch, 1 dinner, all taxes
NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR FEE
Airfare, additional activities & meals not listed above, alcoholic drinks, optional activities on days 12 & 13, transfer to the Mazatlán Airport on day 14, trip interruption insurance, trip medical insurance, tips for your tour guides & other helpful people