This Unexplored Enigmatic Mexico
12 days / 11 nights
Small Group with English-speaking guides
- Tolantongo Canyon - amazing natural creation... swimming in paradise!
- Xilitla - hidden gem of Mexican surrealism... palace of Sir Edward James.
- Huasteca Potosina - rich jungle ecosystem and an exceptional natural beauty with rivers, chasms and waterfalls: Tamul Waterfall, Tamasopo, The Bridge of God (Puente de Dios), Meco Waterfall, Sotano de Las Huahuas.
- Guanajuato -very special Mexican lovely city with a magical atmosphere, designated World Heritage Sites.
- Patzcuaro - authentic colonial gem, named a "Magic Town".
- Janitzio Island - beautiful and the most significant of the five islands in Pátzcuaro Lake.
- Volcano Paricutin - most unique volcano in the world, youngest in America and birth witnessed by a human.
- Valle de Bravo - "Mexican Lausanne", an oasis for body, mind and soul, named a "Magic Town".
- Volcano Nevado de Toluca - breathtaking landscapes of two craters - lakes.
- Cosmovitral Botanical Garden in Toluca - unique stained glass windows, considered the greatest work of stained glass in the world.
- Santa Fe - modern district of Mexico City with multi-million-dollar towers that scrape the sky.
Day 01. Mexico City - Tolantongo Canyon. After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel in Mexico City and moved on to the Tolantongo Canyon, an amazing natural creation, located some 114 miles from Mexico City. You would fall in love with this place. Streams and waterfalls run down the mountains covered with lush vegetation, forming rivers and caves filled with warm clean water. The white limestone basin makes the river’s beautiful shade of sky- blue. It is also a place where we saw real Cordilleras! They are surrounding you from all sides, and the road is winding down their sides, leading you into the depths overgrown with cacti and perennial and deciduous trees growing from the cracks, to where the turquoise hot river Tolantongo is rolling its warm waters in this land filled with unknown. There are about a dozen mineral pools of varying size accommodate from two people to a dozen each. A few are fed by their very own waterfall. Relaxation in smaller handmade clay pools with equally warm river water. It is very pleasant to stretch out in this pool along or across the stream, and enjoy the springy blue warm streams envelope your body, lulling and healing you in process. Then you will get a mile - long tourist path, winding among tall cacti, reaching into the skies like small ballistic rockets, banana palms densely covered with fruit, papaya trees, and beautiful multicolored flowers. Little lizards rush back and forth right by your feet, and enormous butterflies of incredible colors boldly flutter right above your head. Right nearby there is a bubbling transparent stream, radiating warmth and bliss...It seems that warm water oozes from every rock, every cavern, creating little streams and rivers that fall into a rapid turquoise river Tolantongo. Stop for swimming in this paradise! Tolantongo River is about 102 degrees Fahrenheit; it obtains its beautiful turquoise color and high mineral content because of the chalky white limestone bed over which it rushes. Time for your lunch at the local restaurant on the river side. Then you will be exploring beautiful waterfalls and two grottos at the Tolantongo Canyon, out of which flows a small volcanically-heated river which follows the canyon floor. You will be relaxing in a large grotto with a ceiling of up to thirty feet and filled with hot water and enter to a tunnel, a small cavern 50 feet deep above this grotto. Rest of day swim in the Tolantongo River and enjoy beautiful nature around. Here you can practice hiking and canopy tour. Accommodation at the hotel for 1 night.
Day 02. Tolantongo Canyon - Xilitla - Cave of Huahuas. Breakfast at your hotel. Today, we are bound to the capital of Mexican surrealism, a picturesque town of Xilitla, lost in the mountainous jungle terrain of San Luis Potosi State. Xilitla is well known among artists, sculptors, musicians, and art patrons from around the world, and hides in itself a wonderful surreal landscape - Las Pozas, created by an eccentric English millionaire, poet, and patron of art, Edward James. An almost 5-hour voyage over the winding mountain road in a beautiful Sierra Gorda Mountain environment is a valuable asset in the bank of your memories. Steep but inhabited mountain slopes, sheltering this town, are rich in fruit gardens and coffee plantations. From any vantage point your gaze will fall upon shaggy green mountains, whose peaks are hidden in the thunderous clouds. A Bell tower of an ancient monastery, built in 1553 by Spanish missionaries, majestically towers and dominates over this entire magnificent mountain landscape. Arrival at the hotel and accommodation for 1 night. Lunch time. After lunch, we will continue our journey to an amazing natural evening show-hundreds of thousands of swallows come down from the skies into their underground home: Sotano de las Huahuas (Cave of Huahuas)- a hole in the ground, 1567ft (478м) deep and 213ft (70м) wide. This cave is a natural abyss of karst origin and was formed by the water of limestone plain. It is natural refuge of thousands of parrots Aratinga holochlora, known as green conures. These birds do surprising rituals: to exit the cave, the birds fly in circles, gradually flying upwards until they reach the surface. Birds do this every morning. In the evenings, they fly in spirals for then precipitating to their nests in the cave’s deep abysm. A large group will circle the entrance to the cave and about once a minute, a group of perhaps fifty will break off and head straight for the entrance. Once they cross the edge, they pull in their wings and free-fall into the cave. They extend their wings and pull out of the dive once they reach the height of their nests. While you have to walk about 1mile (1.5km) across a mountainous terrain to this naturally formed venue, the experience will be definitely worth this trip. You will witness this unique natural phenomena in the sunset... plummeting of hundreds of thousands of birds into the terrestrial abyss, their loud cries before the entrance into the chasm, perfectly coordinated piloting without any collisions, exotic aroma of a surrounding mountain jungle, and a flaming disc of a setting sun! Evening return to your hotel in Xilitla. Overnight at Xilitla. (Breakfast included)
Day 03. Xilitla - Surreal Landscape "Las Pozas" - Tamul Waterfall - Mountain Cenote. Breakfast at your hotel. Visiting a wonderful surreal landscape "Las Pozas", created by an eccentric English millionaire, Edward James, who arrived at Xilitla in 1947. It was here, where he realized his mind-boggling dream, carried out in a fantasy of concrete shapes and forms, reminiscent at once of Antonio Gaudi, Maurice Asher, Francesco Borromini, Simone Rodia, and the Emerald city from the Wizard of the Oz. Under the guidance of Plutarch Gastelum, in a very center of the jungle, an unusual complex of buildings and sculptures, which looked like a construction by some extraterrestrial civilization, started to take shape. We slip into this incredible place through a large gate made in a shape of cast iron stars. Move along a path, along which slither up vertically placed mosaic snakes. Climb a 20ft (6m) concrete cactus, climb the stairs to the mushroom platform, then up a spiral staircase, which encircles a gigantic flower stalk before disappearing into nowhere. All around rise enormous indented columns with birds' nests. Bulbous concrete yellow, red, green, blue, white, and purple flowers with leaves so huge, that you can walk on top of them. This little Shangri-La inspires many people that set their foot in there. A paradise land, filled with beautiful wild orchids, flocks of colorful parrots, and waterfalls falling into crystal clear pools. Then, you will departure for a tour of a fourth canyon of a Santa Maria system. For almost an hour you will easy float against the current up a mountain turquoise-colored river Tampaon in traditional wooden canoes - pangas, masterfully navigating around white limestone cliffs. A tender-blue color of the river is created by limestone, lining the river bed, and through which the water has paved its way. In its nature, it is reminiscent of a Caribbean Pool, which also creates the right conditions for the refraction of the blue spectrum light off the river bottom. The shores of the canyon are covered with extensive evergreen plant life, pierced by myriads of little springs - hands of another river, which takes its beginnings in enormous mountain masses of the surrounding mountain system of Sierra Madre Oriental. They flow in small cascades into the Tampaon River, blending into one single current, and roaring speedily to the Tamul waterfall. Here you can observe flocks of exotic fantastically colored birds whose tummies match in color the sky-blue waters, come ashore several times in parts of strongest opposing current, and cross those areas along a stone covered shore, watching your boat captain skillfully contain the roaring current of the river. Then, at a sign of your guide, get back into the boat, and start rowing, impatiently awaiting the meeting with this magnificent wonder of nature- Turquoise Tamul Waterfall! There, right behind the next turn, you can hear the deafening noise of a falling water-it is the Tamul Waterfall, throwing down its waters from the height of 320ft (105 meters). Even if you tried, it would be virtually impossible to describe in words the beauty of Tamul-it is something for the sight to behold! On the way back, you will walk along the current, taking time to capture these amazing views. Next you will visit another natural wonder-a mountain cave - a type of infamous Mexican cenotes, where you can freshen up and go for a swim. In the end of the day, you will stop by for a tasty and memorable treat-a lunch at a little village of La Morena. Here, you can truly feel all the rustic charm of a remote Mexican village! Arrival at the hotel and accommodation for 1 night. (Breakfast and Lunch included)
Day 04. Tamasopo - "The Bridge of God" (Puente de Dios) - El Meco Waterfall. Breakfast at your hotel. Departing to Tamasopo - emerald wonderland of numerous waterfalls and calm natural pools. If there is heaven on Earth-this is definitely where it is located. The water is flowing from all four sides, in cascades of different height and force, forcing itself through a thick green mountain jungle. You can imagine yourself as Tarzan, tightly grabbing a rope, specially tied to a tree, and, leaping several meters through the air, plunge into a pleasantly refreshing mountain river. Climbing from the top pool into a lower one, separated by a natural border of accumulated limestone, you will reach the wide waters of a main waterfall and enjoy a natural massage of falling water. Over a century ago there was a mill designed for processing sugar cane, operating on the energy of the Таmasopo waterfalls. In a mean time, all that is left are stone ruins, overgrown with lianas and tree trunks. Be this place located in the 17th century France, it would’ve been a perfect location for battles between the musketeers and the Cardinal's guardsmen. In their picturesque ness, these waterfalls surpass many breathtaking views from movies of the past. Then, you follow to Puente de Dios (The Bridge of God) - two natural pools with dual-colored water: from turquoise to transparent-blue, and stalactites and stalagmites growing from the surrounding cave walls. A ray of sunlight, penetrating through the crevasses in the cave, creates an unforgettable brilliant water illumination. Lunch time. After lunch you will follow to amazing El Meco Waterfall through miles of sugar cane fields. Arrival at the charming hotel with lush gardens on the banks of El Salto River. Accommodation at the Eco-Resort, in the stylish bungalows with views of the turquoise river for 1 night. (Breakfast included)
Day 05. El Meco Waterfall - Guanajuato. Breakfast at your hotel. Enjoy a fresh beautiful turquoise water beach, boats at the foot of El Meco waterfall, easy kayaking, just relaxation and a good wine accompanied by the soothing sound of the waterfall at the Terrace Mirador. You are in a unique authentic Mexican beauty! Lunch time. After lunch departing to Guanajuato, city was named a World Heritage Site in 1988, home of the international festival Cervantino, narrow city of numerous beautiful plazas and colonial-era mansions. Evening arrival to Guanajuato and accommodation at the hotel for 2 nights. Your hotel is on the Plaza de la Paz (Plaza of Peace), also known as the Plaza Mayor (Main Plaza), filled with interesting activity all the time and surrounded by a large number of delightful sights: charming churches and mansions built with pink or green sandstone, narrow alleys that cars cannot pass through, thoroughfares are partially or fully underground, small plazas with the beautiful gardens and sculptures, many typical restaurants and cozy cafe. Guanajuato is a very special Mexican lovely city with a magical atmosphere where everyone will be able to find your cozy nook and spend a wonderful evening. (Breakfast included)
Day 06. Guanajuato. Breakfast at your hotel. Today we begin our author's tour of the charming city of Guanajuato with a visit to the scenery viewpoint from where you can see the most splendid view of the city. Founded by the Spaniards in the early 16th century, Guanajuato became a World leader in the extraction of silver during the 18th century. Thanks to this wealth, many imposing buildings were financed and constructed throughout the city. You’ll ride through the tunnels of the old residential area and visit an old mine in the neighborhood of Valenciana. Visiting the best Baroque and Churrigueresque examples such as the Valenciana, Cata, and La Compañia Churches, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato. In the churches, the Baroque altars were gilded with gold from local mines. According to the World Heritage Organization, the La Compañia and La Valenciana churches are considered among the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture in Latin America. You will also walk through the underground tunnels that connect one side of the city to the other, and in the numerous plazas you can enjoy the city's peaceful atmosphere. Next you'll make another stop at the dungeons of the Holy Inquisition Museum, which houses a collection of different artifacts and torture machines from that dark period in the history of Catholicism. Visiting Mummy Museum, which contains naturally, mummified bodies that were found between the mid 19th and 20th centuries. Most of the passageways are really alleys with only a limited number of open spaces in the way of very small plazas, which gives Guanajuato a more European flavor than other Mexican cities. Walking through the most amazing alleys of the city: "Sal si puedes" (Exit if you can), "Callejón de la Condesa" (Alley of the Countess), the most famous alley "Callejón del Beso" (Alley of the Kiss), located on the slopes of the Cerro del Gallo hill in a neighborhood that dates back to the 18th century, it is only 168 cm wide in places with balconies that nearly touch each other. It is famous for a dramatic legend about secret lovers who used to meet on these balconies. The legend states that couples who kiss while standing on the third step of the staircase, under the balconies enjoy 15 years of happiness, but those who avoid or forget to do so have seven years bad luck. Time for lunch at a very special romantic restaurant. Lately you will have an amazing evening experience called "Callejoneada". This is a "walking serenade", when a group of 10 or more students, usually dressed in 17th-century Spanish costumes, sing and stroll around the narrow alleys of Guanajuato and tell the people about the old legends of the city that will definitely capture your imagination. (Breakfast included)
Day 07. Guanajuato - Patzcuaro. Breakfast at your hotel. After breakfast, we leave Guanajuato and continue our journey to Patzcuaro, one of Mexico's Magic Towns. Today you will have our complete must see/do tour of Patzcuaro, an authentic colonial gem located on the shores of beautiful Lake Patzcuaro. This delightful town with the magic of the 16th and 17th-century: every house, every courtyard of Patzcuaro back us into the past, in spite of the current content: House of Eleven Patios (Casa de los Once Patios), which was once the monastery of Dominican nuns, the 500 year old cathedrals and buildings, one of which served as the oldest university in the Americas, the public library, originally built as a Augustinian convent with a beautiful floor to ceiling mural on the back wall, depicting the history of Mexico. In our time Patzcuaro preserved traditions of ancient times and stayed as it was 400 years ago with buildings, mostly of medieval architecture. This lovely town magically attracts lovers of art and craft. Visiting the Main Square (Plaza Principal), bordered by 17th-century mansions and the second main plaza, the Plaza Gertrud’s Bocanegra, where the city’s colorful Handcraft Market is found. Visiting the lovely Virgin of Health Basilica. We will take a stroll along steep, winding streets and restful plazas of Patzcuaro, sample its traditional food, listen to its legends and absorb the delightful musical sounds of the native tongue of the locals. Accommodation at the hotel for 2 nights. (Breakfast included)
Day 08. Patzcuaro - Volcano Paricutin. Breakfast at your hotel. Today we are leaving for the whole day to the most unique Paricutin volcano in the world, youngest in America and birth witnessed by a human. Paricutin was named one of the seven natural wonders as an active volcano. On this journey you will traverse past lava fields, buried village homes and a church reaching the top of Paricutin. Walking around the crater and observation extraordinary panorama of mountains, valleys, and the only remaining church of the village, completely submerged under lava. Local people still leave the offerings of their beloved: bread, sweets, flowers and incense. All around are enchanting views! The equestrian ascent and the discovery of the landscape on top of the extinguished volcano make of this day an extraordinary adventure. Evening return to Patzcuaro. Overnight at Patzcuaro. (Breakfast included)
Day 09. Patzcuaro Lake - Janitzio Island - Valle de Bravo. Breakfast at your hotel. After breakfast we continue to explore the beautiful surrounding area of Patzcuaro and go to a picturesque Janitzio Island, the main attraction of the Patzcuaro Lake. We will board the ferry alongside local Purepecha people, who have been living here from the 14th century, establishing Janitzio Island as the center of their kingdom. Janitzio is the most significant of five islands in Pátzcuaro Lake and easily recognizable by the 40-meter (120 ft) figure of José Maria Morelos, a hero of Mexico’s independence which is visible at every turn. Arriving at Janitzio you will dive into island life of the local people: there are neither cars, nor even bicycles for commute. Only winding streets like snakes escape in horizon. Goods and products that fill the shops and restaurants, are transported on the backs of their owners.. If your skill and health can get to the top of the island, then you are lucky enough to make breathtaking pictures of the island and its neighbors, as well as the extraordinary scenery stretching for dozens of miles around. Lunch on the island in a typical restaurant. Then, we go back to the ground and follow our trip to Valle de Bravo, magical town, lying on the shore of Avandaro Lake and called Mexican Lausanne for its natural beauty and architectural style. Valle de Bravo boasts a dramatic panorama over immense lake and green mountains of Monte Alto. Evening arrival at Valle de Bravo. Accommodation at the hotel for 2 nights. (Breakfast included)
Day 10. Valle de Bravo. Breakfast at your hotel. Then, we begin our author's tour of the magic town of Valle de Bravo with a visit to the scenery viewpoint for admire a town from high up where the view is breathtaking: immense blue lake surrounded by great cluster of the pine-covered hills, paragliders in the clear sky, steep streets with blue jacaranda trees all over town, white stucco houses with terracotta roof tiles, colorful backyards, surrounded by purple African tulip trees - exquisite wonderful harmony in all. Then, we will visit the Maranatha Retreat, built by Carmelite Order fusing elements of Mexican Baroque, Mediterranean, Byzantine and Asian architecture. Each of Maranatha’s three main chapels could be a free-standing museum of contemporary art, with elaborate works of stained glass, ornately carved relief and vibrant paintings. The next our stop will be another special place - an oasis for body, mind and soul, blessed by Tenzin Cyatso, the twenty-fourth Dalai Lama and declared as the first zone of peace in the world. This oasis on the lake has a spectacular view, waterfalls and fountains, exotic garden and incredible architecture designed by the spirit of the mountain. Time for pictures, pleasure and "mango margaritas frozen". Following to the main plaza of Valle de Bravo and visiting the Parish of Saint Francis of Asisi. Continue towards the Municipal Boardwalk and Dock, on the edge of Lake Avandaro, which is the main attraction in the town. Lunch in a one of the restaurants on the boardwalk or in one that floats alongside the dock. After lunch, visit the colorful market of folk art and walk the streets, where will want to stay forever...! You will enjoy local life, which is, in every sense, built around the lake. Getting a short cruise on Lake Avandaro and watching a beautiful sunset, hiding in the pine mountains. Evening return to your hotel. Overnight at Valle de Bravo. (Breakfast included)
Day 11. Valle de Bravo - Volcano Nevado de Toluca - Cosmovitral Botanical Garden - Mexico City. Breakfast at your hotel. We leave this cute town Valle de Bravo and continue our way to the volcano Nevado de Toluca. Every mountain turn opens a unique landscape of pine forests, merging with the cloudless horizon. rising higher and higher to the snow-covered top of the volcano Nevado de Toluca. We are rising to the volcano Nevado de Toluca (4690m). The volcano has two craters - Lake of the Moon and the Lake of the Sun. At the bottom of the lake in the crater of the volcano Moon archaeologists have discovered the remains of an ancient sacrificial Aztec god of rain. The discovery was made during a specially organized diving. You will have time to photograph breathtaking landscapes. Then, following to the Toluca for visiting the Cosmovitral Botanical Garden, a beautiful building consisting of 71 sections of colorful stain glass windows. Unique stained glass windows created by Mexican artist Leopoldo Flores, considered the greatest work of stained glass in the world. Upon entering the Cosmovitral you are surrounded by warm, bright colors and cooling shades of blues. The name of the mural is "Cosmovitral," which is an amalgam of "cosmos" and "vitral" (Spanish for glass). The theme of the work is "Man and his relationship with the universe". The work uses approximately 75 tones of metal supports, 45 tons of blown glass and 25 tons of lead to join the about 500,000 glass pieces. Twenty eight different colors of glass were used, most of which came from Italy, Germany, France, Belgium, Japan. Observation of stained glass ceiling - a fascinating and magnificent spectacle. After this visit, we are going to Mexico City. On the way we will stop at the mountainous pine area La Marquesa, close to Mexico city for a tasty lunch. The following our route is unique and full of contrasts, from charming mountain pines of La Marquesa to modern district of Mexico city - beautiful Santa Fe. Many multinational and Mexican companies alike are headquartered here, with multi-million-dollar towers that scrape the sky. Santa Fe district is in stark contrast with Mexico City's other districts, especially the Historic Center, also very interesting but so different. You will see a radically different side of Mexico City. Santa Fe is the place with lots of skyscrapers and modern architecture. Evening arrival at your hotel. Accommodation at the hotel for 1 night. Overnight in Mexico City. (Breakfast included)
Day 12. Mexico City. Now here is the big decision: Go home... or stay on? If you must return home, then enjoy the morning in your hotel... then check out and you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight HOME. (Breakfast included)
If you decide to stay on, that's great; there is a lot to choose from. Tell us what YOU want and we do the legwork.
|Rates per person in USD|
|Double occupancy DBL||$1900|
|Single occupancy SGL||$2450|
- 11 nights at charming hotels with breakfast.
- 1 lunch according to the program.
- Sightseeing as indicated, with an English speaking guide. Russian or Spanish guide - by inquiry.
- Surface and overland travel as indicated.
- Daily transport according to the program.
- Entrance fee according to the program.
- Drinking water during the tours.
- Luggage handling at airport.
Price does NOT include:
- International flight.
- Meals NOT mentioned in the program.
- Cost of additional tours and visits along the route.
- Tips to drivers, guides, hotel bellboys.
- Tour insurance. Offered for an extra charge.
- Additional accommodation in Mexico City and any other state of the country.
What you should bring:
- Shoes well-closed around the ankles.
- Two pairs of comfortable walking shoes with rubber soles.
- Light clothes for the hiking.
- Light and ventilated thick cotton socks.
- Swimming suit is important.
- A small back pack with: sunglasses, solar protector, band-aid, repellent, camera, towel, regularly taken medicine.
- A full payment of a group tour is required 70 days before the beginning of the tour. If payment is not received by the due date, the reservations are subject to cancellation.
- Tour payments are only accepted in bank transfers to the bank account of Milavia International, Ltd, in a bank in the USA. Credit cards are not accepted as a method of payment.
- The payment for the tour should only occur after the Buyer is provided with a final invoice. The Tour Operator provides a Buyer with a final invoice, which indicates the deadline for the payment. The Buyer is required to comply with the deadlines for the payment, or his/her order is automatically terminated. The fee for the reinstating of the order is US$250.
- In order to confirm reservation need a deposit of $150 per person will be included into the price if a Buyer agrees to this tour.
Cancellation and monetary refund policy:
- Cancellation request of the tour must be sent by e-mail address: email@example.com
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 69 - 50 days before its beginning: full monetary refund with the exception of the expenses spent on refund registration and banking operations.
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 49 - 31 days before its beginning: 50% monetary refund with the exception of the expenses spent on refund registration and banking operations.
- Cancellation of a ground part of the tour program 30 days before its beginning and an NO SHOW: no monetary refund would be offered.
- Cancellation due to extreme weather conditions: no monetary refund would be offered.
- Unpredictable events (force majeure). There are events that can cause a tour to be terminated, in which case the Tour Operator is not responsible for financial refunds. Such events are: war, revolution, strikes, terrorist threat, natural disasters, fires, and other unpredictable circumstances. The Tour Operator holds no responsibility for these events, thus has no financial accountability to return the funds to the Buyer. Tour operator strongly recommends to purchase the tour insurance and offers it for an additional fee.
- The tour buyer has the right to choose any insurance company.
- The tour buyer is fully responsible for tour insurance purchasing or refusal of thereof.
- Any claim must be made in writing within 15 days after the tour.
- Vouchers for the paid service are sent out electronically 10 days before the start of the tour.
- If the passenger has health problems or physical limitations of any kind, it is essential to let Milavia International, Ltd know at the time of booking.
- Passengers with heart and orthopaedic problems are not recommended to this tour.
- Milavia International, Ltd reserves the right to remove any individual at any time during the tour if she/he is physically incapable to participate in the planned activities.
- Milavia International, Ltd. assumes no responsibility for special arrangements.