- Enjoy delicious street food in Mexico City
- Visit the capital's historic neighborhoods of Coyoacán & Xochimilco
- Take a bicycle tour of Teotihuacán
- Discover the history and cuisine of Cholula and Puebla
|Day 1||Arrive in Mexico City, Visit La Merced Market||Mexico City|
|Day 2||Night Food Tour of Mexico City||Mexico City|
|Day 3||Tour Coyoacán & Xochimilco, Coffee Tasting||Mexico City|
|Day 4||Visit Chapultepec Park||Mexico City|
|Day 5||Bike Tour of Teotihuacán, Pulque Tasting, Transfer to Cholula||San Andrés Cholula|
|Day 6||Cholula Tour & Tortilla Workshop, Transfer to Puebla||Puebla|
|Day 7||Puebla City Tour & Talavera History||Puebla|
|Day 8||Free Day in Puebla||Puebla|
|Day 9||Puebla to Mexico City, Depart|
Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City, Visit La Merced Market
Welcome to Mexico! This culturally rich and beautiful Latin American nation is full of history, art, music, and some of the most delicious food in the world. Upon arrival at the airport in Mexico City, a driver will be waiting for the transfer to your hotel. After check-in, you'll meet your guide and head to Mercado de La Merced, located a few blocks east of the Zócalo (main square).
This massive covered marketplace takes up seven buildings and covers an area of almost 950,000 sq feet (88,000 sq m). For these reasons, La Merced enjoys the distinction of being the largest retail market in the city. There are over 4,000 shops and stalls here, and you can find everything from fresh produce and flowers to clothing and housewares. As you make your way through the lively market on a four-hour tour, you'll sample a wide array of delectable snacks (this is an all-you-can-eat tour). As you do, you'll learn about La Merced's rich history—the area has been a center of commerce for centuries.
Day 2: Night Food Tour of Mexico CityIn the evening, you're off to Navarrete. This residential neighborhood has become a prime foodie destination due to its many traditional taquerias. On a four-hour guided tour, you'll visit food stalls run by vendors who've been in the neighborhood for decades. Delicious tacos you'll enjoy include volcanes (flame-grilled tortillas smothered in cheese and peppers), suadero (a lean cut of beef), and of course, the famous al pastor (pork shoulder roasted on a spit). Then toss back a chela (beer) at a local cantina and finish the night with a mezcal tasting led by a local chef.
Day 3: Tour Coyoacán & Xochimilco, Coffee Tasting
Today you'll enjoy a tour of the most historic cultural sites around Mexico City. First up is Coyoacán. Located in the city's south, this neighborhood is famous for its cobbled streets, shady plazas, and colorful homes. The area has retained its colonial charm, as it was its own municipality from the early 16th century through the 19th century. Here you'll visit the 16th-century San Juan Bautista Church, plus stop at a local craft fair. Then continue to La Casa Azul, the house where Frida Kahlo spent much of her life and is now a museum displaying works by Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
Next, travel further south to the outskirts of the city and Xochimilco. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been settled since pre-colonial times. It's known for its tranquil canals—remnants of the rivers that once crossed Mexico's valley floor and were used by the Aztecs for transport. A popular activity you'll enjoy is traveling down the canals on a trajinera (painted, gondola-like boat). As you float down the half-natural, half-artificial channels, you'll nibble on antojitos (Mexican snacks) and learn about Mexican history as boats filled with mariachi musicians float past and serenade you.
End the day with a two-hour coffee tasting/culinary experience. You'll visit a small coffee bar to taste an eclectic selection and learn about the origin and cultivation of the beans. Then, local chefs will prepare gourmet creations inspired by cuisines from around the world.
Day 4: Visit Chapultepec ParkToday you'll venture into Mexico City's great outdoors for a three-hour guided tour of Chapultepec Park. At 1,695 acres this is one of the largest urban green spaces in the world. It's also one of the oldest, as back in 1428, it was a summer retreat for Aztec rulers. Besides lakes and gardens, the park contains nine museums, a zoo, and an amusement park. One landmark you'll visit is Chapultepec Castle, which dates to 1785 and is located atop the park's hill. Once the residence of the Viceroy of New Spain, today it's the National Museum of History, home to a magnificent collection of historical artifacts and murals.
Day 5: Bike Tour of Teotihuacán, Pulque Tasting, Transfer to Cholula
In the morning, your guide will pick you up at the hotel for the drive outside the city to one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Mexico: Teotihuacán. Known as the "City of the Gods," this 8-sq-mile (20-sq-km) site was founded as early as 400 BCE, meaning it long pre-dates the Aztecs. During its heyday (around 500 CE), it was home to 200,000 people and over 2,000 buildings, making it the largest city in the western hemisphere. Rather than taking a walking tour of its wide pathways, you'll experience Teotihuacán a bit differently—on a bicycle.
Upon arrival, you'll hop on a bike and ride around the archaeological site, first passing the many murals that decorate the structures and depict cultural and religious motifs and natural landscapes. Then travel down the Avenue of the Dead, Teotihuacán's main path that runs for a mile (2 km). You'll also visit the Pyramid of the Sun, the most prominent structure at 215 feet (66 m), and the Pyramid of the Moon, which towers 140 feet (43 m). Then stop at the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (Temple of the Feathered Serpent), which has bas-reliefs of the feathered serpent deity carved into its sides.
Afterward, you'll enjoy a pulque tasting. Known to the Aztecs as "the blood of the gods," this traditional Mexican spirit is made from the maguey plant's fermented aguamiel (sap), a type of agave. You'll also visit a workshop specializing in the pre-Hispanic flavors of the Teotihuacán region, which makes products from local flora like the fruits of the nopal and xoconostle plants. Afterward, you'll hop in the car for the two-hour drive southeast to Cholula, a district located a couple of miles outside the city of Puebla.
Day 6: Cholula Tour & Tortilla Workshop, Transfer to Puebla
The area that is now Cholula was first settled around 200 BCE, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities. On a five-hour guided tour down its colorful streets, you'll learn about its history, culture, myths, and legends. Then you'll head up to the Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios, Cholula's gilded neoclassical church that dates to 1574. It was famously built atop a 177-foot-high (54 m) pyramid that is part of a large pre-Hispanic archeological site. You'll have an impressive view of the city from the church and, on a clear day, can even see the towering volcanoes of the Valley of Mexico.
A big part of the tour also focuses on the gastronomy of Cholula. To this end, you'll visit a local market and marvel at the wide variety of fresh produce and other available foods. In particular, Cholula is known for its handmade tortillas, a culinary tradition passed down from generation to generation. Participating in a tortilla workshop teaches you every step of this artisanal process, from milling the corn to shaping the final product with your hands. Naturally, once your batch of tortillas is ready, you'll get to snack on them with a refreshing drink.
After the workshop, you'll transfer to nearby Puebla, where you'll check in to your hotel.