If you're short on time but don't want to compromise on adventure, this packed six-day trip to Central Mexico is for you. Start in Mexico City, where you'll visit Aztec ruins and enjoy a delicious street-food tour. Then, spend a couple of days in Cholula walking amid colonial history while also learning about its rich indigenous history, which is represented in the cuisine, talavera pottery, and more.

Highlights

  • See Mexico City's Spanish-colonial landmarks on a walking tour
  • Take a bike ride around Teotihuacán and hike up ancient pyramids
  • Enjoy delicious street food from Mexico City to Cholula to Puebla

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mexico City, Walking Tour & Street Food Tasting Mexico City
Day 2 Bike Tour of Teotihuacán, Transfer to Cholula Cholula
Day 3 Puebla History Walk & Cholula Highlights Tour Cholula
Day 4 Free Day in Cholula Cholula
Day 5 Cholula to Mexico City, Optional Activities Mexico City
Day 6 Depart Mexico City  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City, Walking Tour & Street Food Tasting

Tacos with carnitas and chicharrón
On the hunt for the best tacos in Mexico City

Welcome to Mexico! This beautiful Latin American nation is full of history, art, music, and some of the most delicious food in the world. The adventure begins in the nation's capital: Mexico City. Upon arrival at the airport, a personal driver will pick you up for the transfer to your hotel. After settling in, you'll head out and stretch your legs on a walking tour of "D.F." (Distrito Federal), as the locals call this city. On this excursion, you'll marvel at the historic architecture while enjoying Mexico's renowned gastronomy.

It begins in the Centro Histórico (historic center), a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to many colonial and Aztec landmarks. You'll visit the Palacio de Bellas Artes (a white-marble cultural center and concert hall built in 1905), the pedestrian-only Madero Street, and the Plaza de la Constitución, better known as Zócalo. This massive public square is home to historic buildings like the Metropolitan Cathedral (built over 250 years beginning in 1573), the 16th-century National Palace, and the ruins of the 14th-century Templo Mayor, once a principal temple of the Aztec Empire.

During the tour, you'll stop at a municipal market filled with produce vendors and food stalls. These markets are the heart of the city and are always buzzing with activity. Your guide will lead you through the maze of stalls and vendors as you hunt for the best street tacos. As you go, you'll inhale the aromas from each stall, and it's those enticing smells that represent Mexico City's history and culture.

Day 2: Bike Tour of Teotihuacán, Transfer to Cholula

View of the Pyramid of the Sun and the Avenue of the Dead
View of the Pyramid of the Sun and the Avenue of the Dead

In the morning, your guide will pick you up at your 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 cycle 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.

Following the tour of Teotihuacán, you'll head south on a two-hour drive to Cholula, a historic district located a couple of miles outside Puebla. Upon arrival, you'll check into your hotel and can spend the rest of the day however you choose. 

Day 3: Puebla History Walk & Cholula Highlights Tour

Stroll the historic streets of Puebla
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In the morning, head into Puebla for a guided walking tour of its well-preserved historic center. Start at the 17th-century Baroque Cathedral, which overlooks the Zócalo de Puebla (main plaza). Then continue to a talavera (hand-made pottery) workshop followed by the Palafoxiana Library, which dates to 1646. You'll also visit the Calle de Los Dulces (home to an array of artisanal sweet shops), the Barrio del Artista (the city's Arts District), and Barrio de Los Sapos (a historic neighborhood where you can shop for antiques), as well as the El Parián handicrafts market.

Afterward, return to Cholula with your guide and explore this historic enclave's iconic architecture. On this tour, 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. From the church, you'll have an impressive view of the city 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 foods on offer. In particular, Cholula is known for its handmade tortillas, a culinary tradition passed down from generation to generation. Needless to say, you'll get to sample many of the maíz (corn)-based dishes the region is known for.

Day 4: Free Day in Cholula

Enjoy the views from Cholula

Today is a free day to relax and take in the culture and history of Cholula. If you like, head back to the Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios to snap more photos of the incredible views. Or stroll the center of town and visit other historical landmarks such as the Convento de San Gabriel (San Gabriel Convent), which Franciscan friars built in 1529. Like many other churches in the area, it was built atop an indigenous temple. You can also browse for more talavera pottery or return to Puebla to indulge in street-food staples like chalupas, churros, and cemitas (a Mexican sandwich). 

Day 5: Cholula to Mexico City, Optional Activities

La Casa Azul, in Coyoacán

In the morning, you'll return to Mexico City from Cholula and check in to your hotel in the city. Once settled, you can enjoy a free day exploring on your own. Perhaps visit Chapultepec Park. At 1,695 acres, this is one of the largest urban green spaces in the world. Or visit one of DF's many markets selling fresh produce and other goods. The biggest is Central de Abasto, which contains 2,000 businesses across 810 acres. Other popular options include heading to the historic neighborhood of Coyoacán to visit La Casa Azul (the Frida Kahlo Museum) or spending the afternoon enjoying a tequila tasting. 

Day 6: Depart Mexico City

Adios, Mexico

This concludes your six-day adventure in Mexico's historic central region. At the appropriate time, your driver will pick you up and transfer you to the Mexico City airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

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