Spend a week discovering Mexico's central region, from Mexico City to Oaxaca. Visit the National Museum of Anthropology, go biking in Teotihuacán — The City of the Gods, and explore the history of the local agricultural staple of Cholula: corn. End in Oaxaca for a historical tour and a cultural experience to create your own alebrije: a little clay statuette.

Highlights

  • Eat and drink your way through Mexico's food capital: Oaxaca
  • Create a little clay alebrije statuette to take home
  • Visit the archaeological site of Teotihuacán to see pyramids
  • Explore Mexico City's bustling city markets

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Mexico City, City Center Walking Tour & Street Food Tasting Mexico City
Day 2 National Museum of Anthropology & Chapultepec Castle Mexico City
Day 3 Biking in Teotihuacán "The City of the Gods" & Overnight in Cholula Cholula
Day 4 Free Day in Cholula Cholula
Day 5 Historical Tour of Oaxaca City, Transfer to Oaxaca Oaxaca
Day 6 Visit Monte Albán & Create Your Alebrije Oaxaca
Day 7 Depart Oaxaca  

Detailed Itinerary

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

Tacos with carnitas and chicharrón
Tacos with carnitas and chicharrón
Welcome to Mexico City! 

Explore the historic center of the Mexican capital on a walking tour to learn about the city's history, its art, and its architecture. 

Start with a visit to the impressive Palacio de Bellas Artes (Palace of Fine Arts), the symbol of Porfirio Díaz's rule, then continue through Madero's pedestrian street until you reach Plaza de la Constitución, better known as Zócalo. It's one of the largest squares in the world and is home to a number of important historical buildings and monuments, such as the Metropolitan Cathedral, the archeological site of the Templo Mayor, and the National Palace.

To get a feel for the real México you have to venture into a local market, the heart of each neighborhood. You'll visit the nearby market, navigated by your guide to help you find the best street tacos. Taste the city's best street food, smell the cooking food from each stall, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere as you peruse like a local — this is the real Mexico City. 

Day 2: National Museum of Anthropology & Chapultepec Castle

Sculptures inside the museum
Sculptures inside the museum
Meet your guide in the morning for a dive into Mexico's past with a visit to the National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico's largest and most-visited museum. Two of its main exhibits, the Aztec and Mayan exhibits, best illustrate the history of the indigenous people of Mexico — their lives, culture, and history prior to (and after) colonization. 

After the museum visit, transfer to Chapultepec.

Spreading over almost 1,480 acres, Chapultepec Woods constitutes one of the most important natural reserves in Mexico City. Chapultepec Castle, located on the highest part of one of the reserve's hills, is a Neo-classical building that has been expanded and remodeled since its construction as a summer palace for the Viceroys. In 1940 it was fitted to house the National Museum of History. As you learn about Mexico's history, enjoy the amazing views of the city from the castle's windows.

Day 3: Biking in Teotihuacán "The City of the Gods" & Overnight in Cholula

Aerial view of the historic site
Aerial view of the historic site
After an early breakfast, you will be picked up at your hotel start your biking tour. Your destination is Teotihuacán — "the place where men become gods" — an archeological site located in the State of Mexico, between the towns of San Martin de las Piramides and San Juan Teotihuacan, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Mexico City.

Your tour starts at the Valley of Teoticuacán, where your guide will walk with you through the mural route, where you can see the ancient barrios of Tetitla, Atetelco, and Tepantitla. Next, continue to the archaeological zone to see the pyramids and Palace of the Butterflies.

During the visit, you'll also have the opportunity to try pulque, a traditional alcoholic beverage made from the fermented sap of the maguey (agave) plant. In addition, you'll visit a cactus products factory to learn about all the different products that are made with the plants.

In the late afternoon following the tour transfer to Cholula, located approximately two hours away. Once you arrive at your hotel, take the rest of the day to rest and relax after your adventure. 

Day 4: Free day in Cholula

Free day in Cholula
Free day in Cholula

You'll spend the day exploring Cholula and some of its iconic architecture. Discover some of the most iconic churches, such as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Remedies, which is built on top of a pyramid dedicated to the god Quetzalcoatl. Learn about the history and the history of how indigenous and colonial cultures have mixed to create an entirely unique city. 

In addition to its architecture and historic sites, Cholula is famous for its gastronomy. Spend the afternoon exploring the city's food scene, especially the preparation and use of corn in common Mexican foods.

On this tour, you'll discover and learn everything about the process of corn, from its cultivation to the preparation of tortillas. At the end of the tour, you will taste some of the most delicious foods that are derived from corn — the staple of Mexican gastronomy.

Day 5: Historical Tour of Oaxaca City, Transfer to Oaxaca

Santo Domingo's Temple
Santo Domingo's Temple
Spend some time exploring Oaxaca on a guided city tour as you discover the cultural, historical, and gastronomic richness that this city offers.

The tour lasts 3.5 hours and includes visits to the 16th-century Aqueduct, the street of Garcia Vigil, and the Seminary of the Holy Cross. The latter is where both Benito Juarez, the president who established the foundations on which the secular state and the Federal Republic were founded in Mexico, and Porfirio Diaz, known as the hero of the French intervention and president for 31 years, studied. 

Further on you will find the house where Juarez spent his adolescence, as well as the temple of Our Lady of Carmen. Continue until you reach the temple of Santo Domingo, home of the museum of cultures and the site that holds the treasure of the Seventh tomb of Monte Alban. Don't miss its impressive baroque decoration, as well as the facades of the Novo-Hispanic mansions on Alcalá Street, the Cathedral, and, finally, the Plaza de la Constitución with its authentic art nouveau kiosk and colorful markets full of delightful aromas and flavors.

Day 6: Visit Monte Albán & Create Your Alebrije

An artist paints the alebrije
An artist paints the alebrije
Today you'll visit Monte Alban, an archaeological site located 5 miles (8 km) from the city of Oaxaca. The site was the ancient capital of the Zapotec people and one of the first cities in Mesoamerica (and one of the most populous during its heyday!)

Meet your guide for an exploration of the archaeological site to learn about the Zapotec culture and history. Afterward, visit the nearby village of San Martin Tilcajete to learn about the iconic alebrije handicrafts and try your hand at making some yourself. The alebrije are made of cardboard or paper, as well as wire or wood, and are then painted with vibrant colors. Popular shapes include animals, both real and fantastical.

Day 7: Depart Oaxaca

Come back soon!

Depending on the time of your flight, your private transportation will pick you up in your hotel to take you to the airport. Catch your flight to Mexico City, then continue home. ¡Hasta Pronto!

 

More Mexico Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Mexico? Check out these other 7-day Mexico itineraries, with outdoor adventures, cultural trips, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.

Looking for a different length itinerary? Check out this 6-day version or this 8-day version of this trip.

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