This food-focused itinerary takes you to central Mexico for a week of vibrant flavors and rich culinary traditions. Start in the capital to snack on scorpions and street food in the Mercado de San Juan and marvel at Aztec farming techniques in the floating gardens of Xochimilco. After some sightseeing at the pyramids of Teotihuacan, it's on to Puebla where you'll learn to make tortillas and mole poblano like a local.

Highlights

  • Tour the colorful "chef's market" of Mercado de San Juan
  • Take a traditional boat through the floating gardens & canals of Xochimilco
  • Learn the art of perfect tortillas in Cholula聽
  • Put your own spin on Puebla's famous mole poblano

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Mexico City Mexico City
Day 2 Tour the Mercado de San Juan & Explore the Historic Center Mexico City
Day 3 Discover the Canals & Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, Get to Know Coyoac谩n Mexico City
Day 4 See the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Transfer to Puebla Puebla
Day 5 Tortilla-Making in the Magical Town of Cholula Puebla
Day 6 Learn to Make Mole Poblano in Puebla Puebla
Day 7 Transfer to Mexico City & Depart

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Mexico City

Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral overlooks the Z贸calo
Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral overlooking the Z贸calo
Welcome to Mexico! Upon arrival at the airport, you'll be met by your private driver and transferred to your hotel. After settling in, spend the rest of your afternoon getting to know Mexico City at your own pace. Discover the capital's many museums, monuments, galleries, and archaeological sites, or start your culinary adventure by visiting local markets, restaurants, and caf茅s. For a quiet stroll, put yourself in the locals' shoes and head to the authentic neighborhoods of San Angel, La Condesa, Coyoac谩n, or La Roma.聽

Day 2: Tour the Mercado de San Juan & Explore the Historic Center

Try a tostada on today's market tour
Discover the gastronomic roots of the Aztec capital today with a visit to the Mercado de San Juan. Famous chefs and local shoppers alike head to the city's renowned food market for the best quality produce, meats, and specialty foods on offer鈥攆rom scorpions to lion meat. Join your guide for a walk through the bustling aisles, delighting your senses with the riot of colors and aromas. Sample exotic fruits, cheeses, jams, coffee, and other delicacies while you learn about Mexican cuisine and the market's history.聽

Your explorations continue in the afternoon with a guided walk through the city's UNESCO-listed historic center. Take a stroll past highlights like the Alameda Central Park (the oldest public garden in the Americas) and the Palacio de Bellas Artes. Continue along the bustling pedestrian street of Madero to reach the grand Plaza de la Constituci贸n, better known as Z贸calo. The city's heart is home to some of its most important buildings and monuments鈥攊ncluding the Metropolitan Cathedral, the ancient Aztec archaeological site of Templo Mayor, and the 16th-century Palacio Nacional.

Day 3: Discover the Canals & Floating Gardens of Xochimilco, Get to Know Coyoac谩n

Travel through the Xochimilco canals by boat
Travel through the canals of Xochimilco by boat

Today, you'll have the opportunity to visit one of Mexico City's most emblematic areas: the canals of Xochimilco. Board a trajinera (a colorful flat-bottomed boat) to tour the area's waterways while your guide shares the secrets of its biocultural richness. Stop at a demonstration chinampa (floating garden) to learn about the importance of the ancient chinampero agriculture system, and discover how traditional cultivation techniques and natural biofilters improve the water quality. Afterward, taste typical Xochimilco flavors as a cook prepares dishes made from local produce and products.

Later on, you'll explore the picturesque neighborhood of Coyoac谩n. Characterized by cobblestone streets and a bohemian style, this tranquil area feels as if you've been transported outside the city. Pass the Callej贸n del Aguacate, a narrow road that holds local legends and myths, and see the church of La Plaza de la Conchita, where the first mass in the region was celebrated. Stop for churros and ice cream in the Centennial Garden, then head to one of the area's authentic coffee bars for a gastronomic experience based around the flavors of Mexican coffee.

Day 4: See the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, Transfer to Puebla

See the mysterious, pre-Aztec city of Teotihuacan
Today's adventure starts early, with a transfer out of the capital to the mystical archaeological site of Teotihuacan. Explore the "City of the Gods" on foot, starting with a walk along the Calzada de Los Muertos (Avenue of the Dead). Climb the majestic Pyramid of the Sun, then continue to the Pyramid of the Moon for splendid views across the site. Afterward, spend some time at the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, where the best-preserved remains are found, and learn about obsidian, the prized stone of the Mayans still plentiful in the mines around the site.
After a busy day of exploration, your driver will be waiting to transfer you south to the colonial town of Puebla. The Spanish conquest left a strong influence on this Baroque city, often considered an architectural and cultural jewel of the country. Get settled into your hotel, then head out for dinner鈥擯uebla is renowned for its cuisine and is the birthplace of many of Mexico's most famous traditional dishes, including mole poblano and chalupas.

Day 5: Tortilla-Making in the Magical Town of Cholula

Learn how to make the perfect corn tortilla in Cholula
Today's excursion takes you outside of Puebla to discover the town of Cholula, where you'll visit the local market for an introduction to the local gastronomy and its famous handmade tortillas. Considered a vital part of central Mexico's culinary identity, the art of tortilla making is a treasured heritage passed from generation to generation. Today's workshop will guide you through the process, from cultivation to preparation. Enjoy a delicious tasting afterward accompanied by refreshing drinks and other corn-based snacks.

Back in Puebla, you'll have the rest of the afternoon to explore the UNESCO-listed center at your own pace. See the impressive Cathedral and the Chapel of the Rosary, visit a Talavera (hand-painted tile) workshop to discover one of Mexico's most iconic handicrafts, or head to the Palafoxiana Library, a center of universal knowledge and one of the first libraries of the American continent. Other iconic sites include the Calle de Los Dulces, the Barrio del Artista, Barrio de Los Sapos, and the El Pari谩n craft market.

Day 6: Learn to Make Mole Poblano in Puebla

Head to the market to learn the secrets of Puebla's most famous food
Puebla is considered one of Mexico's foremost foodie destinations, with a vibrant gastronomy shaped by indigenous, Spanish, and Arab influences. It's also the birthplace of many traditional Mexican dishes鈥 including the famous mole poblano (a savory sauce of poblano peppers and chocolate), which you'll learn to make today.
Meet your guide and set out for a stroll through Puebla's oldest neighborhoods to reach the local market, where you'll be met with the aromas, colors, and flavors of the city. Sample some classic street food antojitos (little cravings), then learn how to prepare a delicious mole under the instruction of your chef before sitting down to a delicious meal of your creation.

Day 7: Transfer to Mexico City & Depart

Sunrise over the colorful streets of Puebla

Enjoy a final morning in captivating Puebla. When the time comes, your driver will pick you up for the transfer back to Mexico City International Airport and your departing flight. Safe travels and adi贸s a todos!

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Map of Mexico's Culinary Heart: Mexico City & Puebla - 7 Days
Map of Mexico's Culinary Heart: Mexico City & Puebla - 7 Days