MEXICO CULINARY TOUR
Mexico city, Mexico
A full-flavoured culinary tour of Mexico, visiting Mexico’s richest culinary regions.
After sampling and sight-seeing our way around Mexico City, the tour winds through the streets of Puebla to local attractions including the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Oaxaca.
We will also visit a Mezcal factory and learn about the fermentation process, walk through traditional villages of historical importance and continue to enjoy traditional and more modern styles of Mexican cuisine.
* Roundtrip airfare
• Plaza Premium airport lounge pass
• Nine nights 4-star hotel accommodation
• Nine breakfasts, five lunches and five dinners
• Sightseeing and entrance fees as per the itinerary
• Private motor coach transportation
• Local English-speaking tour guide
• Merit Travel tour host**
• All taxes and gratuities
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Merit Travel Hosted
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DAY 1 | Apr. 16, 2020 | Toronto/Vancouver - Mexico City
Depart Toronto or Vancouver for Mexico City. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel and check-in.
Overnight at Historico Central or similar (4 nights)
DAY 2 | Apr. 17, 2020 | Mexico City (B)
After breakfast, join a walking tour to explore Mexico City’s Historical Centre with its beautiful baroque buildings, including the Cathedral and the National Palace that surround the Zócalo (Constitution Square).
Throughout the day, learn about the local cuisine, as you start your gastronomic adventure through the traditional flavours of Mexico, from pre-Hispanic food to contemporary culinary dishes. Explore a typical Mexican marketplace, enjoy a refreshing beverage in a typical cantina and indulge in sampling the street food as you go!
Return to your hotel in the evening.
DAY 3 | Apr. 18, 2020 | Mexico City - Teotihuacán (B, L, D)
Breakfast at your hotel. Depart for the Pre-Hispanic UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Teotihuacán, the most important archeological site in the Valley of Mexico. The Teotihuacán Civilization lived in this city between the 1st and 6th century A.D and it’s believed their cultural influence extended far south into Guatemala and into the Mayan civilisation. Burned in the 8th century A.D., Teotihuacán was already a great field of ruins when the Aztecs found it and due to its size, they attributed its construction to Gods or giants. The site has three large structures along the Avenue of the Dead which we will learn the importance and history of, including The Pyramid of the Sun, The Pyramid of the Moon and The Citadel. The three structures demonstrate the architectural skill and astronomical knowledge of the Teotihuacán civilisation.
For lunch, we will dine at the restaurant, Gran Teocalli where we will learn more about the principal component of many internationally popular and lesser known local Mexican dishes whilst being guided through preparing traditional guacamole sauce and our own corn dough tortillas.
In the afternoon, stop by a cooperative food factory in the small town of San Martín de las Pirámides, where jam, honey, candy and spicy sauces from opuntia cacti fruit are produced. Next, we stop at an obsidian workshop where you can taste a local liquor called pulque, from the agave plant whilst watching the raw volcanic glass being processed to shape unique accessories and keepsakes. Return to Mexico City and in the evening, enjoy dinner at the upscale Nueve Nueve Bistro. Found in the heart of the Colonia Roma, the city’s trendiest neighbourhood, this restaurant fuses the modern internal design from the Mexican architect Javier Sordo de Haro with the original architecture of this manor, dating from the early 20th century. This Mexican bistro offers a menu based on dishes from different regions in Mexico, prepared by renowned Mexican chefs Luis Durán and Mónica Beteta.
DAY 4 | Apr. 19, 2020 | Mexico City (B, L, D)
Breakfast at your hotel. Depart for the south of the city and visit the colonial neighbourhood of Coyoacán, a residential area of Mexico where high society lived in beautiful haciendas in the countryside.
Visit La Casa Azul, also known as the Frida Kahlo Museum, where the most renowned Latin American artist lived.
For lunch, we will dine on traditional Mexican food in traditional and modern combinations, at the restaurant Los Danzantes, located in the heart of Coyoacán. In the afternoon, enjoy a boat ride on a Trajinera along the pre-Hispanic canals of Xochimilco, Mexico City’s Floating Gardens where you will hear about the historical importance of Xochimilco for the Toltec people from Tula.
In the evening, dine at excitingly modern Biko, rated in the top 50 of Latin America’s best restaurants in 2017.
DAY 5 | Apr. 20, 2020 | Mexico City - Puebla (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the hotel we will check-out and depart for Cholula (approx. two-hour drive), known for centuries as one of the largest cities in Mesoamerica located on the main trade route for obsidian, pottery and tropical goods. Admire the pyramid Tlachihualtepec, “Handmade Mountain”, which the Cholulan people, dedicated to the Gods of rain.
Continue to the colonial city of Puebla, only 12 km from Cholula, stopping for lunch at the restaurant Fonda de Santa Clara with a menu that honours the Poblana regional cuisine. We’ll also stop to explore and enjoy the Cathedral and the Rosario Chapel, an architectural jewel of the 18th century, as well as the El Parian market as well as passing by an infinite number of beautiful colonial houses.
After checking in to our hotel, we will enjoy dinner at restaurant La Casona de la China Poblana.
Overnight at Hotel Palacio San Leonardo Puebla or similar (1 night)
DAY 6 | Apr. 21, 2020 | Puebla - Oaxaca (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. The morning allows for free time to roam or to take an optional excursion to the local market where we will pick our own ingredients prior to heading to a local restaurant and learning how to put those items together to make a Poblano dish.
In the afternoon, we’ll depart for Oaxaca (approx. five-hour drive) where we will then check in to hotel and have the remainder of the day and evening at our own leisure.
Overnight at Hostal de la Noria or similar (4 nights)
DAY 7 | Apr. 22, 2020 | Oaxaca (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. We will then visit a small Zapotec community in the Valley of Oaxaca, where a local family welcomes visitors into their traditional kitchen. Your host will be one of the so-called Comideras who are in charge of preparing the food for any festivity organized in the surrounding villages. These ladies will assist us as we prepare three seasonal dishes.
Return to Oaxaca a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a city tour through the Historic Centre where we will see the beautiful architecture of The Cathedral, the Temple, former convent of Santo Domingo de Guzman, the Basilica de la Soledad and the Teatro Macedonio Alcala. We’ll also visit the Museum of Cultures in the former convent of Santo Domingo, where we will see the unique ornaments found by archaeologist Alfonso Caso in a tomb in Monte Albán.
Enjoy the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
DAY 8 | Apr. 23, 2020 | Oaxaca (B, L, D)
Today we visit the site of Monte Alban where the Zapotec civilization based its cultural and commercial development on controlling the surrounding valleys. The site stands on an artificial plateau, atop a hill overlooking the valley floor.
After exploring Monte Alban and learning of its history, we’ll make our way to Cuilapam de Guerrero to visit the beautiful ex-convent.
Afterwards we’ll enjoy lunch at the Zapotec village of Zaashila at La Capilla, which offers a typical Oaxacan menu, served on large tables in a friendly communal dining area.
In the afternoon, we’ll continue to San Martín Tilcajete, where artisans create Alebrijes; brightly coloured Oaxacan-Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures, and we’ll also have the chance to create your own masterpiece! In the evening we’ll enjoy dinner at a popular local restaurant in Oaxaca, Itatoní.
DAY 9 | Apr. 24, 2020 | Oaxaca (B, L, D)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, we drive to Santa Maria del Tule, where you can admire the famous ancient Tule Tree before continuing on to Hierve el Agua, where we’ll see bubbling mineral springs forming petrified waterfalls and natural bathing pools with a spectacular view of the surrounding valleys.
We’ll also stop at a local Mezcal factory, a so-called Palenque, and learn about the fermentation process of this traditional liquor, representative of Oaxaca.
Afterwards we’ll visit the Mitla archaeological site, the most important religious centre for the Zapotec during the Post-Classic period.
Later we visit a weaver workshop in Teotitlán del Valle, where wool rugs are manufactured and we can watch a traditional wool-making demonstration.
Lunch will be at a local restaurant prior to returning to Oaxaca.
In the evening, enjoy dinner at the highly regarded restaurant, Casa Oaxaca.
DAY 10 | Apr. 25, 2020 | Oaxaca - Toronto/Vancouver (B)
Breakfast at your hotel. Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
*CDN$ p.p. dbl. occ. Taxes included. Single supplement: $700. Airfare available from most Canadian airports, please enquire. **Minimum 12 passengers required for a Merit Travel tour host.
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