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Christmas and New Year's in Oaxaca and Puebla

Program Number: 8696RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/20/2013 - 1/3/2014; 12/20/2014 - 1/3/2015; 12/20/2015 - 1/3/2016;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Mexico
Price starting at: $2,545.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 41; 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Revel in the long history and rich cultural heritage of Oaxaca during the region’s fascinating cycle of holiday ceremonies. With roots based in prehistoric rituals, discover a full display of seasonal festivities in Oaxaca, Puebla and Mexico City as they build through colorful events and commemorations and culminate in the extravagant pageant of Christmas and a festive dinner to ring in the New Year.




Highlights

• Participate in local celebrations surrounding the pageant of Christmas.
• Create piñatas and bring them as gifts to children at a local convent.
• Observe the legendary craftspeople of Oaxaca at work in local shops and markets.



Activity Particulars

Elevation in Mexico City 7,350 feet, in Puebla 7,091 feet, in Oaxaca 5,085 feet. Walking up to two miles, uneven terrain. Air in Mexico City can be highly polluted.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Oaxaca, 8 nights; coach to Puebla, 3 nights; coach to Mexico City, 3 nights; departure.



Arrival Oaxaca
8 nights

Surrounded by the 3,000-year history of Oaxaca, join locals to delve into Mexico’s fiestas, legends and traditions. Visit the Santo Domingo Art Museum in the former convent of the Santo Domingo Church and observe artisans preparing for the Fiesta de Rabanos radish festival at the Zocalo. Venture to Cuilapan de Guerrero, Zachila and Arrazola, renowned for its alebrijes woodcarvings — brightly-colored folk sculptures of imaginary creatures. Visit the Monte Alban and Mitla archaeological ruins and the weaver’s community of Teotitlan del Valle. Make piñatas, attend the Noche de Rabanos festivities and sit down to Christmas Eve dinner before joining local celebrations. Visit children at Josefino’s convent and observe local artisans at work along the Ocotlan Route.



Coach to Puebla
3 nights

Walking through Puebla, a guide explains the significance of the historic buildings around you. Embark on an all-day excursion to Cholula archaeological site, including the big pyramid, then continue to Santa Maria Tonanzintla and San Francisco Acatepec Church. Visit the Amparo Museum and a Talavera tile shop, and gain a national perspective in lectures addressing Mexico’s history and current economic and political climate.



Coach to Mexico City
3 nights
Departure

Visit the National Museum of Anthropology and spend a day at the Teotihuacan archaeological site. Explore the historic heart of Mexico City, stopping at the Zocalo, cathedral, National Palace and Frida Kahlo Museum.






Mexico

The oldest of the land’s found by Europeans in the New World, Mexico has endured a rough history at the hands of Cortes and subsequent invaders. Despite a turbulent past, the country maintains its relaxed and inviting charm with a mix of modern and traditional from its industrious cities to its captivating wildernesses.



Accommodations
Hotels in historic centers and convenient locations.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Casa Conzatti
  Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, Mexico 8 nights
   Hotel Colonial
  Puebla City, Puebla, Mexico 3 nights
   Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico
  Mexico City, D.F, Mexico 3 nights
 Hotel Casa Conzatti
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Casa Conzatti Hotel has adapted from a lovely colonial style house in a peaceful residential area in the Historic Center, and it was former home of Mr. Cassiano Conzatti. Mr. Conzatti was a renowned Italian naturalist and botanist who lived in Oaxaca During the end of the XIX century. The people from Oaxaca, grateful of his remarkable work, has named Jardín Conzatti the park where he planted and made search on the regional flora. The Casa Conzatti Hotel faces this historial and beautiful building.
  Contact info: Gómez Farías 218 Centro Historico
Oaxaca,  68000 Mexico
phone: +52 -951-513-8500
web: www.oaxacalive.com/conzatti
  Room amenities: Hotel offers you 45 colonial style rooms, including 2 junior suites and 2 master suites, all of them with Color cable T.V. Phone with Modem port, air conditioned, hair dryer and safety deposit box.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant-Bar, Meeting Room, Room Service, Taxi Service, Medical Service, Baby Sitting, Safete Boxes, Gift Shop, Money Exchance, Laundry & Drying, Travel Agency,Parking Lot.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights prior: $75 - $100 Participants may contact the hotel to request additional nights. Speak with the Reservation Dept. and inform the hotel representative you are with the Road Scholar Geronimo Educational Travel Studies LLC group. Rate is dependent upon availability.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Colonial
Type: Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of the downtown historical district of Puebla
  Contact info: 4 Sur #105
Puebla,  72000 Mexico
phone: +52 -222-246-4612
web: www.colonial.com.mx
  Room amenities: All the rooms have electronic lock, cable TV, digital safe box and direct dial phone with voice mail; all rooms have a full bath with shower.
  Facility amenities: Laudry service, conference room, dinning room, busines center and Internet
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is located one block of Paseo de la Reforma, the majestic avenue joining the Historical downtown with the city commercial and financial zones.
  Contact info: Lafragua No 7, Colonia Tabacalera, Delegacion Cuauhtemoc
Mexico City,  06030 Mexico
phone: +5550964500
web: www.hotelcasablanca.com.mx
  Room amenities: All rooms are totally equipped with Air conditioning and heating with individual control, cable TV, telephone, cold and hot water restroom and complimentary private security box.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Air Conditioning, Security Box, Room Service, Travel Agency, Parking, Medical Service, Laundry, High Speed Internet, GYM
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $75 - $100 Participants may contact the hotel to request additional nights. Speak with the Reservation Dept. and inform the hotel representative you are with the Road Scholar Geronimo Educational Travel Studies LLC group. Rate is dependent upon availability.
  Check out time: 11:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
7 pm Welcome Dinner You will be staying at Hotel Casa Conzatti that night.
  End of Program:
Immediately Following 8 a.m. Breakfast You will be staying at Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. In order to enter Mexico as a US Citizen you need to have one tourist migratory form (FM-T) per person. (Cost of FM-T is included in airfare). These forms are obtained at the first port of entry, at the borders, or at Mexican consulates and embassies. Keep the FM-T in your possession at all times and return to authorities before leaving Mexico. A Visa is not required but a passport is needed to obtain a FM-T permit and may be required to re-enter the US. Procedures for obtaining the FM-T vary with the nationality of each visitor. Request the requirements for your nationality in any of the Mexican Consulates or Embassies in your respective countries. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires that by January 8, 2007, travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada have a passport or other secure, accepted document (Merchant Mariner Document or Air NEXUS card) to enter or re-enter the United States
  Parking availability:
There is parking available in all the hotels
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Check with your travel agent for schedules
To Start of Program
  Location:  Oaxaca City, Oaxaca
  Nearest highway: 1 mile
  Nearest airport:  Xoxocotan airport
  Transportation to site: Participants who do not use or miss the Group Motorcoach Transfer will be responsible for securing their own independent transfer from Xoxocotlan Airport to Hotel Casa Conzatti in Oaxaca City, Oaxaca, by using Taxi transportation. Independent Taxi Transfer Instructions: (1) Process through Immigration, Baggage Claim and Customs. (2) Locate a porter in the airport for directions to the Taxi Stand located inside the Airport. (3) At the Taxi Stand, purchase a ticket to Hotel Conzatti in Oaxaca City. (Approx Cost $15. USD) (4) This ticket purchase provides you a ride in a government sealed taxi and is the fare to the hotel. If the service warrants, you may wish to tip the driver at the end of the ride.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Mexico City, D.F
  Nearest highway: 1 mile
  Nearest airport:  Benito Juarez International airport
  Transportation from site: At the program conclusion, the Geronimo Group Leader will provide participants travel details regarding the transfer from the final program site hotel to the airport in Mexico City. Airport transfers are provided only on designated group arrival and departure days. All other arrangements are considered independent travel at personal cost. Taxis are available to the airport. The cost is about $250 pesos per taxi.
Elevation Note: The altitude in Mexico City (7,300 feet), Puebla (7,091 feet) and Oaxaca (5,084 feet)

Equipment Requirements: No equipment is required
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Travel Day
(Friday, December 20)

Note: Welcome Dinner (Hotel Conzatti)



   
 Arrive To: Arrive in Oaxaca
 Dinner: At hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lecture: "Fiestas, Legends & Traditions" part 1. Walking excursion to Downtown Oaxaca including a visit to Santo Domingo Church. Pinatas manufacture (hands-on activity). Hands-on Activity (Piñatas manufacture)
(Saturday, December 21)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Program Orientation; Walking Excursion to Downtown Oaxaca including Santo Domingo Church.
 Lunch: In a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walking excursion Downtown Oaxaca continues; Lecutre "Fiestas, Legends & Traditions" Part 1; Hands-on Activity (Pinatas manufacture)
 Dinner: Social hour followed by dinner at hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Free evening
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture: "Fiestas, Legends and Traditions" part 2. Field trip to Arrazola & Zachilla & Cuilapan de Guerrero. Group Activity - A real posada including Pinatas.
(Sunday, December 22)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Lecture: "Fiestas, Legends and Traditions" Part 2. Field trip: Arrazola, Zachila.
 Lunch: at a local restaurant in Zachila.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues to Cuilapan de Guerrero.
 Dinner: at hotel restaurant.
 Evening: Group Activity: A real Posadaincluding Pinatas.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field Trip: Monte Alban Archeological Site. Visit Zocalo. Attend "Noche de Rabanos" Festivities.
(Monday, December 23)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Field Trip to Monte Alban Archeological Site.
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Walk to the Zocalo to see artisans preparing for the "Fiesta de Rabanos" radishes festival.
 Dinner: at local restaurant
 Evening: Group Activity: Attend the "Noche de Rabanos" festivities.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Field trip to Mitla Archaeological Site. Field trip to Teotitlan del Valle, famous for weavings. Visit Santa Maria del Tule. Christmas Eve Dinner
(Tuesday, December 24)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Excursion to Mitla Archaeological Site.
 Lunch: in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues to Teotitlan del Valle, famous for weavings, and visit Santa Maria del Tule.
 Dinner: Christmas Eve Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Optional: Christmas Mass and local celebrations.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Lecture "Overview of 3000 years of the History of Oaxaca". Visit children at Josefino Convent. Video Presentation: Benito Juarez
(Wednesday, December 25)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Lecture: "Overview of 3000 years of the History of Oaxaca" Visit Children at Josefino convent.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant YuNeNiZa.
 Afternoon: Video Presentation: Benito Juarez
 Dinner: at hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Lecture: "The Magic Hands of Oaxaca". Field trip to Ocotlan Rout.
(Thursday, December 26)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Lecture: "The Magic Hands of Oaxaca" followed by a field trip to Ocotlan Rout (Coyotepec, Jalietza y Ocotlan).
 Lunch: Lunch in a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to Hotel.
 Dinner: at hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Cultural Event: La Guelaguetza Show
(Friday, December 27)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Free Time
 Lunch: at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free Time
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant (Asador Vasco).
 Evening: La Guelaguetza Show.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Conzatti
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Depart to Puebla. Walkng excursion Downtown Puebla.
(Saturday, December 28)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Depart (Motorcoach) to Puebla (4.5 hour transfer approx.)
 Lunch: Lunch served at Hotel Colonial restaurant.
 Afternoon: Excursion: Puebla city tour including historical buildings.
 Dinner: Dinner at Hotel Colonial restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel Colonial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Excursion: Amparo Museum
(Sunday, December 29)
   
 Breakfast: at Hotel Colonial restaurant.
 Morning: Excursion: Amparo Museum
 Lunch: Lunch at Hotel Colonial Restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free Time
 Dinner: at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Colonial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: All day Field Trip: Colorful Churches of Santa Maria Tonanzintla and San Francisco Acatepec and a visit to Cholula Archaeological Site.
(Monday, December 30)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: All day Field Trip: The colorful churches of Santa Maria Tonanzintla and San Francisco Acatepec.
 Lunch: Enjoy a Box Lunch
 Afternoon: Field trip: Cholula Archaeological Site.
 Dinner: at hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel Colonial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Depart to Mexico City. Field trip: Frida Kalo Museum.
(Tuesday, December 31)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant. (Before breakfast bring luggage to lobby).
 Morning: Depart by bus to Mexico City (3.5 hours approx). Field trip: Frida Kalo Museum
 Lunch: at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip continues. Arrive at Hotel for 5 p.m. check-in.
 Dinner: New Years Eve Dinner
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Field trip: Teotihuacan Archeological Site - The Ceremonial Center and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. Lecture: "Mexico-Past and Present".
(Wednesday, January 1)
   
 Breakfast: At hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Field trip: Teotihuacan Archeological Site - The Ceremonial Center and The Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.
 Lunch: at local restaurant
 Afternoon: Field trip continues. Return to Hotel for a 4:00 pm lecture: "Mexico-Past and Present".
 Dinner: at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Lecture: "Economic and Political Present Situation". City Excursion to the historical center and a visit to the Zocalo & National Palace and the Anthropology Museum. Farewell Dinner & Closing.
(Thursday, January 2)
   
 Breakfast: at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: 8:30 am Lecture: "Economic and Political Present Situation". City excursion: Explore the historical center visiting the Zocalo Cathedral and National Palace.
 Lunch: Lunch at Anthropology Museum restaurant.
 Afternoon: Visit Anthropology Museum
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner / Closing at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: TRAVEL DAY
(Friday, January 3)
   
 Breakfast: 8:00 am Breakfast at Hotel Restaurant.
 Morning: Group and independent transfers to the Airport following breakfast.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Christmas in Mexico


Author: NTC Publishing Group


Conquest: Montezuma, Cortéz and the Fall of Old Mexico


Author: Thomas, Hugh


Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans


Author: Riding, Alan


El Regalo de la Flor de Nochebuena/The Gift of the Poinsettia


Author: Mora, Pat


Letters from Mexico


Author: Cortés, Hernan & Anthony Pagden


Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs


Author: Coe, Michael


The Course of Mexican History


Author: Meyer, Michael C. and William L. Sherman


Two Holiday Folktales from Mexico


Author: Ramirez, Anthony




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