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Exploring San Miguel de Allende

Program Number: 17262RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/13/2015 - 11/20/2015; 2/29/2016 - 3/10/2016; 9/30/2016 - 10/10/2016; 10/13/2016 - 10/23/2016; 1/26/2017 - 2/5/2017; 2/12/2017 - 2/22/2017; 3/5/2017 - 3/15/2017; 3/26/2017 - 4/5/2017; 4/16/2017 - 4/26/2017;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Mexico
Price starting at: $1,682.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Considered a national monument in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is a nostalgic, uncommonly beautiful throwback to the Mexico of a more romantic era. Originally called San Miguel el Grande and founded by a 16th-century Spanish friar, the city’s magnificent colonial buildings, combining baroque and neoclassical elements, offer clear examples of an eclectic mix of architectural styles that has evolved over five centuries. Get to the heart of this handsome, tranquil city, savoring its thermal waters, varied architecture, meandering cobblestone streets, and deep-set traditions and culture.




Highlights

• Meet local people and observe handcraft at a pottery factory and other centers of regional commerce.
• Visit Charco del Ingenio Ecological Park to learn from staff of efforts to protect it from encroaching urban sprawl.
• Understand local art, architecture and ways of life as expressions of the culture and history of the region in which the Mexican War of Independence began.



Activity Particulars

Extensive walking on uneven terrain, narrow cobblestone streets, steps.



This program has been designed to be taken back to back with "Oaxaca & Puebla: The Ancient Civilizations and Modern Cuisine of Southern Mexico" (#21976), and participants encouraged to register for both.




Date Specific Information

11-13-2015

2015 programs are 8 days/7nights and limited to 32 participants. Schedule: Arrive Leon, coach to San Miguel de Allende 6 nights, coach to Guanajuato 1 night, Coach to Leon for departure.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Mexico City, 2 nights; coach to San Miguel de Allende, 7 nights; coach to Mexico City, 1 night; transfer to airport for departure.



Flight from the U.S.A.
Arrival Mexico City 2 nights
Coach to San Miguel de Allende
7 nights
Coach to Mexico City
1 night
Transfer to airport for departure

Upon arrival, begin by admiring the great architecture of San Miguel de Allende’s buildings, cobblestone streets and narrow alleys, learning the history of the town and discussing its most important events. Throughout the week, attend lectures and embark on walking excursions through the city as, inspired by art, architecture and local culture, you assemble a portrait in the mind’s eye of the city’s storied past beginning in colonial times. Also pay visits to the historic cities of Dolores Hidalgo and Guanajuato, listen to the music of local entertainers and take time to relax in a thermal spring.




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
Mexico City: Hotel on Paseo de la Reforma, the avenue joining the historical center to the financial quarter. San Miguel de Allende: Hotel located seven blocks from downtown.
Meals and Lodgings
   Posada de La Aldea
  San Miguel de Allende, Gto., Mexico 6 nights
   Hotel Mexico Plaza
  Guanjuato, Gto, Mexico 1 night
 Posada de La Aldea
Type: Hotel
  Description: Hotel Posada de la Aldea is located in the picturesque and historic city of San Miguel de Allende.
  Contact info: Calle Ancha de San Antonio #11 Zona Centro
San Miguel de Allende,  37700 Mexico
phone: +011+52 -415-152-1022
web: www.naftaconnect.com/hotellaaldea
  Room amenities: Private baths, cable TV , phone
  Facility amenities: Gardens, pool, conference room, lounge
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 Hotel Mexico Plaza
Type: Hotel
  Description: This quaint hotel set on a hill top overlooking down town Guanjuato and is within walking distance of the City.
  Contact info: Carretera Panoramica San Javier
Guanjuato, Gto,  36020 Mexico
phone: +011-52-473-102-3000
web: www.mexicoplaza.com.mx
  Room amenities: Cable TV; Frigo Bar, Coffee Maker and Micro; In room Telephone
  Facility amenities: Spa and Gym; AC; 24-Hr. Security. Restaurant and Bar plus meeting facilities on property.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $130-$150 Participants must make own reservations for additional night lodging
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
7 p.m. Welcome Dinner You will be staying at Posada de La Aldea that night.
  End of Program:
Immediately following 8 a.m. breakfast You will be staying at Hotel Mexico Plaza the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information 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:
The hotel has parking at no cost.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Buses are available. Check with your travel agent for more information.
To Start of Program
  Location:  San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
  Nearest city or town:  Guanajuato
  Nearest airport:  Leon/Bajio International Airport
  Transportation to site: PROGRAM ONLY and Participants who do not participate in the Geronimo Staffed Group Transfer due to flight arrival times not permitting: Process through Immigration, Baggage Claim and Customs. Locate a porter in the airport for directions to the Taxi Stand located inside the Airport. The transfer from El Bajio Airport (Leon, Gto.) to the hotel in San Miguel de Allende is handled in three (3) travel segments. FIRST TRAVEL SEGMENT: Taxi transfer from Bajio Airport to the Guanajuato Public Bus Station. This transfer is approximately 35 minutes and costs $35.00 USD per person approx. SECOND TRAVEL SEGMENT: Public Bus transfer from Guanajuato Public Bus Station to San Miguel de Allende Public Bus Station. This transfer is approximately 1 hour 20 minutes and costs $10.00 USD per person approx. THIRD TRAVEL SEGMENT: USE ATTACHED TAXI SLIP #2 FOR THIS TRAVEL SEGMENT (found in prep mat #2 ) Taxi transfer from San Miguel de Allende Public Station to the Hotel in San Miguel de Allende. This transfer is approximately 10 minutes and costs $5.00 USD per person approx. Participants who purchased the Standard Road Scholar Program, but are unable to transfer on the Group Motor coach due to flight arrival time, will be reimbursed bus and taxi fare by Geronimo.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Guanjuato, Gto
  Nearest city or town:  Leon
  Nearest highway: Highway 45
  Nearest airport:  Bajio International Airport
  Transportation from site: Taxi service is available from Hotel Mexico Plaza to the Airport.
Elevation Note: Elevation in San Miguel de Allende is 6,300 ft. Elevation in Guanajuato, Gto. is 6,550 ft.

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: Arrive, Check-in, Welcome Dinner
(Friday, November 13)

Note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.



   
 Arrive To: Aeropuerto Internacional de Guanajuato — Guanajuato International Airport (BJX), more commonly known as Del Bajío International Airport. See the travel information section regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation to First Location.”
 Afternoon: After arriving at the hotel, check in and get your room, then take some time to unpack, freshen up, and relax.

Program Registration: At 6:30 p.m., come over to the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
 Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a three course plated meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the days ahead.
   
Accommodations: Posada de La Aldea
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: San Miguel de Allende & Mexico History, Downtown San Miguel
(Saturday, November 14)

Note: Walk up to 2 miles on narrow cobblestone streets and steps. A taxi can be hired for those who do not wish to walk back to the hotel from the market.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel we will have a buffet featuring a variety of selections including a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, yogurt, bread, and more, plus juice, coffee, tea, water.
 Morning: The Group Leader will greet everyone in our hotel meeting room with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have.

All transportation will be provided via bus unless specified otherwise. An instructor will conduct all sessions in the classroom; a certified expert will lead field trips and excursions.

We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

We will then be joined by our instructor in our private meeting room for an introduction to San Miguel de Allende. A hub for the colonial silver trade, the city is the birthplace of Ignacio Allende; a captain in the Spanish army who sympathized with the Mexican cause and was a vital figure in the War of Independence. In the mid 20th century, the town was revitalized by domestic and foreign artists who were interested in its colonial architecture.

We will then begin a walking field trip in downtown San Miguel de Allende, including a visit to Nigromante Fine Arts School. With a local expert, we will visit the prestigious Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez “El Nigromante” – a former monastery that was converted into a fine arts school in 1938. In the interior of the institute, you can observe the murals by Pedro Martinez and David Alfaro Siqueiros’s unfinished mural.

Continuing to the Jardin Allende, the center plaza is a popular spot to relax and listen to mariachis. Our final stop is the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, an emblem of the city with its neo-gothic façade and tall towers, which can be seen across the town.
 Lunch: At local restaurant we will have a plated meal featuring a local specialty, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Afternoon: Our walking field trip continues with the Biblioteca Publica, Mexico’s second largest bilingual library, and a visit to the Craft’s Market. We will walk back to the hotel. If you do not wish to walk, a taxi can be called.

designated time we will get together at our private meeting room for social hour. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the rest of the group.
 Dinner: Hotel plated meal.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Posada de La Aldea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Lecture: People, Places & Things; Free Time; Presentation
(Sunday, November 15)
   
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Beginning our day, we will be have a lecture to learn about the various elements of Mexican culture, including those individuals, both Mexicans and expatriates, who have had an impact in making the name of San Miguel synonymous with art, letters and music will be brought to the attention of participants, as well as the artisanship and handicrafts that may be found in the city..

 Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in San Miguel de Allende.
 Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
 Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Posada de La Aldea
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: LectureWho are the Mexicans, Thermal Spring, Mining History
(Monday, November 16)

Note: Bring swimwear, sunblock and comfortable shoes if you plan on enjoying the thermal spring



   
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Beginning our day, our instructor will continue to discuss culture and traditions As it would be more than difficult to interpret what one experiences in San Miguel without having a definition of what it means to be “Mexican,” the third lecture will be a summary of the several elements of Mexican culture, including the pre-Hispanic and Spanish influences, art, literature, philosophy and religion.Enjoy an excursion to Escondido Place Thermal Spring to enjoy a relaxing bath in the thermal pools. You are welcome to enjoy the other facilities and amenities at an additional cost.

On our way we will stop in Antotonilco where we will visit the Sanctuary of Atotonilco. Nicknamed the “Sistine Chapel of Mexico,” it was built in the 18th century after a priest had a vision of Jesus. The complex is known for its rich Mexican Baroque murals completed by Antonio Martinez de Pocasangre over three decades. Colorful and ornate on the inside, the exterior of this World Heritage Site resembles a fortress with its 32 foot tall walls and 65 foot clock tower.
 Lunch: At Escondido Place, enjoy a grilled buffet featuring a variety of salads, meats, and local specialties, plus soft drinks, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Afternoon: After returning to San Miguel de Allende, enjoy an afternoon lecture by a local expert on the history of mining o dthe State of Guanajuato. One of the largest producers of a variety of minerals, Mexico’s mineral wealth was used by Pre-Columbian societies and the Spanish. We’ll learn about this rich history that dates back more than five centuries.

 Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Posada de La Aldea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: LecturePatroness of Mexico; Dolores Hidalgo, Pottery Factory
(Tuesday, November 17)

Note: Walking up to 1/2 mile on sidelwalks



   
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Beginning our day, we will be have a lecture to learn about the various Patroness of Mexico For those who travel through Mexico, it is next to impossible to alight anywhere without seeing some depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Therefore, this lecture will examine the apparition, its history, interpretation, criticism and the impact of the Virgin on Mexican and Latin American culture and history.br>
We will set out for our field trip to Dolores Hidalgo, known as the Cradle of Independence. We will visit the church where Father Hidalgo gave the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) that marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. We will also visit the Independence Museum to admire artifacts, paintings, and murals related to the independence movement.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant in Dolores Hidalgo, we will have a plated meal featuring a local specialty, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Afternoon: As we return to the San Miguel de Allende, we will visit a Talavera Pottery factory for an opportunity to witness the delicate process from working the clay to decorating and firing the pieces. Brought to Mexico by Spanish colonists, pottery development became very successful in the Puebla region thanks to the accessibility of fine clays and the demand for decoration and tiling in newly established churches and monasteries. After returning to San Miguel de Allende, enjoy an afternoon lecture by a local expert on the local lifestyle in the historic city.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant enjoy a two course dinner including soft drinks, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchse
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Posada de La Aldea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Charco del Ingenio Ecological Park, La Aurora Art
(Wednesday, November 18)

Note: Walking up to one mile on uneven terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: From the hotel, take a field trip to Charco de Ingenio Ecological Park led by a park expert. Walking along the greenery-lined trails, learn about the various species of local cacti while spotting local wildlife. After years of petitions from several local organizations and administrations, the park became a Natural Protected Area in 2006 with a goal of mitigating the urban footprint and maintaining the natural environment.

Returning to San Miguel de Allende, we will visit La Fábrica la Aurora – an art and design center that is home to local artists and crafts studios ranging from antiques and jewelry to furniture and textiles. Explore and enjoy the center, visiting its working artist studios, contemporary art galleries, ageless antiques, unique furniture, textiles and home goods, designer jewelry and clothing, and gourmet restaurants and cafes.
 Lunch: At La Fábrica la Aurora, we will have a plated meal featuring a local specialty, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Afternoon: On your own to see and do what interests you most.

A lecture before dinner, It is hoped that, in the brief time allotted to the program (one week), participants will emerge with some degree of knowledge of the issues and differences between Mexico and its neighbor, the Colossus of the North. Accordingly, the final lecture will seek to define the cultural, economic and societal challenges faced by the Republic in the 21st century and how their resolution will affect relations between Mexico and the United States.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a three course dinner with coffee, tea, fruit water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Posada de La Aldea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: To Guanajuato, City Exploration, Farewell Dinner
(Thursday, November 19)

Note: Ride is approximately 1-1/2 hours. Walking up to 1/2 mile; climb up to 5 stories of stairs.



   
 Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
 Morning: Checking out of the hotel, we will transfer to Guanajuato. This World Heritage Site is located in a narrow valley with a colonial town center built primarily from green and pink sandstone. Upon our arrival, we will begin our city field trip with our local expert. Some of the historic sites we will visit include Alhondiga de Granaditas, the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, and the University of Guanajuato.

The Alhondiga de Granaditas is now a museum and a symbol for the battle that was fought there on September 28, 1810, when the revolutionaries were fighting for the freedom and sovereignty of the Mexican nation. Admire the murals painted by Jose Chaves Morado from 1955 to 1966 depicting colonial Guanajuato.

Our next stop is the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, where we will learn the importance of the most significant works before browsing the museum on your own. The house where Diego Rivera was born, it is now a museum displaying the collection of Marte R. Gomez with work realized from Diego’s early years it 1956, just one year before his death.

Continue walking to see the main building of the Universidad de Guanajuato – one of the oldest and more prestigious universities in Latin America founded in 1945. Today the university has several campuses around the state.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated meal featuring a local specialty, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Afternoon: Our historic center exploration of Guanajuato continues. As we see more of the city, take in the colonial era Spanish architecture and the beautiful scenery of the area.

At the end of our field trip, we will check into the hotel. Take the rest of the afternoon to relax and freshen up before our farewell dinner.
 Dinner: In the hotel restaurant, enjoy a plated, three course meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Evening: There will be a chance to bid our new friends farewell following dinner. It has been a great learning adventure and the memories will long remain with us.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Mexico Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Program Concludes
(Friday, November 20)

Note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.



   
 Depart From: Aeropuerto Internacional de Guanajuato — Guanajuato International Airport (BJX), more commonly known as Del Bajío International Airport.
 Breakfast: At the hotel, we will have a plated hot breakfast plus coffee, tea, juice, water.
 Morning: Check out of the hotel and transfer to the airport. This concludes our program.

If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
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


Letters from Mexico


Author: Cortas, Hernan & Anthony Pagden


Conquest: Montezuma, Cortéz and the Fall of Old Mexico


Author: Thomas, Hugh


Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans


Author: Riding, Alan


Mexico: Biography of Power, A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996


Author: Krauze, Enrique


Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs


Author: Coe, Michael


The Aztecs, Maya and their Predecessors: Archaeology of Mesoamerica


Author: Weaver, Muriel Porter


The Course of Mexican History


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


The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico


Author: MacLachlan, Colin M. and Jamie E. Rodriguez


The Wind that Swept Mexico: The History of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1942


Author: Austin: University of Texas Press




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