loading spinner
13964
Mexico

Mexico City: History, Art, Culture and Politics

Immerse yourself in the cultural heart of Mexico and learn from experts as you explore renowned museums and national monuments while gaining insight into its neighborhoods and politics.
Program No. 13964RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,399
Mexico

Mexico City: History, Art, Culture and Politics

Immerse yourself in the cultural heart of Mexico and learn from experts as you explore renowned museums and national monuments while gaining insight into its neighborhoods and politics.
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,399
Length
8 days
Rating (4.93)
Starts at
2,399
Program No. 13964RJ

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (15)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Oct 17 - Oct 24, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2022
Starting at
2,399
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Mar 6 - Mar 13, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Mar 20 - Mar 27, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Apr 17 - Apr 24, 2023
Starting at
2,649
May 8 - May 15, 2023
Starting at
2,649
Sep 18 - Sep 25, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Oct 16 - Oct 23, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Nov 27 - Dec 4, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Dec 11 - Dec 18, 2023
Starting at
2,699
Activity Level: Keep the Pace (15)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2022
Starting at
2,879
Oct 17 - Oct 24, 2022
Starting at
2,879
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2022
Starting at
2,879
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2023
Starting at
3,179
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2023
Starting at
3,179
Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2023
Starting at
3,179
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2023
Starting at
3,179
Mar 6 - Mar 13, 2023
Starting at
3,179
Mar 20 - Mar 27, 2023
Starting at
3,179
Apr 17 - Apr 24, 2023
Starting at
3,179
May 8 - May 15, 2023
Starting at
3,179
Sep 18 - Sep 25, 2023
Starting at
3,239
Oct 16 - Oct 23, 2023
Starting at
3,239
Nov 27 - Dec 4, 2023
Starting at
3,239
Dec 11 - Dec 18, 2023
Starting at
3,239
Activity Level: On Your Feet (2)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Nov 7 - Nov 15, 2022
Starting at
2,559
Itinerary Note

This departure has an activity level of "On Your Feet" and is one day longer than other dates for a more relaxed pace.

Nov 6 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
2,799
Activity Level: On Your Feet (2)
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Nov 7 - Nov 15, 2022
Starting at
3,079
Itinerary Note

This departure has an activity level of "On Your Feet" and is one day longer than other dates for a more relaxed pace.

Nov 6 - Nov 14, 2023
Starting at
3,359

At a Glance

Embrace and explore Mexico City as it showcases all facets of Mexico’s national character. In a place where many public buildings are built from the stones of Aztec temples, past and present are inextricably linked, so that around each modern street corner is another opportunity to delve into the history of Mexico. Ballet folklórico, mariachis and a cosmopolitan mix of museums and neighborhoods adorned with the art of the great muralists illustrate the story of Mexican antiquity alongside pre-Aztec pyramids and colonial squares.
Activity Level
Varies by date
Varies by date. On Your Feet: Walking up to one mile daily over varied terrain. Keep The Pace: Walking up to 1.75 miles daily. Elevations of 7,200 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Trace the history of Mexico City with local historians and in a variety of museums.
  • Study the life and work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in museums and exhibitions.
  • Explore quaint and historic neighborhoods like Coyoacan and San Angel.

General Notes

Dates with an On Your Feet Activity Level are eight nights to allow for a more relaxed pace.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
María Teresa Peniche
Maria Teresa Peniche, who prefers to be known simply as “Teri,” is a highly regarded addition to Geronimo’s Road Scholar staff. Teri pursued a career in higher education, preparing school curriculums designed as well as teaching English in secondary education. After retiring, Teri’s vast knowledge of Mexico’s history and culture paved the way towards her becoming a Group Leader. Blessed with a caring disposition and a great desire to share her love of her country, Teri’s capacity for sharing her considerable knowledge is unrivaled.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of María Peniche
María Teresa Peniche View biography
Maria Teresa Peniche, who prefers to be known simply as “Teri,” is a highly regarded addition to Geronimo’s Road Scholar staff. Teri pursued a career in higher education, preparing school curriculums designed as well as teaching English in secondary education. After retiring, Teri’s vast knowledge of Mexico’s history and culture paved the way towards her becoming a Group Leader. Blessed with a caring disposition and a great desire to share her love of her country, Teri’s capacity for sharing her considerable knowledge is unrivaled.
Profile Image of Arturo Vertiz
Arturo Vertiz View biography
Arturo Vertiz knew from an early age that he wanted to work in the travel industry, focusing on learning English and French in school. Graduating with a degree in tourism and business administration, he worked in the hotel industry before founding his own travel agency. Arturo’s greatest honor was being chosen to manage the housing complex for athletes participating in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara. As a Group Leader and a Mexican national, Arturo loves interacting with visitors in search of learning experiences.
Profile Image of Haydee de Hoyos
Haydee de Hoyos View biography
Originally from the northern state of Sonora, Haydee de Hoyos learned English through her interest in American television, especially “Sesame Street.” Her affinity for American culture led her to pursue a career in the travel industry with a degree in tourism and business form the University of Guadalajara. Haydee has worked for Geronimo for more than 20 years and served as a Group Leader on programs focusing on art, culture, history, the environment and Mexican cuisine, developing an encyclopedia of knowledge of all things Mexico.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Course of Mexican History
by Meyer, Michael C. and William L. Sherman
Daily Life in Ancient and Modern Mexico City
by Cory, Steve
Mexico City: A Cultural and Literary Companion
by Caistor, Nick
History of the Conquest of Mexico
by Prescott, William H.
A Concise History of Mexico
by Hamnett, Brian R.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
8 days
7 nights
18 meals
7 B 6 L 5 D
DAY
1
Arrive Mexico City, Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner
Mexico City, D.F.
D
Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Histórico

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: After arriving at the hotel, checking in, and getting your room, take some time to unpack, freshen up, and relax. Program Registration: 6:30 p.m. Come over to the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get your up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your itinerary when you check in.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant, we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner featuring Mexican cuisine with a variety of salads, soups, main dishes, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the days ahead.

DAY
2
Orientation, Lecture & Historical Center, Templo Mayor
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L,D
Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Histórico

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; flat terrain, busy sidewalks; periods of standing up to 1/2 hour at a time.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a breakfast featuring Mexican and international cuisine including a variety of hot dishes, bread, pastries, yogurt, fruit, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: Orientation: 8:30 a.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. 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. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Next, we’ll be joined in our private meeting room by our instructor to receive the first in a series of lectures on the history of Mexico City. Founded as Mexica-Tenochtitlan by the Mexica people in the early 14th century, it is commonly referred to as Tenochtitlan. According to Mexica mythology, they were signaled by their principal god Huitzilopochtli to build their home where they saw an eagle resting on a cactus with a snake in its beak. For nearly two centuries, the city prospered and expanded as the capital of the Aztec empire, until falling to Spanish conquest in 1521. Leaving the hotel, we’ll walk to The Templo Mayor, which was the site of the main temple of Tenochtitlan and regarded as the center of the world by the Aztecs. It was dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, and Tlaloc, the god of rain and agriculture. After seeing the ruins, we will then walk to the Templo Mayor Museum, which holds some 7,000 pieces recovered during excavations of the site.

Lunch: At a local favorite restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated lunch with fruit water, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will walk to the San Ildefonso School Museum, known locally as the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso. Currently a cultural center in downtown Mexico City, the college is the most important of the many founded by the Jesuits in the late 16th century, offering both a secular and religious education until the expulsion of the Jesuits from all Spanish territories in 1767. The building was renovated in the 1990s to serve as a public center and to promote local culture, businesses and a museum. We’ll then continue our expert-led field trip at the Headquarters of the Secretariat of Public Education to admire some of the murals painted by Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and other muralists. Back at our hotel, we will have our social hour with an opportunity to know more about our fellow travelers.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated 3-course meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
National Palace, Anthropology Museum
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L
Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Histórico

Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles throughout the day; periods of standing and walking in museum up to 1 hour; flat terrain, city sidewalks.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant.

Morning: We will meet with our instructor to continue our lecture series on the history of México City, focusing on the colonial period as the capital of New Spain. Then, setting out on foot with our local expert, we’ll walk into the city for a field trip to the National Palace. The National Palace is the seat of the Mexican government’s executive branch. Located in México City's main square, much of the materials remain from the original palace that belonged to the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II. We will then walk to the Historical Center to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral, constructed over a period of two centuries from 1573 to 1813. We’ll learn about the problems faced during construction as well as modern-day challenges in stabilizing and maintaining the magnificent building currently sinking into the unstable soil.

Lunch: At the Anthropology Museum restaurant, we will have our 2-course lunch, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll head to the exhibition rooms of one of the most visited museums in México accompanied by our local expert, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, or the National Museum of Anthropology. Built in the 1960s, this large and prestigious museum houses over 52,000 pieces in 23 exhibition rooms. Among its collections are pieces from the Teotihucans, Toltecs, Mexicas, Mayans, and other cultures. One of the most important items we will see is the Aztec Calendar carved in stone. After the presentation, we will have some time to explore the museum independently.

Dinner: Tonight's dinner is on your own. This meal has been excluded from the program cost. Group leader can make suggestions.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
4
Teotihuacan Archaeological Site, Basilica de Guadalupe
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L,D
Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Histórico

Activity note: Getting on/off a bus; driving about 30 miles, approximately 1.5 hours one-way. Walking up to 2.5 miles throughout the day; periods of standing; dirt paths.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant.

Morning: Departing the hotel via bus, our field trip will begin with a visit to the Teotihuacan Pyramids and its archaeological site where our local expert will introduce us to Teotihuacan and how it became the sixth largest city in the world between 150 BCE and 450 CE. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the pyramids are the centerpiece of the holy city that once hosted a population of at least 125,000 people. Some of the most famous temples include the Temple of the Plumed Serpent and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll have our 2-course lunch, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will continue to La Villa de Guadalupe, where we will learn about the old and new Basilica, as well as the Capuchinas Convent, and stand on the Antrio of the Americas. The basilica is the most visited sanctuary in Latin America housing the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. While here, we’ll also learn the story of St. Juan Diego and the apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1531. Originally the site of a shrine to a mother goddess, the conquistadors destroyed the chapel and adapted the location into the parish, eventually building the Old Basilica that was completed in 1709. Due to a sinking foundation, the New Basilica was constructed next to it from 1974 to 1976, creating a dichotomy of old and new. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a 3-course plated meal, plus coffee, tea, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Mexican Art, Coyoacan, Frida Kahlo Museum, Xochimilco
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L
Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Histórico

Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles total throughout the day; periods of standing in a museum, flat terrain. Getting on/off a bus; driving about 35 miles each way, approximately 2 hours total.Getting on/off trajinera boats; ride is about 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant.

Morning: In the meeting room with our instructor, we will continue learning about the history of México. The focus of our lecture today will be on Neoclassic Art in the Independence Century. Setting out via bus we will ride to the neighborhood of Coyoacán. Once an independent village on the shore of Lake Texcoco, Coyoacán welcomed the Spanish and served as the headquarters of Hernan Cortes and the conquistadors. Its name comes from a Nahuatl word of which the exact meaning is unknown but most likely means “place of coyotes.” While here, we’ll visit the Frida Kahlo Museum, also known as Casa Azul, with our expert. The museum is housed in the building where Kahlo spent most of her life and was donated, along with its contents, to be a museum in her memory by her husband Diego Rivera. Here, we will admire many exhibits for Frida’s work, as well as some personal items that are on display. The museum displays works of art by the couple and other artists, in addition to displaying the lifestyle of Mexican artisans and bohemians in the first half of the 20th century. We will also be able to enjoy some of Diego Rivera's work and, during some time for independent exploration after visiting the museum, you can walk on the beautiful gardens on the property.

Lunch: Aboard the trajineras, we’ll enjoy a delicious 2-course meal with water included; other beverages available for purchase. As we ride along in the boats, we’ll explore Lake Xochimilco and the canal system from a unique perspective.

Afternoon: Continuing our ride aboard the trajineras, we will learn why this vestige of the pre-Hispanic area has been designated as a World Heritage Site. Established on the shores of Lake Xochimilco, the borough of Mexico City has retained its own identity from the capital just to the north. Xochimilco was built on artificial islands called chinampas that created more than 100 miles of canals and connected many settlements in the Valley of Mexico – what is roughly comparable to the modern day Federal District. We will then get off the boat at the dock and return to the hotel in Mexico City for an opportunity to freshen up before dinner.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure

DAY
6
Mexico’s Art, National University of Mexico, San Angel
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L,D
Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Histórico

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles total throughout the day; flat terrain. Getting on/off a bus; driving about 22 miles, approximately 1.5 hours roundtrip. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during independent exploration according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant.

Morning: In our meeting room with our instructor, we will have another presentation in our series of lectures, this time covering Mexico’s national and modern art. After the lecture, we'll board our bus and head out to the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (National Autonomous University of Mexico), known as the Maximum House of Studies. This educational emblem of the country is one of the most important universities in Latin America. The prestigious university celebrated the 110th anniversary of its foundation in 2020. We will admire the murals made by artists from the stature of David Alfaro Siqueiros and Diego Rivera. Our local expert will explain some of the most important pieces of the collection of one hundred and ten murals.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll enjoy a 2-course meal, plus lemonade, coffee, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will drive to the neighborhood of Colonia San Angel and visit the Bazar del Sabado where local artists show and sell their work. With a local expert, we’ll see much of Mexico’s native art. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Mexican Muralists, Alameda Central, Fine Arts Palace; Ballet
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L,D
Hotel NH Mexico City Centro Histórico

Activity note: Walking up to 1.5 miles total throughout the day; periods of standing in museum; flat terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant.

Morning: In our meeting room with our instructor, we will continue learning about the history of México. The focus of our lecture today will be on famous Mexican muralists. Then, we'll set out for our field trip continuing to explore more of México City: the Alameda, Museo Mural Diego Rivera and the Palace of Fine Arts. Once the Aztec market, the Alameda was dedicated as a greenspace by Viceroy Luis de Velasco on the western edge of the city in 1592. The park became the blueprint for the traditional Mexican park, inspiring others around the country. We will make a stop at the Museo Mural Diego Rivera to admire the famous mural "Sueño de una Tarde Dominical en la Alameda Central," or "Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in the Alameda Central." Painted between 1946 and 1947, the 51-foot-long mural depicts famous individuals and events in Mexican history. Walking across the eastern edge of the Alameda, the Palace of Fine Arts (Palacio de Bellas Artes) was built in the place of the first National Theater of México in the early 1930s. Here, we will have an opportunity to explore the marvelous interior. Primarily a combination of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, the grand building is divided into a main hall with smaller exhibition rooms, the theater, and the institute's offices.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll enjoy a 2-course meal with water, fruit water, or tea included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will start the afternoon with a stop to gaze at the Latin American Tower and learn why this skyscraper is one of the most important landmarks in México City. Then, we'll continue our walk to Casa de los Azulejos, or House of Tiles; this is an 18th-century mansion known for its exquisite blue and white tilework from the state of Puebla. Our next stop is the Postal Palace, also known as Main Post Office. Built in the early 20th century by the original architect of The Palace of Fine Arts, the building features a variety of architectural styles creating a unique masterpiece. We'll move on to the Palace of Iturbide for today’s final stop. Constructed between 1779 and 1785, the palace was a prominent count’s wedding gift for his daughter featuring three floors, a mezzanine, and two fortified towers. The Palace has been renamed the Palacio Cultural Banamex to promote the culture of México City. Back in our private meeting room at the hotel, we will have a presentation on México today.

Dinner: We will walk to a local restaurant for a 3-course meal, plus coffee, tea, and water; other beverages available for purchase. The Group Leader will review the program and discuss airport transfers for when the program concludes. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

Evening: Walking from the restaurant, we will cross the street to Palacio de Bellas Artes – Palace of Fine Arts – to enjoy a presentation of the Ballet Folklórico of Amalia Hernandez. This piece reflects the various genres and art forms from across the country through both dance and music.

DAY
8
Program Concludes, In Transit From Program
Mexico City, D.F.
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon. See your program’s Transportation Information regarding transfers. Driving about 5 miles, approximately 1/2 hour to airport.

Breakfast: Hotel restaurant.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll then board the bus 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.