3290
Mexico
Mexico’s Origins: Silver, Culture and Revolution
Gain a deeper understanding of Mexico as you visit historic sites, cultural centers and archeological treasures while enjoying expert-led lectures on this fascinating country.
Rating (4.96)
Program No. 3290RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
3,249
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14 days
13 nights
35 meals
13 B 10 L 12 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrive, Check-in, Welcome Dinner
Guanajuato, Gto.
D
Hotel Camino Real

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

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: In the hotel restaurant, enjoy a plated, three course welcome dinner, 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.

DAY
2
Orientation, History of Guanajuato & Mexico, City Field Trip
Guanajuato, Gto.
B,L,D
Hotel Camino Real

Activity note: Walk on streets of Guanajuato up to 1-1/2 miles.

Breakfast: At the hotel, we will have a plated hot breakfast plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any 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 a local expert in the hotel conference room for an introduction to the history of Guanajuato. This World Heritage Site is located in a narrow valley with a colonial town center built primarily from green and pink sandstone. Thanks to the plentiful mines in the area, Guanajuato became increasingly influential during the colonial era and was the site of the first battle of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. We will then set out into the historic center of Guanajuato with our local expert via bus. After getting dropped off, we will walk to visit the Teatro Juarez. Since its inauguration in 1903, it has been the center and the headquarters of the most important artistic events in the city. This is a great opportunity to see the majestic and splendid interior. 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, enjoy a plated three course meal featuring Mexican cuisine with soup, a main dish, and dessert, plus coffee, soft drinks, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Returning to the hotel, we will begin our introduction to the history of Mexico. This multipart presentation will cover the history of Mexico from pre-Columbian times to modern day. Learn about the Mayan and Aztec civilizations, the Spanish conquistadors, the Mexican Revolution, and more. At 6:00 p.m., enjoy a social prior to dinner in our private meeting room. This is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the rest of the group.

Dinner: After a short ride to a local favorite, family-owned restaurant, enjoy a “palate” pleaser three course meal including salad, a main dish, dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Mexican History, Alondiga de Granaditas, Diego Rivera
Guanajuato, Gto.
B
Hotel Camino Real

Activity note: Walking up to 1-1/2 on sidewalks; standing for up to 1 hour at the museum.

Breakfast: Hotel plated meal.

Morning: In the hotel conference room, we will continue our introduction to Mexican history. At the conclusion of the lecture, we will visit the historic Alhondiga de Granadita. The building 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. We will continue to Callejon del Beso – The Alley of the Kiss – and learn the tragic and romantic legend behind it.

Lunch: 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.

Afternoon: Meeting at a selected spot, we will walk to the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, where a local expert will explain the importance of the most significant works before letting you browse 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. Born in 1886 in Guanajuato, Diego Rivera began to take classes at the Academy of San Carlos at the age of ten. By the age of twenty, he had more than two dozen works at the Academy’s annual exhibition and received a grant to go study in Europe. Returning to Mexico, his early works followed Mexican society and dealt with the Mexican Revolution, with his style expanding to include Maya and Aztec influences. Twenty years his younger, he married Frida Kahlo in 1929, to whom he remained married to for ten years. Boarding the bus, we will enjoy a panoramic excursion through Guanajuato. A great opportunity to admire Guanajuato from a high point, local expert will point and explain the importance of the historic buildings such Universidad de Guanajuato, Teatro Juarez, la Iglesia de la Compañia, among others. Admire the variety of colors of the traditional colonial homes against the green hills.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like in Guanajuato, offering over 100 dining establishments to choose from. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Tonight will be a dining adventure of your choosing.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Mexican History, Valenciana Town, San Gabriel de Barrera
Guanajuato, Gto.
B,L,D
Hotel Camino Real

Activity note: Walk up to 1.5 miles; standing in museums

Breakfast: Hotel plated meal.

Morning: In the hotel conference room, we will continue our introduction to Mexican history. After the history lecture, we will board our bus to go for a field trip to XVIII Century mining town of Valenciana for a chance to visit the Valencia Mine and Mining Museum among others. The mines of the area were very important not only to the region but to the country, this was one of the richest and most productive silver mine in the world. Impressive churches and residence were built with all the wealth this mine brought to the region.

Lunch: We will travel by bus to a restaurant in Guanajuato and enjoy a two course plated meal, plus coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase

Afternoon: Transfer to the Museum Exhacienda San Gabriel de Barrera comprised of the grounds, gardens, and workspace of the 17th century estate. Named for Gabriel de Barrera, he established a family dynasty of ore-concentrating mills until it came into state ownership 300 years later in 1975.

Dinner: At a local restaurant a short ride away, enjoy a plated three course meal plus coffee, tea, lemonade, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Mexican History, Transfer to San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L,D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Ride is approximately 1-1/2 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel plated meal.

Morning: In the hotel conference room, will continue our introduction to Mexican history. After the lecture, we will transfer to San Miguel de Allende. As we travel through the countryside, enjoy the scenery. We will arrive in time for lunch.

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant, we will have a plated meal featuring Mexican and international cuisine, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: In our private meeting room at the hotel, we will continue learning Mexican history. 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 that has been forming artists of various disciplines for generations. In the interior of the institute, you can observe the murals by Pedro Martinez and a room with 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 from most parts of town.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a three course plated meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Mexican History, Free Time
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,D
Posada de La Aldea

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: In our private meeting room at the hotel, we will continue learning Mexican history. Following our history class, take this time to see and do what interests you most.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like or sample the local fare.

Afternoon: Enjoy the early afternoon to continue exploring San Miguel de Allende on your own. We will gather in the hotel conference room, where we will meet a local instructor for a presentation on life in San Miguel de Allende. Use this opportunity to ask questions about life in the city, requirements, and rules for an American to live in Mexico.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Mexican History, Atotonilco, Dolores Hidalgo, Talavera
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L,D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walk up to 1/2 mile on side walks.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In our private meeting room, we will continue the sequence of Mexican history. 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. On our way we will stop in Antotonilco along the way 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 a local restaurant, 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 hotel, 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.

Dinner: At a local restaurant across the street from the hotel, enjoy a three course plated meal, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Transfer To Queretaro City, City Field Trip
Queretaro, Qro
B,L,D
Hotel Mirabel

Activity note: Ride is approximately 1-1/2 hours. Walk up to 1 mile.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In our private meeting room in the hotel, we will meet for our final session on the Mexican history. Afterwards, check out and load the bus for our transfer to Queretaro City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the most dynamic cities in Latin America. Upon our arrival, we will enjoy a panoramic excursion for a view of the city. Our first stop will be at a strategic point to admire to colossal work of the aqueduct, a project started in 1726 and completed 12 years later. This work was done to provide the city with clean water; just over one mile long, the aqueduct is made out of sandstone with 74 towering arches, some as high as 100 feet. We will visit the Cemetery of illustrious persons, a permanent shrine to those who fought for us to give us freedom. Then spend time at Santa Cruz Convent and will learn the legend behind the tree that bear thorns in the form of a cross that simulate the nails of the crucifixion of Jesus. We will then check into the hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant, we will have a three course meal featuring a selection of main dishes plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continue exploring the city with visits to the Queretaro Art Museum, Santa Clara Church, and Casa de la Marquesa. Visiting the Queretaro Art Museum, we will explore one of the most prestigious cultural centers in the city with 15 exhibition halls and a collection of masterpieces from the 17th to 19th centuries. Our next stop is the Santa Clara Church, a temple built as a convent in 1607 and is now famous for its ornately carved interior, gilded altarpieces, and delicate exterior work. We will continue to Casa de la Marquesa, built in 1756 as a mansion belonging to Marquesa de la Villa del Villar del Aguila. Its façade is Baroque, with beautiful ornamental details carved in stone, highlighting the door frame that rises to the second floor with a molded cornice framing the noble shield. At the end of our walking field trip, you can walk back to the hotel or opt to ride on the bus.

Dinner: On the bus, we will ride to the historic center, where we will enjoy great food, excellent service, and a beautiful setting at this local restaurant with a three course meal plus coffee, tea, fruit water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Set out for a walk along the main plaza of Queretaro to see the city come alive after dark. Continue with a walk back to the hotel, or ride the bus.

DAY
9
Regional Museum, Cerro de las Campana, Benito Juarez Film
Queretaro, Qro
B,L,D
Hotel Mirabel

Breakfast: At the hotel we will have a buffet featuring a hot egg dish, breakfast meats, fruit, yogurt, bread, and more, plus juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Our day begins with a field trip to the Cerro de las Campanas, where Maximillian I was executed, and the Regional Museum. At the Cerro de las Campanas, we will learn the historical importance of the site. On June 19, 1867 the Liberal government of Benito Juarez ordered the execution of three opponents from the conservative party, Emperor Maximiliano de Habsburgo, General Miguel Miramon and General Tomas Mejia, marking the end of the second French intervention. We then visit the Regional Museum of Queretaro, where we will receive an introductory talk and followed by free time to browse the many displays ranging from pre-Hispanic Mexico, Spanish occupation, archaeological sites, religious paintings and others.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a three course meal plus coffee, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: On your own to see and do what interests you most. Reconvening in our private meeting room at the hotel, watch a film focusing on Benito Juarez, one of the most influential figures in modern Mexican history. Leading “La Reforma del Norte” or “The Reform of the North,” he is credited with bringing federalist, liberal policies to the Mexican government.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will have a buffet featuring a variety of main dishes, dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Bernal, Ezequiel Montez Botanical Gardens, Free Time
Queretaro, Qro
B,L,D
Hotel Mirabel

Activity note: Ride is approximately 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Set out with the Group Leader to the town of Bernal, a popular pilgrimage point thanks to the Peña de Bernal, one of the highest monoliths in the world rising to 1,421 feet. Bernal recently acquired the title of “Magical Town,” meaning the town has significant cultural, historical, or natural sites. We will return to the bus and ride 10 miles to the town of Ezequiel Montes, where we will visit the town’s botanical garden. Take this opportunity to explore on your own and see the many species of plants cultivated and displayed, among them a large variety of cacti.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a three course meal plus coffee, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Returning to Queretaro, this time is on your own to see and do what interests you most. At the conclusion of our free time, we will return to hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Transfer to Mexico City, Museo Nacional del Virreynato
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L,D
Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico

Activity note: Ride is 130 miles or approximately 3 hours with stops made en route. Walking and standing for up to 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we will load our luggage and transfer to Mexico City for our final three nights. En route, we will stop and visit the “Museo Nacional de Virreynato” with a local expert. The Museum of the Viceroyalty of New Spain is the former College of San Francisco Javier and is widely considered as one of the country’s best museums thanks to both its aesthetics and its collections.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Tepotzotlan, enjoy a two course meal, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Continue the transfer to Mexico City. Check into the hotel upon our arrival.

Dinner: At a local restaurant across the street from the hotel, enjoy a three course meal plus coffee, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Teotihuacan Archaeological Site, Basilica de Guadalupe
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L,D
Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico

Activity note: Walking up to 2-1/2 miles; standing up to one hour.

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

Morning: Our field trip begins with a visit to the Teotihuacan Pyramids and its archaeological site, where we will learn how Teotihuacan became the 6th 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 Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, and the Temple of the Plumed Serpent.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a buffet featuring a variety of salads, soups, main dishes, dessert, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Our field trip continues to La Villa de Guadalupe, 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. 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 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.

Dinner: At the hotel, we will have a buffet featuring a variety of salads, soups, main dishes, dessert, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Aztec Historical Center, Anthropology Museum, Ballet
Mexico City, D.F.
B,L,D
Hotel Casa Blanca Mexico

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will travel to The Historic Center and visit the Aztec Ceremonial Center, Templo Mayor, and the site Museum. This UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the Aztec Ceremonial Center, and the Templo Mayor and it’s on site museum. At the Templo Mayor, we will learn how in 1978 a crew of workers discovered the monumental sculpture of Coyolxauhqui, and changed the government‘s original plan of building Technochtitlan museum, instead continuing forward with The Project of Templo Mayor. After the site visit we walk into the Templo Mayor Museum housing some 7000 pieces recovered from the site. The Templo Mayor 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.

Lunch: At the Anthropology Museum Restaurant, we will have a buffet featuring a variety of salads, soups, main dishes, dessert, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: One of the most visited museum in Mexico, we will explore the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, or the National Museum of Anthropology. A large and prestigious museum built in 1960s, housing over 52,000 pieces in 23 exhibition rooms; displaying pieces from the Teotihucans, Toltec’s Mexicas, Mayans and other cultures. One of the most important items you will see is the Aztec Calendar carved in stone. At the end of our field trip, we will board the bus and transfer to our farewell dinner.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant, featuring a three course meal, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Walking from the restaurant, we will cross the street to Palacio de Balls 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
14
Program Concludes
Mexico City, D.F.
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is 12:00 p.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

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!






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