Book foodies, oenophiles and tequila connoisseurs on Journey Mexico’s tasting tour. // © 2016 Journey Mexico Marketing
Feature image (above): Travelers to San Miguel de Allende can explore the city’s Mexican baroque art, historical buildings and local shops. // © 2016 iStock
A country as cultured as it is colorful, Mexico is a landmark destination filled with diverse attractions. There are many types of group tours available that appeal to different interests, whether clients are looking to get a history lesson by exploring ancient ruins, encounter Mexico’s savory side via its spirits and cuisine or indulge in age-old traditions, culture and art.
From shorter day trips to multiday experiences, these seven noteworthy tours offer something for everyone to enjoy.
A Day With Frida and Diego Art Culture Tour
Learn all about the work of renowned 20th-century Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera on this cultural day trip with Gray Line that takes visitors around Mexico City. Guests will view thousands of works of pre-Hispanic art that Rivera collected at Diego Rivera Anahuacalli Museum, then visit San Juan Bautista Church in the colonial neighborhood of Coyoacan. The day ends at the brightly colored La Casa Azul — Kahlo’s birthplace, which has been turned into a museum dedicated to her life and work.
Day of the Dead Celebrations in Mexico
On this nine-day tour from Journey Mexico, visitors will experience the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which centers around remembering loved ones who have passed. The trip takes visitors through Mexico City, Michoacan and San Miguel de Allende and includes stops at various exhibitions, cemeteries and museums; a shopping trip at a market for decorations; a visit to a local village to learn more about traditional food and customs; and participation in the artistic and cultural events during the annual La Calaca festival.
Extravagant San Miguel Allende and Villa
This Journey Mexico itinerary brings travelers to the magical city of San Miguel de Allende, which is frequently named “The Best City in the World” by top travel publications. The eight-day itinerary includes stops at local cathedrals, shops and restaurants; an exploration of Mexican baroque mural artwork; and several boutique vineyard wine tastings. Highlights include an in-room massage, a private hot-air balloon ride over the city at sunrise and a visit to the historic 17th-century Casa Dragones house for a private tequila presentation and sampling. Guests stay in separate private villas with their own kitchens and stone cellars, where they will also receive a Mexican cooking lesson from a personal chef.
Food, Wine and Tequila in Colonial Mexico
Discover Central Mexico’s rich culinary, wine and tequila heritage on this eight-day Journey Mexico trip. The itinerary includes a visit to Mexico City’s historic center and a lesson about the importance of cacao followed by an artisan chocolate tasting. Visitors are treated to a farm-to-table experience with a market tour, participate in a private cooking class and taste wines from the oldest wine-producing region in the Americas with a private sommelier. The tour also includes visits to local wineries and exclusive tequila experiences.
Guadalupe Shrine & Teotihuacan Pyramids
This nine-hour adventure with Gray Line begins in the main square in Tlatelolco, a pre-Hispanic archaeological site that is home to the colonial church of Santiago built on Aztec ruins. After an introduction to the three main periods of Mexican history, clients will explore the 2,500-year-old Aztec settlement at Teotihuacan, also known as “the city of the gods.” Visitors have the opportunity to climb all 243 steps of the Pyramid of the Sun, see ancient artifacts up close and travel down the infamous Avenue of the Dead. Lunch is served in a local restaurant, followed by a visit to Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the largest shrine in Mexico.
Hop-On/Hop-Off Mexico City Bus
With multiple lines and more than 30 different stops, this leisurely experience with Amigo Tours offers unlimited rides around Mexico City from morning to evening on its double-decker Capital Bus. Guests can get off at any stop they choose and get back on when they are done exploring. Stops include several museums, the historic Zocalo main square and the upscale Polanco neighborhood. Headsets are provided for informative cultural commentary in six different languages. The high season for tours runs from December to April.
Designed by owner Clayton Szczech as “group tours for people who don’t do group tours,” Experience Tequila offers hands-on tours around Mexico’s eponymous region to acquaint guests with the spirit. Clients will learn about all the parts of the tequila production process, from agave cultivation and harvesting to distilling. Guests will also imbibe in the private tasting rooms of some of the oldest tequileros (tequila experts) in the world.
“I can say with absolute certainty that we provide people with a depth of education and a level of access to tequila and tequila-makers that is otherwise impossible,” Szczech said.
Custom VIP tours are offered year-round, although guests are encouraged to book from September through May to avoid the rainy season.