In this “Best of Mexico” suggested travel itinerary you will explore Mexico City, Teotihuacan archaeological site and travel to Puebla to visit the Cholula archaeological site and Tonantzintla. Your journey will continue to Oaxaca, a World Heritage Site, that was once the centre of the Mixtec and Zapotec civilizations. You will stay in Oaxaca and visit Mitla and Monte Alban archaeological sites as well as the Tule tree. If you would like to extent your adventure in Central America, take a look at our Guatemala, Costa Rica and Panama travel itineraries to find a perfect match.
|Day 1 -2||Arrive Mexico City. Full day city tour & Teotihuancan|
|Day 3||Full day Cholula and Tonantzintla|
|Day 4-5||From Mexico to Oaxaca. Half day city tour|
|Day 6||Half day Mitla archaelogical site and Tule Tree|
|Day 7||Half Day Monte Alban archaelogical site|
|Day 8-9||From Oaxaca to Mexico City. Depart Mexico City|
Day 1: Arrive Mexico City
Downtown Mexico City has been an urban area since the pre-Columbian 12th century, and the city is filled with historical buildings and landmarks from every epoch since then. It is also known as the City of Palaces, because of the large number of stately buildings, especially in the Centro. When you arrive at your hotel you will have the remainder of the day to explore and relax.
Day 2: Full day city tour & Teotihuacan archaeological site
You will explore magnificent Mexico City, built on top of the ruins of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. Your first stop is at the Zocalo (main square), one of the biggest public squares in the world. You’ll visit the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral) – the biggest church in Latin America, and Palacio Nacional (National Palace) – which hosts Diego Rivera’s murals depicting the history of Mexico. The tour continues to a handcrafts market, where you have time for some shopping and browsing.
After that you will be driven along the famous Paseo de la Reforma Boulevard, built during the short-lived reign of Emperor Maximilian to connect the main square with the castle of Chapultepec, a place he used as his private residence. The tour continues to the archaeological site of Teotihuacan, located 50 kms (31 miles) northeast of Mexico City. Teotihuacan is one of the most impressive cities of the ancient world, held sacred by the Aztecs. You will explore its temples, palaces and pyramids, including the Quetzalpapalotl Palace Complex, the Temple of the Feathered Conches, the Pyramid of the Moon, and the immense Pyramid of the Sun, ranked among the biggest in the world.
Day 3: Full day Cholula archaeological site and Tonantzintla
Puebla is best known for the beautiful Talavera tiles that adorn its walls, domes, and interiors; and for the Mole Poblano, Mexico’s national dish that originated here. The streets of Puebla, a World Heritage Site, are lined with churches, mansions, and other beautiful buildings and are a delight to stroll around.
You will be driven to the World Heritage Site of Puebla, located 130km southeast of Mexico City. On the way you will make a stop in Tonantzintla, where we will visit its exuberant church. Under its dome, the surface is covered with colourful stucco saints, devils, flowers, fruits, birds and more – a great example of indigenous artisan-ship applied to Christian themes. The day continues to Cholula, where you will visit the Great Pyramid of Cholula, its remains measuring 450m along each side of the base and 65m high, making it larger in volume than Egypt’s pyramid of Cheops. Now overgrown and topped by a church, it is difficult to recognize this once magnificent pyramid. You will arrive in Puebla in time for lunch (not included in tour price). Mexico’s national dish, the ‘Mole Poblano’, originated here! You will explore the colonial center, lined with churches and colonial mansions, many adorned with the beautiful hand-painted Talavera tiles for which Puebla is famous. Time to shop for some Talavera, before driving back.
Day 4: From Mexico City to Oaxaca
You will be transferred from Mexico City to Oaxaca. Located in a valley surrounded by the Sierra Madre del Sur, was once the center of the Mixtec and Zapotec civilizations. Today’s Oaxaca is a combination of pre-conquest, colonial and modern influences. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure to explore Oaxaca. Stroll through the downtown streets, sit in a sidewalk cafe on the Zócalo and soak up the atmosphere.
Day 5: Half day Oaxaca city tour
Oaxaca – a World Heritage Site – was once the center of the Mixtec and Zapotec civilizations. After the Spanish conquered Oaxaca in 1533, the city quickly took on a Spanish flavour, with ornate buildings and charming plazas. Yet despite its colonial heritage, the city remains Indian at heart, due to the presence of a large indigenous population. You will walk through the streets of the colonial city center, along the Cathedral – with its attractive baroque facade, the Iglesia de Santo Domingo – a church with a breathtaking interior that dazzles with gold ornaments, and the Casa Juarez – where Mexico’s great liberal reformer and president Benito Juarez lived. You will have time to browse the colourful local markets, and soak up the bustling atmosphere on the Zocalo (main square).
Day 6: Half day Mitla archaeological site and Tule Tree
We will visit the “Arbol del Tule”, one of the world’s largest trees, and thought to be over 2000 years old; after that we will continue to the archaeological site of Mitla, located 46km southeast of Oaxaca. Mitla was an important Zapotec city after the decline of Monte Alban, and it was later occupied by the Mixtecs. Many of Mitla’s temples were destroyed by the Spanish, and the stones were used to build the Iglesia de San Pablo, the Catholic church that dominates the site. You will explore the beautiful buildings with their unique geometric stone mosaics, and the church in their midst. On your way back to Oaxaca the tour guide will stop at a distillery for Mezcal tasting and to watch the production process.
Day 7: Half day Monte Alban archaeological site
We will visit Monte Alban – a World Heritage Site – spectacularly situated on a mountain 400 meters above the Oaxaca Valley, a few kilometers west of Oaxaca. Monte Alban is the greatest of the Zapotec cities, and it came to dominate the cultural, religious, and economic life of the region. It is also a triumph of engineering; the mountain top was leveled to allow for the creation of the ceremonial site. You will explore the Gran Plaza, the Ball Court, the Observatory, the Palace, and other beautiful structures.
Day 8: From Oaxaca to Mexico City
Today you will be transferred from Oaxaca to Mexico City. Enjoy your last night and prepare to leave for your flight the next day.
Day 9: Depart Mexico City
This morning you will be transferred after breakfast from your hotel to the airport in Mexico City. Your Best of Mexico itinerary concludes here.
- Arrival & departures transfers in all cities
- Full day Mexico City tour & Teotihuacan archaeological site
- Full day Puebla: Cholula archaeological site and Tonantzintla
- 4 nights accommodation in Mexico City
- Half day Oaxaca city tour
- Half day Mitla archaeological site and Tule Tree
- Half day Monte Alban archaeological site
- 4 nights accommodation in Oaxaca
- International and internal flights
- Items of personal nature
- Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
- Tips to Drivers, guides and Porters
Travel Just 4U has competitive South America Flights to get you to the starting point of your chosen Holiday. Contact one of our Travel Consultants for a full quotation including airfares, stopovers and any additional travel you wish to organize.