A one-of-a-kind natural and cultural adventure—the way only MTS can do it!
One-of-a-kind experiences are what set MTS trips apart, and on this remarkable trip you’ll have an exceptional adventure steeped in the flavors, colors and traditions of Mexico’s central highlands. Mexico’s Spanish colonial heritage is unrivalled in the New World. The conquistadores found abundant gold and silver here, and lavished their new wealth on the cities they built. The greatest concentration of these colonial towns is found in the mountains north of Mexico City, and our journey takes you to three of the region’s most precious gems,all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll begin with a guided tour of San Miguel de Allende’s beautifully preserved historic center. Next, you’ll visit enchanting Guanajuato; Patzcuaro, with its unique blend of colonial and indigenous cultures; and Lake Patzcuaro, famed for its Day of the Dead celebrations and fascinating crafts villages. Just when you think you’ve been dazzled enough, we’ll take you to see one of nature’s most amazing phenomena—millions of monarch butterflies gathering at their wintering grounds in the forests of Michoacán.Witnessing them as they blanket the trees in orange, fill the skies with cascades of gold, and even alight on your hands is an experience beyond compare. Join us on this rare adventure, steeped in the flavors and colors of the highlands.
- Enjoy private, guided tours of three classic colonial towns: San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and Patzcuaro, all UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Explore the archaeological site of Tzintzuntan, known for is unique, rounded pyramids called yacatas
- Enjoy a one-of-a-kind journey like only MTS can do it
- Visit the fascinating crafts villages surrounding Lake Patzcuaro, and the island of Janitzio, a famous Dia de los Muertos ritual site
- Witness one of nature’s most amazing phenomena—millions of monarch butterflies gathering for winter at El Rosario and Sierra Chincua Sanctuaries
Duration: 7 days Start Location: Leon End Location: Mexico CityDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Arrive in Leon and transfer to San Miguel de Allende
Meet your driver outside of customs for your private transfer from Leon Airport to the small and charming colonial city of San Miguel Allende. Enjoy the afternoon on your own to explore the cobble stone streets and acclimatize to the crisp, clean high desert air.
(Available transportation from Mexico City Airport to San Miguel de Allende with additional supplement)
Day 2 : Tour of San Miguel de Allende
Tour of San Miguel de Allende, experience the colourful buildings and enjoy the parks of San Miguel, you'll visit the Parroquia, the Oratorio, the Museo Casa de Allende; the house of San Miguel's most famous son and namesake, You will also visit Fabrica La Aurora, one of San Miguel's most unique destinations and wander through one of Mexico's finest collections of art, galleries, design, furniture and more.Afternoon at leasure!
Day 3 : Guanajuato
This morning transfer to the incredible world heritage city of Guanajuato. We'll tour Guanajuato’s history and culture, rich as its mines full of silver during the colonial era. You'll visit the Zocalo, Teatro Juárez, Callejón del Beso, Alhondiga de Granaditas (si, Diego Rivera's house & museum and many more sites depending of your interests. Dinner at one of the best restaurants in town “El Jardin de Los Milagros” for a chef’s table experience.
Day 4 : Patzcuaro
After breakfast you will be picked up and privately transferred to the highland colonial gem of Patzcuaro (3:00 hrs.). Mid-day arrival and check in to our lovely hotel located right off of the Central Plaza followed by a guided tour of the city center. Upon deeper exploration, the cobble stone streets and 17th century Architecture give way to the Tarascan and Purepecha traditions of the indigenous inhabitants in a delightful blend of modern Mexico that piques your interest and imagination.
Day 5 : Patzcuaro/Isla Janitzio/Santa Clara del Cobre/Tzintzuntzan
Today we'll have a full day tour of Janitzio island and the fascinating crafts villages that surround Lake Patzcuaro. This picturesque lake, is accented with the now famous island of Janitzio, one of the most important and visited villages for Dia de los Muertos ritual celebration. We'll climb the several hundred steps to the top of the 140 ft. statue of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon up onto his wrist to view the lovely panorama or simply relax in the small park at his feet enjoying the view. We will continue on to Santa Clara del Cobre for lunch of Tarascan fare. The island and surrounding villages offer a window into pre-Columbian times and the friendly Purépecha indigenous people who are glad to share a smile or invite you into their work shops to browse the rich crafts traditions. Continue on to the Purepecha ruins of Tzintzuntzan for a brief, but interesting visit before returning to your hotel.
Day 6 : Patzcuaro/El Rosario Sanctuary/ Zitacuaro
An early start today, about 7:00 am your guide will meet you at your hotel lobby to begin with your adventure. You will make a four and a half hour journey to“El Rosarito” Sanctuary. Upon arrival will walk uphill to catch your first experience of the Monarchs butterflies.
After this amazing experience we will continue to Zitacuaro’s charming hotel and our home for the following two nights. Evening at leasure.
Day 7 : Monarch Butterflies
This will be our second visit to Sierra Chincua Sanctuary, We'll start in the morning around 9:00am. We'll walk up hill to find the best observation point. You can hike up hill or use the help of a trusty horse if desired. Your second sight of the butterflies can be quite strenuous, but it is well worth it!
NOTE, your visits to the sanctuaries depends on the location of the migration and local conditions – if necessary we'll amend the sanctuaries visited to ensure your enjoyment of this experience.
DATES: Best time to go: January - April, November - December Departures: Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availability. Call us for details.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.