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
Your driver will meet you outside of customs for your private transfer from Leon Airport to the small and charming colonial city of San Miguel Allende (1:30 hrs). Check-in to your accommodation and enjoy a well deserved rest! 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 : Guided half day tour of San Miguel Allende
Meet your guide at the hotel lobby for a walking city tour to experience the colourful buildings and enjoy the parks of San Miguel, we'll visit the Parroquia, the Oratorio, the Museo Casa de Allende; the house of San Miguel's most famous son and namesake, the independence leader Ignacio Allende, which is now a museum. You will also visit Fabrica La Aurora, one of San Miguel's most unique destinations, a beautiful art and design center housed in a former textile factory from the turn-of-the century. Wander through one of Mexico's finest collections of art, galleries, design, furniture, more. Enjoy lunch on your own and rest of the afternoon at Leisure!
Day 3 : San Miguel Allende/Guanajuato
Today we say goodbye to our first stop in our journey into the core of Mexico’s rich colonial heritage. We will be met at our hotel at 9:00 a.m. and transfer to the incredible world heritage city of Guanajuato, only 45 minutes drive. Upon arrival and checking into the hotel in Guanajuato we'll prepare to enjoy Guanajuato’s history and culture, rich as its mines full of silver during the colonial era. The sites of most interest we'll visit include: The central plaza or Zocalo as it is known in all Mexican towns and cities in the Republic, Teatro Juárez, Callejón del Beso, Alhondiga de Granaditas (site of the first rebel victory in the War of Independence), Museo y Casa de Diego Rivera, the Museo de las Mómias, the Mina and Templo de la Valencia and more depending on time and interest.
You will be back at your hotel in time to relax and refresh before your dinner at one of the best restaurants in town “El Jardin de Los Milagros” for a chef’s table experience with Chef Bricio Dominguez.
Day 4 : Guanajuato/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 explorantion, 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
After breakfast you will be picked up for 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. The moderate walk (:30 mins.) to the top of the gently sloped island is great to stretch your legs and acclimatize further to the crisp mountain air. 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 return mid-day and will continue on to Santa Clara del Cobre for a delicious locally prepared 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. We will have ample time to visit the silver shops for which Santa Clara is famous for before continuing on to the Purepecha ruins of Tzintzuntzan for a brief, but interesting visit. In the late afternoon return to our hotel to relax, freshen up and head out on the town for dinner.
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.
Day 8 : Zitacuaro/Mexico City Airport
Early morning 8:00am, you will be bet by your guide at the hotel lobby for your private transfer (2 1/2 hrs) to Mexico CIty Airport.
Important note: Please do not schedule flights earlier than 2:00pm.
End of Services
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.
Hotel MatildaSan Miguel de Allende
Where past, present and future combine, and a unique hospitality experience unfolds. The quaint flair of a magical colonial town meets the most forward concepts in contemporary lifestyle to captivate the savviest traveler. Hotel Matilda takes the colonial San Miguel aura beyond, into the realm of vanguard style and elegance. While welcoming guests in a setting steeped in a rich historical past, we embrace the latest trends in premium hospitality with a keen eye for artwork and ambiance, a green mentality in operations, and a passion to provide enriching new cultural and personal experiences. - See more at: http://hotelmatilda.com/#/hotel/the-hotel/
Quinta Las AcaciasGuanajuato
Quinta Las Acacias, was built in a XIX century French style mansion, which is listed by the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) and restored in 1998 creating a luxury hotel bringing attention to service and design joining/mixing the classic European style furniture and antiques with the Mexican handicraft beauty; such merge, creates an elegant and welcoming atmosphere in all the rooms and areas which invite the guests to relax and enjoy an unforgettable stay.
A spectacular view of Guanajuato's mountain can be enjoyed on the outdoor Jacuzzi and/or having a pleasant relaxing afternoon in the garden of cactus.
Casa de la Real Aduana Boutique HotelPatzcuaro, Michoacan
Patzcuaro’s foremost accommodation, is a small luxury hotel located in the heart of Colonial Patzcuaro. This stylish hotel is housed in a 16th century manor that has been designated a historical landmark, close to Patzcuaro’s celebrated lake, surrounded by Purhepecha Indian villages, pre-Hispanic pyramids and Colonial convents.
Rancho San Cayetano HotelZitácuaro, Michoacan
Rancho San Cayetano is a modern hotel surrounded by 13 acres of Mexican countryside.
Quiet comfort, relaxing atmosphere is San Cayetano.
The most convenient location for visiting the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuaries, near the city of Zitacuaro, Michoacan, the Rancho also offers a short walk to Coatepec de Morelos, with its 16TH Century Church, a place appearing in the Humphrey Bogart film “Treasure of Sierra Madre”, plus trips to the small villages of the surrounding hills and valleys. (Read more about historic Zitacuaro.)
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.