Road Tour Vacations

Colonial Cities of Mexico

Short description:

During the course of your road trip, you will travel to the heartland of Mexico, home to some of the country’s most exquisite colonial cities, towns and villages. You will discover Mexico’s colonial past and at the same time get a rare insight into the way the country lives today. So get ready to Beetle your way on a fabulous journey through time…


Detailed Itinerary

General Overview

  • Available as: Self & Guided Tour
  • Total distance traveled: 7 Days (6 nights)
  • Duration: 626 km (average driving time 2 to 3 hours a day)
  • Number of cities visited: 6 cities & 1 town in 3 different states
  • Price per person (in USD): $1,995
  • Tour departure dates:

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1- Mexico City – Santiago de Queretaro (2 ½ hours)

(Depending on your arrival time) Arrival in Mexico City and transfer to Santiago de Queretaro where you will meet our friendly staff and the rest of the group. Once you’ve relaxed, we will go over a little paperwork with you before introducing you to your ride: a funky classic Beetle convertible. You will then be given some free time to lounge around the pool of the hotel you will be staying in (housed in XVI century colonial mansion) or relax at one of the many lively cafes located on the main square in front of the hotel. You will be given the option of either following our guide on a walking tour of the city center or of touring on your own using one of our walking tout maps. You will then be free to dine in town with other group members or on your own (we will give you list of the best eateries and restaurants the town has to offer).

Day 2 – Santiago de Queretaro San Miguel de Allende (1 hour drive)

7:30 AM to 9:00 AM: continental breakfast in the hotel’s beautiful courtyard followed by a group meeting at 9:30 AM to discuss the road trip and the day’s itinerary. Once the meeting is over, you will be given time to continue your visit of Queretaro, go shopping or just chill out. At 2:00 PM the group will meet in front of the hotel where you will be greeted by your own special Beetle. 2:30 PM, the adventure begins: departure for San Miguel de Allende. You may join the group as it makes its way to the next scheduled stop or hit the road on your own. 3:30 - 4:00 PM: arrival in San Miguel de Allende for those who will have driven with the group. Meeting at the posada (a charming colonial hotel where you will be staying) followed by a guided walking tour of San Miguel’s narrow, winding streets. Visit San Miguel’s highly unusual church that brings to mind Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and the colorful town square. Enjoy a night on the town and head out for dinner and drinks in one of San Miguel’s cool restaurants or bars.

Day 3 – San Miguel de Allende Dolores Hidalgo (45 mn drive)

7:30 AM to 9:00 AM: Continental breakfast at the hotel followed by the group’s daily briefing. A guided tour will follow. Those who prefer to be on their own can stroll San Miguel’s streets or visit its numerous art galleries and shops. After lunch, we will meet at 3:30 PM in front of the hotel to begin the Dolores Hidalgo drive (named after the father of the nation). As usual, you may leave with the group or travel on your own. Arrival at Dolores Hidalgo around 4:30. Guided visit of the small town where Dolores Hidalgo pronounced his famous Grito de Dolores or “Cry for Independence”, which eventually lead to the Mexican War of Independence. Amble around the Zocalo the town square, and discover a town that is also famed for its ceramics.

Day 4 – Dolores Hidalgo Guanajuato (1 hour drive)

7:30 AM to 9:00 AM: Continental breakfast in the hotel followed by the group’s daily briefing. A guided tour and visit of the Museum of Independence follow. Those of you who prefer may go off on their own and explore the ceramics and local arts & crafts shops. After lunch, we will meet at 2:00 PM in front of the hotel to begin the drive to Guanajuato. As usual, you may leave with the group or travel on your own. The mountainous (but not dangerous) road leading to Guanajuato will give you plenty of opportunities to stop along the way to enjoy the landscape or practice your photography skills. Arrival at our hotel in Guanajuato around 4 PM (we will be stopping along the way). Late afternoon guided tour of the town center where you will visit its churches, university and the remarkable Theatro Juarez. Dinner and drinks at one of Guanajuato’s numerous animated restaurants and live music for those who want to enjoy the nightlife.

Day 5 – Guanajuato – Morelia (2 ½ hour drive)

7:30 AM to 9:00 AM: Breakfast at your hotel (or in town) followed by the daily briefing. Time off to wander on your own or with the group’s guide for a visit to the famous “mummies museum”. Departure at 2:00 PM for Morelia. This time the drive will be a little longer but will include an amazing stretch of highway that takes you across a lake as if you were driving on water – and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see the regal pink swans. Arrival at our hotel in Morelia which is located in an old carriage house right in the city center. Guided tour where you will discover Morelia’s classic splendor, its majestic cathedral, many churches and XVI century stone archways. Dinner and drinks at the animated city square for those who want to watch the world go by.

Day 6 – Morelia Patzcuaro (less than I one hour drive)

7:30 AM to 9:00 AM: Breakfast in the delightful garden–courtyard of the hotel. Short daily road trip briefing before you are given some time to further explore Morelia on your own or with our guide. 3:00 PM we meet back at the hotel before leaving for Patzcuaro.

During the short drive to Patzcuaro you will notice a slight temperature change as we make our way through pine forests before reaching the little mountain town of Patzcuaro perched on the edge of a lake. We will stay in a lodge in the town’s center, an ideal spot from which to explore this cheerful little village and its many busy markets and food stands. Patzcuaro is also a great place to buy local art and craftwork (rugs, blankets, jewelry). Our guide will show you around town and we will take a short drive to visit the nearby Tarascan ruins of Tzintzuntzan. In the evening you’ll dine in town.

Day 7 – Patzcuaro Santiago de Queretaro via Acambaro (4 hour drive)

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Breakfast in a little café on one of the town’s main squares where you will enjoy watching the locals as they go about their business. Morning meeting to discuss the day’s itinerary. You will then be given time to take a boat ride on the lake, further explore the town or go do a little shopping. Departure for Santiago de Queretaro via Acambaro at 11:00 AM on peaceful back country roads. Lunch stop in Acambaro before beginning the last leg of the journey back to Queretaro. Arrival in the late afternoon. From there you will have the option of spending an extra night in Queretaro, heading directly to your next destination, or keeping your vehicle for a few extra days to continue your adventure.



Each stopover on your tour will include lodgings in an authentic, charming and historic colonial-style hotel located in the very heart of the city.

Although we chose the hotels for the peace and quiet they offer, all you have to do is step out the main door to enjoy the colors, sights and sounds of Mexican provincial life and set out on your tour of the city.

Most of these hotels, which date from the 16th century, are built around shaded inner patios, where you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and some even have a swimming pool so you can take refreshing dip. Although our hotels may be historic, they are all up to the highest standards: rooms are comfortable, sophisticated and spacious and come with all the latest amenities, including fully-equipped en-suite bathrooms, Wi–Fi and cable TV.




Tour Highlights

  • An opportunity to discover Mexico's history and way of life
  • Wonderful cities (including many world heritage sites) & towns
  • Wide variety of landscapes: rocky deserts, pine forests, wide open plains, mountain torrents, lakes & more.
  • Lively and “simpatico” stopovers, with plenty of time to explore
  • Fabulous architecture (each city or town has its own unique look & feel)
  • Easy driving distances & and first-rate road networks
  • A great way to discover the charms, beauty and vitality of central Mexico



Preparing for your trip

Passport & Visa:
European Union, Canadian and U.S. citizens are not required to apply for a visa prior to their departure as one will be delivered to them at no cost at the immigration desk upon their arrival to Mexico . This visa is issued by the immigration authorities and has no cost (usually this permission is granted for a period of 90 days). However, we advise citizens outside the EU , USA and Canada , please inquire at the embassy or consulate of Mexico closer to their place of residence , on the conditions for obtaining visas . It is also important to check that your passport is valid for at least 60 days from the time when you want to enter the country. Travelers in transit through the United States must have a biometric passport ( e ) and must execute all procedures required by U.S. immigration authorities concerning passenger transit via EU .

Driving license :
Travellers must have a valid driver's license . If your license is not written in Latin characters , we advise you before your departure formalities international driving permit . The European Union permits , as well as Americans and Canadians are valid in Mexico .
Travel Insurance:
All travelers who wish to participate in one of our circuits must have , before your departure, travel insurance ( see General Conditions). Usually this type of insurance are cheap and are responsible , if necessary, to cover your medical expenses during your stay in Mexico (hospitalization , repatriation for medical reasons, etc. . )
What I pack :
Although Mexico is famous for its warm climate ( especially in certain regions you visited ) will advise you before your departure you check the weather conditions so that you carry in your bag all you will need for your stay. Be sure to include a wind breaker and a light jacket , as temperatures can vary depending on the altitude . And do not forget to bring in your carry a hat , sunglasses and sunscreen.
For more information on what to pack , check our Tips and FAQ link . If you have any questions , we invite you to contact our team.



Rates & Conditions

$1,995 per person*

* Based on two people per car and hotel room.
  For the exact cost of upgrades such as accommodation in single occupancy rooms or if  
  you wish to travel alone in your Beetle please contact our team.


What your trip includes:

  • Your Beetle convertible (two people per car)
  • Accommodations (double occupancy) in charming hotels, haciendas or lodges in the cities and towns to which you will be going
  • 1 meal per day (usually breakfasts)
  • Gas (when following the standard itinerary only)
  • Third party automobile insurance & passenger medical costs in the event of an accident
  • A group guide
  • 24/7 roadside assistance comprised of a mechanic and support vehicle (when following the standard itinerary only)
  • Access to a cellular phone for short local calls only and radio during the duration of your trip.

What your trip does not include:

  • Airport transfers fees (although we will arrange them for you)
  • If you are traveling alone, you will be paired with another traveler unless you specifically request your own car and hotel room. Any upgrade - such as accommodation in single occupancy rooms or if you wish to travel alone in your Beetle – shall be subject to additional fees.

  • Lunch and dinner meals, international airfares (note: we can book your airfare for you for an additional fee)
  • Tips and personal purchases you may make during your stay
  • Accommodation, meals, roadside assistance and repairs if you venture beyond the standard itinerary.

Map & Distances

Distances and driving times: 

Santiago de Querétaro (QRO)‎ - San Miguel de Allende (GTO):  64.6 kms –  1 h 30 mns

San Miguel de Allende (GTO) - Dolores Hidalgo (GTO): 40.5kms –  1 h

Dolores Hidalgo (GTO) - Guanajuato (GTO): 62.7 kms - 1h30 mns

Guanajuato (GTO) - Morelia (MICH): 247 kms - 3 h 30 mns

Morelia (MICH) - Patzcuaro (MICH): 19 kms - 20 mns

Patzcuaro (MICH) - Queretaro (QRO): 235 kms - 3 h 30 mn