Road Tour Vacations

Colonial Cities Tour extended to Zacatecas

Short description:

During the course of this road trip, you will travel through the heartland of Mexico and drive north to the city of Zacatecas, famous for its silver mines. This extended version of our 7– day Colonial Cities Tour will give you a full picture of central Mexico’s many splendid colonial 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: 1,360 Kms (or 845 miles)
  • Duration: 12 Days (11 Nights)
  • Number of cities visited: 11 Cities & towns in 6 different states
  • Price per person (in USD): $3,295
  • Tour departure dates:


Detailed Itinerary


Day 1- Mexico City – Santiago de Queretaro (2 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 tour 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 to San Miguel de Allende (1 ½ 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 to Guanajuato (1 ½ hour 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 2:30 pm in front of the hotel to begin the drive to Guanajuato. We will make up our way to Guanajuato through the mountains on a relitavely short and pleasant drive that will give you plenty of opportunities to stop along the way and poractice your photography skills. Arrival at our hotel in Guanajuato around 5:00 pm (remember we will be stopping along the way). Once seetled in your charming colonial hotel overlooking thye city, you will be given the opportunity to take a 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 4 –Guanajuato to Dolores Hidalgo (1 ½ hour drive)

7:30 am to 9:00 am: Continental breakfast in the hotel followed by the group’s daily briefing. 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”. After lunch, we will meet at 2:00 pm in front of the hotel to begin the drive to Dolores Hidalgo which will reach around 4:00 pm (remember we make stops along the way). As usual, you may leave with the group or travel on your own. Once we’ve reached our destination, a 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 5 – Dolores Hidalgo – San Luis Potosi (2 ½ hour drive)

7:30 am to 9:00 am: 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 1:30 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. This leg of the journey is a little longer but the road is excellent and by then you’ll feel so comfortable with your Beetle that you’ll feel like driving all the way to Buenos Aires! Arrival in San Luis Potosi, capital of the state that goes by the same name. Once checked in the hotel you’ll be given the opportunity to chill-out before heading for a guided tour of the city’s historic center. Evening drinks and dinner in town followed by a taste of the nightlife or a good night’s rest…



Day 6 – San Luis Potosi – Zacatecas (2 ½ hour drive)

7:30 am to 9:00 am: Breakfast in the hotel followed by the group’s daily briefing to discuss the San Luis Potosi – Zacatecas leg of the journey. You’ll be given some time to wander around town with our guide or on your own before we hit the road at 1:30 pm to head to the northernmost point of our journey: the city of Zacatecas. As we make our way to Zacatecas, a town famous for its silver mines, you will notice that the landscape gets drier and rockier (perhaps compare it to some famous Western). Arrival in Zacatecas towards 4:30 pm where we will be staying in a stunning hotel with a  special “cachet”. Once relaxed and refreshed after your desert drive you’ll be able to discover the many charms of the little city with your guide or on your own. Evening drinks followed by dinner and a night stroll through town.



Day 7 – Zacatecas –  Real Asientos (1 ½ hour drive)

7:30 am to 9:00 am: Breakfast in the charming garden of the hotel followed by our daily briefing. Time to pursue your visit of the town accompanied by our guide or on your own. You may then go on the visit of a mine or head towards the silver market on the outskirts of town. Remember, Zacatecas is famous for its silver mines so those of you who like jewelry will get your fill. After lunch we will prepare for our drive to Real de Asientos, a typical small Mexican town located in the neighboring state of Aguascalientes. Arrival in town towards 4:30 pm where you will be given some time to relax and wonder around this peaceful little haven and get a taste of local life. Evening in town and early dinner.

Day 8 – Real Asientos  –  Lagos de Moreno (2 1/4 hour drive)

7:30 am to 9:00 am: Breakfast in the hotel or in town followed by our daily briefing.
You will then be given some free time to wonder around town and do a little shopping or sip a coffee at a local terrace. Lunch and departure at 2:00 pm for Lagos de Moreno in the state of Jalisco. Arrival in Lagos de Moreno towards 5:00 pm after a few breaks along the way. By now you’ll have been on the road for over a week so we have scheduled a special stop at a first-rate Hacienda & Spa for some R&R. Enjoy a spa treatment or simply lounge around the pool. Once you’ve relaxed head for the town center with the group or on your own for a good dinner or if you prefer  to chill out, just stay put and enjoy a nice traditional diner at the Hacienda. You choose.

Day 9 – Lagos de Moreno  –  Morelia  (3 ½  hour drive)

7:30 am to 9:00 am: Breakfast at the Hacienda followed by –guess what?... our daily briefing! Then, head in town with the group and guide or on your own to take in Lagos de Moreno’s bustling morning life. We’ll head off fairly early (1:00 pm) in order to reach the majestic city of Morelia in the late afternoon. The drive is a little longer than usual 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 10 – Morelia to Santa Clara del Cobre (1 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 am we meet back at the hotel before leaving for Santa Clara del Cobre.

During the short drive from Morelia you will notice a slight temperature change as we make our way through pine forests before reaching the little mountain town of Santa Clara del Cobre. Check-in followed by some free time to relax. Walk around town or explore the surrounding countryside with your Beetle. Dinner and drinks.

Day 11 – Santa Clara del Cobre - Patzcuaro (20 minute drive)

7:30 am to 10:00 am: Breakfast followed by our daily meeting which is scheduled for 10:00 am. By now you will have driven close to 1,000 kms (or over 600 miles) so you may want to give yourself and your Beetle a little day off. For this reason, this leg of the journey is by far the shortest (only 20 minutes). On this 10th day of your trip you will drive a short distance to the neighboring village of Patzcuaro perched on the edge of a lake, and one of our favorite stops. You may leave whenever it pleases you and drive on your own. If you wish to leave with the group please be ready by 11:30 am. In Patzcuaro, 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 12 – Patzcuaro to 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.

Accomodation

Accomodation


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 (except when traveling to very remote areas).



 

Tour Highlights

 

  • A 12-days comprehensive tour of central Mexico's colonial cities
     
  • An opportunity to discover Mexico's history and way of life
     
  • A wide variery of cities and towns (including many world heritage sites)
     
  • Indredible landscapes ranging form rocky deserts to pine forests, and from wide open plains to mountain lakes
     
  • Lively and “simpatico” stopovers, with plenty of time to explore with our guide or on your own
     
  • Breathtaking architecture (each city or town has its own unique look & feel)
     
  • First-rate road networks
     
  • A great way to discover and immerse yourself in 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 in Mexico (such visas are usually valid for 90 days). Other nationals are advised to contact the Mexican embassy or consulate closest to where they live to find more about visa requirements. Please note that Mexican authorities require your passport be valid at least 60 days from the time you enter the country.


Driver's license:
Travelers are required to hold a valid driver's license. If your license is not written in roman characters (I’m wondering if there is an easier way to say this) please apply for an International driver's license.


Traveler's Insurance:
All travelers are required to subscribe to a Traveler's Insurance (see our Terms & Conditions) before beginning their journey. This type of insurance is generally very inexpensive and will cover you should you require any medical assistance while in Mexico.


What to pack:
Although this particular area of Mexico is reputed for its dry clement weather, it’s a good idea to check out the local weather conditions before packing. Make sure you include a wind breaker and light sweater as the weather may vary a bit as you rise up into the mountains. Also be sure to take along a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

 

For more information on packing tips please refer to Packing Tips and FAQs sections. If you have any questions please contact our team.

 

 

 

Rates & Conditions

 

$3,295 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

Travel Distances & Driving Time:


Santiago de Querétaro (QRO)‎ - San Miguel de Allende (GTO):  64.6 kms –  1 h 20 mns

San Miguel de Allende (GTO) - Guanajuato (GTO): 55.7 kms –  1 h 20 mns

Guanajuato (GTO) - Dolores Hidalgo (GTO): 62.7 kms - 1h25mns

Dolores Hidalgo (GTO) - San Luis Potosi (SLP): 148 kms - 2 h 30 mns

San Luis Potosi (SLP) - Zacatecas (ZAC): 190 kms - 2 h 30 mns

Zacatecas (ZAC) - Real Asientos (AGS):  115 kms - 1 h 30 mns

Real Asientos (AGS) - Lagos de Moreno (JAL): 155 kms - 2 h 15 mns

Lagos de Moreno (JAL) - Morelia (MICH): 247 kms - 3 h 30 mns

Morelia (MICH) - Santa Clara del Cobre (MICH): 71 kms - 1 h

Santa Clara del Cobre (MICH) - Patzcuaro (MICH): 19 kms - 20 mns

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