Mexico’s Diverse Nature, Cultures, and Ancestral Rituals (9 Days / 8 Nights)- Totonal Viejes que illuminan

This journey of Mexican culture, ancestral rituals, and nature invites you to reconnect with your spirit and discover your inner light.

Highlights:

•    Witness the colorful, elegant expression of dance of the Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez at the National Palace of Arts
•    Visit Frida Kahlo’s home, a Mexican painter renowned throughout the world because of the strength and emotional profoundness of her work.
•    Visit Coyoacan district in Mexico City, a cool bohemian community. One of the best places in the capital.
•    Learn how pulque, an agave drink of pre‐Columbian origin associated with female energy, is made.
•    Tour a coffee plantation and taste one of Mexico’s  best mountain coffees.
•    Experience the hauntingly beautiful music of world renowned harpist Cynthia Valenzuela as she plays a special concert for us in the forest one evening
•    Get drenched, exhilarated, and blown away by the scenery as you raft on Mexico’s best whitewater river, the Rio Pescados
•    Meditate and chant in the forest under the guidance of Cynthia Valenzuela
•    Experience the mystical ceremony of temazcal (Mayan sweat lodge)
•    Visit a backstrap loom workshop with indigenous women in the Totonaca región of Veracruz
•    Visit the beautiful ruins of the pre-Hispanic city of el Tajin, unlike any other in Mesoamerica.
•    Visit the school of the flying men of Papantla  “Los Voladores de Papantla”  as they perform  their world-renowned aerial ancestral Mesoamerican ritual.
•    Enjoy the delicious and distinct regional cuisines of Puebla and Veracruz

ITINERARY – Starts in Mexico City / Ends in Veracruz

NOTE: This tour must begin on Wednesday or Sunday

Day 1: Mexico City Arrival; Historical City Tour; National Folkloric Ballet

Morning arrival at the Mexico City International Airport and transfer to our hotel, Hotel Catedral in the historic center of the Mexico City.  Late afternoon tour of the city.  Attend evening performance of the world renowned Ballet Folklorico de Mexico at the beautiful National Palace of Arts.  Accommodations in Hotel Catedral, historical center of Mexico City.  (L)

Day 2: Frida Kahlo; Barrio Coyoacan; Transfer to Zacatlan de las Manzanas

Visit  Casa Azul, the studio and residence of iconic artist Frida Kahlo.  Then check out the cool neighborhood of Coyoacan  with  tree-lined cobblestone streets , famous artists, artisans, markets with richly diverse foods and authentic crafts.   Afternoon departure to the beautiful, quaint Pueblo Magico (translation “Magic Town”) in the hills of Zacatlan de las Manzanas in the State of Puebla. Accommodations at a beautiful country hotel in Zacatlan  (B, L, D)

Day 3: Pulque Tour & Tasting; Transfer to Coatepec

Tour a maguey field and artisanal distillery where you’ll see how the Pulque, an ancestral milk colored agave drink is made and taste some as well.  The agave is a lunar plant which has been valued for its heightening of female energy.  For centuries, nursing mothers have advised to drink pulque.  Afternoon transfer to another Magico Pueblo – Coatepec, the coffee-growing capital of the State of Veracruz.   Accommodations at Posada Coatepec, a beautiful small hotel reminiscent of a Spanish colonial hacienda. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Coffee Plantation; Transfer to Jalcomulco; Night Forest Walk & Concert by Harpist Cynthia Valenzuela

After breakfast, tour a coffee plantation and taste the locally grown high altitude coffee – Mexican Altura Coatepec.  It is the best coffee in the state of Veracuz.  Then we transfer to the beautiful little town of Jalcomulco in the Sierra Madre mountains where we’ll stay 2 nights in the luxury permanent tented suites  at Mexico Verde nature reserve.  Afternoon at leisure – relax in the pool, get a massage, or check out the grounds of this charming eco hotel.  This evening, we’ll walk with lamps in the forest to the Fairies Temple where Cynthia Valenzuela, world renowned harpist, will welcome us with hauntingly beautiful  ancestral music on her metal harp.  Active meditation.  (B, L, D)

Day 5: Morning Chants and Harp; Whitewater Rafting on Pescados Section, Rio Antigua; Evening Temazcal Ritual

We return to Fairies Temple for an early morning meditation session with chanting and singing in the forest beside the natural warm water pools as Cynthia plays her metal harp in the water.   After breakfast, experience the rush of whitewater water rafting on the Pescados section of the Rio Antigua, Mexico’s best whitewater river.  Afternoon free.  Evening ancestral temazcal ritual (Mayan sweat lodge) and pre-Hispanic ceremony with guided meditation and chants.  Followed by a cleansing meal of fruit and tea.  (B, L)

Day 6: Transfer to Costa Esmerelda; Mangroves Experience; Beach Bonfire

Breakfast and transfer to the beautiful beaches of the Costa Esmerelda in northern Veracruz state.  Afternoon at leisure.  Late afternoon tour of the mangroves in silent palanganas – traditional non-motorized, wooden fishing boats so that we can hear the music of the birds, and leave nature undisturbed .  After dinner, an evening bonfire on the beach warms us as we learn how the ancients of Mexico counted time – not according to the Gregorian calendar, but according to energy.   2 nights accommodation on the beach at Taboga Boutique Hotel.  (B, L, D)

Day 7: El Tajin Ceremonial Center; Flying Birdmen of Papantla; Weaving Workshop; Mexican Vanilla Factory

Early morning visit to the exquisite ruins of the pre-Hispanic city of El Tajin, one of the most important ceremonial centers in Veracruz.  Here we will make fruit and flower offerings to Mother Earth, just as our ancestral indigenous people did.   Mid-morning performance by Los Voladores (they who fly) de Papantla, as they perform the breathtaking aerial ritual of their Mesoamerican ancestors.  Visit to the Center of Indigenous Arts and participate in a backstrap loom workshop with indigenous Totonac women.  Afternoon visit to an organic vanilla (native to Veracruz) factory.  Evening at leisure.  (B, L)

Day 8: Quiahuiztlan Pre-Columbian Burial Site; La Antigua & Folkloric Ballet; Transfer to Veracruz

Transfer to Veracruz city with stop at Quiahuiztlan, a pre-Columbian Totonac cemetery, and the town of La Antigua where Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes de Soto lived.  Enjoy a local folkloric ballet.  Afternoon arrival in Veracruz.  Afternoon free – walk around the zocalo (main square in the city center).  Farewell Dinner in the evening.  Accomodations at Hotel Diligencia on the zocalo.  (B, L, D)

Day 9: Transfer Hotel – Veracruz Airport.

Transfer to Veracruz airport for your onward flight.  End of tour.

COST

If 10-14 persons, price is  USD $2,150 per person, based on double occupancy.  If 4-6 persons, price is USD $2,750 per person.  If single occupancy is desired, add USD $250.

Includes:
All accommodations; meals as shown in itinerary; all included activities, guides, and entrance fees, all ground transportation,

Does Not Include:
Airfare; travel insurance; tips for guides; alcoholic beverages; personal expenses and purchases; meals not listed as included.

Reservations must be made and paid in full at least 30 days prior to scheduled trip start date.