Ancient Mexico - Aztecs to Zapotecs
£3,220 excl. flight
- The Great Temple of the Aztecs
- Monte Alban, Mitla and Xochicalco
- Colonial cites of Morelia and Oaxaca
In Mexico, the pre-Hispanic past is everywhere: in the faces on the street, the cuisine and in Diego Rivera’s frescoes. On this personal journey explore the country's diversity, from Aztec temples amid Mexico City’s urban sprawl to the more traditional areas of Michoacan and Oaxaca. In a staggering roll call, this tour covers archaeological sites from five ancient civilisations - Aztec, Teotihuacan, Tarascan, Mixtec and Zapotec - as well as impressive colonial architecture.
Day 1 London/ Mexico City – Fly to Mexico City.
Day 2 Mexico City – Explore the zocalo, cathedral and excavations at the Aztec Templo Mayor with its world-class museum. Visit the ceremonial centre at Tlatelolco and the round temple at Pino Suarez metro station.
Day 3 Mexico City – Visit the spectacular Anthropological Museum, Tepotzotlan and the Church of San Francisco for its outstanding facade.
Day 4 Mexico City - Explore the gardens, rock-cut baths and aqueduct of King Nezahualcoyotl at Tetzcotzinco. Continue to Tepexpan Museum and the Augustinian Convent of Acolman.
Day 5 Mexico City – Visit Cerro de la Estrella where the Aztec New Fire ceremony was held. Afternoon to Xochimilco with boat trip through the Aztec canals and visits to the archaeological museum and Santa Cruz Acalpixca.
Day 6 Teotihuacan – Excursion to Teotihuacan, returning via Tenayuca.
Day 7 Mexico City, Cuenavaca – Explore the Palace of Cortes, the oldest domestic building in Mexico, now a museum. See the Aztec pyramid of Teopanzolco and Tepoztlan’s Museum and monastery.
Day 8 Xochicalco, Cuernavaca - Visit Xochicalco with its carved pyramid façade.
Day 9 Malinalco – Drive to Malinalco with its unique rock cut temple in a spectacular setting.
Day 10 Cuernavaca, Patzcuaro – Travel through mountain scenery to Patzuaro, via the archaeological site of Calixtlahuaca. Afternoon tour of Patzcuaro.
Day 11 Patzcuaro, Tarascan - Visit Patzcuaro’s Museo de Artes Populares and famous mural at the public library. Explore the ruins at Tzintzuntzan and Ihuatzio. Continue to the Museo Michoacano.
Day 12 Patzcuaro, Morelia - Drive to the colonial city of Morelia and visit its colossal cathedral, aqueduct and butterfly sanctuary.
Day 13 Morelia/ Oaxaca – Fly to colonial Oaxaca with the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 14 Oaxaca – Tour the city including the highly decorated Baroque Santo Domingo Church and regional museum exhibiting gold from Monte Alban. Explore Monte Alban, capital of the Zapotecs. Return via Zaachila.
Day 15 Oaxaca – Visit the sites of Dainzu, Yagul and Lambityeco, and stop at the immense Tule Tree and at the Church of San Jeronimo Tlacochahuaya.
Day 16 Oaxaca - Explore Mitla, residence for the Zapotec priestly class. Enjoy stunning views at Hierve el Agua.
Day 17 Oaxaca/ London – Fly back to London overnight via Mexico City.
Warwick Bray is Emeritus Professor of Latin American Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London. He has excavated in Colombia and Ecuador and has travelled extensively in Latin America.
His particular interests include pre-Hispanic metallurgy, aboriginal faming and land-use, the archaeology of Colombia and Aztec ethno history. He is co-author of The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology, and his specialist works deal with the archaeology of the Americas, from Mexico to Peru.
If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.