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MEXICO CITY – DURANGO
Welcome at the Mexico City´s “Benito Juarez” international airport. Arrange your transfer to your hotel on your own.
Overnight in Mexico City.
We will visit the Historical downtown district that is a Unesco´s world heritage site, the National Palace, the Zocalo which is the Mexico City’s principal plaza, fills such a role and is the heart of that great metropolis. As for the term “zócalo,” it derives from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs and kindred peoples. It means “base” or “plinth,” referring to the base of a planned column which was never constructed. Though long-since removed, the name stuck as a designation for the plaza. Architecturally, the Zócalo follows the Spanish plaza-style found in Spain and Latin America. A plaza is a square or rectangle at the heart of the city where the seat of government and a Catholic church are often located. Experts think the temple on the exact spot where the Aztecs saw their symbolic eagle perching on a cactus with a snake in its beak – the symbol of Mexico today. In Aztec belief this was, literally, the center of the universe.
Next, continue to the Metropolitan Cathedral, on the Zocalo ‘s north side is the Metropolitan Cathedral, the Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María, seat of the Archbishop of Mexico. Mexican history has had its share of church-state conflict and yet there they are — the Cathedral and the Palacio in close proximity on the Zócalo, a microcosm of Mexican society. The Cathedral replaced an earlier post-Conquest Spanish church which, in turn, had been built over the site of the Aztec temple precinct. The Cathedral was a work in progress for several centuries. Its foundation began to be laid in 1562 and construction began in 1573. It was finally completed in 1813. Then proceed to Reforma boulevard, the Chapultepec Park, the most glamorous residential districts of the city and the Zona Rosa (Pink Zone). We continue with a panoramic Tour of the World Trade Center, the Siqueiros Cultural Polyforum, the Mexico Bullring, the Theater of the Insurgentes, the Olympic Stadium, the University City, the lava gardens of San Angel; after, visit Xochimilco, a world heritage site, to ride an Aztec boat; and then to the colonial district of Coyoacan with its XVI century mansions and the impressive paintings at the church of Saint John The Baptist.
Overnight in Mexico City.
Breakfast. We will begin our journey at Mexico City visiting the Square of the three cultures, where the past and the present mix; continue to the impressive archaeological zone of Teotihuacan, to admire the monumental Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, the temple of Quetzalpapalotl, the citadel and the avenue of the dead. The most important and largest city of pre-Aztec central Mexico located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of modern Mexico City. At its apogee (c. 500 CE), it encompassed some 8 square miles (20 square km) and supported a population estimated at 125,000–200,000, making it, at the time, one of the largest cities in the world. It was the region’s major economic as well as religious center. Teotihuacán was designated a UNESCO World heritage site in 1987. In addition to some 2,000 single-story apartment compounds, the ruined city contains great plazas, temples, a canalized river, and palaces of nobles and priests. The main buildings are connected by a 130-foot- (40-metre-) wide road, the Avenue of the Dead (“Calle de los Muertos”), that stretches 1.5 miles (2.4 km); oriented slightly east of true north, it points directly at the nearby sacred peak of Cerro Gordo. The Avenue of the Dead was once erroneously thought to have been lined with tombs, but the low buildings that flank it probably were palace residences.
Today we will also visit an arts & crafts center. Return to Mexico City to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of America. According to tradition, Mary appeared to Juan Diego, who was an Aztec convert to Christianity, on December 9 and again on December 12, 1531. During her first apparition she requested that a shrine to her be built on the spot where she appeared, Tepeyac Hill (now in a suburb of Mexico City). The bishop demanded a sign before he would approve construction of a church, however. Mary then appeared a second time to Juan Diego and ordered him to collect roses. In a second audience with the bishop, Juan Diego opened his cloak, letting dozens of roses fall to the floor and revealing the image of Mary imprinted on the inside of the cloak—the image that is now venerated in the Basilica of Guadalupe. Return to the hotel and rest of the day free.
Overnight in Mexico City
This morning first we will have a panoramic tour in Cuernavaca, the city of the eternal spring, to visit one of the oldest Cathedrals in America, the Palace of Cortes, its mansions and avenues. Cuernavaca city, capital of Morelos estado (state), south-central Mexico. It is located in the Valley of Morelos, some 40 miles (65 km) south of Mexico City, at an elevation of about 5,000 feet (1,500 meters). Cuernavaca, which translates as “cow horn,” is a Spanish corruption of the indigenous name Cuauhnáhuac (“Place near the Forest”). Hernán Cortés captured Cuernavaca in 1521, and it subsequently became a colonial administrative centre. We will see the Palace of Cortés in Cuernavaca built between 1523-1528, is the oldest conserved colonial-era civil structure in the continental Americas. The architecture is a blend between Gothic and Mudéjar, typical of the early 16th century colonial architecture. The cathedral in Cuernavaca that dates back to the sixteenth century built by Cortés to double as a fortress, with cannons mounted above the buttresses. Over time, this church underwent a number of transformations, updating its interior. This was undone in the mid-twentieth century, when restoration work removed all the Neoclassical altars and images. These now are stored in the cathedral’s pinacotheca and not available to the public. Restoration work uncovered all fresco murals on the lateral walls, relating to the martyrdom of Philip of Jesus, the first Mexican canonized as a saint. The only other decoration inside this church now is a modern-style crucifix and an image of the Assumption of Mary. This restoration work was carried out by Bishop Sergio Méndz Arceo.
After the Reform Laws in the 1860s, most of the monastery property passed into state, then private hands, leaving only what is now the cathedral and several smaller chapels on a very large atrium. Then, we will continue to the Sierra Madre to visit one of its treasures: Taxco, known as the “World Silver Capital”, and being a UNESCO’s World Heritage site, to visit the famous Baroque parish church of Santa Prisca. With steep cobblestone streets, striking Spanish colonial architecture, and rust-red roofs tangled in bougainvillea, this lovely city and its tourist attractions are well worth exploring. The Church of Santa Prisca with Baroque ornament of the era and its images in which highlight the patron saints, is considered one of the most beautiful work of the Mexican baroque art by the richness of its decoration. Small it may be, but visitors travel from far and wide to wind their way through the narrow alleyways of Taxco’s intimate colonial heart. Some of the best things to do in Taxco include visiting the museums, admiring the arts and crafts, and shopping for authentic silverware in this magical Mexican city. Return to the hotel and rest of the day free.
Overnight in Mexico City.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to board flight to Durango, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is a colonial treasure and a destination that offers a wealth of culture, surrounded by waterfalls, green mountains, rivers and desert. Be sure to take a cable car where you can enjoy an incomparable and spectacular view of the city Centre. Arrive at Durango hotel and check in. A leisurely afternoon for to get ready for the next day’s special Solar Eclipse event.
Overnight in Durango.
A short coach trip from our hotel to the eclipse center line which is close to the longest duration point of the eclipse. Return to hotel after the eclipse for overnight.
Total Eclipse Duration 3m 48s
Start of partial eclipse 11:55:42.11
Start of total eclipse 13:12:04.05
End of total eclipse 13:15:53
End of partial eclipse 14:36:39
Overnight in Durango.
End of Services.
Rates & Booking Info
Per person in Double room: $ 4,345
Single Room: $ 5,255
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Eclipse Traveler reserves the right to do minor itinerary alterations due to local circumstances and flight re-routing keeping the essence of the given program. We will let our guests know the changes to the itinerary if any in advance in a timely manner.