Zacatecas (1).JPG

EL CAMINO REAL
DE
TIERRA ADENTRO

MARCH 11- 27, 2023
CDMX TO ZACATECAS
M E X I C O

10 - 14 GUESTS
$70,000 MXN EA
Approx: $3500 US

QUICK INFORMATION

Starts & Ends: Mexico City, Mexico
Option for intro to Mexico City, Mexico

Group Size:  14 Maximum
Age Group:  19+

HOTEL LOCATIONS
Price based on shared accommodations


1 Night     - Mexico City
2 Nights   - Tepotzotlan
3 Nights   - San Miguel de Allende 

2 Nights   - Guanajuato City

2 Nights   - San Luis Potosi City

3 Nights   - Real de Catorce

3 Nights   - Zacatecas City

PRICE IS BASED ON SHARED ACCOMMODATIONS FOR TWO
 

$70,000 MXN for 10-14 Guests

Single Supplement is $18,000 MXN for 16 nights in a private room for 1.

For US Currency, divide by 20 for an approximate conversion.  For Canadian Currency, divide by 15 for an approximate conversion.

TRAVELLING WITH A FRIEND?

If you are travelling with a friend or are open to shared accommodations with another solo traveller, please contact us so we can look into the rates for rooms with 2 beds.

INTRODUCTION

There were three major trade routes of Mexico that intersected in Mexico City.  The first route was through the Port of Veracruz, while an extension of the Silk Road was later carved from Acapulco to central Mexico, due to the Manila Galleons, which were Spanish trading ships that connected with the Philippines.  What became the route of riches, was El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, or Royal Interior Road, which followed ancient indigenous trade routes through the silver-rich territory of Mexico to what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Coined "Mexico's Silver Road," this extraordinary region is bursting with opulent architecture and incredible UNESCO sites, all built from the riches of Mexico's silver mines.

 

Join us and explore the region known as "The door to the Royal Road," or La Puerta del Camino Real.  This adventure covers UNESCO sites including several cities we will stay in, bridges, churches, and a portion of the original road.  Don't miss this epic journey through Mexico's intercontinental trade route that was key to powerful transformations around the world. 

 

THE HUB OF MEXICO'S TRADE ROUTES

Day One: Saturday March 11, 2023

Hotel Location:  Mexico City, Mexico

Please be in Mexico City by 5PM to meet your guides and fellow guests. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 5:30 for transport to dinner. If you would like assistance getting to the hotel, we can make arrangements for you.

 A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES BEGINS

Day Two: Sunday March 12, 2023

Hotel Location:  Tepotzotlan, Hidalgo 

This morning we depart Mexico City for the quaint village of Santiago Tlautla, where we will enjoy a short walk from Puente la Colmena, along an historic portion of the original road to Hacienda la Cañada. Our next stop is Sitio del Arcos, or the Aqueduct of Xalpan, which is the highest aqueduct in Mexico. We will then make our way to Tepotzotlan, where we will spend two nights.

TREASURES OF TEPOTZOTLAN

Day Three:  Monday March 13, 2023

Hotel Location:  Tepotzotlan Hidalgo

This morning we will visit the Museo Nacional del Virreinato and the Temple San Francisco Javier. We will enjoy free time this afternoon, so guests can shop, explore or rest.

AN ANCIENT CITY TO A UNESCO TREASURE

Day Four: Tuesday March 14, 2023

Hotel Location:  San Miguel de Allende

The ancient city of Tollan-Xicocotitlan is more commonly named Tula, which is a Castellano-interpretation of Tollan, and name of the town and river that irrigates its' lands. This ancient city was the capital of the Toltec Empire and is most famed for featuring four, 15-foot high anthropomorphic statues on Pyramid B, which became known as 'The Atlanteans of Tula.'  We will spend the morning here, then have lunch and wine tasting at Dos Buhos Winery, before entering the colourful UNESCO city of San Miguel de Allende.

COBBLESTONES & GALLERIES

Day Five: Wednesday March 15, 2023

Hotel Location:  San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato​

This morning we will enjoy a walking tour of San Miguel De Allende's centro, before breaking for free time. As San Miguel de Allende was a cross-roads of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and La Ruta del Independencia, there is a lot of intriguing history here to explore!  This evening, we will have a special dinner party that includes a lecture about how trade with the Americas impacted the rest of the world. 

MEDICINAL WATERS, FAUX TALAVERA & A GHOST TOWN

Day Six: Thursday March 16, 2023

Hotel Location:  San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato​

This morning we will depart San Miguel de Allende by 7:30 AM for La Gruta Spa Restaurant & Spa, where we will have breakfast and enjoy a morning at the Hot Springs.  We will leave the spa by 11:00 AM to visit the incredible UNESCO protected Church of Jesus de Nazarene, located nearby, before visiting the pottery shops in Dolores Hidalgo, where vendors sell locally made ceramics that resemble Talavera.  We will enjoy a charcuterie board and wine at Cuna de Tierra Vineyards, and finally arrive in Mineral de Pozos to visit the fantastic ruins of an old mine site and ex-Hacienda, and descend into an interesting working mine.  We will return to San Miguel de Allende for dinner. 

PRE-HISPANIC PERSPECTIVES

Day Seven: Friday March 17, 2023

Hotel Location:  Guanajuato City, Guanajuato​

Dr. Rossana Quiroz Ennis is respected for her ground-breaking research at the ancient Otomi city of Cañada de la Virgen, which has inevitably changed the way Pre-Columbian society has been studied by the west. Dr. Rossana Quiroz Ennis has dedicated her life's work to archaeo-astronomical observation and research, and is the President of the Museo de Astronomia de Prehispánica. We will visit the site this morning, and enjoy a special pre-Columbian lunch at the Museum. We will then depart for the fantastic city of Guanajuato for dinner.

THE OPULENT CITY OF TUNNELS

Day Eight:  Saturday March 18, 2023

Hotel Location: Guanajuato City, Guanajuato​

This morning we will enjoy a walking tour of the city, before breaking away for an afternoon of free time. Enjoy the view of this magnificent city from the Pipila, shop in the famous Hidalgo Market, and enjoy exploring and photographing Guanajuato's incredible architecture. We are not including the Mummy Museum on our tour anymore, as some guests have found it quite distressing. Please let us know in advance, if you would like tickets for the museum, so we can make arrangements. This evening we will enjoy an enchanting street-theatre & music performance about two star-crossed lovers - a tragic romance that hails from the peak of Guanajuato's mining days.

A BRIDGE & A MILITARY GARRISON

Day Nine: Sunday March 19, 2023

Hotel Location:  San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi

This morning we depart Guanajuato City for San Luis Potosi, with a day spent exploring Lagos de Moreno, and the military garrison of Ojueles de Jalisco - both of which are Pueblo Magico's boasting structures that are protected by UNESCO as part of the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.

AN CULTURAL TREASURE

Day Ten: Monday March 20, 2023

Hotel Location:  San Luis de Potosi​, San Luis Potosi

This morning we will depart San Luis Potosi for a morning jaunt to Santa Maria del Rio to learn about one of Mexico's most important treasure - the Rebozo.  These garments are revered by men and women in Mexico, some fetching exceptionally high prices for the fine workmanship and materials.  Though these garments are rooted in indigenous tradition, they were also influenced by garments brought by the Spanish.  We will return to San Luis Potosi, and enjoy some free time to explore downtown.  We have an optional evening tour on a local bus, that will take us through the city's most important historical areas.

A TIME TRAVELLERS DREAM

Day Eleven:  Tuesday March 21, 2023

Hotel Location:  Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi​

 

Our departure from San Luis Potosi at 8:30 AM means arriving in Cerro de San Pedro for a morning spent learning the history behind the ghost town that was the foundation of the capital. From here, we will head to Real de Catorce, arriving on time to enjoy a charcuterie dinner at our hotel, along with a mezcal tasting.

PILGRIMAGE TO CERRO DEL QUEMADO

Day Twelve: Wednesday March 22, 2023

Hotel Location:  Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi​

Our guides will meet us by 9:00 AM, for one of the most exciting adventures of this tour. Travel by horseback from the village of Real de Catorce, through crumbling ruins of old haciendas and silver-lords, to the sacred mountain-top temple of Cerro del Quemado. We will reach 11,000 feet, and will hike for about 15-20 minutes to reach the temple. From here, we will enjoy fantastic views of the peyote desert below, where Wixaritari peoples harvest the sacred plant for their ceremonies.

Upon returning to Real de Catorce, we will dismount our horses, have lunch and enjoy a mesmerizing walk-about the town, visiting the alluring Church of Guadalupe, haunted bull-ring and galvanic Palenque Theatre, which was built for cock fighting. Browse the countless shops and galleries to collect authentic Wixaritari beadwork, and you can even ride a horse back to the town centro!

JEEP WILLY RIDE TO WIRIKUTA

Day Thirteen:  Thursday March 23, 2023

Hotel Location:  Real de Catorce, San Luis Potosi​

Here is your chance to really put your hair down and embark on a hair-raising adventure that your back may remember for a few hours or days, depending on your age and physical shape. It's one everyone should prepare for, as this jeep-willy ride to the desert is one for the bucket list. Descending from 10,000 to 6,000 feet in a matter of 40 minutes, this narrow, winding stone road constructed by hand, delivers you to the peyote desert, revered by the Wixaritari as Wirikuta, or place where the sun was born. Upon returning to Real de Catorce, we will enjoy free time so guests can browse the galleries, or relax.

PUEBLA FANTASMA & PLATERESQUE FANTASIES

Day Fourteen:  Friday March 24, 2023

Hotel Location:  Zacatecas City, Zacatecas​

This morning we will depart the hotel for a thrilling climb on horseback, up the steep switch-backs to Puebla Fantasma, which overlooks the small village of Real de Catorce. Enjoy stunning views and the chance to ride through the crumbling structures of a forgotten history. We will return to Real de Catorce around noon for lunch, before departing for the 4 hour journey through hillsides of cactus to the glamorous city of Zacatecas.

SPAIN'S GARDEN OF EDEN

Day Fifteen: Saturday March 25, 2023

Hotel Location:  Zacatecas City, Zacatecas​

Our adventure ends in the city where the riches of Spain's conquest of Mexico truly began, for it is here where Chichimeca warriors first introduced Spaniards to the silver deposits, that resulted in the construction of Mina el Eden - which is now an exciting mine-museum. After an engrossing experience underground, we will ascend to the peak of La Bufa via a tram car, with stunning views of the city.

Our next stop is the enriching museum of Rafael Coronel, whose extensive mask and art collection is housed in the ex-convento de San Francisco.

THE RAZED CITY OF CHICOMOZTOC

Day Sixteen:  Sunday March 26, 2023

Hotel Location:  Zacatecas City, Zacatecas​

We will depart Zacatecas early to beat the heat of the day. The razed city of Chicomoztoc has bewildered archaeologists since its discovery, though the one certainty is that this city was once burned to the ground. Many theories surround who built this fortress, and what groups moved through this region. As this site is located along the ancient northern trade route of Mesoamerica, some historians ponder whether it existed as a trade centre. This surprising site holds many secrets, and is stunningly beautiful. We will have lunch in Guadalupe, before visiting the Convent of Guadalupe, which houses one of the largest collections of historical religious art in all of the Americas. This evening we will enjoy a lovely farewell dinner. 

PARTING IS SUCH SWEET SORROW

Day Seventeen:  Monday March 27, 2023

Hotel Location:  N/A​

This morning we say goodbye, and part ways. Your guides will return by van to Michoacan State, and guests will fly into Mexico International Airport early enough to connect with departing flights. Please allow us to confirm your flight time back to CDMX prior to booking your own flight home.

Please check out our 3 day introduction to this tour, which starts in Mexico City!

PHOTO GALLERY

INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS
Please let us know if you have any questions about what is or isn't included.  Refer to the bottom of this tour page for files you can download, such as our meal chart and tour itinerary.

ALL TRANSPORTATION

From Mexico City, we travel by private Mercedes van to the city of Zacatecas.

Your flight from Zacatecas to CDMX is included in the price.

Guests will be travelling to CDMX independently, as the guides will be driving the van back to Morelia.

GUIDED SERVICES

Your hosts are ready to serve you from breakfast until 8 PM, unless we have a special evening event.  If you have an emergency outside of these hours, contact Jennifer at +52 443 639 2782

MEXICAN TELCEL NUMBER

If you would prefer to have a Mexican Sim card while you are here, please let us know ahead of time so we can buy one for you.  So long as your phone is unlocked and you bring your key, we can easily set you up for your stay here.  The cost is $200 Pesos (Approximately $10 US) for 2 GB Data and unlimited calls within Mexico, to the US and Canada.   

HOTELS

All hotels are included, based on shared accommodations.  If you are travelling alone, single supplement is $18,000 Pesos extra for a private room for 16 nights.  

If you are travelling with a friend and want to share a room, contact us so we can look into rates for rooms with two beds.  Some hotels charge the same for two double beds as they do for one queen, so the supplement will be based on the rates.

Though we always book with hotels that offer Wifi, most hotels in this region only have Wifi in the main lobby areas, mainly due to inconsistent signals, or thick stone walls that block the signal.  We recommend having a Telcel plan for an inexpensive local Data Plan.

We aim for hotels that feature Queen or King size beds, but this is not always possible.

All hotels will be in central areas so everything is walking distance.

SELECT MEALS & DRINKS

All breakfasts include coffee, tea or juice

1 Lunch is included

4 Dinners are included - Beverages + Tips are separate

Wine at Dos Buhos Winery Included

Charcuterie & Wine at Cuna de Tierra Winery Included

Charcuterie & Mezcal Tasting in Real de Catorce Included

1 Bottle Award Winning Wine from Mexico Included

EL CAMINO REAL DE TIERRA ADENTRO IS PROTECTED BY UNESCO

AS AN INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE ROUTE OF WORLDWIDE IMPORTANCE

 

Along our journey, we will visit and stay in spectacular places that are noteworthy,

including UNESCO protected cities, Pueblo Magico's, Ghost Towns, Ancient Cities

and important churches and museums.

 

CITIES & TOWNS WE WILL STAY IN

Mexico City (UNESCO)

Tepotzotlan (Pueblo Magico)

San Miguel de Allende (UNESCO)

Guanajuato City (UNESCO)

San Luis Potosi

Real de Catorce (Pueblo Magico Ghost Town)

Zacatecas (UNESCO)

TOWNS WE WILL VISIT

Santiago Tlautla

Mineral de Pozos (Pueblo Magico Ghost Town)

Lagos de Moreno (Pueblo Magico)

Ojueles de Jalisco (Pueblo Magico)

Santa Maria del Rio (Pueblo Magico)

Cerro de San Pedro (Ghost Town)

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES

Tollan-Xicocotitlan (Hidalgo State)

Canada de la Virgen (Guanajuato State)

Chicomoztoc (Zacatecas State)

HISTORICAL PLACES, CHURCHES & MUSEUMS FROM THE CAMINO ERA

Puente la Colmena (Bridge) & Portion of the Original Road

Sitio del Arcos - Aqueduct of Xalpan

Museo Nacional del Virreinato

Temple San Francisco Javier

Church of Jesus de Nazarene (UNESCO)

Ex-Hacienda and Mine of Santa Brigida

Puente Lagos

Military Garrison

Puebla Fantasma

Mina el Eden

La Bufa

Museo of Rafael Coronel

Convent of Guadalupe

PLACES WITH SPIRITUAL HISTORY

La Gruta Spa 

(Though now modern, this was once a medicinal place among indigenous groups)

Cerro del Quemado

Wirikuta

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

 

GUESTS WITH CLAUSTROPHOBIA

If you suffer from claustrophobia, please contact us for information on the Ogario Tunnel,

as this is a necessary part of this journey.  The tunnel takes about 4-5 minutes to navigate,

and is quite narrow, with low ceilings.  We had one guest who was prepared for this experience,

as she saw the video posted below.  We offered her support heading in and out of Real de Catorce,

and though she did panic a bit, she was proud to survive.  Another tour company wasn't so lucky, as they had one guest who arrived with a group, and vehemently refused to go through - forcing their group to forgo their visit to Real de Catorce.  Please know - we do not have this option on a tour like this, so please be prepared to enter the tunnel.

If you are claustrophobic or have fear of being underground and in confined spaces, we recommend skipping our tour to Mina San Rafael and Mina el Eden.  We will arrange a different activity for you, unless you prefer to use that time to browse the shops or rest.

 

 

 

DO YOU HAVE COPD, OR HAVE A HISTORY OF ALTITUDE SICKNESS?

If you have mild COPD, and are still active, this tour is manageable for you.  Please advise us when you contact us, so we are prepared to work with you individually regarding any activities you may want to skip - such as the horseback trip to Cerro Quemado and Puebla Fantasma.  Cerro Quemado delivers guests to an altitude of near 2800 meters (9,000) feet above sea level, and a short by very steep climb to the temple that takes between 10-25 mins, depending on the individual.

Real de Catorce is our highest hotel destination, seated at 2728 meters (9000 feet) above sea level.  Our lowest hotel destination is Mexico City at 2240 meters (7400 feet) above sea level, so if you have a history of problems with severe altitude sickness, this may not be the trip for you.

 

Please Note:  All visitors from low elevation areas will suffer at least some difficulty breathing upon arrival, though it usually only lasts a couple of days.  We design this trip to start in Mexico City so visitors have the chance to get used to the altitude before reaching the peak elevations of this tour. 

HORSEBACK RIDING ISN'T FOR EVERYONE

If you do not have any riding experience, please let us know ahead of time so we can offer some helpful tips.  Our treks to Cerro Quemado and Puebla Fantasma are on horseback, and the terrain makes it tricky for the horses.  That said, the horses move slowly, at a walking pace, and will be led by a licensed guide.  For a group, we will have a couple of guides leading the horses - experienced riders may ride untethered, and those who are more nervous can have direct leadership with one of the guides.  It may be possible to hike to Cerro del Quemado, if you are in excellent shape.  Pueblo Fantasma is very steep, but two of our guests climbed part-way on our last trip.  If you choose to skip the horseback riding, let us know ahead of time so we can refund you for the cost.  We require cancellation 24 hours before we depart, otherwise must pay the guides for their commitment to our group.

JEEP WILLY RIDE

The jeep willy ride seems far scarier than it really is - we highly recommend this for anyone with a sense of adventure.  That said, if you have bad back problems or an extreme fear of heights, let us know ahead of time so we can discuss details with you.

ABOUT PEYOTE

The Wixaritari are famed for their peyote ceremonies, as they are also known to be frustrated by foreigners who ask how they may procure peyote while in Mexico.  Peyote Ceremonies are a sacred ritual that are part of the Wixaritari culture and lifestyle, and as such, have strict protocols, such as abstinence from sex and certain foods.  Please do not approach indigenous peoples about taking peyote, out of respect for their cultural and personal boundaries.

COVID-19 & INSURANCE INFORMATION

We require proof of vaccination for our tours until further notice.

We realize this is controversial for some, but we are so grateful to be travelling again, and

are determined to reduce risk as muc as possible

Masks must be worn at all times, unless eating

We will have hand sanitizer in the van

OUR EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

In the event that your family needs to reach you

our cell number is +52 443 639 2782

It is a Mexican number, and we also use Whatsapp for incoming International calls

YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION

We request contact information for your insurance provider, in the event that you are in an accident and are unconscious.  If you are not willing to offer us this information, please leave a copy of your policy with a family member or trusted friend, and give us their contact information so they may act on your behalf.  Safety is important!

DOWNLOADS

 

PDF FILES

Please be sure to download the Word files for Dietary Information and Emergency Contact Information, and email them back to us at info@soulofmexicotours.com

Also be sure to send us your proof of vaccination.  We will destroy these records once the tour is complete.  We realize this is controversial for some, but we remain dedicated to the locals where we live, the guides we work with, and fellow guests on tour.