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MEXICO'S SILVER ROAD


There were three major trade routes of Mexico that intersected in Mexico City.  The first route was through the Port of Veracruz from Spain, while the next was the Manila Galleons that sailed from the Philippines into Acapulco.  What became a route of major riches, was El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, or The 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 and cities, Pueblo Magico's and ghost towns, bridges, important churches, a sacred Wixaritari temple and the sacred Peyote home of Wirikuta, a portion of the original road, and more.  Don't miss this epic and beguiling journey through Mexico's intercontinental trade route that was key to powerful transformations around the world.

www.soulofmexicotours.com

"We loved the silver tour.  We loved the magnificent architecture, native ruins and rich history.  Mexico is full of beautiful places and endearing people."

*****
Lisa Romary & Dave Mosher

QUICK INFO

PRICE DETAILS
$76, 000 MXN based on shared accommodations
$22,000 Single Supplement
TOUR LOCATION
Central Mexico
TOUR DATES
March 12 - 28, 2023
GROUP DETAILS
Age Group:  29+
Group Size:  8 (Min) - 12 (Max)
HOTEL LOCATIONS - 16 NIGHTS
CDMX - Mexico State x 1 Night
Tepotzotlan - Mexico City x 1 Night
Santiago de Queretaro - Queretaro x 2 Nights
Guanajuato City - Guanajuato x 2 Nights
Mineral de Pozos - Guanajuato x 1 Night
Real de Catorce - San Luis Potosi x 3 Nights
Zacatecas City - Zacatecas x 3 Nights
Pinos - Zacatecas x 1 Night
Lagos de Moreno - Jalisco x 2 Nights
www.soulofmexicotours.com
Mexico City.JPG

INTERNATIONAL HUB OF THE WEST

Hotel Location:  Mexico City, Mexico

Date:  Sunday 12, 2023

 

Arrive in Mexico City with enough time to check into your hotel, and meet us for our welcome dinner. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 6 PM. Tonight will be an early night, as many of our guests will have been travelling all day. Our dinner is for making introductions, handing out physical itineraries, and answering last minute questions.

Please Note:  Our welcome dinner is important to attend, as we will collect your insurance information, proof of covid vaccine and emergency contact information. 

.

*****​

Dinner Included – Drinks and Drink Tips are Separate 

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

HEART OF A TRADE EMPIRE

Hotel Location:  Tepotzotlan, Mexico

Date:  Monday 13, 2023

 

This morning we check out of our hotel by 7:00 AM, and head for breakfast before visiting the Ancient City of Gods. The UNESCO protected city of Teotihuacan is a massive archaeological site, but we will have the chance to explore the main temples. We will enjoy lunch in Teotihuacan before departing for Tepotzotlan, where we will visit the Museo Nacional del Virreinato, housed in the Old College and Templo of San Francisco Javier.

*****​

All Entrance Fees Included

All Meals Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

FRAGMENTS OF THE OLD ROAD

Hotel Location:  Queretaro, Queretaro

Date:  Tuesday March 14, 2023

 

This morning we check out of our hotel and depart Tepotzotlan for the magnificent Arco del Sitios. From there, we will explore an ancient section of the original El Camino road, which was constructed by hand, before a short stop at the ancient city of Tolan-Xicocotitlan, more commonly called Tula. We will arrive in Santiago de Queretaro by dinner time.

*****​

All Entrance Fees Included

All Meals Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

A CITY ONCE DIVIDED

Hotel Location:  Queretaro, Queretaro

Date:  Wednesday March 15, 2023

 

This morning we will explore two contrasting areas of the centro of Santiago de Queretaro – one of which has charming, meandering roads lined with interesting shops and restaurants, which was once the indigenous quarter, while the other is a traditional Spanish grid design. We will be visiting several important historical sites that have been earmarked as significant to the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro.

 

This evening, enjoy a very special dinner party at Queretaro’s top-rated restaurant Ticua. We will have a set menu, featuring special cuisine, and an interesting discussion about the exotic foods that arrived in and departed Mexico as a result of colonialism.

*****​

All Entrance Fees Included

Dinner Included – Drinks & Tips Separate

Breakfast and Lunch Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

A CITY OF TUNNELS

Hotel Location:  Guanajuato, Guanajuato

Date:  Thursday March 16, 2023

 

Though now a very modern spa, the waters we will soak in this morning were once a pilgrimage site for indigenous groups, especially warriors, who revered these medicinal spring waters for their healing properties.

 

Following lunch, we will visit the magnificent Santuario de Jesus Nazareno, which is lovingly called Mexico’s Sistine Chapel.

 

Next we head to La Valenciana Mine, to descend about 60 feet into the bowls of the earth to visit an expansive mine site.

 

We will arrive in Guanajuato City on time for dinner.

*****​

All Entrance Fees Included

All Meals are Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

A STAR-CROSSED LEGEND

Hotel Location:  Guanajuato, Guanajuato

Date:  Friday March 17, 2023

 

This morning we will enjoy a fascinating walking tour of this opulent city, which was raised from the riches of her silver mines. We will ride a funicular to the look-out, or “Pipila,” for superb views of the city, visit the regional museum, and Museo ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera.

 

Following lunch, we will break for free time so guests can relax, read, journal, shop or continue exploring. Some options here include the childhood home of Diego de Rivera, and the Mummy Museum.

At 7 PM, we will meet at Juarez Theatre for some entertaining street theatre that tells Guanajuato's own star-crossed "Romeo & Juliet" tragedy that hails from the city's mining history.

*****​

All Entrance Fees Included

Street Theatre Included

All Meals Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

WELLS OF THE EARTH

Hotel Location:  Mineral de Pozos, Guanajuato

Date:  Saturday March 18, 2023

 

This morning we depart Guanajuato City, first stopping in the Pueblo Magico of Dolores Hidalgo. We will visit the celebrated church of the Grito, which is iconic in Mexico due to Father Hidalgo’s cry of independence, which began here. Our other reason for stopping in Dolores Hidalgo is to visit the pottery shops, where vendors may say you are purchasing Talavera pottery. Though the pieces here are very inexpensive and beautiful, they are not authentic nor as fine as certified Talavera. (We still collect it!)

 

From Dolores Hidalgo, we will visit Cuna de Tierra Winery for a beautiful charcuterie plate and wine tasting. Our last stop will be the Ex-Hacienda and Mine Ruins of Santa Brigida.

*****​

All Entrance Fees Included

Wine Tasting & Charcuterie Lunch Included

Breakfast & Dinner Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

JOURNEY TO THE END OF THE WORLD

Hotel Location:  Real de Catorce

Date:  Sunday March 19, 2023

 

This morning, we will descend into the working gemstone mine of San Rafael, before departing for the famed town of Santa Maria del Rio, where the finest rebozos in Mexico are manually woven on backstrap looms. After having lunch, we will embark on our longest drive, which will take us approximately 4.5 hours to reach the entrancing ghost town and Pueblo Magico of Real de Catorce. Here we will enjoy a relaxed evening at our hotel, complete with dinner and mezcal tasting.

*****​

All Entrance Fees Included

Dinner & Mezcal Tasting Included – Drinks & Drink Tips Separate

Breakfast & Lunch Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

HILL OF THE REPENTANT

Hotel Location:  Real de Catorce

Date:  Monday March 20, 2023

 

This morning, we ascend to approximately 10,000 feet on horseback, up a handmade switch-back path that will take us through the ruins of Puebla Fantasma, which was a settlement with a panoramic view overlooking Real de Catorce.

 

After lunch, we board a classic Jeep Willy for a hair-raising ride down the Hill of the Repentant to the sacred home of the Peyote, which the Wixaritari call Wirikuta. Though seemingly unrelated to Silver Road history, we will learn about indigenous resistance among the Wixaritari, who have been documenting the damages of mining on their sacred places. A fascinating facet to this educational exploration of some of Mexico’s richest history.

*****​

Horseback Riding included

Jeep Willy Ride included

Breakfast Included

Lunch & Dinner Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

TRAVERSING THE SIERRA CATORCE

Hotel Location:  Real de Catorce

Date:  Tuesday March 21, 2023

 

This morning, we embark on a wonderful horseback trip through the ruins of ex-haciendas and out across the Sierra de Catorce, to the sacred lands of Cerro Quemado. We will visit the Wixaritari temple there, which is seated close to 10,000 feet above sea level, overlooking Wirikuta 4000 feet below, where the peyote is grown. The shaman often has beaded jewelry and prayer bowls for sale, and will also offer to smudge guests for a fee. Guests should be aware that when we reach the prayer path, we will be instructed to walk counter clock-wise, as this is a sacred prayer for the local Wixaritari.

*****​

All Activities Included

Breakfast Included

Lunch & Dinner Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

PLACE OF ABUNDANT GRASS

Hotel Location:  Zacatecas

Date:  Wednesday March 22, 2023

 

This morning, we depart Real de Catorce for the majestic city of Zacatecas. Please be prepared for a lengthy drive with few pit-stops! 

 

We will arrive for lunch in Guadalupe, before visiting the incredible painting collection housed in the Museo de Guadalupe. From there, we will check into our hotel, and enjoy an evening to relax.

*****​

Entrance Fees Included

Breakfast Included

Lunch & Dinner Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

A REGRETTABLE GIFT

Hotel Location:  Zacatecas

Date:  Thursday March 23, 2023

 

This morning, we explore the origins of what would later become El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, starting with Mina el Eden. Learn about the Chichimeca Warriors who informed the Spanish about the silver deposits, and the history of how Mina el Eden became an important mine in Mexico. From the bowels of the earth, and across the sky in a tram car, we will ascend to La Bufa. Following lunch, we will enjoy a city walking tour to visit the incredible Cathedral, which features Churrigueresque architecture. Break away to enjoy an afternoon of free time.

*****​

Entrance Fees Included

Cable Car Ride Included

All Meals Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

THE BURNT HILL

Hotel Location:  Zacatecas

Date:  Friday March 24, 2023

 

This morning, we depart early to beat the heat of the day, as the ancient city of Chicomoztoc is hunched up an exposed hill. This stunning site remains a conundrum for archaeologists who have contemplated it as a crossroads of many different cultures, including it being an important stop along the original indigenous trade route that preceded the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. At one point, the city was razed.

 

We will return to Zacatecas for lunch and an afternoon in the enchanting, crumbling ex-convent of San Francisco, which houses the most mesmerizing and overwhelming collection of masks, which were collected by Rafael Coronel. Guests can choose to ride back to the hotel in the van, or walk back – which takes about 40 mins.

*****​

Entrance Fees Included

All Meals Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

TALL PINES

Hotel Location:  Pinos

Date:  Saturday March 25, 2023

 

This morning we will stop at one last, fantastic church that is only open in the mornings, before we depart Zacetecas City.

 

We will arrive in the Pueblo Magico of Pinos for lunch.  Pinos was a very important stop along the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro. We will spend our day sampling the famous local mezcals, and exploring the charming city centre.

*****​

Entrance Fees Included

Mezcal Tasting Included

All Meals Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

7 GARRISONS & THE CHICHEMECA WAR

Hotel Location:  Lagos de Moreno

Date:  Sunday March 26, 2023

 

This morning, our first stop is in the Pueblo Magico Ojueles de Jalisco.  We will visit the only remaining and restored Garrison, of 7 that were constructed during the Chichemeca War, which raged from 1550 to 1590. 

 

We will have lunch in the historical centre, then make our way to Lagos de Moreno, where we will visit a fantastic bridge before unwinding at our hotel.

*****​

Entrance Fees Included

All Meals Separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

A HISTORICAL RESTING PLACE

Hotel Location:  Lagos de Moreno

Date:  Monday March 27, 2023

 

Today, our sole purpose is to relax and process all of the things we have experienced along our journey.  Guests who would like to return to the city centro will enjoy a guided tour, and those who want to stay at the hotel to enjoy spa treatments or garden time have this beautiful option.

Tonight we will celebrate our last dinner party.  We look forward to your feedback, including your critiques and favourite places. 

 

We would like the opportunity to tell you about Part Two of this journey, and gain your input as to what sites you would recommend.

*****​

Dinner included - Drinks & Drink Tips Separate

Breakfast & Lunch Separate

Spa Treatments and other activities optional

wwwsoulofmexicotours.com
www.soulofmexicotours.com

DAY OF DEPARTURE

Hotel Location:  Lagos de Moreno

Date: Tuesday March 28, 2023

 

This morning we depart early for the nearby city of Leon, Guanajuato.  Guests will board a flight to CDMX for connecting flights home, while your guides will depart by road to return the van.

 

If you are planning to extend your stay, the city of San Miguel de Allende is very close to Leon, and we can help make arrangements for you to get there.  Alternately, your guides will be returning to their homes in Patzcuaro, so you may also tag along for the ride, if you would like to explore Michoacan. 

*****​

Breakfast included

Flight included

Lunch & Dinner separate

Optional Hotel in CDMX separate

www.soulofmexicotours.com

TOUR CONSIDERATIONS

Not all tours are meant for everyone!  Please take a moment to read through a few considerations, before committing to this tour!

Elevation:  If you suffer from COPD, are on oxygen, or suffer from altitude sickness, this may not be the right tour for you.  We start at an altitude of 1981 Meters (6500 Feet), and climb to a height of nearly 3050 Meters (10,000 Feet).  We will reach our highest altitudes in Real de Catorce, after spending one week adjusting, so our guests can adjust.  This is only a serious consideration if you already have issues breathing.  

Claustrophobia:  The Ogarrio Tunnel to Real de Catorce is nearly 2 KM long, is narrow and has low ceilings.  We will travel in the van to reach the village, but if your claustrophobia is severe, please contact us for more information.  There is no way to avoid driving through the tunnel, on this tour.  We have two underground activities that are not recommended for guests with claustrophobia.  As they are day-activities, it is possible for you to skip them if you have concerns.

 

Horseback Riding:  Not everyone is comfortable on a horse.  We have two excursions on horseback, both of which are in Real de Catorce.  Some of our guests have hiked part-way to Puebla Fantasma, and it would be possible to explore the start of the tour to Cerro Quemado on foot, to see the hacienda ruins.   For beginners, it's important to feel sturdy in the saddle, and your foot-holds.  The paths are tricky, but your horses will move at a walking pace.  We will assist you with your saddle, and offer some tips to make you more comfortable.

Jeep Willy Ride:  The Hill of the Repentant is a hair-raising ride that descends sharply from Real de Catorce to the Peyote desert.  The road is narrow, with a small ravine on one side.  There are times when the Jeeps will reverse, to let the oncoming traffic pass, making this a bit of an adrenaline rush.  Exhilarating is a word to describe this awesome bucket-list adventure, and yet it is a common and daily commute for the locals (see the children below, who are sitting at the back of the jeep, with their feet dangling over the edge!).  We don't want to scare you off, but if you have a severe fear of heights, please let us know so we can offer advice on whether you should skip this activity, or jump on board.  (If you are afraid of heights, please do not sit on the roof of the Willy!)

www.soulofmexicotours.com

TOUR ETIQUETTE

 

Our group of 10-12 guests will be on the road for 16 days, which includes two days with long commutes of around 4.5 hours.

Be Flexible:  Traffic jams or delays can happen anywhere.  Sometimes museums are closed without notice, and we will need to find a new activity.  We will always try our best to keep our schedule and activities fluid. 

Be Punctual:  We ask guests to be 5 mins early for departure times, so we can load the van and maintain our schedule as best as possible.

 

Switch Seating:  This isn't always necessary if guests are happy with their seating arrangement, but different seats offer different views.  We will share the front seat between guests, so everyone enjoys the most comfortable seat, and panoramic view of the road and road-side attractions.

Read your Itinerary:  We will print itineraries for everyone, and ask you to please check it over at night, so you know what is happening the following day.  We will always discuss departure times for the following day, but it is helpful if guests pay attention to our schedule of events and activities.

Taking Photos:  If you are taking up-close photos of the locals, please ask permission.  This is especially important with indigenous peoples, and children.  Most often, you will be met with a warm smile.

Sales People:  Please acknowledge sales people in the streets, even if you aren't interested in what they have on offer.  As guests, we must be mindful to show respect for the local people, including those who are homeless and asking for change.

Tipping:  It is standard for foreigners to tip between 15-20% in restaurants.  If you purchase anything in the grocery stores, and someone bags your items, the standard tip is 5 Pesos per bag.  (They pay for their own bags, and do not make a wage.  They are often seniors who have no pensions).   A standard tip for hotel rooms is $40 Pesos per night.  We recommend tipping each morning, as someone different may be cleaning your room each day.

Questions?

Please contact Jennifer at info@soulofmexicotours.com

INCLUSIONS & RESERVATIONS

PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANTS
Licensed National Guide
Logistic Manager / Coordinator
LAND TRANSPORTATION
Private Sprinter Van
AIR TRANSPORTATION
Domestic Flight from Leon to CDMX
16 NIGHTS HOTELS
Based on shared accommodations
Single supplement $22,000 for solo travelers
MEALS
Breakfast x 5
Lunch x 1
Dinner x 4
SPECIAL BEVERAGES
Wine Tasting x 2
Mezcal Tasting x 2
Artisan Beer Tasting x 1
HORSEBACK RIDING
Puebla Fantasma
Cerro Quemado
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
Teotihuacan
Tolan-Xicocotitlan
Chicomoztoc
MUSEUMS & HISTORICAL SITES
Nacional del Virreinato
Sitio del Arcos
Puente Calzones
Hacienda la Canada
Santuario Jesus de Nazareno
La Valenciana Mine
Hacienda Brigida & Mine
Mina San Rafael
Potrero Catorce
Iglesia de Santa Ana
La Luz
Puebla Fantasma
Socavon de Purisima
Museo de Guadalupe
Mina el Eden
La Bufa
Rafael Coronel Museum
Huichol Museum
Garrison of Ojueles
Puente de Lagos de Moreno
CABLE CAR
Pipila
La Bufa
WALKING TOURS
Santiago de Queretaro
Guanajuato City
Zacatecas City
SPIRITUAL PLACES
Cerro Quemado
Wirikuta
www.soulofmexicotours.com