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Mexico Mystico
Mexico has long history as a land steeped in mysticism. From its ancient Olmec, Toltec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations through the Spanish conquest which brought Catholicism to its people, faith has always been important in this special place. Today, the tilma of Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, with its vivid portrait of the dark-skinned, crowned Virgin, dressed in pink with a star-emblazoned blue-green robe, is a potent, mystical symbol of faith, and Mexico's most important religious and cultural icon, as it has been for almost 500 years.
Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Ocotlan, Puebla, Oaxaca,
Veracruz, Villa Hermosa, Palenque and Merida
10 Days - Mexico
Day 1: Depart the USA for our flight to Mexico City, where our Tour Director welcomes us to Mexico. The rest of the day is at leisure. A visit to the Anthropological Musuem to learn more about this wonderful city is suggested. Overnight in Mexico City.
Day 2: We start the day with a visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, known affectionately as "La Villa", the most sacred spot in all of Mexico. Depending on the physical energy of the group, we may want to climb the Chapel of Tepeyac, the original site where Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego in the winter of December 1531 asking him to build a Church. Juan Diego was one of the first natives who was evangelized in New Spain, who received from the Virgin an imprint on his tilma of Her image as Our Lady of Guadalupe, currently hanging in splendor above the main altar. Then, we travel north to Tlaxcala to visit the Shrine of San Miguel del Milagro. This is the site where St. Michael the Archangel appeared to Diego Lazaro de San Francisco on April 25, 1631 leaving behind healing water located in the well just outside the Church. Then we continue to Ocotlan to celebrate Mass at the richly decorated Basilica; the miraculous image of Our Lady of Ocotlan stands beautifully dressed high above the altar on a silver pedestal and enclosed in a glass case. It was in this town that She appeared to Juan Diego Bernardino on Feb. 27, 1541. History relates that the people of Ocotlan found a wooden statue of Our Blessed Mother burnt into one of the pine trees in the forest. They later carried this staue to the nearby chapel of St. Lawrence. An extraordinary phenomenon regarding the facial expression of the statue occurs during certain religious festivities and social events which has been witnessed by many. She has bestowed many blessings and graces to Her people. We then depart for Puebla. Overnight in Puebla.
Day 3: We celebrate Mass this morning at the Rosary Chapel in Puebla, an colonial city of many churches. Then we continue to Oaxaca, referred to as the romantic side of Mexico. No other colonial city offers as diverse and colorful a history as Oaxaca; even Cortes was entranced by this lovely valley setting surrounded by the converging mountain ranges of the southern highlands. The valley has been the home of the Zapotec and Mixtec cultures for over 2,000 years. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this colonial city on our own. Overnight in Oaxaca.
Day 4: After breakfast, enjoy a day trip to the ancient hilltop ruins of the Zapotec civilization at Monte Alban, overlooking the city. This is one of the most famous archaeological sites in Mexico. Then enjoy a tour of Oaxaca, a town that delights in its fiestas; the plaza is often the scene of celebrations, musical performances and cultural events, as well as the traditional social gathering spot for locals. Shop the markets for their black pottery, made in the nearby city of San Bartolo Coyotopec, and hand-woven rugs and blankets dyed with natural pigments from Teotitlan del Valle. We celebrate Mass this afternoon at the Church of Santo Domingo de Guzman with its elaborate gold leaf altar. Then the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. And of course you cannot leave Oaxaca till youíve tried or bought their famous Mezcal tequila! Overnight in Oaxaca.
Day 5: We travel this morning through the million acre Tehucan-Culcatlan National Biosphere Reserve for a mid-afternoon arrival at the port city of Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico. The rest of the day is at leisure; explore the romantic plaza where strolling mariachi bands serenade all listeners. Overnight in Veracruz.
Day 6: After breakfast, we depart for Villa Hermosa to visit La Venta Museum with the Olmec heads up to twelve feet tall and more. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore this town on our own. Overnight in Villa Hermosa.
Day 7: This morning we travel toward Palenque to view the mysterious Mayan ruins set against their jungle foliage backdrop. See the Main Plaza, the Temple of the Inscriptions and the Group of the Cross. Admire the 4-story observation tower rising from the huge rectangular palace, which is unique in the Mayan world, believed to have been built to view the winter solstice. Overnight in Palenque.
Day 8: We travel today along the coastline and through the Puuc Hills to visit ancient Uxmal, dating back to 600 A.D. We will view these amazing ruins, including the Pyramid of the Magicians, the Nunnery Quadrangle, the Governorís Palace with its 20,000 intricately carved lace-like stones and the Turtle House. We continue to Merida, Yucatanís capital and cultural center. The whitewashed, French-windowed mansions that line the wide, tree-shaded boulevards give the Merida a distinctly Europe ambiance. Overnight in Merida.
Day 9: After breakfast, enjoy a day excursion to view the ruins of Chichen Itza which is from the Mayan-Toltec cultures. Overnight in Merida.
Day 10: We bid farewell to mystical Mexico as we board our flight back to the U.S.
Extend your stay and visit Cancun, then depart from there back to the U.S.; if interested, please let us know at time of booking. (Additional fees will apply.)
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FIAT Holidays, Inc. 916 N. Western Avenue, Suite 225, San Pedro, CA 90732
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