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The Art of Mexico

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Over the following week, based in a couple of Mexico’s most luxurious hotels you have the opportunity to gain an in depth insight into  Mexico’s artistic heritage with visits to museums, palaces and art galleries in just two of the most important artistic centres, Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende.

Mexico’s size, diversity and eventful history has produced a vast heritage of culture and art. From the sculptures and carvings of the various pre-Columbian civilisations to the politically inspired artwork of the 20th century post-revolutionary period Mexican art has always embraced its national roots. 

Local Criollo painters were recruited by the Spanish rulers to adorn churches and convents, interpreting the religious themes through Mexican eyes and latterly re-evaluating pre-Conquest art with the aim of portraying a real national identity.

Political commentary, often from a leftist viewpoint sympathetic to perceived injustices against the poor has been a theme of the visual arts in Mexico since the revolution of the early 20th century. This can most obviously be seen in the work of the muralists, among whom is internationally revered Diego Rivera.  He and his wife Frida Kahlo have left an indelible artistic commentary on Mexico’s identity, and many of their works are on show in museums around the country.  You will see their work exhibited in some of the most elegant neighbourhoods of Mexico City.

 You will also visit the art galleries of colonial San Miguel de Allende, a gorgeous little highland town which is a draw for artists from all over the world to this day.  You will also visit Taxco, a town which is famed for its intricate silver jewellery and other works of art created from the silver mined nearby since colonial times. Cuernavaca, one of the oldest towns in Mexico, is also on the itinerary.     

Holiday itinerary

Day 1

Transfer to your hotel on the boulevard Paseo de Reforma.

Day 2

Guided private art tour of Mexico City.

Day 3

Private guided tour of Taxco and Cuernavaca.

Day 4

Private road transfer to San Miguel de Allende.

Day 5

Tour of the art galleries of San Miguel de Allende.

Day 6

At leisure in San Miguel de Allende.

Day 7

Transfer to Mexico City airport for your international flight.

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Places visited on this holiday

The Art of Mexico

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Mexico City
Mexico City Street

It’s mind-bogglingly huge. Seen from the air, Mexico City, embracing over 20 million people, is a drained lake full of urban sprawl, located at 2,250m. But at ground level it exposes all the different aspects of its centuries of history dating back to the Aztecs: wander the secretive lanes around the city’s heart, the vast zócalo, dominated by its monumental cathedral; turn off a 4-lane highway into the arty colonial quarter of Coyoacán; or take a bus past silvery sky-scrapers down the noble Paseo Reforma – inspired by the Champs Elysées - to shady Chapultepec Park, to appreciate the contrasts. A metropolis with a burgeoning economy, it’s a city that demands attention, and admiration.

When to go
It’s a year-round destination. Most rain falls between Jun and Sep.

Language

Spanish.

Getting local currency

Mexican peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, and amounts are limited to about £100.

Time difference

GMT -6 hours.  

Combines with

A visit to almost anywhere else in Mexico: the domestic flight network is comprehensive and roads are good. Close to the city you might visit the silverwork town of Taxco (170 kms); a bit further afield but accessible by car is a necklet of divine colonial towns, including the artists’ Mecca San Miguel de Allende (234 kms).

Getting there

There are direct flights from London taking around 12 hours.

Key events
Independence Day, 16 Sept, celebrations throughout the city
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe), 12 Dec: Not a public holiday, but it is Mexico's biggest religious festival of the year. The day is celebrated with a mass ceremony and a traditional fair in her honour. The day is packed with free concerts on the plaza of Basilica de Guadalupe, in a suburb of the city. 
Day of the Dead, Nov 1st - 2nd, celebrated throughout the country.

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Colonial and silver towns
Silver town

Northwest of Mexico City lie ranges of gnarled, humpy but starkly beautiful hills. Here, and in the bountiful valleys of the Bajío, Spanish colonists built fortunes from the mining of precious metals, especially silver. Prosperous towns sprang up which share a heritage of baroque churches, leafy squares and pastel-washed houses. Each has its own character: the university town Guanajuato, 2,000m, built in a narrow gorge, is a centre for music, theatre and dance, while the homely yet international little town of San Miguel de Allende, 1,900m, is a magnet for artists. Morelia, 1,920m, shows off some of the grandest monumental colonial architecture, and Querétaro, 1,820m, is renowned for its impressive colonial aqueduct.

Just an hour's drive south of Mexico City is Puebla, 2,135m, a large city with an imposing colonial core reflecting its importance as a trading post during the era of the Spanish Empire. It's a great base for visits to the indigenous towns of Cholula and Tlaxcala.    

When to go

The highland colonial silver towns have a pleasant sunny climate year round; most rain falls from Jun-Sep.

Language

Spanish

Getting local currency
Mexican peso. Notes can be withdrawn from the many ATMs using a UK credit or debit card. You may have ask your bank to authorise withdrawals before you leave the UK, and amounts may be lower than permitted in the UK.
Time difference

There are flights to León-Guanajuato from the UK via various cities in the USA including Houston and Los Angeles. Flights to León-Guanajuato operate from Mexico City. You can travel to the colonial towns by public coach or self-drive hire car on a good network of roads.

Combines with

The resorts and hotels of the Pacific coast; Guadalajara, one of Mexico’s most important cities (flights from León); Oaxaca, Mexico’s artistic centre and preserver of the country’s indigenous heritage, fly from León via Mexico City, 3.5hrs.

Key events
Independence Day, 16 Sept. Celebrations throughout the country, fireworks and parades in San Miguel.
Festival Internacional Cervantes, Guanajuato, 2 weeks in Oct annually (dates vary). Huge cultural festival with many activities and presentations across the whole range of performing arts.
Day of the Dead, 1-2 Nov. Celebrated throughout the country.
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe), 12 Dec.  Not a public holiday, but it is Mexico's biggest religious festival of the year. In Querétaro it coincides with a two week fair with rides and many other events.

Speak to an expert Travel Consultant or send us your enquiry today.

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The Art of Mexico

7 days from £2,122pp

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