We fly to Guadalajara, the capital and largest city in the state of Jalisco, and transfer you to your hotel, for a 2-night stay. In the afternoon we feature a walking tour of the Historical Center which includes four main plazas lined with colonial structures, a center of this delightful city, along with a visit to the Cathedral and Government Palace. We enjoy a wonderful group welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (D)
After breakfast at the hotel we visit Tlaquepaque, a friendly village now part of the city, famed for its pedestrian walkways and local artisans offering a broad selection of pottery, textiles, woodcarving, paintings and jewelry. Here you will have free time for lunch and shopping. We experience a tequila tasting before returning to the hotel. We enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, we depart for the state of Colima, stopping at the “Magical Town” of Tapalpa, a beautiful small pueblo with cobblestone streets featuring painted houses, red tile roofs and colorful bougainvillea. On our drive we pass by the Laguna de Sayula, a salt marsh known for the multitude of wildlife, including over 130 species of birds. After lunch in Tapalpa, we find ourselves in the city of Colima in the Sierra Madre foothills. Dotted with interesting architecture, this town, built in 1521, was one of the jewels of Colonial Spanish, however it was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes, fires and volcanic eruptions. The beautiful government palace located next to the cathedral features patios and an arcade walkway. Dinner is on your own tonight. (B, L)
We start our day with breakfast at the Hotel and a walking tour of downtown Colima. Today, we visit the town of Comala, a picturesque, hilly town with narrow streets. After lunch we see the Volcan del Fuego and Volcan de Colima (volcanoes), and visit a famous optical illusion, Zona Magica. Later, we travel to the port of Manzanillo, one of the busiest ports in Mexico with ships arriving from all over the world, nestled between two bays – Bahía de Manzanillo and Bahía de Santiago. Manzanillo features beautiful beaches, resorts, and is known as the sailfish capital of the world. We check in to our hotel and enjoy a group dinner. (B, L, D)
We enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then visit Barra de Navidad, a small coastal fishing village in the state of Jalisco. With cobblestone streets lining the small town, it is built up by a sand bar and backed by a lagoon. After enjoying a seafood lunch, we return early to our hotel in Manzanillo for you to enjoy the beach and breathtaking sunset. (B, L, D)
Today’s trip will take us along Costalegre — “Happy Coast” — a series of beaches, capes and bays of various sizes distributed alongside the Pacific Ocean on the western coastline of the Mexican state of Jalisco, between Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco and Manzanillo, Colima. The road parallels the Pacific Ocean for a time, with splendid views of rugged rock formations scattered just offshore. We also travel inland into a lush forest, passing small villages and green valleys with tropical fruit trees. We enjoy lunch in the town of Careyes.
Afterwards, we travel to Puerto Vallarta, one of the most visited beach resorts in Mexico. This colonial beauty faces the Pacific Ocean and backs up to the lush, jungle-clad Sierra Madre mountains. Despite being a popular destination, it has retained the charm of a colonial beach town. We spend the afternoon shopping and enjoy a group dinner near our hotel. (B, L, D)
Breakfast is at the hotel, with a free morning to enjoy the many available activities. After lunch we tour the town, starting with the famous boardwalk lined with enormous sculptures created by famous Mexican artists. We visit City Hall and the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, then take a walk along the Cuale River, a beautifully shaded area filled with interesting artisan shops and cultural galleries. Tonight, we enjoy a group dinner. (B, L, D)
We depart Puerto Vallarta after breakfast and drive along the coastline of the Bahia de Banderas, the largest bay in Mexico. We stop for lunch at the Port of San Blas, established by the Spaniards as a shipbuilding and launching point for missions to California. With a 4-mile-long beach, the town still maintains an 18th century flavor and is a terrific place for bird watching. As we drive from the coast, the landscape turns mostly agricultural. We visit the town of Escuinapa, where shrimp vendors hold them by the whiskers and offer them to those passing in highway traffic. We then stop at the town of El Rosario, to tour the Parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, consecrated in 1751 and featuring stunning architecture, mystical legends and its gold-plated altar. We then travel to the port of Mazatlán, where we check in to our hotel for the next two nights. Dinner will be at the hotel. (B, L, D)
Breakfast will be at the hotel, and then we view the solar eclipse, with insights from Dr. Martín Domínguez Núñez, a local anthropology professor. Independent lunch. Afterwards, we enjoy a Mazatlán city tour and a farewell dinner at a local downtown restaurant. (B, D)
Day 10 – Departure
We enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to the airport for our departure back to Tucson, with wonderful memories of this tour of Mexico. (B)
*Itinerary is subject to change.