Day 1 Mexico City (Saturday)
Arrive in Mexico City and transfer to the Barcelo Hotel. This evening, you’ll meet your Tour Manager and other group members during a welcome gathering. Dinner at your leisure and overnight.
Day 2 Papantla (Sunday)
Breakfast at the hotel and early departure for the town of Papantla, declared a Pueblo Mágico (Magic Town). This is a place of extraordinary cultural inheritance that has kept its local traditions very much alive. Upon arrival, we’ll go to Takilhsukut Park, a Center of Indigenous Arts recognized by the UNESCO for its labor in preserving the Totonaca heritage. At this stop we’ll visit Kantiyan Casa de Los Abuelos (House of Elders), where a group of elders will welcome the group and give us their blessings in front of the house’s Main Altar.
After this unique experience we’ll indulge in the aromas and flavors of an exquisite lunch prepared at the Traditional Kitchen House by ladies known as Las Mujeres de Humo, the Women of Smoke. Here we’ll learn about the Ritual of the Voladores de Papantla (Bird Men of Papantla) during a visit to the school where they teach children to continue this tradition. We’ll return to the hotel for a Papantla Dinner with live entertainment. Overnight at a local hotel (El Tajin). (B, L, D)
DAY 3 Papantla/ El Tajin (Monday)
Breakfast at the hotel and an early departure to the archeological site of El Tajin, once the capital of the Totonaca Empire and now a UNESCO site. This was a great achievement of the Totonaca culture and one of the most important religious centers in Mesoamerica. Today, you’ll become an expert on the legacy of Papantla: vanilla. We’ll visit the Vanilla Sanctuary of Xanath—a 55-hectare natural reserve lush with flora and fauna, where we’ll see the vanilla plant and beans in their natural stage. You’ll also experience the culinary delights of the Totonac indigenous cuisine, made with freshly picked ingredients and cooked over an open fire. Afterwards, you’ll have a taste of local products made with honey and vanilla.
We’ll return to Papantla, the “city that perfumes the world,” where you’ll go on a walking tour of this Pueblo Mágico and have some free time for shopping.
Dinner on your own. Overnight at a El Tajin hotel. (B, L)
DAY 4 Papantla to Mexico Verde Expeditions (Tuesday)
After an early breakfast at the hotel we’ll depart to Mexico Verde Expeditions. Nestled in fascinating natural surroundings, Mexico Verde Expeditions has an English Safari lodging concept. We’ll arrive there just in time for lunch. This afternoon we’ll go on a 20-kilometer river rafting adventure (category III to IV rapids) on the Antigua River. This three-hour trip will be fun and relaxing, and you’ll be immersed in nature. After this great experience, we’ll return to our lodge for a leisurely evening in a natural environment.
Dinner at the Lodge, overnight at Mexico Verde Lodge. (B, L, D)
Day 5 Mexico Verde Expedition to Coatepec – Coffee Route (Wednesday)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we’ll visit a coffee plantation and learn about the cultivation and production of coffee with a local expert; we’ll also snack on local products grown on this plantation. We’ll visit the 400-year-old Hacienda de los Remedios where we’ll learn about the craft of processing coffee beans followed by a traditional lunch of regional food, then continue on to the Pueblo Mágico of Coatepec. After checking into our hotel, we’ll do a leisurely ordination walk with plenty of time to enjoy the many coffee houses. Dinner on your own. Overnight at Posada Coatepec. (B, L)
DAY 6 Coatepec to CDMX (Mexico City) – Puebla visit (Thursday)
After breakfast we depart back to CDMX. On the way, we’ll drive up to the Sierra Madre mountains, winding through its beautiful landscapes to reach the city of Puebla, declared a UNESCO site. We’ll arrive in time for a walking tour of its Centro Histórico (Historic Center) and lunch at a local restaurant. Continue to CDMX. Tonight, you’ll join your fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner to share your traveling experiences. Overnight at Barcelo Hotel. (B, L, D)
DAY 7 CDMX to Home (Friday)
Breakfast at hotel. Airport transfers all day. (B)