Welcome to our Colonial Mexico's Magical Flavors Tour
Expect a week of wonders as we explore colonial Mexico's charm and magic with each UNESCO designated town we visit. Santiago de Querétaro will delight you with it's wonderfully wide cobblestoned paved pedestrian andadores as you explore the cities amazing Spanish colonial history, architecture and culinary delights. In Cadereyta you'll enjoy two blissful days of serenity at an historic 300-year-old Hacienda where you'll delight in activities such as horseback riding, hiking, kayaking or just kicking back while learning about Mexico's unique Conventual Cuisine. Then we move on to San Miguel de Allende, colonial Mexico's most well known magical town for four days of culinary adventures with cooking classes and demonstrations, a studio tour and art galleries galore. Look below and see what your week will be like!
Please note this is just a sample itinerary. Some clients prefer to arrive the day prior to the tour's start date. When this happens, and all clients are doing so, we may begin the tour start day earlier in the day to include additional activities our guests will enjoy. This all depends on client's air arrival times. We will always include all of the activities in the tour unless circumstances beyond our control do not allow for it. Should this happen, a suitable replacement activity will be provided. Activities may or may not happen exactly in the order or on the days listed below as this is a sample itinerary but once the tour is full, a final itinerary will be sent to you. Our goal is to make this a wonderful, fun experience for you!
Day 1 - Saturday
- Guest arrival at our Santiago de Querétaro centro district hotel by 3:00 p.m. (Hotel's we book are dependant on availability but are as follows: Casa de La Marquesa, Meson de Santa Rosa, Dona Urraca, Hotel Casona de la Republica) Hotel details are provided with final itinerary sent after final payment is made and tour is closed.
- Hotel check-in
- Welcome Merienda reception with refreshing aguas frescas and antojitos - delicious little bites to satisfy your fancy at 4:00 p.m. We'll get to know each other a little and discuss the weeks' upcoming itinerary
- After our reception and settling in our rooms, we'll enjoy our first demonstration - Aztec and Mayan cacao, its history, it's significance to Mexican culture and cuisine, past and present. We'll watch our chocolate ambassadors roast beans the traditional way over an open fire in a cazuela. We'll help hand grind the beans down and add them to a bubbling mixture of piloncillo and roll or own antioxidant-packed, nutrient rich Mayan Truffles.
- After our demonstration you'll have a few hours rest/free time. Wander the andadores, sit by the pool or take a nap. We'll meet up at 8:00 for a spectacular dinner featuring three kinds of mole, yellow, green and brown along with our first mescal tasting.
Day 2 - Sunday
- Sleep in a bit and enjoy a late breakfast at our hotel.
- We'll then head out on our historic walking tour where our expert guide will share Queretaro's architectural highlights and historic significance. We'll stroll through the Centro, stop in the best museums, enjoy a traditional comida lunch on one of Querétaro's many tree-lined zocolos. Our guide will point out the best shopping in town, including a favorite store for opals and silver - two precious commodities that the Guanajuato area of Mexico is known for.
- Enjoy some free time to stroll the beautiful downtown Centro, shopping at the open air carts or any of the interesting artisanal shops and art galleries in town.
- Dinner tonight is a short stroll from our hotel and features the best Spanish cuisine in the city. Top Michelin-trained chefs will serve us tapas and Spanish delights to feed your soul.
Day 3 - Monday
- After breakfast we'll head out for a drive through the flower covered countryside for tour of our favorite organic, sustainable cheese farm. At this women's co-operative farm, we'll meet the sheep that make the delicious cheeses we'll be tasting with the area's best wines. We'll walk their gardens, and help pick the vegetables and herbs to be used in our chef-prepared lunch cooked in their traditional, outdoor wood-fired horno. We'll have a chance to watch the cheese being made and have a wool weaving demonstration on a decades old loom.
- Enjoy a bit of free time after our farm visit until dinner time.
- Dinner tonight at one of Queretaro's best restaurants for wonderful new interpretations of traditional Mexican dishes.
Day 4 - Tuesday
- Check out of our hotel by 8:30 a.m. (skip breakfast at the hotel as we're on our way to brunch)
- Head out to a true local's only restaurant that serves the best barbacoa in Querétaro and possibly the entire state of Guanajuato. Here's we'll sample slow, pit-roasted lamb and pork, served under maguey leaves to keep it warm. Watch as freshly made blue and yellow corn tortillas are hand-made by the dozens in minutes. Sopas filled with poblano rajas and quesadillas stuffed with squash blossoms and fresh cheese are just a few of the wonderful delights this local place serves. Try a steaming hot cup of Atole de Elote, the rich maize-based drink spiced with canela, chocolate, peanut or any one of the many flavors offered. This is a true, traditional Mexican family restaurant and you'll love every minute of it.
- Next, we'll head out to our next destination, a local, small-batch winery that still labels it's bottles by hand. Taking extreme care with their grapes and vineyards, this winery produces only 15,000 bottle per year. We'll taste all of their wines, have a close-up look at their operations while the winemaker shares his thoughts about the special micro-climate found in Guanajuato.
- After our winery visit we'll head out for a short 15 minute ride to a 300-year old hacienda which continues to be a working equestrian farm. We'll be picked up in traditional horse-led carriages and received with a merienda while our hosts shares all of the wonderful activities that are available to use over the next two days. We'll hear about the hacienda's history and it's significant contributions to preserving and restoring the wildlife and natural flora and fauna of the region.
- After settling in our rooms, you'll be invited to participate in the preparations for tomorrow's fiesta of pollo en adobo if you wish. We'll prepare the chickens and vegetables for their overnight, underground, slow-roast for 12 hours.
- Dinner tonight will highlight Conventual Cuisine or Convent Cooking. We'll learn how the introduction of Spanish methods by the Conquistadors and indigenous, Indian ingredients came together to create the first fusion cuisine which is still a highlight of the region today, centuries later.
Day 5 - Wednesday
- Sleep in, relax and enjoy the quiet of this beautiful countryside.
- A traditional breakfast will be served in the historic main building. Then take the day to enjoy some kayaking, horseback riding, hiking or just relax in the gardens or outdoor thermal jacuzzi spa. Unwind and let the day unfold as you wish.
- This late afternoon we'll begin our traditional Mexican fiesta. As if you were at a family gathering, we'll witness the unearthing of our pollo en asado, we'll enjoy traditional lawn games, music and even a pinata breaking. The party can go as long as we like as we soak up the day and evening in this special, enchanting hacienda. After our meal we'll head to the stables and enjoy an equestrian dressage performance of horses dancing the piaffe.
Day 6 - Thursday
- We leave our countryside hacienda for our final destination - San Miguel de Allende. We'll stop on our way in for a private tour of one of San Miguel's most renowned artist's studio. A delight for the eyes, you'll turn into a child again while immersing yourself in his experiential, assemblage art.
- Next we'll check into our hotel (Rosewood San Miguel either private villa or rooms, Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, Casa 1810, or private villa rental) and you'll have free time to take lunch on your own (we'll provide excellent recommendations) and a chance to explore the city on your own.
- In the early evening we'll meet up again for a tequila and food pairing tasting. We'll try 5 different sipping tequilas, aged and distilled like the finest scotches in the world.
- Dinner tonight as a group with our friend and Top-Chef contestant and winner Donnie Masterson.
Day 7 - Friday
- After breakfast we'll enjoy a hands-on cooking class with our favorite traditional, authentic chef whose experience and love of Mexican cuisine has made her fast friends with Diana Kennedy. She was Rick Bayless's test kitchen director and co-authored three books with him, plus she was Mick Jagger's personal chef! She's a delight and you will love how she explains the nuances of Mexican cuisine and how the many varied ingredients lend a subtle complexity that delights your palate and inspires your soul. This class includes a market tour and luncheon of the dishes we've created.
- Enjoy dinner on your own tonight, we'll give you plenty of excellent options. Enjoy strolling the zocolo, listening to mariachis and watching families enjoy the first day of the weekend.
Day 8 - Saturday
- This morning we'll have another cooking demonstration for our brunch in our own residence.
- After brunch you'll have your last day to explore San Miguel. Explore its wondering shops and galleries, along with plenty of local interaction including enjoying the caminarte/art walk in the jardin if you wish. Plenty of opportunities to find those perfect treasures to bring home a memento or two.
- Tonight, we celebrate our last evening at one of the town's most celebrated and best kept secret restaurant. The view is spectacular as we enjoy our final seven course tasting meal paired with fantastic wines.
Day 9 - Sunday
- Check out today as we say goodbye to new "old" friends, sharing emails and phone numbers to stay in touch.
- Private transportation to the airport for your flight home.