Touch down in Mexico City ready to uncover Mexico’s food and art scenes… not to mention a little Lucha Libre (or Mexican wrestling for the uninitiated). Once the centre of the Aztec empire, Mexico City is now the sprawling cultural, political and financial heart of a very modern Mexico. A member of the Mexican A&K team will whizz you off to Stara Hamburgo, your Mexico City base for the next four nights. This boutique hotel is one of the best in the city – part colonial townhouse, part chic city retreat.
This morning get to the core of this megalopolis. Meet your expert guide in front of MUNAL for a four-hour walking tour of the city’s historic centre. You’ll visit the iconic Catedral Metropolitana – the largest cathedral in the Americas. Construction started here in 1573 and didn’t finish until 1813. Admire The History of Mexico mural by Diego Rivera in the National Palace, and the oft-Instagrammed Palace of Fine Arts. This opulent building is the city’s grandest performance space. Don’t miss the theatre’s glass stage curtain – made of one million pieces of Tiffany glass. The afternoon is free for wandering.
Colonia Roma (or simply La Roma) is Mexico City’s coolest, quirkiest neighbourhood and a must-visit for anyone interesting in how the local’s live. In this rapidly gentrifying district, there’s still a touch of pleasing real scruffiness. Interspersed between Art Nouveau and Beaux-Arts mansions, there’s the occasional graffitied wall. This is the place to sample the city’s diverse, lauded culinary scene. Seek out the mom ’n’ pop speciality food shops, ethnic eateries and bakeries presided over by Mexico’s culinary superstars.
Spend a thrilling evening watching one of the country’s favourite spectator sports – raucous Mexican wrestling, Lucha Libre. With your guide sitting alongside you to explain (and interpret if needs be) the epic battle of good and evil that the luchadores fight regularly. Full of colourful masks (mascaras), spandex and flamboyant heroes and villains, pop-culture phenomenon Lucha Libre is edge-of-your-seat performance art that the locals love.
Onto a place that deserves exploration – Teotihuacán, Mesoamerica’s most important site. Construction of this holy city began around 150BC. At its height, the city covered 34km2 and was home to as many as 200,000 people, making it the largest city in the western hemisphere. It was abandoned in 550AD. Explore the archaeological zone with your expert guide. Walk the Avenue of the Dead, get up close to The Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon. From here, chill out in the air-con as we drive you the three and a bit hours to your next hotel.
Those who spend time in this colonial-era city, fall hard for its baroque charms, cobbled streets and fairy-tale pink church. Today you will enjoy a walking tour. Start in El Jardín plaza – people-watching central. Visit the city’s rose-hued landmark, Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel and oasis of calm Bellas Artes school – a beautiful former monastery. Your tour ends at Dôce 18 Concept House – a hip hybrid space, full of boutiques, galleries and cafes – in the world’s smallest tequila bar, six-seat Casa Dragones Tasting Room. Tequila enthusiasts will love this tasting experience.
Today you’ll tackle tacos and master moles. It’s off to the Sazón cooking school for an experience that will really satisfy your taste buds. Meet a maestro at the cooking school, a short walk from the hotel, then it’s off to the local market to choose the freshest, most seasonal ingredients. Return to the kitchen laden with fresh fruit, veg, spices and more. With this cornucopia, you’ll rustle up salsas and salads. Bake tacos and tortillas from scratch. It’ll be the more mouth-watering because you made it yourself.
Lose yourself in this gem of a city today. By now you’ll be in no doubt as to why it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status but there’s always more to uncover, new angles to see a place from... why not hot-air balloon, visit a vineyard or don your field hat and visit a nearby archaeological site.
Today, journey to Leon airport for your home flight.