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Special Interest

Textiles of Mexico

Mexico

17 days

Summary

Textiles of Mexico sample itinerary is perfect for people interested in the natural scenery of Mexico as well as the cultural aspect. Visit the naturally beautiful and textile rich Mexico focusing on a tour to Chiapas, home to a rich natural beauty, colonial towns, splendid and remote Maya archaeological sites and one of the most textile-rich areas of the world. During this tour, you will have not only great experiences with the local artisans but an insight into the real Mexico.

Travelling in a small group allows you to connect with people and places on an intimate level. A smaller group also means more opportunities to bond with your fellow travellers and create lasting friendships.

Your guide is an expert and passionate supporter of the local artisan communities. She has lived in Chiapas for many years and her local knowledge allows us to offer exclusive opportunities. From visits to weaving co-operatives to visits to a wide range of local village artisans in their homes. She’ll take you on a journey to visit some of the wonders of the Maya archaeological sites and the glorious mountains, rain forests and waterways of this spectacular region of Mexico. This tour is possible with two or more people but would be more enjoyable with four to ten people.

Highlights

  • See the world-renowned National Anthropological Museum and its amazing exhibitions
  • Explore Teotihuacan where you’ll see the Temple of Quetzalcoatl & Pyramids of Sun and Moon
  • Visits to local artisans and co-operatives, weavers, embroiderers of traditional and ceremonial garments
  • Spend the day at the natural beauty of Lakes of Montebello & visit the Maya ruins of Chinkultic
  • See Bonampak & its famous painted murals
  • Sail the Usumacinta River to visit the ancient Maya city of Yaxchilan
  • Explore the Tenejapa markets – home to the finest textiles in southern Mexico

Inclusions

  • Meals as stated including wine/beer and soft drinks
  • Air-conditioned vehicle for excursions
  • Entry fees on all scheduled visits
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Flight from Mexico City to Tuxtla and Tuxtla to Palenque

ITINERARY

Day 1 Mexico City

Welcome to Mexico City for the start of your exciting boutique small group tour to Chiapas, Mexico. On arrival, transfer to your hotel. Meet your fellow travellers over drinks and dinner in the roof-top restaurant in our hotel which overlooks the Zocalo, the famous main square of Mexico City.

Day 2 Mexico City

This morning, your local guide will take you on a walking tour of the Historic Zocalo and surrounding area. You’ll stop for lunch before enjoying an afternoon and evening at leisure to further explore the local area.

Day 3 Mexico City

After breakfast you’ll head to the National Anthropological Museum for a guided tour. This world-class museum is lauded not only for its exhibits but also its architecture. The 12 halls on the ground floor are dedicated to pre-Hispanic Mexico; while the upper halls showcase each of the cultural regions of Mesoamerica. After lunch, you’ll have additional time to explore the museum or perhaps visit one of the other galleries located close by.

Day 4 Mexico City

Today you’ll have a full-day excursion to Teotihuacan. Visit the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun & Moon. Return to Mexico City and spend the evening at leisure.

Day 5 Mexico City/San Cristobal

Transfer to the airport for your late morning flight to Tuxtla. On arrival, you’ll transfer to your hotel in San Cristobal de Las Casas. Following an orientation walking tour including the Textile Museum de Los Altos, it will be time to enjoy pre-dinner drinks. Dinner tonight is at a local restaurant featuring Chiapaneca cuisine and with great views over the main square.

Day 6 San Cristobal

Today’s excursion takes you to the Lakes of Montebello and Comitan to meet the local rebozo makers. The national park boasts 59 multi-coloured lakes and encompasses the ancient Maya ruins of Chinkultic. A spectacular location with dramatic views across the area’s landscape and jungle. Stop for lunch at the Parador-Museo Santa Maria, a 19th-century hacienda now operating as an exclusive hotel.

Day 7 San Cristobal

Today is market day at Zinacantan. Learn how to make tortillas and enjoy a weaving demonstration of a feather and cotton wedding dress specific to this area. Visit a weaver, artisan and curandera (faith healer/Shaman) in San Juan Chamula who works with wool on wool weaving using natural dyes. Learn about their unique belief system and rituals which are a combination of Catholic and Maya.

Day 8 San Cristobal

Today visit San Andres Larrainzar, a town known for Larrainzar accords between the government and the Zapatistas after the uprising of 1994. It’s also famous for its beautiful cotton on cotton brocades. Each huipil is unique and filled with designs representing Maya mythology. We’ll see several types of huipils, the every-day and the ceremonial ones. On to Aldama Santa Magdalena via a spectacular road where you’ll visit a coffee plantation.

Day 9 San Cristobal

This morning learn how to make ‘sopa de pan’ (bread soup) at Don Juan Campestre and visit the potter village of Amatenango. Some potters use the traditional method in the open air. This technique produces a light brown terra cotta. Others use bottle-shaped, square or triangular kilns enclosed by corrugated metal or bricks. A recent addition to the village is a Japanese smokeless kiln which is less polluting, uses less wood and is better for the health of the potter.

Day 10 San Cristobal

Your journey today will take you on a spectacular mountain drive arriving first in the valley and market town of Chenalho. In this area, some villages, such as Polho and Acteal, are autonomous areas not answering to the Mexican Government. Then it’s on to Pantelho, where they make striped huipils with brocade. Visit a co-op home to independent weavers. The best huipils use indigenous cotton, with brown cotton grown locally and known as Coyuche.

Day 11 San Cristobal

It’s market day in Tenejapa. Although it’s off the beaten track and receives very few foreign visitors, Tenejapa is alluring because of its vibrant Thursday market. It’s known for its fine textiles – among the finest in southern Mexico. Visit an independent women’s co-operative run by Maria Metza where the local artisans will demonstrate rug and pompom making. Then, join one of the local artisans for a home-cooked lunch.

Day 12 San Cristobal/Palenque

This morning you’ll have some free time to explore Chiapa de Corzo, a small and attractive colonial town set on the banks of the River Grijalva. From here it’s possible to take a boat to explore the natural wonder of the Sumidero Canyon. This afternoon transfer to Tuxtla airport for our short flight to Palenque.

Day 13 Palenque

After a leisurely breakfast visit the ruins of Palenque before an afternoon visit to Agua Azul, spectacular waterfalls set in a pristine rain forest.

Day 14 Palenque/Ocosingo

After breakfast travel to Bonampak, a unique site that houses one of the most famous painted murals in the entire Maya world. Vivid colours and masterful designs tell the story of the last ruling family of Bonampak.

Day 15 Ocosingo/Villahermosa

Your hotel is conveniently located near to the wharf where we’ll board our boat for a 45 minutes trip up the jungle river that divides Mexico and Guatemala. Visit the stunning ancient Maya city of Yaxchilan on the banks of the Usumacinta River, deep in the Lacandon jungle. Keep an eye for the howling monkey. Archaeologically, Yaxchilan is famed for its ornamented facades, roof combs and impressive stone lintels carved with conquest and ceremonial scenes. Early evening arrive at our hotel in Villahermosa.

Day 16 Villahermosa

After yesterday’s long day, today you’ll have time to relax or explore the local town before your farewell dinner.

Day 17 Villahermosa

Morning departure for Villahermosa airport to connect with onward trip or return flights to Australia.

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