Nature and Charming Towns, Self Drive
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Experience this eclectic nine-day self-drive tour through central Mexico! Begin the journey with a guide in Mexico City during the first four days, followed by five days of self-drive to explore the country on your own. Use our recommended itinerary to see some beautiful places around the country that are sure to impress. With fascinating archaeological sites, lush natural paradises and awe-inspiring towns, this trip is the perfect combination.
Mexico City: The enormous, bustling capital city maintains its colonial charm and offers a vibrant and eclectic atmosphere.
Teotihuacan: Behold the vast scale of this well-preserved ancient city dominated by the 2,000-year-old Pyramid of the Sun.
Puebla: Puebla impresses with its combination of history, culture, tradition, beauty and modernity, with touches of art and buildings full of colours.
Jalpan de Serra: Enjoy a unique experience in Jalpan, where the Baroque style Santiago Apostol church and Queretaro mission route gate are located.
- Operated with bilingual: English and Spanish-speaking licensed local guide in Mexico City on a shared basis from day 2 to day 4
- 8 nights’ accommodation
- 8 breakfasts
- Air-conditioned transportation with pick-up/drop-off as indicated in the itinerary in Mexico City on a shared basis
- Transfer from hotel in Puebla to Rent a car office in Puebla
CAR HIRE OPTIONS:
- From day 5 in Puebla to day 9 in Queretaro
- Lease and unlimited mileage
- ALI (Coverage for protection of damage to third parties, excluding passengers and their belongings. According to Mexican Laws, this coverage is mandatory)
- LDW (Collision coverage with a 0% deductible of the total value of the car). This is a protection of damage to the vehicle derived from car accidents and/or weather hazards and total theft. Excludes damages and partial theft caused by vandalism, insurrection, strikes, coup d’état, or any other political or social movement (it doesn´t cover tires, crystals or rear-view mirrors)
- Tax to added value (VAT).
- One additional driver free of charge (both drivers have to be 25 years or older)
- Phone assistance in case you need directions
- Tax to added value (VAT).
ENTRANCE FEES AND ACTIVITIES:
- All entrance fees and activities mentioned in the itinerary: Mexico City tour, Aztec room in the Anthropological Museum, Teotihuacan archaeological site, Guadalupe Shrine, Puebla-Tonantzintla-Cholula tour
- Meet & Greet on day 1
- Expenditures of a personal nature, drinks and meals if not stated explicitly in the programme
- International / domestic flight tickets, Mexican visa fees or local taxes
- Border taxes
- Airport departure tax
- Motorway tolls and parking fees
- Entrance fees or optional excursions
- Transfers and/or guide services
- Medical insurance
NOT INCLUDED IN CAR HIRE
- Windows and wheels insurance (WWI)
- Personal Accident insurance (PAI)
- None of the coverages mentioned above include charges for towing, lockup, or traffic tickets
- Gas refill
- Additional or young drivers (18 to 24 years of age) will need to pay an extra daily charge.
- In all cases, the driver must present a valid driver’s license and be over 25 years of age
- The clients must present a valid credit card for guarantee
- In case of accident, the client has the responsibility to report it immediately to the rental office or to the assistance numbers, and properly fill out the accident report sheet when the lease finishes, otherwise, the coverage will be void, and the damages will be charged directly to the client
- In case that the client does not comply with the rental contract clauses that were signed at the office where the car was delivered, the coverage of insurances will be void
- The units shall be returned in regular conditions at the end of the lease
- All coverage and insurances included are only valid in the country in which car was rented (Mexico)
- Gas refill and any damages will be charged additionally to the lease
- Last day: drop off your car at the Hertz office. Please be advised that the drive from Jalpan to the airport will take a minimum of three hours. We also would like to advise you to consider factoring in 30 to 45 minutes for vehicle drop-off. Finally, we recommend you book your departure flight from Queretaro in the afternoon, taking into account the advised two-hour arrival prior to the airport for domestic flights
- The assigned guide and group size may change on Day 2, 3 & 4
- Local conditions prevalent at the time of travel may result in modifications to the tour contents without prior notice.
What do I need to bring?
Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling in Mexico. Comfortable, non-slip shoes and warm clothing for winter is also advised. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay.
Day 1-3 Mexico City:
- Standard Hotel Category = Majestic or similar 3*
- Superior Hotel Category = Emporio Reforma or similar 4.5*
Day 4 Puebla:
- Standard Hotel Category = Colonial Puebla
- Superior Hotel Category = Quinta Real Puebla or similar 5*
Day 5 Huansca de Ocampo, Hidalgo
- Standard Hotel Category = Hacienda Santa Maria Regla or similar 4*
- Superior Hotel Category = Hacienda Santa Maria Regla or similar 4*
Day 6 San Juan del Rio, Queretaro
- Standard Hotel Category = Mision San Gil 3*
- Superior Hotel Category = Hacienda Galindo or similar 5*
Day 7 and 8 Jalpan de Serra
- Standard and Superior Hotel Category = Mision Jalpan or similar 3*
CAR HIRE OPTIONS
- Car Group A = Chevrolet Beat A/C or similar
- Car Group C = Chevrolet Aveo A/C Automatic or similar
- Once ordered, this tour cannot be cancelled or refund or amended at any circumstances.
Day 1 : ARRIVAL MEXICO CITY
Arrive at Mexico City International Airport. Our representative will meet and greet you, and then transfer you to the hotel in Mexico City. Have the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Mexico City.
Day 2 : MEXICO CITY
The tasty breakfast at the hotel is followed by a visit to the ‘Zocalo’ – the city’s main square – where you find the cathedral and presidential palace. The day continues arriving at the National Anthropology Museum, which houses a priceless collection of artefacts, some dating from as far back 35,000 years ago. Enjoy a guided 3- hours tour of this purpose-built facility featuring 11 sections dedicated to different eras and civilisations. Perhaps the most famous exhibit is the Aztec sun stone but Olmec sculptures and Mayan murals have not lost their beauty after all these centuries. Scale models of pre-colonial cities offer an insight into the architectural feats of these ancient people despite the rudimentary technologies at their disposal. Return to the hotel and afternoon at leisure.
Overnight in Mexico City.
Day 3 : MEXICO CITY – TEOTIHUACAN PYRAMIDS – MEXICO CITY
After breakfast, we make our way to the famous Guadalupe shrine to visit both the old and new basilicas. We then continue to the well-preserved ruins of Teotihuacan. Ancient Teotihuacan appears to have gone into decline in the sixth century but its influence on later civilisations such as the Aztecs cannot be doubted. Transport yourself back in time as you stroll along the Avenue of the Dead towards the imposing 2,000-year-old Pyramid of the Sun, the third largest in the world, and be overwhelmed by the sheer scale of this once vast city. At the end of the visit, there is some free time to explore the site and to climb one of the colossal pyramids to take in the panoramic views. We then return to the city and Return to the hotel where one of our representatives will wait for you at the hotel lobby at approximately 6 pm to give you all the information and instructions of everything related to the rental car that you will have from day 5.
Overnight in Mexico City.
Day 4 : MEXICO CITY – PUEBLA (155km – 3 hrs)
After a tasty breakfast at the hotel, at approximately 9.30 you will be picked up at the hotel to depart northwards through the highlands of the Sierra Mixteca, arriving at the ornately decorated and colourful temple of Santa Maria Tonantzintla. Afterwards, we drive to the city of Cholula, dating back to 500 BC, and standing out as having the world’s largest pyramid. We then continue to the colonial city of Puebla. Enjoy a panoramic city tour seeing most of the city’s famous churches such as the cathedral, the imposing St Francis with its towering belfry and St Dominic, where we admire the gilded and sculpted Rosary Chapel. A short stroll through the picturesque city centre allows you to appreciate the range of architectural styles, with a strong presence of baroque palaces, monasteries, and mansions. Local geological features are reflected in the widespread use of Cantera stone, a grey volcanic rock, together with brick and tiles. After getting closer to the city, arrive at your hotel for check-in at afternoon
Overnight in Puebla
Day 5 : PUEBLA – SANTA MARIA REGLA (180km – 2.5 hrs)
After breakfast. Pick you up at 09:00 at lobby by assistance of Rent a Car for the transfer to Rent a Car office and take your rental car. Adventure begins with self-drive portion of the trip. Start by going to the colourful “Magical Town” of Real del Monte, featuring 18th-century buildings, as well as old gold and silver mining sites. Afterwards, perhaps visit the Basaltic Prisms of Santa Maria Regla. This curious waterfall structure is made up of basalt columns which raise up to 50 metres high. Continue on to Hacienda Santa Maria Regla and enjoy the late afternoon at leisure. Take a stroll through the gardens, take a dip in the inviting pool or visit the secret tunnels of this 18th century hacienda with a guide. You also have the option to take a hot-air balloon ride
Overnight in Santa Maria Regla.
Day 6 : SANTA MARIA REGLA – SAN JUAN DEL RIO (210km – 3 hrs)
Enjoy a delightful breakfast and take the opportunity to tour the hacienda before continuing your drive. We also suggest a stop at Tula before heading to San Juan del Rio. Tula has a nice historical centre, where you can visit Plaza de las Artesanias, a market dedicated to local handicrafts. And a visit to the archaeological site is a must! Its main attraction is the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl, which is topped by four-metre-high basalt columns carved in the shape of Toltec warriors. The feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl is linked to this city, though his worship was widespread from central Mexico to Central America at the time of the Spanish arrival. Continue to San Juan del Rio. Here, visit the Parish Temple of San Juan Bautista, the Santo Domingo Temple, and the Puente de la Historia (‘Bridge of History’).
Overnight in San Juan del Rio
Day 7 : SAN JUAN DEL RIO – JALPAN DE SERRA (180km – 3.5 hrs)
After a tasty breakfast, you can enjoy a hot-air balloon ride early in the morning, in the nearby town of Tequisquiapan. It is recommended to make an early reservation if you want this memorable experience. You could also visit the temple of Santa Maria de la Asuncion, enjoy a walk through this charming town, and shop for handmade items at the crafts market, with a speciality of the area being hand-woven baskets. For an outing in nature, we recommend a visit to Pinal de Amoles, set in the verdant hills of the Sierra Gorda. If you are looking for some adventure, we recommend visiting the zip line park, which has an exciting 10-kilometre circuit composed of nine zip lines that travel through the majestic landscapes of the Sierra Gorda (please pre-book). Alternatively, visit El Chuveje Waterfalls, where you can take a refreshing dip in the water. From Pinal de Amoles, continue to Jalpan de Serra, checking into your hotel upon arrival.
Overnight in Jalpan de Serra.
Day 8 : JALPAN
Have breakfast at the hotel and then discover the beautiful surroundings of Jalpan. We recommend heading to Xilitla, the name coming from Nahuatl and meaning ‘place of snails’. Xilitla is a coffee village nestled in the Sierra Madre Oriental, in one of the highest parts of the geographical area. Because of its location, apart from coffee beans, a variety of citrus is also harvested. In Xilitla you can visit the surreal garden of Las Pozas by Edward James, Los Comales Waterfall, Salitre Cave, the remodelled former convent of the Augustinians, and the Museum of Edward James, located next to the quirky house that became an inn called The Castle. This museum has many personal items of James and photographs to admire. After this memorable excursion, return to Jalpan for your overnight stay.
Overnight in Jalpan.
Day 9 : JALPAN – DEPART QUERETARO AIRPORT (170km – 3.25 hrs)
Your last day has arrived! Depart Jalpan after breakfast, heading towards Queretaro airport to catch your flight back home. Enjoy the last day and have a safe flight. Last day: drop off your car at the rent a car office. Please be advised that the drive from Jalpan to the airport will take a minimum of three hours. We also would like to advise you to consider factoring in 30 to 45 minutes for vehicle drop-off. Finally, we recommend you book your departure flight from Queretaro in the afternoon, taking into account the advised two-hour arrival prior to the airport for domestic flights