This journey with Los Amigos del Arte Popular combines the best of Mexico. From experiencing Noche de Muertos in the Meseta Purepecha of Michoacan, to immersing in the art of the charro and tequila in Jalisco, we’ll cover a lot of ground. We’ll visit iconic tequila towns and savor this distilled beverage, and we’ll learn about the beautiful “piteado” craft, that embellishes the saddles and belts of the charros. We’ll attend a private “Lienzo Charro” event, as well as witness the beautiful work of the “Escaramuzas” and their masterful work on their horses. We’ll explore the town of Tequila, home to the distilled beverage that shares its name. In Tequila we’ll see how Tequila is produced, from plant to bottle. Finally, we end our journey on the shores of Lake Chapala to attend the annual Feria Maestros del Arte, an art fair that brings the best of Mexican art and craft to Chapala during one bright and festive weekend! Join us on this unique journey to explore the BEST of Michoacan and Jalisco!
Day One, Mon.Oct. 28, Arrive Morelia, Welcome Dinner, Mezcaleria Tata Vasco, Overnight Morelia (D)
Arriving in Morelia, you’ll transfer to our centrally located hotel and settle in. Then, we’ll gather for a very fun welcome dinner at Mezcaleria Tata Vasco, one of our favorite eateries in Morelia.
Day Two, Tues.Oct. 29, Capula, Festival de Catrinas, Transfer to Uruapan, Eduardo Ruiz National Park, Dinner at Mansion del Cupatitzio, Overnight Uruapan (B, D)
Lucky us, we get to go to the Festival de Catrinas in the town of Capula. We’ll be able to select our favorite clay catrina, so famous in this community. From here, we’ll transfer to our home for the next four nights in the Purepecha Plateau, based from Uruapan. We’ll visit the gorgeous and singular Eduardo Ruiz National Park, to see the cascading waterfalls, wild orchids and enjoy this lush, high-tropical setting. Then, we’ll gather for a lovely welcome dinner of fresh trout and macadamias! (both from the region)
Day Three, Wed.Oct. 30, Angahuan, (brocade rebozo exhibition-venta), Overnight Uruapan (L)
Today, we’ll travel to the Purepecha community of Angahuan, to learn about the extraordinary brocade woven rebozos unique to this community. We’ll meet with our friends, and enjoy a weaving demo, expo-venta, and a wonderful traditional meal of corundas, churipo (beef stew) and fresh, native corn, hand-made tortillas. Oh, and local cheese! Returning to Uruapan, our evening is at leisure.
Day Four, Thurs.Oct. 31, Ruta de Don Vasco, (including Ahuiran and Arranza expo venta) Expo-Venta de Maque de Periban/Uruapan, Overnight Uruapan
Today, we’ll immerse in the world and history of Vasco de Quiroga or “Tata” Vasco, a beloved bishop of the 17th Century, who worked tirelessly to support and empower the indigenous communities, the Purepecha people. Hospitals and community centers were established to support numerous initiatives, including the crafts and trades. Because of this, each community, to this day, has a unique craft or trade that is an important source of economic trade and income. Communities we’ll visit include: Nurio, Pomucuaran and Ahuiran and Arranza, two very important rebozo weaving communities (each having a very unique style and technique). Returning to Uruapan, we’ll have a very special Expo-Venta of one of the most important “oficios” trades, crafts of Michoacan and Mexico: the maque or lacquerware. Our friends from Periban will showcase their work.
Day Five, Fri. Nov. 1, Concurso in Patzcuaro, Lunch, Visit Gravesites at Night, Overnight Uruapan (L)
Lucky us; today we travel to Patzcuaro to attend the mind-blowing Concurso de Artesanias de Michoacan. Here, we’ll be surrounded by the finest crafts of Michoacan and Mexico in materials such as: copper, vegetable/plant fibers, cotton textiles, pottery, carved wood and much more. We’ll enjoy lunch in Patzcuaro, before returning to the Meseta Purepecha. At night, we’ll visit communities in this region, to observe how the Purepecha people honor their deceased family members. By remembering them, they keep them alive.
Day Six, Sat., Nov. 2, La Piedad, Michoacan, (jaspe rebozos de artisela), Atotonilco El Alto (Siete Leguas), Lagos de Moreno (L) Overnight San Juan de los Lagos
We say goodbye to the Purepecha Plateau and make our way towards Jalisco. But still in Michoacan, we’ll visit the rebozo town of La Piedad, to learn about the commercial ikat rebozo weaving in “artisela”. From here, we travel to the Jalisco Highlands and make a stop in Atotonilco, to savor the tequila of Siete Leguas, a boutique distillery. We’ll continue to Lagos de Moreno for our overnight.
Day Seven, Sun. November 3, Teocaltiche (sarapes and charro hats), Colotlan, Overnight Colotlan, (B, L)
Today we make our way to the town of Teocaltiche to see where some of the sarapes, hats are made, in addition to the famous colorful wooden toys (think tops and other games) that are seen at markets and fairs throughout Mexico. Hopefully, we’ll all find our favorite hat or hats to wear or hang on a wall, as decorative statements. The fiber for these hats comes from the “tierra caliente” hot lands of Guerrero. We’ll make our way to Colotlan, for our overnight to prepare for tomorrow’s highlight: The Art of the Pita Fiber.
Day Eight, Mon. November 4, Colotlan, The Art of the “pita” fiber, Comida en Hacienda, Overnight Guadalajara (B, L)
Today is dedicated to learning about and appreciating a lesser known art form in Mexico: the art of the “pita” fiber or “piteado”. This is a fine, long fiber extracted from the bromeliad family, that is used as a “thread” to embroider and beautifully embellish the traditional saddles, belts, hats of the charro of Mexico. Today, the pita fiber / thread is used in other non-traditional arts and utilitarian items such as bags, sandles, wall hangings, furniture, etc. The leather work of this region is also special and specific to the charro tradition. The leather work of Mexico is called: talabarteria (say it fast 10x!)
Day Nine, Tues. November 5, Tequila! (B)
Today we’ll visit the fields, distillery, and enjoy a special tequila tasting event with our friends at Tequila Cuervo. We’ll break for lunch, before visiting the new Cuervo Cultural Center / Museum and have a special guided tour of “The Art of the Charro Exhibition” (on loan from the National Museum of History in Mexico City), and an exhibition of Grandes Maestros de Banamex. (B) Overnight Tequila at the new Cuervo Hotel!
Day Ten, Wed. November 6, Private Lienzo Charro event at Hacienda,
Today we’ll enjoy a private demo called a “Lienzo Charro” to learn about the history and techniques used in charro competitions. These masterful techniques were historically related to the work of the ranch hands and the harnessing of their animals in the employment of the work of the rancher. Charreria is the precursor and influence for the rodeo in the U.S. We’ll also enjoy a demo of the famed Escaramusas, lovely women dressed beautifully in their charra garb (dress, hat, rebozo) who demonstrate extraordinary control and skill in maneuvering theirr horses in rapid-fire criss cross patterns, insuring that the crossing horses are perfectly timed and synchronized. We’ll enjoy a Farewell Comida before we drive to Ajijic, (B, L) End of Tour