On this journey to Jalisco, we’ll immerse ourselves in all things “charro”. From the art of the charro in the beautiful “piteado” work on their saddles and belts, to their masterful work on the horse, we will experience this expression, so associated with Jalisco. In addition, we’ll explore the murals of Jose Clemente Orozco in Guadalajara, visit master potters in Tonala, learn about the unique prehispanic cultures of this region, and 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 Jalisco and the Art of the Charro!
Day 1: Arrive in Guadalajara, Transfer to Hotel. Hotel Morales.
Activities will depend on time of arrival, but we will plan for a cocktail reception (remember we are in tequila country!) and a presentation, introduction, overview of “charreria”! We will enjoy a welcome dinner based on regional cuisine. Overnight Guadalajara (D)
Day 2: Attend the Charreada and Visit the Charros of Jalisco!
Today we get a full experience of the Charreada by attending one! In addition, we will visit the people, families, personalities who have maintained the charreria tradition from generation to generation. Because of our contacts in the region, we will be meeting some of the most renowned charros of Mexico! We will return to Guadalajara for lunch at a lovely restaurant, with the rest of the afternoon free for strolling and photography in the Historic Center. (B, L).
Day 3: Tequila!.
Today we will travel to the town of Tequila to learn everything about this distilled spirit that is synonymous with Mexico. We will see how the “jimadores” extract the “pina” pineapple core and how the juice is extracted, fermented and later distilled. We will visit two tequila firms, one a large one: Cuervo, and another, a boutique producer, Cofradias. Lunch will be at this later charming location in the mountains of Tequila! (B, L).
Day 4: Guadalajara City Tour, followed by Tlaquepaque and Tonala.
Today, we will explore the great capital city of Jalisco, Guadalajara, which dates to the 16th century. While we will explore the colonial architecture of yellow “cantera” or quarried stone, our focus will be on the magnificent murals of Jose Clemente Orozco. In the Hospicio las Cabanas, we will see one of his masterpieces, considered the Sistene Chapel of Mexico. We will travel to the suburbs of Guadalajara, to learn of the craft traditions of this region, namely pottery. Tlaquepaque is a charming village, where we will enjoy lunch and a brief visit to the local Museum, followed by a visit to Tonala, where we will visit select great Masters of Mexican Art, potters. (B, L)
Day 5: Ancient Site of Guachimontones and Hacienda
Today we will visit the fascinating site known as Guachimontones, a circular structure that is unlike any other in Mexico (most similar to sites like Tzintzuntzan on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro). Here, we will learn about the ancient civilizations of Western Mexico. These civilizations had cultural traits and characteristics that had more in common with Andean cultures that those commonly known as “Mesoamerican”. One of these characteristics was in fact the circular structures (we call pyramids), and shaft tombs for burying their dead. We will enjoy our Lunch at a charming Hacienda that will take us back to the Colonia Era. (B, L).
Day 6, Charro Dress Workshops & Colotlan to learn about “pita” Fiber
Today we visit the silver, leather, hat workshops and all elements that go into the dress of the Charro. From here, we travel to a hotter region, where the special bromeliad plant grows that provides the fiber for the “pita”, which is the fine white thread used to embellish the finest saddles, belts, stirrups of the Charro and his/her horse. (B, L)
Day 7, Lake Chapala, Feria Maestros del Arte
Today we travel to Lake Chapala and we will be amongst the first to arrive at the Feria Maestros del Arte. We have free time to explore and shop for some of the finest arts and crafts from all of Mexico! The Feria is in its 12th year, and has been growing, given its huge success and hard work of the expat and national community who live in Lake Chapala and Ajijic. (B)
Day 8, Feria Maestros del Arte, Chapala.
Today we return to the Feria Maestros del Arte to get those treasures we do not want to leave behind! A special farewell sunset dinner cruise will bring a perfect close to our week exploring the BEST of Jalisco! (B, D)
Day 9: Return Flights Home or extend a day to enjoy Sunday in Chapala (B)