Mexico in Colour
Take a culinary masterclass in Oaxaca, sip tequila at one of the oldest bars in Mexico City & watch a lucha libre wrestling show
Mexico in Colour
About your trip
A magical history. A culinary prowess. Tacos. Tequila. Lucha Libre…enter Mexico’s rainbow world and everything you’ve ever known will look a little sepia in comparison.
Starting strong on day one, you’ll enjoy a tequila tasting at one of Mexico City’s most iconic bars, dating all the way back to 1912 – the perfect ice breaker amongst new friends. Next, a private gondola-style boat ride along the canals of Xochimilco (complete with Mariachi band) and a chance to get lost in the colourful madness of Coyoacán’s local market. And you can forget your traditional bar crawl when in the capital. It’s all about the ‘taco crawl’ here, and trust us when we say we’ll take you to the very best (and little-known) taquerias.
Beyond bustling Mexico City? You’ll witness the magic and majesty of the Aztec ruins of Teotihuacán. You’ll wander the rainbow-coloured streets of Puebla and you’ll embrace the bedlam of the masked superheroes at a Lucha Libre wrestling show. There’ll be moments of calm as you learn to paint folk art sculptures at an Oaxaca workshop, and moments of wonder at the brilliance of your private chef as you spend hours in a culinary masterclass. All wrapped up with a stint along the golden sands of Puerto Escondido for dolphin spotting and beach living.
This is Mexico in colour. Are you ready to see?
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Exclusively for people in their 30s & 40s
- All activities mentioned on the itinerary
- 8 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 2 dinners
- Stay in hand-picked 3-4 star hotels
- Minibus & boat transport
- Arrival airport transfer
- Experienced Pack Leader with you throughout the trip
Flashpackers must provide evidence that they have purchased travel insurance for the duration of their adventure. Remember, flights aren't included and prices are based on sharing a twin room. If you'd like to upgrade to a single room, you can add this during the booking process or by contacting our Customer Experience team.
DAY BY DAY
Day 01 Welcome to Mexico City
Arriving in Mexico City is a joyous assault on the senses. This colourful, cultural and charismatic capital will turn your head from the moment you leave the airport. A Flash Pack transfer will whisk you to your stylish hotel close to the Zócalo plaza, the ceremonial center of the former Aztec capital, once named Tenochtitlán. After your welcome dinner, you’ll proceed to one of the city’s oldest bars, Café de Tacuba, set in a former convent. Just a few steps from the bustle of Calle Tacuba in the historic district, the venue has hosted a slew of the country’s presidents and rock stars. And, of course, there’s time for a tequila tasting (or the renowned hot chocolate) after.
Day 02 TEQUILA AND TACOS
This morning, you’ll be exploring the city in the most intimate fashion: on foot. Starting in the historic centre, you’ll visit the imposing Cathedral, with its double towers and, inside, five centuries of Mexican art; don’t forget to look up. From here, it’s on to the Palace of Fine Arts – with fresco murals by Diego Rivera – and the Templo Mayor Museum, before going on a taco crawl lunch, visiting some of the best local taquerias in the city. This afternoon, you’ll head across town to the canals of Xochimilco where you’ll board a lively trajinera (a gondola-style boat) with a Mariachi-style band and perhaps a few more tequilas. Finally, you’ll visit the traditional old neighborhood of Coyoacán to explore its market with its rich hub of colour and exotic products.
Day 03 TEOTIHUACAN TEMPLES & A WRESTLING SHOW
This is a day of two halves. You’ll start with an eye-opening walking tour through the ancient Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacán, located 50 kilometres northeast of the capital, surrounded by lush green highlands. There’s also the option to book a spectacular sunrise hot air balloon ride over the temples for an additional cost, just let us know if this is something you’d be interested in (in our opinion, it’s not to be missed). You’ll take a guided walk around the main structures: the Pyramid of the Moon, the Pyramid of the Sun, the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and along the Avenue of the Dead. Come evening, it’s a complete change of scene. You’ll travel to the historic town of Puebla to witness first-hand the dramatic spectacle of good versus evil in a Lucha Libre wrestling show; these flamboyant masked superheroes are pop cultural legends in Mexico.
Day 04 HISTORIC OAXACA AND MARKET MEANDERING
Before bidding adieu to Puebla, you’ll pay a visit to the 17th-century Rosary Chapel, one of the most prominent examples of Mexican Baroque; known for its ornamentation, the walls and ceilings are adorned with gilded stucco, pretty talavera tiles and oil paintings. Let the windows do the talking on a scenic drive along the Altiplano, the country’s mammoth high desert plateau, to Oaxaca, where the colonial centre and Monte Albán archaeological zone have earned UNESCO World Heritage status. You’ll be introduced to the town, strongly regarded for its rich cultural heritage, on a walking tour through the historic centre. Also known as the culinary capital of Mexico, you’ll visit the traditional market of 20 de Noviembre. You’ll be lucky enough to experience it with your guide who will be able to translate and direct you towards the impressive local delicacies worth sampling, such as memelas cakes, traditional soups and, for the adventurous, grasshoppers.
Day 05 THE OAXACA VALLEY & MEZCAL DISTILLERY
Today you’ll explore the wider Oaxaca Valley. To start? Food-hopping the stalls at Tlacolula, a traditional Sunday market. It might be breakfast time but it’s never too early to consume tacos, traditional barbacoa (pulled meat), or crackly chicharrón (deep-fried pork skin). Next, you’ll visit a local mezcal distillery to learn about the traditional process which uses varying types of agave to make the alcoholic drink, and you’ll sample different varieties. Back in Oaxaca, you’ll share stories of the day over cocktails in a downtown rooftop bar.
Day 06 CULINARY MASTERCLASS & CRAFT WORKSHOP
In true Flash Pack style, you’ll have the opportunity to work with a renowned Oaxacan chef to prepare a gourmet five-course meal. The masterclass begins at his home where you’ll create your own menu as a group, advised by one of the most regarded cooks in the local area. You’ll then head off to the local market together to source fresh local ingredients, learning what combination of food and flavours are needed to craft a delicious meal. Back at the house you’ll prep and cook as a team, before having the chance to sit down and savour the end result. From here, you’ll visit a traditional alebrijes (brightly colored Mexican folk art) workshop, where you will learn about their importance in the region and paint your own to take home as a beautiful and unique memento.
Day 07 THE PACIFIC COAST
It’s time to wave adiós to the city and head for the glorious coastline. En route, you’ll stop in San José del Pacífico, a small town nuzzled at over 2,000 metres in the mountains. Known for its magic mushrooms, used by both curanderos (traditional healers) and tourists, they are sacred here and imperative to the local economy. You’ll continue on to the lively beach town of Puerto Escondido, a stunning stretch of pristine beaches with surfable waves, oceanfront bars and restaurants, and reefs crying out for a snorkel. After checking into your hotel, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy at your leisure.
Day 08 DOLPHIN SPOTTING & BEACH LIFE
This expanse of coast is awash with sea life, which is exactly what you’ll enjoy on your final full day. You’ll start the morning with a dolphin-watching tour with the group aboard a private panga (a small, motorised fishing boat) for a three-hour cruise, where you’ll have the opportunity to spot playful pods swimming in their natural habitat. With any luck, you’ll also spot sea turtles, manta rays and flying fish. During the dry season of November to March, you’ll also have a chance to witness the magnificence of nose-diving humpback whales. The rest of the day will be spent on dry land, relaxing on the beach, exploring the town or sharing a cocktail with your fellow Flashpackers.
Day 09 UNTIL NEXT TIME, MEXICO
While it’s the end of the trip, it’s just the beginning of, hopefully, what will become life-long friendships, solidified through the incredible adventures you’ve shared in colourful and vibrant Mexico. As with all our trips, our wonderful Pack Leader can help you arrange transport back to the airport for your flight. And, if you’re missing your new friends on the journey home, why not get planning that next life-affirming Flash Pack adventure?
OUR FAVOURITE HOTELS
Here's a taste of the hotels we sometimes use on this adventure. The hotels you'll stay in for your departure will be shared with you one month before you go.
Histórico Central Hotel, Mexico City
This 19th-century beautifully restored building captures the soul of Mexico City, and is perfectly located at the heart of the city’s historic centre. The rooftop terrace comes with sweeping views of the city, and most evenings you’ll find live jazz or bossa nova music here.
Casa De Sierra Azul, Oaxaca
You’ll feel transported back to 19th-century Mexico as you step through the doors of this noble mansion, with its arcades of frescoes, classic balconies and pretty courtyard fountain made of green stone, for which the city is famous. Spacious rooms feature all mod cons yet retain many original features.
Hotel Santa Fe, Puerto Escondido
This colonial-style hotel at the quieter end of Zicatela beach, feels like a private estate. Set within lush tropical grounds, it features 3 gorgeous pools, a huge alfresco terrace and an open-air palapa restaurant with rustic Mexican decor. It’s the perfect place to chill but with plenty of nightlife action within walking distance.
- Which airport do I need to fly into? Plus airport code
Fly into Mexico City International Airport (MEX), and out of either Puerto Escondido International Airport (PXM) or Bahias De Huatulco International Airport (HUX).
- Do I need a visa?
You do not need a visa if you’re visiting as a tourist from the EU, UK, USA, Australia or Canada. Please check with your local consulate/embassy if the country you are travelling from requires a visa.
However, you will need to complete an immigration form and have this with you when you enter and leave Mexico.
You can get an immigration form either when you arrive, on board your flight into Mexico or online in advance from the National Institute of Immigration website https://www.inm.gob.mx/fmme/publico/en/solicitud.html.
If you fill in the form online, make sure it is printed on a single sheet, otherwise it will not be accepted and you will have to fill in a new one at the airport. Due to the requirements of the online system, this option is only possible if your passport is valid for at least six months from your intended date of entry to Mexico.
We recommend that you have at least six months validity remaining on your passport and can show a return ticket.
- What time should my flight arrive (in time for the welcome meeting)?
Please try to arrive before 3 pm. Your welcome meeting and dinner will be from 5:30 pm onwards starting at the hotel, which is located approximately 30 minutes away from the airport.
- What time should my flight depart on the last day?
Check out is at 12 pm. There are no activities planned for the last day, so leave any time you wish. The airport is approximately 15 minutes away from the hotel.
- Are airport transfers included?
If you arrive on Day 1 of your adventure, or you book pre-tour accommodation with us, your airport arrival transfer will be included. If you book alternative pre-tour accommodation or are arriving by another mode of transport you must arrange your own arrival transfer.
Arrival transfers are private to Flash Pack and will be in groups depending on flight times. Sometimes this means waiting in the airport for a short while until other flights have arrived.
We don’t offer a departure transfer as Flashpackers leave at different times of the day and many stay for extra nights. We will offer you support with finding a local taxi.
- Are tips included?
Please note that tips are not included in the cost of this adventure. Suggested amounts per person are:
- Pack Leader: 7.50-10 USD per day
- Drivers: 3 USD per day
- Local tips: your Pack Leader will be able to advise on how much to tip local guides, restaurants, etc. Some Pack Leaders will collect a tipping kitty at the welcome meeting to take care of local tips.
However, all tips are at your discretion depending on what you feel comfortable with.
- What fitness levels do I need for this adventure?
We recommend having a read-through of the itinerary above, and getting in touch if you have specific questions on fitness. There will be quite a lot of walking on city tours, but overall this adventure does not require a high level of physical fitness.
- How much should I budget per day for extras?
Activities and some meals are included in the adventure cost, so you won’t need to spend much money other than for souvenirs and the meals that aren’t included. In hotels and establishments that cater primarily to tourists, expect to pay about 25% less for food and drinks than you would at a similar place back home. However, your Pack Leader will help you find the best local places that offer great value.
- Will the itinerary change?
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
Joining the Flash Pack comes with a few special guarantees
Our mission is to create 1 million friendships, so we obsess over the group dynamic. Everyone is aged 30-49, 98% travel solo & 80% stay friends.
Want to know more about your group?
Get in touch.
We operate using a 3rd party trust bank account, meaning we guarantee refunds in 14 days if your trip has to be cancelled.
Book with confidence.
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