October 18 – 25, 2018
Mexico is as familiar as it is exotic, the countryside serene as the city streets are chaotic, and its moda de vida both modern and traditional. Discover Mexico’s challenges while celebrating its dynamic culture and history. With your LA Times Expert, enjoy the best that Mexico has to offer, from the street markets of San Angel, to an exploration of pre-Hispanic ruins, to visits of the former home of iconic artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Savor local cuisine through market tours and cooking demonstrations from Mexican chefs. See why Mexico City is considered an international trendsetter with exclusive access to the city’s up-and-coming designers. Understand the country’s present through an exploration of its past, with visits to the Palacio Nacional, Plaza Tlatelolco, and special access to Mexico’s iconic National Museum of Anthropology. Learn from journalists and experts about Mexico’s current state of affairs during this election year. Appreciate Mexico from many different perspectives on this unique LA Times Expedition.
Carolina A. Miranda is a Los Angeles Times staff writer covering culture from high to low: museums to murals, art books to comics, documentaries to reaction GIFs. A longtime independent journalist, she has reported on the architecture of skate parks and the intersection of fine art and video games — as well as the adventures of the donut-making Mexican wrestler of East L.A. When she’s not reading about the lives of the artists, she’s recapping action movies on Facebook.
Beinvenidos a Mexico
Arrive at Benito Juarez International Airport and transfer to your hotel. Gather for a welcome reception and dinner and meet your LA Times Expert. She will lead a discussion on Mexico’s political and cultural significance on the world stage, as well as current events the country is addressing today. (R, D)
Understanding Politics Past and Present
Set out to discover Mexico City’s historical center. Visit the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico’s famed fine arts building, designed by Italian architect, Adam Boari, in the Art Nouveau architectural style. Enter the city’s main Central Plaza, the Zócalo, a meeting place that dates back to the Aztec Empire. Explore the Palacio Nacional, Mexico’s federal executive building. Trace Mexico’s layered political past—from pre-Hispanic civilizations through colonial times and the Mexican Revolution to its modern political state—as it is captured in the murals of Diego Rivera. Visit the Cathedral and the pre-Hispanic ruins of the Templo Mayor. After lunch, learn more about Mexico’s contemporary political climate and the 2018 election by visiting the Palacio Legislativo de San Lázaro, the main seat of Mexico’s legislative power. (B, L, D)
City Arts and Education
Today, travel to the southernmost parts of the city, stopping first in the tree-lined neighborhood of Coyoacán. First visit Frida Kahlo’s home and studio, Casa Azul. A guide will discuss the private and public lives of Frida and her husband, Diego Rivera, as you tour their unique home and workshop. Continue to the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the largest university in Latin America. UNAM’s campus has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and includes murals by Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siquieros, as well as a modern sculpture garden. Meet with professors and students from the school of journalism to discuss current events facing Mexico today. Stop in the San Angel neighborhood, famous for its Saturday bazaar. Grab a café con leche and stroll the art galleries and boutiques along Plaza San Jacinto. Before returning to your hotel, visit the Museo Casa Estudio of Diego Rivera. Known as the “Twin Houses” created by Juan O´Gorman, it is where Kahlo and Rivera spent most of their time, living separately after their divorce. Conclude today with fresh seafood at a top Mexico City restaurant. (B,L,D)
Dive into the world of Mexican design and meet the capital’s cutting-edge jewelry, fashion, textile and ceramic designers. This rare opportunity gives you a glimpse into what is trending in Mexico as well as internationally. Meet with recognized and emerging designers to learn how their pieces are conceived and created. Visit designer studios, workshops, and showrooms and discover the “art” of the design process and the inspiration behind each brand. After a break for lunch, finish the day at the galleries and boutiques where the artists’ and designers’ works are featured and have the opportunity to buy directly from each designer. Enjoy the rest of the day on your own. Tonight, dine out in the upscale Polanco neighborhood. (B,L,D)
Mexican Modern Architecture
Discover some of the most representative architecture in the city through the work of the legendary architect, Luis Barragán, the only Mexican to obtain the famed Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest award. Admire the Pedregal neighborhood, Barragán’s influential 1940s modernist housing development. Pedregal means “rocky place” because of the petrified lava that covered the area from volcanic activity. Enjoy a private visit to the Casa Pedregal, one of Barragán’s first works – now a private residence – to see one of the best examples of modern residential architecture. Next, visit the Convent of the Capuchines nuns to explore the Capilla, or Chapel. Barragán spent seven years dedicated to its design and construction. After lunch, visit several prominent modernist buildings. In the evening, depart the hotel for the famous National Museum of Anthropology, an example of modern Mexican architecture in its own right, for a private after-hours visit. A curator will lead you through the museum’s collection of pre-Hispanic art, one of the world’s largest, including the Aztec Sunstone (calendar). Celebrate today with dinner together at a trendy local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Street Life in the Capital
Start the day at Tlatelolco Plaza, a unique expression of Mexico’s three cultures: Mesoamerican, colonial and contemporary. The Plaza is famous for the 1968 student massacre resulting from political protests against the state. Named after a pre-Hispanic city-state, Tlatelolco represents Mexico’s past and present. It’s the site of indigenous ruins, a colonial church, signed international treaties and has weathered a devastating earthquake in 1985. Your expert guide from the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) will lead you around the site. Next, head to la Roma neighborhood for lunch on your own at Mercado Roma and sip a cool cerveza at the gourmet market’s rooftop beer garden. Afterwards, in the company of a chef, visit an artisanal tortillería to taste Mexican tortillas made with traditional dough. Next, head to the Medellin Market and discover the colors, aromas and deep-rooted tradition of an authentic Mexican market. Interact with local merchants, taste spices, cheeses, ice cream, or even single origin coffee; the options are limited only by your sense of adventure. Complete your day in la Roma browsing the many galleries, boutiques, bookstores and cafes that adorn the residential neighborhood. (B)
In the News
With your LA Times Expert, visit newspaper offices and meet with Mexican and American journalists to discuss the pressing issues and opportunities facing Mexico today. Complete your Mexican experience with a private cooking demonstration and dinner at Casa Jacaranda, a 1913 stately home in the Roma neighborhood. Hosted by local chefs, test your skills at making guacamole or salsa while sipping cocktails or local craft beer. Following dinner, your chefs will also lead you through a mezcal tasting, marking a wonderful conclusion to your Mexican adventure. (B, D)
Check out of the hotel and transfer to airport.
Located on Mexico’s most famous avenue, the Marquis Reforma is a premier luxury hotel equipped with all modern amenities. Named by Conde Nast as one of the top Leading Hotels in the country.