Monarchs & La Maestra: March 3-14, 2017
We'll begin our adventure in the elegant colonial city of Morelia, where we will spend two nights in the historic central district of this capital city, an architectural gem often called the Pink City because of the rosy-hued quarried stone used in so many of its facades. Our guided tour of this beautiful city will include visits to many of Morelia's outstanding architectural sights as well as the wonderful Casa de Cultura for an overview of the immense variety of folk art and crafts produced throughout the state of Michoacán. Our hotel in Morelia is the lovely Posada de la Soledad, located in a 17th-century building just steps for the main square.
From Morelia we will drive across lush green mountains of Michoacán to the town of Zitácuaro and our wonderful hotel, Rancho San Cayetano. When you meet Pablo and Lisette and their exceptional staff and see the lovely green lawns and pine forests beyond, you'll know why this is one of my favorite inns in all of Mexico. We'll arrive on Sunday in time for a drink by the fire before we enjoy a delicious dinner in the cozy dining room.
Monday we'll set off to view one of the world's greatest natural phenomena: the winter migration of monarch butterflies to the mountains of central Mexico. Every winter, millions of butterflies migrate south to a very small area of pine and fir forests found in this region. These trees, ground waters, and mountaintop mists all form a delicate ecosystem that enables the monarch's survival throughout the winter months. By March the warmith of the sun invigorates the monarchs and during our visit we will likely see hundreds of thousands of monarchs waking from their winter diapause as the cascade off trees and fill the air around us. Awe inspiring is an understatement..
Our next two days will be spend shopping and chopping with La Maestra herself, Diana Kennedy. World-reknowned culinary expert and author of eight cookbooks on the cuisines of Mexico, DK is also a tireless warrior for our environment. On Tuesday we'll tour the local market with her, shopping for ingredients for the dishes we'll be preparing, asking questions and learning along the way, and in the afternoon we'll tour the grounds and gardens of Quinta Diana, her eco-positive home located just a short walk from the inn. Wednesday we'll be in the kitchen of Quinta Diana, dicing, rolling, stirring, and stuffing alongside DK as we prepare some of Mexico's classic dishes with the bounty of fresh ingredients purchased at the market and grown in DK's gardens. The day will culminate in a celebratory meal together sharing the dishes we prepared, a special time to enjoy new flavors and friends.
Note: DK and I are committed to My Mexico Tour classes being serious learning experiences and attendees are expected to step up to the chopping board and get your hands in the masa, as it were. That said, these classes are not limited to professionals or trained cooks. Anyone with a sincere interest in learning about Mexican cooking methods, ingredients, and history belongs here. The kitchen at Quinta Diana holds 10 students, so there is room on the tour for 2 non-cooking participants. For those not attending the cooking class, I can promise you that a free day spent at Rancho Cayetano is a lovely experience.
Thursday morning we'll drive westward across Michoacán to the picturesque lakeside town of Pátzcuaro, where we will spend the coming days enjoying this area's rich artistic heritage. Some of Mexico's finest folk art is produced in the villages surrounding Lake Pátzcuaro -- hand-forged copperware in Santa Clara del Cobre, distinctive ceramics in Tzintzuntzan, and more. Visits to the homes and studios of some of my favorite artisans and dearest friends are planned. Our stay here will also allow time to enjoy the town of Pátzcuaro ifself; strolling the plazas, shopping in the market, perhaps a boat ride on the lake.
For those who can't get enough of a good thing, a tour extension is available for this tour. The extra days will allow time for a hike up the world's newest volcano as well as visits to more villages where more extraordinary folk art is created, not to mention some of my most memorable culinary experiences of Michoacán.
When you travel with MY MEXICO TOURS the hands-on care begins before you leave home. I’ll help you find the best flight, send you interesting background information on the area and events we’ll be seeing, and about three weeks before the tour you’ll receive a detailed information booklet with your daily itinerary, travel notes, packing list, suggested reading, and more.