Mexico City boasts the oldest capital in the Americas.
Nestled on a high plateau in the middle of Mexico, cand with a population of nearly 22 million is the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere. With an enormity of art, music, theatre, and cuisine to be shared with visitors, Mexico City has much to offer visitors.
Because of its preeminent importance as an economic hub in the Americas, it is also an important destination for business schools to bring students for visits with international and domestic companies. With direct flights from numerous airports in the U.S., a wide variety of hotels, and a well-developed service industry, Mexico City is a great destination for organizing a group program.
Here is an example of a three-day program that can be done either on its own or before a faculty led program filled with business and/or NGO visits.
Historic City Center and Zócalo
Whether you stayed the night or arrived early just for breakfast, the Zócalo Central Hotel has a rooftop restaurant (Blcón Del Zócalo) overlooking the main plaza in Mexico City where the main political powers of Mexico have operated since the time of the Aztecs. After breakfast you can visit the Palacio Nacional, The Metropolitan Cathedral and the Museo del Templo Mayor. While in the city, grab a quick lunch or even a lunch to go that you can enjoy during your two-hour trip outside the city to Teotihuacan.
An ancient Mesoamerican city constructed around 100 BC with major construction through to 250 AD, Teotihuacan is considered by many to have the most significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in pre-Columbian history and to have been the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. In addition to the pyramids there are residential compounds along the “Valley of the Dead” that provide unique insight into life in what is believed by some scholars to be have been a multicultural city.
Returning in the early evening to Mexico City, have dinner at a restaurant near to your hotel featuring Mexican Cuisine or consider an evening culinary tour.
In the morning you can visit make a visit to the market with a local chef who will introduce you to the fresh ingredients that will be used in your cooking class. After preparing your meal, you can enjoy lunch aboard a colorfully painted trajinera boat sailing along the Xochimilco floating gardens.
Coyoacan is a neighborhood that was once a separate city until officially absorbed into Mexico City but still maintains a distinct cultural identity. An eclectic modern flare with backdrop of colonial architecture and quaint cobblestone streets, the neighborhood was once home to Fridha Kalo and Rivera Diego where the Frida Kahlo’s Blue House is now a museum open to the public. Leon Trotsy also took residence in Coyoacan while in exile and his former residence is also converted to the Leon Trotsy Museum. After visiting the museums and walking the neighborhood, you can visit the Coyoacan market for a light snack or one of the many cafés and restaurants.
In the evening enjoy dinner near the Palacio de Bellas Artes, one of the grandest cultural sites in Mexico City. You can enjoy the evening’s scheduled ballet or opera or a later showing of the Ballet Folkloric de Mexico featuring dance and costumes from traditional culture throughout Mexico.
The main roads through Chapultepec Park is closed to vehicles on Sundays and the roads are used by families to walk and bike. Now the largest urban park in the western hemisphere, the park was used by the Aztec rulers for retreats. During the colonial period Chapultepec Castle was built and eventually housed Mexican heads of state. Today Chapultepec Castle houses the Museo Nacional de Historia (National History Museum). Contained within the park is an exceptional array of museums that can be visited on Sunday while leisurely strolling through the park. Its best to go early in the morning and get ahead of the crowds that will gather in the afternoon. Its best to arrive to the park via Ave. Chapultepec which will bring you to the Castle first and then within short walking distance to suggested museums.
Museo Nacional de Antropología (National Anthropology Museum)
Considered to be the most important and most widely visited museum in Mexico, the Museo Nacional de Antropologia houses significant artifacts from the pre-Colombian era of Mexico. By far, this is the one “must see” site in Mexico City. The galleries on the ground floor are organized by territory and culture and include; North, West, Mayan, Gulf of Mexico, Oaxaca, Mexico, Toltec, and Teotihuacan. The first floor showcases culture in Mexico since Spanish colonization. With a restaurant and café on site, this will be a good place to pick up lunch or a light snack.
Museo de Arte Moderno (Modern Art Museum)
Containing one of the largest collections of Modern Art, particularly of Mexican modern art, this museum is definitely not to be missed. Holdings include works by José María Velasco, Orozco, Siqueiros, Frida Khalo, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington and Rufino Tamayo. The sculpture garden is the perfect setting for this Sunday stroll.
Museo Rufino Tamayo
For those who really appreciate modern art, this Museum is also located near the Museo de Arte Moderno and is dedicated to exhibiting the work of Rufino Tamayo but also include artist such as Wharol and Picasso and then temporary exhibits that recently included Robert Rauschenberg’s work.
Other museums in the park include:
Museo de Historia Natural (Natural History Museum)
Galería de Historia
Museo del Caracol
Museo Tecnológico de la CFE
Papalote Museo del Niño (Childrens' Museum)
After a full day in the park, you can walk along Ave. Chapultepec for a variety of restaurants featuring both Mexican and international cuisine.