[Tapalpa Plaza]

DATES: December 5, 6 and 7
TIME: Depart from Lloyd’s in Ajijic at 9:00 AM and return around 4:00 PM on Tuesday.
PRICE PER PERSON: $2750 pesos
INCLUDED IN TOUR: Hotel for two nights, two breakfasts, one comida, one dinner with wine, two cooking demonstrations and transportation.
RESERVATIONS: ½ payment at time of reservation; final payment by Monday, November 29.
No refund after November 29.

TAPALPA (the land of color), is an enchanting picturesque Alpine town of red tiled roofs, white washed wooden columns, balconies and beams. It has been designated as one of Mexico’s “Magical Towns”. Many artists have found a relaxing yet creative atmosphere in and around Tapalpa. Around the plaza you can visit galleries where crafts from the area are sold. The 300 year old church of San Antonio has been turned into a cultural and art center featuring the works of Mexican artists. While here you can also purchase delicious fresh cheese, cream, candies and home made preserves. Though discovered, Tapalpa has not been in any way spoiled. Surrounded by attractive scenery, its people remain friendly, its festivals authentic and its pace unhurried.

DAY ONE: Leaving Ajijic on Sunday we travel to Amacueca to visit the 16th century Franciscan Church and Monastery. Here we can buy organic coffee that has been grown in the backyards of people living in the village. From here we continue on our way but first stopping at La Mezcalera a ‘comida campestre’ a country cooking restaurant just outside of Tapalpa for a delicious comida of wood roasted lamb, rabbit, quail, pork and chicken. After comida we will check into the charming hotel La Casona de Manzano a recently restored family home from the 19th century. The rooms are spacious and all have fireplaces. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore and shop. On this day many artisans will be selling their crafts on the plaza. In the evening we go for dinner at El Meson de los Angeles which features fine Mexican cuisine.

DAY TWO: After breakfast at the hotel, we visit the home of the primitive artist Carlos Enriyulz where you may just look or purchase his works at very reasonable prices. Then onto Centro de Integración a unique school dedicated to nurturing the artistic, creative and academic potential of special-needs children. Creative maestro Marcos Canizále guides them in expressing their dreams and beliefs into Papelmaclecho, papier maché out of recyclable materials. The students paint their magical creations in the traditional folk style of ‘florapintura’ or flower painting. The inexpensive crafts are for sale at the school. You can then have lunch in one of the restaurants on the plaza. The afternoon is free to explore the town. In the afternoon we have been invited by Señora Irma Manzano, the owner of our hotel, to help decorate for the upcoming posadas and nacimientos. This will be followed by a demonstration of two typical Christmas dishes: Bacalao a la Vizcaina, a fish dish which originated in Spain, and Mancha Mantiles, turkey with a mole sauce. These delicious dishes will be served for our dinner in the evening.

DAY THREE: Before breakfast Irma will demonstrate the preparation of a tamale made with spinach, corn and cheese and then wrapped in Swiss chard rather than corn husks. It is not like any tamale you have ever tasted. After breakfast Malena Isabel Villaseñor, a well known chef in Tapalpa, will bring to the hotel her rose preserves, orange marmalades and turnovers filled with rose or almond custard. These items we can taste and purchase from her. Then there will be free time before heading back to Ajijic. You may want to purchase some of the local delicious fresh cheese, cream, candies and home made preserves to take home with you.

(Subject to change)

Isabel Fuente at 766-0822; mexjourneys@prodigy.net.mx or
Jim Lloyd at 766-3070; jelajijic@yahoo.com

Mexico Cultural Journeys

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