The Route to Hernan Cortes
The Collision of Two Empires & the Forging to the New World
Travel to the land where the ancient cultures of Mexico met the vanguard of the Spanish Empire. We travel from Veracruz to Tenochtitlán following the land route of Hernán Cortés, as we explore the ancient Olmec and Totonac cultures of the tierra caliente, and the great civilization of the Nahua emperor Moctezuma. We will visit archaeological sites that marked the great civilizations of pre-Columbian Mexico, and lay along the route of Cortés—Zempoala and Quiahuiztlan, the great pyramids of Cholula, the holy city of Teotihuacán and the Aztec ceremonial site of Tenochtitlán. The beauty of central Mexico awed the Spanish; its fertile soils yielded rich spices and exotic plants, described in the early chronicles of contact. We will see coffee plantations in Coatepec, the fragrant gardens of Xalapa and the Hacienda El Lencero established by a soldier of Cortés’ Army of conquest. In Tlaxcala we will visit the forts and missions that were the home base for some of the native peoples, who a generation later accompanied Coronado on his exploration of the American Southwest. Puebla’s tiled buildings and colonial architecture are the living traditions of majólica pottery brought to the New World by Cortés. Our last stop—Mexico City with its world famous museums, shops and cuisine—will take us to the heart of the Aztec world. Central Mexico is the foundation of our own history. Join us as we explore and savor this journey where empires met, sometimes in conflict, but always in the path of forging a New World.
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