Best of Guadalajara to Durango Tour & Mazatlán Beach Resort
Road Trip to Explore Guadalajara, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Durango & Mazatlán
14 Day Exploration Tour
from $3495 /adult • $3195 /child (10-17) + air
Single Supplement +$695
Because México is so well-known for it’s beautiful ocean beach resort locations, we decided to create what we call Combo Trips – It’s a Best of México Tour combined with a Beach Resort Mini-Vacation.
On this exploration journey, we will travel 9 days through four México states to explore the major colonial cities, towns, museums, and ancient city sites in Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas & Durango. Then we will travel to the Pacific coast and relax and unwind for 3 days at a seaside resort hotel in the city of Mazatlán.
State of Jalisco
In addition to getting to know the city of Guadalajara, our local host guide will also introduce us to eclectic artisan galleries in Tlaquepaque, a day of exploration around Lake Chapala (the largest lake in México), and a tour to the agave fields and a distillery in the town of Tequila to learn how Tequila is produced. Another highlight will be to explore the unique Guachimontones archaeological site where we will discover that not all pyramids are triangular in shape.
State of Aguascalientes
The city of Aguascalientes is home to one million people. Here, we'll have the opportunity to stroll around the city to see some of its historical sites as well as visit the interesting Museum of Death. This museum emphasizes how the Mexican culture related to death in the past as well as in the present.
State of Zacatecas
The city of Zacatecas is filled with old Spanish colonial charm which can be seen in its many old brick buildings. We'll explore two world-class museums (religious art & ceremonial masks) and also travel by tram to enter an old silver & gold mine. Hard hats are provided as our guide leads us on a walking tour through the underground paths and explains how this mine was operated and about the people who worked in them.
Not far from Zacatecas city we will explore the La Quemada archaeological site with its many platforms built on the side of a hill overlooking a river valley and then visit the quaint México Magic Town of Jerez de García Salinas.
State of Durango
In the city of Durango, you can find a statue of the American actor, John Wayne. He starred in many western movies in this region. In fact, we'll travel to an old western movie set where many American western films were shot.
Another famous person we will learn about is the Mexican freedom fighter, Pancho Villa. There is a beautiful museum in the city to showcase his life. All the exhibits are housed in a beautiful old ornate palace.
State of Sinaloa
Our Mexico road trip will conclude on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in the beach resort city of Mazatlán where we will have the opportunity to relax and enjoy 3 full days at one of the beautiful oceanside beach resorts. It will be a great way to unwind from our travels before heading home or perhaps, to another exciting destination.
Join us on this fun & educational Combo Tour - Best of Guadalajara to Durango Tour & Mazatlán Beach Resort.
• Explore 12 Colonial Cities & Towns
• Guadalajara City Tour
• Latin America’s Largest Cantina
• Eclectic Art Galleries
• José Cervo Tour in Tequila
• World’s Largest Mask Museum
• Museum of Religious Art
• Old Silver/Gold Mine
• Unique Cemetery Burial Art
• Pancho Villa Museum
• Guachimontones Archaeological Ruins
• Movie Set for a Wild West Town
• La Quemada Archaeological Ruins
• ATV Adventure Ride
• Scenic drive through the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains
• Mazatlán Cliff Divers
• 3 Days at a Seaside Resort in Mazatlán
*2022 Tour Dates
Sept 9-Sept 22 (Fr-Th)
Oct 14-Oct 27 (Fr-Th)
$3495 per adult - double
$3195 per child (10-17 yrs)
*2023 Tour Dates
Feb 17-Mar 2 (Fr-Th)
Mar 10-Mar 23 (Fr-Th)
Apr 28-May 11 (Fr-Th)
June 9-June 22 (Fr-Th)
July 7-July 20 (Fr-Th)
Sep 8-Sep 21 (Fr-Th)
Nov 3-Nov 16 (Fr-Th)
$3595 per adult - double
$3295 per child (10-17 yrs)
*Includes day of arrival & departure.
**Prices in USD. Air not included in tour price
Your tour representative will be waiting for you upon your arrival at the Guadalajara Airport and will then take you to the Hotel Morelos (or similar) in the central area of the city of Guadalajara.
Day 2 (B,L)
Guadalajara (México’s 2nd largest city & capital of Jalisco state) dates back all the way to 1542, only 50 years after Columbus made his first voyage. Yes, it is an old city graced with many colonial plazas and historical landmarks. Your guide will give you an overview of the history of the city via a walking tour to visit its prominent monuments and buildings. You will see the Government Palace with its huge incredible murals painted by one of México’s famous painters, José Clemente Orozco. More of his work can be viewed at the Instituto Cultural de Cabaña. At one time it was one of the oldest hospitals in the Americas. It also served as an orphanage and workhouse. Now it is more of a fine arts center as well as being recognized as a World Heritage Site. You will also explore the beautiful Guadalajara Catedral, the Teatro Degollado, and stroll down some of its prominent plazas like the Plaza de la Liberación and the Plaza de Armas.
Arguably one of the largest markets in the world is the San Juan de Dios Market. Try to picture this … 2,900 shops/stalls. YIKES! Stay close to your guide or you will get lost in there for a week. 😮
After lunch, everyone will take a short drive to the first of several Pueblo Mágico towns on this Road Trip. Tlaquepaque is a fun town to visit its eclectic art galleries and other artisan shops. A walking street makes it easy to “wander.” Also, you will visit the world’s largest Cantina where you most likely will hear lively Mariachi music. Later, you will return to you hotel in Guadalajara.
Day 3 (B,L)
Not far from Guadalajara is México’s largest lake, Lake Chapala. It measures about 50 miles long and 8 miles wide. Yep, that’s a lot of lake! Today, you will hop on a small boat to explore Presidio Island which has quite a large fort complete with tall walls surrounding it. You will learn about the battles which took place there during México’s fight for independence from Spain.
Your group will also explore two of the lake’s many towns; Chapala and Ajijic (another Pueblo Mágico town). There are shops to explore and Mexican culture to witness in these two towns. This is also an area populated by quite a few foreigners who call this area, “home.”
On the way back to Guadalajara, you will take a detour to see a rather unique ruins site which is quite different from the others found throughout México. Guachimontones Archaeological site has a round pyramid. Not triangular but round. Your guide will let you in on what archaeologists know about this most interesting site.
Then it’s back to Guadalajara the “birth place of the Mariachis.”
Overnight in Guadalajara.
Day 4 (B)
After today, you can tell your friends back home that you were in Tequila. Since most folks don’t know there is actually a town by that name, they will probably think you’ve been “hitting the bottle.” Yes, today you will visit the town where Tequila is made by several different manufacturing companies, including José Cuervo.
You and your traveling companions will officially start your tour by visiting the agave fields of José Cuervo. A representative from the company will let you know about the planting, nurturing, and harvesting of the agave plants they use for production.
Then you will head into the town of Tequila to learn all about how this world reknown drink is made. There will be time to have lunch on your own and wander around the town before heading back to Guadalajara by bus or van.
Overnight again in Guadalajara
Day 5 (B,L)
Say goodbye to Guadalajara, Jalisco and hello to the city of Aguascalientes in the state of Aguascalientes. Today your México Road Trip takes you north to explore a Spanish colonial city with the name that translates to, “hot water.” And you guessed it. It’s because of all the hot springs in the area. In addition to exploring the main Cathedral built in the early 1700s in a Neoclassical style, your guide will lead you on a tour to see the Morelos Theatre, Government Palace, and other significant landmarks. Then you will experience a very different kind of museum; the Museum of Death. Thousands of objects from decorative masks to skulls to art depicting the relationship between México’s past & present culture with death will be on display. Don’t thing “morbid.” Think “very interesting.”
Your day will conclude with a 90 minute drive to check in at the Hotel Meson de Jobito (or similar) in the city of Zacatecas.
Day 6 (B,L)
The urban design of the city center of Zacatecas has not changed much since the 16th & 17th centuries. There are 15 historic religious centers and many old civic buildings. Today your personal guide will lead you to some of these structures and give you a rundown as to the importance this city had as a hub for the silver/gold mines created in this region of México.
Speaking of mines, you will be issued a hard hat and then venture by train underground to visit a well-know mine called, Minas de Edén. Once inside, the well-lit paths will lead you to the varies parts of the mine. You will learn about the conditions the workers faced everyday, how the silver and gold was mined, and also hear some legends about the mine. Interestingly, inside the mine there is a small museum that has a nice collection of rocks and minerals and this mine also is the home to a popular nightclub.
FYI – Both the city of Zacatecas and the mine are a recognized UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.
Your tour for today also takes you to visit one of the largest mask museum in the world. The Museo Rafael Coronel is housed in a former convent containing some 3000 or more folk art masks. Some of these masks are pretty wild. The beautiful grounds of this ex-convent is also an added plus to see.
On this evening, you will overnight again in the city of Zacatecas.
Day 7 (B,L)
Your tour begins today with a visit to a museum with one of the largest collections of religious paintings in the world. Regardless of your religious affiliation, we think you will enjoy these master pieces of original art.
Just a short drive from the city will bring your group to the La Quemada Archaeological Ruins site. Because this ancient city was located so far from the other Mesoamerican cities, archaeologists and historians have different interpretations as to why it was there, who used it, and for what purposes. La Quemada was built on a hill with a series of platforms and terraces to create 3 main areas; a main avenue, a ball court, and a big hall that has tall round stone columns. Your guide will fill you in on some of what is known about this interesting ancient city.
Next up on today’s agenda is to take a walk around a cute little town called, Jerez García Salinas. Just call it Jerez. It’s another recognized México Magic Town. Jerez means, “place of where vegetables abound.” Here some of the old buildings were constructed using a pretty pink quarry stone. There are stores and a handcraft market to investigate as well as the Hinojosa Theatre. It was modeled after the Ford Theatre found in Washington, DC.
Later everyone will travel back to the city of Zacatecas and to your hotel.
Day 8 (B,L)
Today it’s time to hit the road again and head northwest toward the city of Durango in the state of Durango. On the way, you can explore another Pueblo Mágico town of Zombrerete. Historically, it was also a mining center which is surrounded on all sides by small mountain ranges. After a walk around town to see the Convent of San Francisco de Asis and the Temple of the Santa Veracruz, we will travel to the Sierra de Organos National Park where you can view some very different rock formations and also see where Beatle’s legend, Ringo Starr filmed the movie, Caveman.
In the evening, your guide will bring you to the Hotel de la Monja (or similar) in the city of Durango.
Day 9 (B,L)
Welcome to Durango … The Land of the Scorpions. If you are an adventurous eater, some restaurants in the city of Durango serve scorpion tacos. Now that’s definitely worth a Facebook live video to show your friends back home!
The state of Durango is also known as the place where many national and international movies have been filmed. This rugged arid region has been a prime setting for over 100 films being made there. Remember these movies? Star Wars, Episode IV, The Magnificent Seven, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Superman-The Movie, Braveheart, Shanghai Knights, Wagons East, No Country For Old Men, Doctor Zhivago, The Princess Bride, The Sons of Katie Elder, and many more. There is even a statue of John Wayne in the city!
After a morning meal, your guide will take you on a walking tour of the city which will also include a visit to the very modern General Francisco Villa Museum. This museum is dedicated to the history of one of the most famous leaders of the Mexican Revolution, Poncho Villa. This museum is housed in a very beautiful building which was for almost 200 years, the state government building.
Later, everyone will experience a very unique tour to a large nearby cemetery where a special local guide will show you some incredible art pieces created by sculptor, Benigno Montoya. You could call this, “beautiful burial art.”
Next, it will be time to grab your cowboy/girl hat as you head out to The Old West Town where you can enjoy a live performance about the old west. It will be corny and fun!
Returning to the city, you will overnight again in Durango.
Day 10 (B,L)
Today, your México Road Trip continues west with your first stop at the Mexiquillo nature park. There you will encounter forests, waterfalls, ravines, and cool rock formations on an ATV trail ride. It will be a nice outdoor adventure before starting your journey over the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains and then down to the Pacific coast. Along this very scenic drive, you will pass over dozens of bridges and tunnels through these rugged mountains. At one point, your group will travel over one of the tallest bridges in the world.
In Mazatlan, you will check into the beautiful beachside resort, The Palms Resort of Mazatlan (or similar) for 4 nights.
Day 11 (B,L,D)
After a relaxing morning, you can become more familiar with this Pacific coast resort city by going on a little sightseeing tour. After lunch, you will be able to get some action shots of the cliff divers who will perform for tips.
In the evening, there will be a farewell dinner with your tour guide as this will be the last evening will your group.
Days 12 & 13 (B)
On these two days, you can relax and enjoy the beach and pool area all under México’s tropical sun. If you are interested, there will be several optional day tours to choose from for an additional fee.
Day 14 (B)
You can make arrangements with the hotel desk for transportation to the Mazatlán Airport at the appropriate time for your flight home … or to your next adventure destination.
Tour Price Includes:
• 14 days / 13 night guided tour (includes your
• Small group tour size of up to 10 travelers
• All ground transportation during guided tour days
• All activities as listed in the itinerary
• All entrance fees
• 13 nights of hotel lodgings
• 13 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 1 dinners
• All tips for all your guides & driver
Additional activities & meals not listed above
Trip interruption insurance
Read our Tour Terms & Conditions document
Group activities listed are subject to change.
Activity Level: Easy-Moderate
Maximum Group Size: 10
Suggested Minimum Age: 10 years
Arrival & Departure Cities: Guadalajara (GDL) / Mazatlán (MZT)
Deposit: $350 USD per person
A Reminder -
There is no need to fret over how much to tip and of having the right amount of Mexican Pesos at the end of your tour. We take care of the tips for all specialty guides as well as your main host guide.
If you would like to stay a few more days in this region either before or after your tour with us and would like some assistance in making those plans, contact us.
We can design an independent travel experience based on what you would like to see and do. We can help you to arrange local transportation, accommodations, and set you up with a local guide.