You depart London Heathrow around midday and arrive in Mexico City in the evening. You’ll be met and taken to your hotel in the fashionable Polanco District. You’ll have a whole day to explore the pyramids and the marvels of Mexico City, sprawling between the snow-capped Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl volcanoes. You’ll take in the magnificent Teotihuacan Pyramids, as well as the National Palace and Palace of Fine Arts.
Stay: Two nights in a standard room at Las Alcobas – bed & breakfast
Take a short flight up to Chihuahua and you’ll find yourself in a city of wide boulevards and handsome buildings. You’ll notice an air of wealth about the place; in the last 30 years the city has become one of the largest and richest in Mexico – built on the success of its cattle, timber, mining and tourism industry. Walking around the streets you will readily understand the appeal of the latter.
Stay: One night in a double room at the Quality Inn – bed & breakfast
Now your epic train journey begins, in grand style. One of the finest rail lines in the world awaits; you’ll glide first class through the astonishing upland scenery of the Sierra Madre – over 25,000 sq miles of jagged mountains, plunging canyons and horizon-wide landscapes. The canyon system is formed by fiver major rivers and is four times larger than Colorado’s Grand Canyon. The scale of the scenery is simply jaw-dropping. It’s a five hour journey, but it will pass in a flash – bringing you to your hotel, perched dramatically on the edge of a canyon.
Stay: Two nights in a double room at Hotel Mirador – full board
Another five hour train journey brings you to El Fuerte, originally a silver town and now considered to be the most beautiful city in the state. The countryside you’ll see on the way is extremely photogenic, and your hotel is pretty impressive too; it has been created from a 16th century hacienda and is said to be the one-time home of the legendary Zorro. Today’s El Fuerte features charming cobbled streets leading to graceful colonial mansions. The central plaza is a study in colonial elegance complete with a 19th century bandstand shaded by gently swaying palms. The next day enjoy a private tour of the city, followed by a cruise along El Fuerte River to observe the 4,000 year old petroglyphs.
Stay: Two nights in a double room at Posada del Hidalgo – bed & breakfast
Today you’ll fly from Los Mochis Airport to La Paz where you’ll be met and taken to your charming colonial-style hotel. You will find yourself ideally located just opposite to La Paz Beach, and just over a mile from Lomas de Palmira Marina. A few minutes drive will take you into the town centre, where you can browse an array of shops, bars and restaurants.
Stay: One night in a double room at Posada de las Flores – bed & breakfast
Puerto San Carlos
This morning you will meet your guide and set off for Bahia Magdalena. Known as the jewel of the Pacific, the region is famed for its large numbers of sea birds, sea turtles and marine mammals, which includes migratory grey whales. After checking into your hotel, you will head out into the bay in search of these majestic creatures who travel to these protected waters to mate and calve. After the cruise, enjoy a sundowner in the dunes overlooking the Pacific before returning to your hotel in the evening.
Stay: One night in a double room at the Mangrove Inn – bed & breakfast
Rise early this morning to see Magdalena Bay come to life. After a hearty breakfast, you will set out on the water once again in search of grey whales. After lunch you will be privately transferred to Todos Santos – about a four hour drive – where you will check into your hotel just steps from the town’s main square.
Stay: One night in a classic room at Guaycura Hotel – bed & breakfast
San Jose del Cabo
This morning take a step back into the history of Todos Santos on a guided city tour, taking in the town’s various historic buildings and learning about the colourful pasts connected with them. After you will make the short drive to Los Cabos at the southern tip of Baja California, a remarkable setting where the Sea of Cortez meets the desert and mountains. It’s known as a ‘dual destination’, encompassing both the authentic Mexican town atmosphere of San Jose del Cabo, and the lively and modern Cabo San Lucas.
Your hotel is a typically Mexican grand residence that has been transformed into a boutique hotel; surrounded by gardens that feature palms, waterfalls and abundant flowers. It’s truly peaceful, yet just a few minutes’ walk to San Jose’s central plaza with its shops, grand buildings and a highly recommended restaurant. The days are at leisure to enjoy as you wish, with the option to take surfing lessons and kayaking and snorkelling excursions.
Stay: Three nights in a deluxe superior room at Casa Natalia – bed & breakfast
San Jose del Cabo – Mexico City – London
A domestic flight from San Jose Cabo Airport will take you back to Mexico City to meet your evening flight to London, arriving the following afternoon.
Of your various competitors, Ayesha stood out a mile ahead with her advice, decisiveness and willingness to help- RW, India, 2014