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Inland hidden Mexican trails : semi-deserts, jungles and forests

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Central Mexico a route off the beaten track, but full of magical destinations and moments with local people.
Duration illustration

Duration

8
nights
Location illustration

location

Mexico
Mexico
Group size illustration

Group size

From 2 to
9
Season illustration

Best season

January - August and November - December
Accommodation illustration

Accommodation

Small self-owned hotels, eco-lodges, cabins.
Meeting point illustration

Meeting point

Mexico City airport or Querétaro airport
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Category

100% unique
Trekking
Cultural
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Difficulty

Easy
Easy
Not really difficult, possible to do it in family with children!
January 15, 2023

Presentation

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An adventure that will make you explore parts of the semi-desert, the Sierra Gorda de Querétaro and part of the Huasteca Potosina.
Cactus, monoliths, turquoise waters, rivers, waterfalls and abundant vegetation will be part of the landscapes that you will be able to enjoy along your trip.
Not only will you be able to enjoy nature in an exclusive way, far away from mass tourism, but you will also have the opportunity to get to know the gastronomy of the region, thanks to its small local cuisine and the visit of one of the most famous gastronomic routes in the country: the Cheese and Wine Route.

About the price :

Prices Travel Differently

Details

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Day 1: Arrival in Querétaro - Welcome to Mexico!


An adventure that will take you from the semi-desert to the Sierra Gorda de Querétaro and part of the Huasteca Potosina.

Cactus, monoliths, turquoise waters, rivers, waterfalls and abundant vegetation will be part of the landscapes that you will be able to enjoy along your trip.

You will have the opportunity to enjoy nature in an exclusive way, far from mass tourism, and you will also have the opportunity to get to know the gastronomy of the region, thanks to the small local cuisine and the visit of one of the most famous gastronomic routes in the country: the Cheese and Wine Route.


Transfer to Querétaro :

Type : Bus

From to : Mexico City International Airport - Querétaro

Details:

Transfer booked by bus or van to Querétaro

Allow 3 hours transfer time if coming from CDMX Airport

Allow 45 minutes if you are coming from Querétaro Airport.


Accommodation :

Hotel Quinta Allende


Day 2: Bernal- One of the largest monoliths in the world


The adventure takes place in the quiet and beautiful Pueblo Mágico of Bernal, called by the Otomiés as Ma'hando or "place of two" and by the Spanish as Vernal, which refers to a place of large and/or elongated rocks or boulders. We will reach the top of one of the three largest monoliths in the world by a simple but challenging rock climb. During our ascent, we will be able to observe the spectacular view of the semi-desert and the Sierra Gorda of Querétaro. Afterwards we will descend by two rappels of 60 and 30 metres, to finally refresh ourselves with an excellent cold beer or fresh water, and a delicious meal typical of the region.



Transfer Querétaro City to Bernal :

Type : Bus

From - to : Querétaro - Bernal

Details:

Transportation in private van


Activities included:

Climbing to the Peña de Bernal :

We will climb to the top of Bernal, one of the tallest monoliths on earth, through an easy but challenging rock climb. Enjoy the spectacular view from the top and 2 excellent rappels, a delicious local meal and a nice beer.

Features of the tour

  • 1h walk
  • 80 mts of climbing
  • Rappel 60 and 30 mts
  • Tasting of local gastronomy.
  • Specialised equipment
  • Transport
  • Traditional food
  • Specialised Spanish guide


Optional Bernal Visit, in case climbing is not your thing :

Enjoy with your family a beautiful walk or ride through a natural area next to the third largest monolith in the world, you will know a side of the other side of the Peña de Bernal in Safari type vehicles, visiting:

  • The Cave of the Skull
  • A cave painting
  • A Chichimeca refuge
  • A viewpoint overlooking the town of Bernal
  • Afterwards you can enjoy the centre of Bernal and discover its traditions, crafts, people and local gastronomy.

Characteristics of the activity :

  • Activity in 4x4 vehicles or walking
  • English and Spanish speaking guide
  • Approximately 2 hours tour


Accommodation :

Hotel Casa Celia


Day 3: Paradise canyon and kayaking at Jalpan lake


If you are a born adventurer, you like mountain biking or walking, swimming or refreshing yourself in pure water rivers and discovering the local gastronomy of Queretaro, this day will be ideal for you. We will enjoy the natural beauties that hide the routes of the Sierra Gorda Queretana, we will ride or walk along paths between mountains and canyons of the semi-desert that will surprise you with their magnificent views. We will be able to refresh ourselves or swim in its crystal clear rivers and walk next to rock formations of more than 50 metres high. We will finish our circuit enjoying a well-deserved typical regional meal with traditional dishes and drinks that will delight your palate. To welcome the sunset, we will kayak on an artificial lake in Jalpan, to observe different birds. It would seem that you are at the highest point after climbing the mountains, but in reality you will only be 500 metres above sea level.


Transfer Bernal to Cañón del Paraíso :

Type : Bus

From - to : Hotel Casa Celia - Peñamiller

Details:

Transfer in private van


Activity included:

Hiking or mountain biking "Cañón del Paraíso"

Hike or mountain bike route to discover the semi-desert of Querétaro, where you can swim in its rivers, or simply contemplate the magnitude of the surrounding mountains.


Characteristics of the activity

  • Hike or bike route of 10 to 12 km.
  • English and Spanish speaking guide
  • 4 hours tour


Transfer to Querétaro :

Type : Bus

From - to : Peñamiller - Jalpan

Details:

Transfer in private van


Activity included:

kayaking at Jalpan lake

Paddling at sunset to watch the sun go down, listening and watching the different local and migratory birds is a delight for the senses. Enjoy this small route to relax in the middle of the mountains.

Characteristics of the activity

  • Activity in double or single kayaks
  • English and Spanish speaking guide
  • Approximately 1 hour tour



Accommodation :

Hotel Ángeles.

Los Ángeles Hotel es un alojamiento de 3 estrellas ubicado en Jalpan. Cuenta con bar y habitaciones con aire acondicionado y WiFi gratuita. El hotel tiene piscina al aire libre, centro de fitness, karaoke y recepción 24 horas.

Las habitaciones del hotel disponen de armario, TV, baño privado, ropa de cama y toallas. Algunas habitaciones incluyen cocina con microondas y horno.



Day 4: River tubing rafting and swimming in turquoise blue river


Enjoy the peaceful Santa Maria River, floating down the river in a Tubing tube. This activity, similar to rafting, is done individually: in an inflatable inner tube, you will ride down the rapids with a small paddle to help you in the calmer parts of the river. Don't forget to enjoy a refreshing dip in the blue water pools.

After the adventure, you will discover another of the Franciscan missions in the area: the mission of Concá.

At the end of the visit, we will take our way to one of the fondas along the “Ruta del sabor” to delight our palate with regional food.


Transfer Jalpan to Concá :

Type : Bus

From - to : Jalpan - Concá

Details:

Transfer in private van


Activity included:

Tubing in Santa Maria river

River rafting on a 2 kilometre route through the middle of the ahuahuetes trees and local fauna. After de tubing we will enjoy the Ayutla River and swim among it water pits.

Characteristics of the activity :

  • River rafting on a tubing tube - Not mandatory
  • No experience required
  • Restrictions: Pregnant women and people with injuries - Minimum Age: 12 years old
  • 2 to 3 hours activity


Accommodation :

Hotel Ángeles.

Los Ángeles Hotel es un alojamiento de 3 estrellas ubicado en Jalpan. Cuenta con bar y habitaciones con aire acondicionado y WiFi gratuita. El hotel tiene piscina al aire libre, centro de fitness, karaoke y recepción 24 horas.

Las habitaciones del hotel disponen de armario, TV, baño privado, ropa de cama y toallas. Algunas habitaciones incluyen cocina con microondas y horno.


Day 5: Xilitla surrealism in the jungle


An extraordinary visit to the Garden of the excentric Edward James, who managed to create a constructive masterpiece immersed in the jungle of the Huasteca Potosina. You will enjoy a guided tour inside the enclosure, and then head to the Sótano de la Huahuas to enjoy a beautiful natural spectacle where thousands of swifts swoop down into one of the abysses in the area to rest. Tonight we will sleep in Xilitla.


Transfer Jalpan to Xilitla :

Type : Bus

From - to : Jalpan - Xilitla

Details:

Private transportation in van


Activities included:

Edward James Gardens

Visit the Edward James Sculpture Garden, where you will discover the secrets of this iconic 20th century bohemian with a local guide in English. You'll tour his former property, which is now safeguarded by the Pedro and Helena Hernandez Foundation.

Characteristics of the activity

  • English and Spanish guide.
  • Tour in small groups.
  • The tour lasts 2 hours


Hike to the Sótano de las Huahuas

A beautiful hike to one of the caves of the Huasteca Potosina that holds an incredible natural spectacle. Every morning and evening thousands of swifts begin to fly in circles to gather speed and be able to exit or enter this spectacular 200 metre deep hole on their first shot. You may also see some parrots and hawks at the site. It is a hike of approximately 30 minutes one way and another 30 minutes back.

Characteristics of the activity

  • 40 minutes walk (uphill) and 40 minutes return (downhill).
  • English-speaking guide from the community
  • Restrictions: People with knee or back injuries.


Accommodation :

Hotel Aurora. Un pequeño y bonito Hotel en el pueblo de Xilitla, donde diferentes colibríes llegan a alimentarse de las flores que lo rodean. Cuanta con habitaciones sencillas pero muy cómodas. El desayuno es increíble en éste lugar.




Day 6: Tamul and its turquoise waters


You will discover the Tamul waterfall, the highest waterfall in the state of San Luis Potosi, with a height of 105 metres. To reach it, we will approach it in a panga, where we will paddle together to reach our destination.

On the way back, we will take a short break at the source of Huichihuayan, where we can refresh ourselves in its turquoise waters.


Transfer Xilital to Tamul :

Type : Bus

From - to : Xilitla - Tamul

Details:

Transfer in private van


Activity included:

Visit to Tamul waterfall

Panga ride to discover the Tamul waterfall.

Shared tour or private tour if no other people are joining us. Visit to the water source of Huichihuayan.

Characteristics of the activity :

  • Tour of approximately 2 hours
  • English-speaking guide from the community


Accommodation :

Hotel Aurora. Un pequeño y bonito Hotel en el pueblo de Xilitla, donde diferentes colibríes llegan a alimentarse de las flores que lo rodean. Cuanta con habitaciones sencillas pero muy cómodas. El desayuno es increíble en éste lugar.



Day 7: Waterfalls and viewpoints everywhere


A sightseeing day at two beautiful waterfalls in both the Huasteca and the Sierra Gorda. The approach to both of them is a short hike of about 20 minutes and they are completely pictureable. On our way back from Xilitla to Pinal de Amoles we can also stop at one of the lookouts points to enjoy the views of the Sierra Gorda Queretana Biosphere Reserve.


Activities included:

Conchita's waterfall hike

A hidden waterfall in the middle of the town of Xilitla will be an extraordinary stop and natural immersion in this magical town of the Huasteca. You can enjoy a 20 to 30 minute hike and when you reach the waterfall you can refresh yourself in its crystal clear waters.


The Chuveje waterfall hike

A 20 to 30 minute walk one way to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro. This waterfall measures approximately 90 feet and its crystal clear water is home to an endangered species of amphibian called Ajolote. You will enjoy the scenery and will be able to take extraordinary pictures of the place.

Transfer Xilitla to Pinal de Amoles :

Type : Bus

From to : Xilitla - Pinal de Amoles

Details:

Transfer in private van


Accommodation :

Lodging in a cabin.

You will discover the peacefulness of the mist and pine forest, sleeping in a beautiful cabin in the mountains.

Enjoy a cup of coffee, the lush vegetation and a good campfire.


Day 8: Opal Mine, Cheese, Wine and Beer,


An exploration of the opal mines of Tequisquiapan will take us on a journey through time and how the passage of time has created such precious stones in nature that they can fetch very high prices. This adventure will be accompanied by a tour in 4X4 trucks, an explanation by the Montes family who have inherited one of the most emblematic mines of La Trinidad and who have in their interior many treasures to discover. Learn about the history of the miners and search for your own gems, if your luck was good enough you can celebrate in one of the cheese dairies of the region accompanied by a good local wine or a craft beer made on site.


Transfer Pinal de Amoles to Tequisquiapan :

Type : Bus

From - to : Pinal de Amoles - Tequisquiapan

Details:

Transfer in private van


Activities included:

Opal Mine Adventure

This adventure leads us to discover the beautiful hidden gems encapsulated for millions of years inside the stones called "reolites", where to find opals of great value, we must work with a hammer in the open air to find these precious minerals.

Characteristics of the activity :

  • Tour of approximately 4 hours
  • Guided tour in English and Spanish.


Optional: Visit to a cheese factory and craft brewery.

Visit the Bocanegra Cava, enjoy their cheeses, wine and craft beers that are created in their brewery.                                  

Characteristics of the activity :

  • Free visit


Accommodation :

Hotel Rio Tequisquiapan. A hotel with an excellent location to visit the different attractions that the Magic Town of Tequisquiapan has to offer. You will be able to walk to the main square in minutes to enjoy the beauty of this colonial town.



Day 9: It's time to say goodbye. Bon voyage!


We hope you had an amazing last evening in the beautiful town of Tequis. We wish you all the best back home and hope you remember Mexico in your heart.


Transfer from Querétaro :

Type : Bus

From - to : Querétaro - Mexico City International Airport

Details:

Transfer booked by bus or van from Querétaro

Allow 3 hours transfer time if destination is CDMX Airport

Allow 45 minutes if destination is Querétaro Airport.


Included :


- Private Transportation
- Hotel accommodation (2 single and 2 double rooms)
- Breakfast
- Entrance fees to all sites and Natural Reserve
- Local guides
- Exxi guide during the whole trip
- Snacks
- Accident insurance
- Agent Follow up


Not included :


- Personal items
- Tips
- Meals & Dinners
- International or local flights
- Anything not marked on the itinerary

YOUR ECOLODGE

Your guide

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Carlos

Laura

The concept for introducing more people to beautiful places full of exuberant nature emerged from a dream among climbing friends. Those locations that are challenging to reach and necessitate specialized tools and methods to appreciate them. This is how Carlos and a group of friends began their journey in 2008 to establish their tour operator, a goal that would enable them to share the most stunning and undiscovered locations in Mexico with more people.

With the addition of Laura, Carlos' life partner and a passionate supporter of Mexican culture who is also French in heart, to the team, fate transformed the business along this lovely trip into a French-Mexican one. Since then, the little business that keeps making passengers' dreams come true in each of its steps has successfully expanded internationally.

Carlos

Carlos

The concept for introducing more people to beautiful places full of exuberant nature emerged from a dream among climbing friends. Those locations that are challenging to reach and necessitate specialized tools and methods to appreciate them. This is how Carlos and a group of friends began their journey in 2008 to establish their tour operator, a goal that would enable them to share the most stunning and undiscovered locations in Mexico with more people.

With the addition of Laura, Carlos' life partner and a passionate supporter of Mexican culture who is also French in heart, to the team, fate transformed the business along this lovely trip into a French-Mexican one. Since then, the little business that keeps making passengers' dreams come true in each of its steps has successfully expanded internationally.

Laura

Laura

 Exxi México

Reviews

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erica

Extremely knowledgeable, fun and professional!

Tour guides were extremely patient and encouraging for first timers. They made the experience very fun from the trip there, the canyoning, the meal and trip back. They were professional, knowledgeable and their focus on safety was unparalleled. That said, the guides were warm and friendly and made us feel very welcomed.

...

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Matt

Exploring the best climbing Mexico has to offer.

I had two great days of climbing with Exxi in two very different locations, Jilotepec and the Peña de Bernal. My first day had to be postponed because of bad weather, but Exxi worked with me to rearrange for a suitable date. The experience was tailored around me and it was clear that my guides were passionate and knowledgeable about the area. The actual climbing felt like I was out with friends rather than being dragged up the rock, my guides trusted in my ability and experience. I would recommend Exxi and would happily go out with them again when I come back to Mexico.

...

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Sergio S

Excellent trip to share with your family, Exxi give several MTB level options for this trip

As always ( this is my 4th trip with Exxi) the best trip and the best guide. As a father and husband, for me is very important to know that a extreme sport company is professional, because they care for the most important for me,my son and my wife. Thanks for the trip Carlos and Exxi team, we will join you soon in a new adventure.

...

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