Central Mexico &
La Ruta del Tequila
in a Private Hacienda
April 2 – 8, 2022
Join Alla Campagna Experiences Founder and veteran tour organizer Ralph Velasco for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience to Central Mexico, including Guadalajara and the famous Tequila Route.
(this experience, like that of our others, will only operate
when it’s safe to do so and we have been cleared to travel)
Overview of this Experience
Get off the tourist track during this wonderful experience to a lesser visited but very safe part of Central Mexico.
During this trip you’ll enjoy 7 nights accommodations, two at a boutique hotel on the outskirts of Guadalajara and four at a private hacienda in an isolated and mountainous region just an hour or so away from Guadalajara.
We’ll also take in La Ruta del Tequila (The Tequila Route) in the nearby town of the same name where we’ll learn, during a private tour, how this famous elixir is grown, processed and marketed worldwide.
There’ll also be an opportunity to schedule optional massage treatments on the property, as well as enjoy the beautiful grounds of our private hotel.
Other activities will include a cooking demonstration where you’ll learn how to make interesting salsas and real Mexican guacamole that is out of this world. This will then be followed by an open air meal complete with entertainment just for us by a local mariachi band. We’ll also have a chance to visit the nearby towns of Tonalá and Tlaquepaque with private visit to a local artisan’s taller (workshop) and a chance for free time and shopping.
This customized experience was created with our Alla Campagna guests in mind, and will only be open to a limited number of participants (single rooms may be strictly limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis only).
Free WiFi is available for all guests and all units feature air conditioning and several even feature a private jacuzzi.
April 2 – 8, 2022
2022 pricing is still being determined.
Register for This Experience in 4 Simple Steps:
- Request and submit a Reservation Form.
- Read and agree to our Terms & Conditions.
- Provide a scan or smartphone photo of your passport’s signature page.
- Send in your $1,000 deposit or full payment.
To request the Reservation Form and Terms & Conditions for this experience please contact us at.
To make payment, you can use a credit card via PayPal (to request invoice) or deposit a check directly into our bank account at any Bank of America branch (or send to our Rockford, IL, address, details will follow). Depositing a check affords each traveler a $50 per person discount.
We’ll send you all the payment details if you’ll CONTACT US HERE.
Ralph Velasco is a professional travel photographer, author and international guide and he’s the Founder/CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of PhotoEnrichment Adventures and Alla Campagna Experiences.
For more than 12 years, he’s organized and led over 100 international tours in a variety of locations around the world, just some of which include Romania, Portugal, Iceland, Egypt, Mexico’s Copper Canyon, Bhutan, Nepal, Central Europe, Morocco, Turkey, the Adriatic, Cambodia, Tuscany, Spain, Vietnam, India, and others.
Although originally from Chicago, for more than 7 years now Ralph has been what’s come to be called “location-independent,” which simply means he has no permanent home and lives on the road, and at 30,000 feet scouting, administering and leading his highly-rated and very popular tours which boast a more than 42 percent rate of repeat clients.
Speaking & Teaching
For more than 10 years Ralph has been a regular speaker about travel and photography at the prestigious Travel & Adventure Shows throughout the United States, as well as the New York Times Travel Show. He’s also been a featured speaker at the Travel Bloggers Exchange in Sweden, Ireland, Spain and Israel; the IOETI Conference in Cairo, Egypt; and has taught travel photography at U.C. Irvine Extension Program, Saddleback College, Santa Ana College, the Irvine Fine Arts Center, REI Outdoor School and others.
Education & Other
He’s got a B.S. in Small Business & Entrepreneurship from the Indiana University School of Business and an M.I.B.A. (Masters in International Business Administration) from United States International University in Mexico City, Mexico and San Diego, California.
Finally, Ralph’s been a member of several championship big boat sailing teams in Chicago, San Diego and Newport Beach, California; has his private pilot’s license (SEL); and speaks Spanish.
“This was a great tour, with lots to do and see! We visited the large cities of Lisbon and Porto as well as other cities, towns, and villages throughout Portugal. I also took the extension through the Douro River Valley which was incredible! We had many opportunities to take pictures both as part of the tour and in our free time. I feel the tour gave me a good feel for the wide variety of life in the cities and countryside of Portugal.”
“The group was great made some new long-term friends. Loved Portugal (other than the inclines 🙂 ) the country is small but packed full of great sites.”
“Enjoyable and Leisurely Vacation”
“A Taste of Portugal was an enjoyable and leisurely vacation in a country that seems to have everything. Historical sights, gourmet food, photo opportunities and a great hospitality atmosphere abound. The tour hit all the sights of interest , Ralph was the perfect tour leader and it was a good group fellow travelers.”
“Portugal-Great country, great culture, great tour, and fantastic wine!”
Daily Trip Itinerary
This experience is limited to just 6 - 10 participants.
Most meals are included and B = Breakfast, L = Lunch and D = Dinner
Items mentioned below in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are included in your fee for this experience.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You’ll want to wear good, sturdy walking shoes throughout this experience as the property where we're staying and the other locations we'll be visiting are often made up of hilly terrain, sometimes with a number of stairs, inclines, declines and at times gravel and occasionally rough dirt and stone paths.
If you are even slightly unsure of your walking capability in these conditions it’s HIGHLY recommended that you purchase a quality set of telescoping walking sticks at your local outdoor supply store or online before arriving in country.
Here's a link to a 2-piece trekking pole set that comes highly recommended with over 7,700 5-star reviews on Amazon.
TRAVEL INSURANCE INCLUDED
As of 2020 we are requiring that all participants have Travel Insurance to protect their investment in any of our trips and to cover all health and travel contingencies before and during your stay. That said, for this particular experience we've been able to include quality insurance but depending on your particular circumstances you may still wish to purchase some level of supplemental insurance.
Please purchase the policy that is right for your needs, and know that we will require Proof of Coverage during the registration process.
If looking for additional insurance please consider using SquareMouth, a travel insurance comparison site to find the best insurance for your situation.
You can also get a Free Quote from our partners at WorldNomads by visiting this page on our sister site PhotoEnrichment Adventures, but this may be age limited.
Another site that comes highly recommended is TravelInsured.com.
ALL TIMES APPROXIMATE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Arrival at Guadalajara Airport (GDL) - if possible, please try to arrange your flight to arrive at GDL by 4 pm local time. We can also arrange pre- and post-trip hotel nights if necessary.
Welcome to the Pearl of the West as Guadalajara is known locally...a PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSFER is included with your fee and you will be met at the airport by our local representative, or you may choose to rent a car, which is very easy to do and may allow you additional freedom, especially during the second portion of this trip after we leave Guadalajara for the nearby mountains. We can also connect you with other participants who may be interested in sharing with you in order to split costs.
6 PM – Enjoy a Meet & Greet where you can get to know your fellow experience participants and we can discuss the trip ahead.
7 PM - Enjoy an exclusive WELCOME DINNER at our hotel including a variety of tastings of the local specialties and more.
Overnight in Guadalajara.
7:00 AM - Rise and shine and enjoy a tasty BREAKFAST at your hotel's restaurant.
8:00 AM - Today you'll have an easy-going ORIENTATION TOUR of parts of the city with your local guide. We'll begin by taking our vehicle the short distance to central Guadalajara. Along the way, our knowledgeable guide will tell us a few key details about the city, but please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
We'll start by visiting the Liberty Market, also known as San Juan de Dios – an early arrival to this market provides a good glimpse into the eclectic Mexican culture as local people come here to buy produce, meats and various kitchen supplies, but also they can purchase modern clothes, accessories and sunglasses, plus a mix of traditional and modern shoes.
Afterward, we'll continue to learn about Guadalajara’s culture and history, see the outstanding Hospicio Cabañas, and have some free time to explore on our own. Later we'll gather for an included LUNCH at a local restaurant, and then you'll have the remainder of the day free to spend as you like and return to the hotel on your own or with others.
Overnight in Guadalajara.
8 AM - BREAKFAST
9 AM - After we'll make our way just outside the main urban area of Guadalajara, heading east until we reach Tonalá. Once a completely separate community, both Tonalá and Guadalajara have grown together. Tonalá is best known for its master craftsmen, which are dedicated mainly to pottery.
We'll have some time to visit the area and visit a few shops.
11 AM - Next we'll head to neighboring Tlaquepaque. Also part of the same conurbation, this area being best known for its glass-blowing crafts. We'll also have time here to visit this area, look at the shops.
1 PM - enjoy LUNCH as a group at a local restaurant.
2 PM - After our visits to Tonalá and Tlaquepaque, we'll head north for about an hour, until we reach our next accommodation, located right on the edge of a beautiful gorge in the mountains. Wonderful grounds and magnificent vistas await us at this private hotel where you'll enjoy 4 nights.
Once there, get settled and later be ready for a group dinner tonight.
6 PM - DINNER just for our group on the property.
Overnight at our private hacienda.
9 AM – BREAKFAST on your own.
Today after a tour of the grounds you'll enjoy some much anticipated free time, including optional massages which you'll want to reserve on arrival.
Remainder of the day with free time and lunch and dinner on your own at our hotel.
Overnight at our private hacienda.
7 AM – BREAKFAST on your own.
8 AM - TRANSFER to the town of Tequila where an unforgettable experience awaits.
Get ready to enjoy a boutique and very local's approach to getting to know the town of Tequila. World-famous for a certain spirit you may be familiar with, Tequila is a beautiful place we'll have a chance to get to know.
Right after breakfast, we'll head southwest for a short ride of about one and a half hours, reaching the town of Tequila. Here we'll visit a tequila factory not otherwise open to the public, but one that makes exquisite tequila.
We'll actually go out to the fields to learn about the agave - the plant from which tequila is derived. We'll also have an opportunity to watch workers doing their jobs, and you can choose to get as hands on as you feel comfortable and try this work.
After we'll have a chance to enjoy some more local delicacies, including some unforgettable tacos at a local restaurant.
Back in the factory, the experience continues with tequila and mezcal tasting, as well as witnessing the bottling process. We can afterwards head into the town of Tequila for a quick tour before heading back to our hotel, and you'll probably want to take home a few souvenirs.
Overnight at our private hacienda.
BREAKFAST on your own.
Today is a free day to enjoy the facilities, grounds and views at this spectacular hotel. For those who are interested we can also arrange an optional tour to Lake Chapala.
That said, whatever you do, make sure to be ready in time for our FAREWELL DINNER with a traditional Mexican cookout, complete with steaks, homemade salsas and guacamole (that you can learn about and help make), naturally-flavored fruit waters, nopales (wonderfully edible cactus), cebollitas (scallions) and jericalla (traditional dessert).
Overnight at our private hacienda.
BREAKFAST on your own and relaxing morning to leisurely pack up and enjoy your final hours at our hotel.
12 PM (TBA as exact timing depends on outgoing flights) - A SINGLE GROUP AIRPORT TRANSFER is included from our hotel to GDL for those not renting cars or staying longer (we can arrange for additional nights, if necessary).
We do recommend that you plan your flights out after 4 pm in order to have a leisurely morning and to provide plenty of time to make your outbound flight.
Subject to change and please don't make any non-refundable travel arrangements until given the go-ahead by us.
Regarding Your Flight Home
In order to give yourself time to arrive at the airport and check in, please arrange your onward flight no earlier than 4:00 pm local time (subject to change, and please don’t make any non-refundable travel arrangements until given the go ahead by ACE administrators).
You can certainly choose to stay over in this area or move on to other parts of the region to enjoy the many other things to do, or transfer on your own to other parts of Mexico to continue your experience, but please arrange these additional services on your own.
We wish you safe travels and happy memories of what will surely be an unforgettable trip!
SUBJECT TO CHANGE: Again, we’re estimating that you’ll want to schedule your flight to leave the afternoon of our last day together, after 4:00 pm local time, in order to allow plenty of time to comfortably transfer to the airport and make your onward flight.
For more information and to register for this experience,
please contact us at admin@AllaCampagna.com
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS
60 DAYS BEFORE TRIP START DATE
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A PRELIMINARY ITINERARY
AND THAT ALL ASPECTS OF IT ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
INCLUDED IN YOUR FEE:
- Travel insurance valid for the entirety of the scheduled tour is included (7 days, please see separate documentation to be provided for exact coverage details and to determine if you'll require additional coverage for your situation).
- Private airport transfers on trip dates.
- All accommodations in Mexico (6 nights) in a double occupancy room during trip dates (single rooms may be limited).
- Meals: All Breakfasts (B), 3 Lunches (L) and 3 Dinners (D).
Enjoy a local beer or glass of house wine at each included meal as outlined in the itinerary.
- Locally-guided orientation tours of Guadalajara and Tequila, including transportation, as well as to Tonalá and Tlaquepaque, including visit with local artisan(s).
- Private visit to a tequila factory with tequila/mezcal tasting on La Ruta del Tequila.
- Bottled water at our hotel and for drives.
- Services of a local, English-speaking guide for select group activities.
- Services of a professional driver for certain activities.
- Entry fees for select group activities as outlined in the itinerary.
- Group tips for local guides and included meals.
- Flights or other transportation to and from Guadalajara, Mexico (GDL).
- Optional airport transfers outside of included group transfers.
- Pre- or post-trip accommodations outside of our tour dates, although we can help to set up extra nights, assuming availability.
- Travel and/or medical insurance in addition to that included with your fee (if you'd like additional coverage please see SquareMouth, which is a travel insurance comparison site or TravelInsured or WorldNomads for a free quote)
- Meals not specifically outlined in the itinerary as included.
- Drinks or other alcoholic beverages not specifically mentioned as included.
- Tips for housekeeping or other services that are not included.
- Items of a personal nature.
Please note that if you'd like maximum freedom throughout your experience you might consider renting a car in Guadalajara starting on Day 3 and then return it to the airport at the end of the trip. We can help facilitate car sharing amongst participants by putting you in touch with others to see if there's a match.
All aspects of this itinerary are subject to change. We ask that you remain flexible as there are often circumstances beyond our control and changes may be necessary.
The trip leader, tour operator and/or tour coordinator reserve the right to make adjustments to the published itinerary whenever, in their sole discretion, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort and/or safety of the group.