The Netherlands & Belgium
San Miguel de Allende & Guanajuato
Mar 17 - 24, 2013
Join Photo Quest Adventures and photographer, Stacy Pearsall, to Mexico's most charming Hacienda. The Hacienda will provide great photo ops of the caballeros, horses and employees during our stay. We will have private photo shoots of traditional Mexican dancers, a Marriacchi band and many more exciting opportunities. You will have the best Mexican food in your life. The rooms are all beautiful. From the Hacienda we will take day trips to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and Dolores. Nestled high in the cool hills of the Mexican altiplano, San Miguel De Allende is one of the hippest, busiest, most photogenic city in Mexico. Walk along picturesque cobblestone streets and capture the beauty of the colonial architecture that has inspired generations of artists. Travel to Guanajuato to photograph the most beautiful views of the city at sunset. In dolores you will be able to photograph pottery making and the beautiful town square. With clear nights and warm days you will have a chance of a lifetime to capture stunning images of cities that are considered Unesco World Heritage Sites, a distinction that few places in the world can claim.
© Mirjam Evers
You will learn
Mexico Itinerary-8 days
March 17 - Depart the USA to Mexico (BJX airport)
Arrive in at our hacienda, located near one hour from San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato. We will have a van taking you to the Hacienda. Please try to arrive around 3pm. Welcome margaritas and fresh guacamole are served to celebrate your arrival. Group dinner and orientation meeting. (D)
March 18 - Las Trancas
This morning, meet for a presentation by Stacy Pearsall. Each student will get an assignment for this week. After lunch we will do our first shoot on the grounds of our hacienda where we will be staying for one week. We will take still portraits of indigenous caballeros (cowboys) and at sunset we will photograph the horses running .(B,L,D)
March 19 - San Miguel de Allende
This morning we will drive to San Miguel de Allende and spend most of the day photographing the cobbled streets, colonial mansions, and grand villas with their colorful, doorways, intricate stonework iron balconies and locals. We will start our journey at the Mirador overlook, where we see a spectacular view of San Miguel and then we walk down to town. (B,L,D).
March 20 - San Miguel de Allende
This afternoon we will shoot in San Miguel de Allende again. We will go back to some of the places we liked or visit some other photogenic spots. Private photo shoot of a Marriacchi band.(B,L,D).
March 21 - Guanajuato
Photograph Guanajuato, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. We will photograph Teatro Juarez, site of the famed Cervantino Festival; the municipal market; and the Jardin Union, a gathering place for locals every afternoon. We will end our exploration of Guanajuato with a ride on the funicular (behind the Teatro Juárez) up to the statue of El Pípila to get a great photographs at twilight of this colorful town. (B,L,D).
© Mirjam Evers
March 22 - Dolores
Travel to the town of Dolores to photograph pottery making (B,L,D).
March 23 Free day
Free morning to go back to San Miguel or Guanajuato. Tonight we will watch all the final slideshows created by the students. (B,L,D)
March 24 Transfer to airport for departures back to the U.S.(B)
Itinerary is subject to change.
Accommodations are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability.
Photo Quest Adventures will try to match you with a roommate if you do not opt for a single supplement. However, if a roommate is not available, you will be charged the additional single supplement fee.
Enjoy the sanctuary of your own private 450 year-old ex-hacienda in the beautiful colonial heart of Mexico. The hacienda is conveniently located between San Miguel de Allende & Guanajuato
Please contact us for any additional information.
Cost per person
$3,650 Based on double occupancy from Mexico
Single supplement $1,450
Limited to 12 participants
© Robert Cocozza
Stacy L. Pearsall got her start as an Air Force photographer at the age of 17. During her time in the service, she traveled to over 41 countries, and attended S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. During three tours in Iraq, she earned the Bronze Star Medal and Commendation with Valor for heroic actions under fire. Now retired from the military, Pearsall works worldwide as a freelance photographer, and is the owner and Director of the Charleston Center for Photography. Pearsall gained wide public exposure when she shared her experiences as a female combat photojournalist with Oprah Winfrey on the media star’s television show in February 2009. Articles about Pearsall and her award winning photography have also graced the pages of Popular Photography magazine and Los Angeles Times. Her work has appeared in print and television media, including Time magazine, New York Times, CNN, BBC, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Soldier of Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and Bahrain Times. Pearsall’s photographs have also been featured in the Oscar-nominated PBS production, Operation Homecoming, and GQ magazine’s “This is Our War.” Her portrayal of combat experiences in Iraq, “Inside An Ambush,” was published in News Photographer, the National Press Photographers Association’s (NPPA) magazine in 2007. Pearsall was one of only two women to win NPPA’s Military Photographer of the Year competition, and the only woman to have earned it twice. She was also honored as the Air Force Veteran of the Year in a musical tribute to America’s heroes by the Air Force Band and PBS. In Charleston, she was presented with the Trojan Labor American Hero Award for 2009. In 2007, Pearsall’s project titled Birth Control Glasses was featured at LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art presented a selection of her photographs in an exhibition, War on Terror: Inside/Out from. She has also been exhibited in Washington D.C., Hollywood and Milledgeville. Her portrait collection of South Carolina veterans will be hung in the halls of the Charleston Veterans Administration Hospital and will be exhibited in Piccolo Spoleto 2010.
Quest Leader's website: http://stacypearsall.photoshelter.com/
San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is located high in the cool hills of the Mexican altiplano,and one the hippest,busiest, most charming towns in Mexico. San Miguel de Allende is part of the "Bajio" region of the state of Guanajuato. This "low" region in reality averages about 7000 feet, but is so called for being a relatively flat area ringed by mountains. San Miguel El Grande (as it was originally known) was founded by a Franciscan monk in 1542. It was an important stop over of the silver route from Zacatecas.This seductive little city - with clear nights and warm days -- offers photographers great opportunities to capture stunning images. Without question, the Jardin, the central town square, is the main attraction. San Miguel de Allende's picturesque cobblestone streets and colonial architecture have inspired generations of artists. San Miguel de Allende also offers visitors and residents a vibrant and lively community of artists, musicians and writers and a delightful mix of Mexican folk traditions, fiestas and religious celebrations. San Miguel is 30 minutes away from our Hacienda.
Guanajuato (1990 pop. 113,580). Capital of the Guanajuato State, with an altitude of 6,583 ft (2,008 m), is a historical and picturesque town of agreeable little plazas, streets lined with stairs and houses of pastel-colored facades and balconies trimmed with iron work, and flower-filled window boxes, located about a five-hour drive northwest of Mexico City. The town is a maze of cobblestone streets and alleys that wind around steep hillsides upon a small ravine, opening into vistas of beautiful churches and small plazas. During centuries, a major mining center, its mines pouring out silver for the Spanish crown, now a government seat and college town. Since 1988, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Guanajuato has no traffic lights or neon signs, creating an extremely enjoyable place to walk, peaceful, yet with plenty of life in the streets, and plenty to photograph. Guanajuato is one of the nation's most important cities in terms of its historical and architectural heritage. Its most important buildings are the churches of La Valenciana and of the Jesuits, the Juárez Theatre, the Granaditas Corn Exchange, the Basílica Colegiata and the churches of San Diego and of Cata. Guanajuato is 40 minutes away from our Hacienda.
This city, the state capital of Queretaro, is full of rich history, as evidenced by the magnificent architecture in the Centro Historico Historic Center). In fact, the UNESCO declared Queretaro a World Heritage Site. Among the edifices that stand out are: el Templo y Convento de la Cruz (The Temple and Convent of the Cross), el Templo de San Felipe Neri (The Temple of Saint Felipe Neri) and el Templo de Santa Rosa de Viterbo (The Temple of Saint Rosa de Viterbo). These constructions are beautiful examples of baroque architecture, and their interiors house valuable altarpieces made by artists from the colonial period. The city also has large plateresque-style houses, some of which have been converted into museums or elegant restaurants offering the best in regional cuisine. As you walk along Queretaro’s cobblestone streets you can visit the Teatro de la Republica, an important building where Mexico’s constitution was signed in 1917. You’ll also find numerous art galleries, restaurants and cafes with bohemian atmospheres, which stand in sharp contrast to the modern hotels and commercial zones. In the city’s surrounding areas, you’ll see the impressive Arcos aqueduct, one of Mexico’s most important water delivery systems built during the colonial era. After having undergone several restorations, today the aqueduct is an important city symbol.
The most important language in Mexico is Spanish. Mexican Spanish has a great variety of dialects, accents and variations from one region to another, and changes in state by state.
The Mexican population is predominantly Catholic. Holy Week — from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday — is observed throughout Mexico. However San Miguel de Allende's fervor and pageantry is some of the most powerful and beautiful.
© Jim Jurica
The climate around San Miguel Allende is considered semi-desert, with extended periods in which very little precipitation falls. San Miguel has a pleastant year-round spring-like climate. The average day is brisk in the morning, warm and sunny afternoons, and cool nights. At 6400 feet, both the humidity and the temperature is kept down and the air is clean and refreshing. Many tourist from North America come to San Miguel in the winter, where they can enjoy nice days in the 70s instead of the snow and the cold.
Clothing and Appropriate Dress
Light, breathable natural fabrics, wicking and high performance layers of clothes are recommended. Bring a windbreaker jacket or fleece in case it gets cool or if there is rainfall. Also, very comfortable walking or hiking shoes are essential.
It is known for its varied flavors, colourful decoration, and variety of spices and ingredients, many of which are native to the country. The cuisine of Mexico has evolved through the centuries through a blending of indigenous and European elements since the 16th century. The staples of Mexican cuisine are typically corn and beans. Corn, traditionally Mexico's staple grain, is eaten fresh, on the cob, and as a component of a number of dishes. Most corn, however, is used to make masa, a dough for tamales, tortillas, gorditas, and many other corn-based foods. Squash and peppers also play important roles in Mexican cuisine.
While you can be assured that the better restaurants use purified water for cooking, washing, and ice, you should always drink bottled water. Also, be careful about eating from the many street vendors.
Mexico's currency is the Mexican Peso. There are one hundred Mexican cents (centavos) to every peso. The symbol for the the Mexican Peso is $. To distinguish this from the Dollar, you sometimes see it presented as MX$ or the value with the letters "MN" after it, e.g. $100 MN. The MN stands for Moneda Nacional, meaning National Currency. Cash Machines (ATMs) are available in the major cities.
Health and Medical
Because San Miguel is located at a very high altitude (over 6400 feet), and is very dry, wear sunscreen, take care with exertion and make sure to drink lots of water. We recommend you visit your doctor prior to any ravel to assure you are feeling healthy. Bring a sufficient amount of and any prescribed medications and always carry in original labeled pharmacy container.
Mexico's electricity system is the same as that of the USA: 120 V; 60 Hz.
Standard Time Zone: GMT/UTC - 06:00 hour
In Mexico, tipping not only is it customary, it is expected and appreciated in return for good service.
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