Milpa Alta: Cactus, Corn & Mole

Day Trip

Rural Countryside Visit

Round-Trip Transport Included

Milpa Alta is Mexico City’s rural southernmost borough and it’s known primarily for two things: acres of cactus fields and fresh, homemade mole. This one-of-a-kind tour, offered in conjunction with our partners La Ruta de La Milpa, gives you an inside look at this beautiful region. You’ll taste locally sourced rural Mexican cooking—the flavor is unparalleled—and meet some of the skilled cooks that make Milpa Alta what it is.

Highlights

Pick your own cactus paddles from a cactus farm and eat them fresh off the grill with warm tortillas, for a true rural Mexican breakfast

Learn how to make tortillas with a local expert

Go behind-the-scenes in a working mole factory to learn what goes into this complex Mexican sauce

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Price

Adults: $189
Children (8-13): $95

Looking to go private? Private tour option $40 per adult available at check-out. Subject to availability.


Availability & departure time

Mondays: 7AM
Sundays: 7:30AM


Meeting point

Private transport throughout the tour that includes a hotel pick-up and drop-off


Duration

10 hours


Group size

Minimum 3 people, maximum 15 people


Included
  • Private transportation provided throughout the tour, including hotel pick-up and drop-off
  • Guide service from two expert bilingual guides
  • Breakfast, snacks, and one large lunch
  • Beverages tasted on the tour, including coffee, Mexican café de olla, atole, agua fresca and a local microbrew
  • Filtered water throughout the tour

Not included
  • Souvenirs
  • Tip for your guide
  • Additional personal beverages, outside what’s included on the tour itinerary

What to bring
  • Comfortable walking shoes (they may get muddy)
  • Sunscreen and sun hat
  • Sweater or light jacket
  • Cash and small tote bag for purchases
  • Water to stay hydrated
  • Tip for your guide if desired (we also offer the option of pre-paying a tip at checkout)
  • An umbrella during the rainy season months (June through October)

Participation requirements

Guests should be able to walk comfortably through an uneven field. Wheelchairs cannot be accommodated. This tour is not recommended for children under the age of 8.


Staff on tour

You’ll be accompanied by one of our local, bilingual culinary guides. Each has a degree in gastronomy and/or has worked in local kitchens. They’ll enrich your experience by sharing their knowledge of Mexico City’s food scene, their own personal traditions, and the vendors’ stories. Read more about our guides here.

This tour also includes a guide from Ruta de la Milpa, a tour outfit based in Milpa Alta.

Milpa Alta sits about 90 minutes from Mexico City—far enough that most locals don’t go there. The culture itself feels very different from the urban chaos most associate with the capital. This unique tour offers a chance to not only visit Milpa Alta, but to spend time with the people who live and work there, who form its gastronomic identity. The flavors of rural Mexican cuisine are impossible to replicate. This is a chance to try the food at the source!

Be prepared for an early morning pick-up time. We’ll eat a light breakfast in the car as we fill you in on Milpa Alta’s history and role in modern Mexico City, over the course of the 90-minute drive there.

We’ll kick off the tour with a visit to a cactus farm. You’ll learn about how a typical cactus farm works. Then we’ll cut our own cactus leaves and eat them fresh off a wood-fired comal (an ancestral Mexican griddle) accompanied by fiery homemade salsa, fresh cheese and tortillas.

After that, we’ll get back in the van and drive to a nearby home, where you’ll meet a skilled tortillera and make tortillas under her guidance, from corn grown on her family’s farm.

You’ll visit an apiary that lies down a small rural lane and meet two honey producers. And you’ll see a mill that has been grinding mole pastes and powders from scratch for more than 50 years. We’ll finish with lunch at a Milpa Alta restaurant, where we’ll dine on—of course!—luxurious homemade mole.

If you’re looking for a truly local, food-based day trip, this is the tour for you!

  • This tour is conducted rain or shine.
  • Milpa Alta is located about a 90-minute drive from the central Mexico City area. It is still technically part of Mexico City, but the air is cleaner there and it feels much more like the countryside.
  • The duration of the tour is just an estimate. Traffic can be quite heavy coming back depending on the weather or other factors, and that may cause a delay.
  • We like to blend in with the locals. Dress in comfortable clothing, and leave any flashy or expensive clothes and jewelry at home.
  • Vegetarians can be accommodated on this tour. However, meat and vegetables will be cooked on the same surface.
  • At the start of the tour we will provide you with a coffee and pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread) for the ride. A heavier breakfast is served later when you reach your destination, which may be up to 1.5 hours after the coffee and pan dulce. Afterwards, you will have a few tastings during the tour and finally, a full lunch is served before heading back to your hotel.
  • If you’d like to make any purchases (see our FAQ on souvenirs), bring cash and a small tote bag. Credit cards are not accepted by all of the vendors.
How long is the tour?

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The tour lasts an entire day. Hotel pick-up is at 7 am or 7:30 am and drop-off at your hotel is around 5 or 6 pm.

Will I eat a lot of food?

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Yes! On this tour you will have a light breakfast in the car, followed by a larger breakfast upon reaching Milpa Alta, a few snacks throughout the tour and will finish off with a full lunch. Most of our clients say they have a small dinner later that night.

Do I need to take cash with me?

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All the food and drinks are covered by us. However, if you want to tip your guides at the end of your tour (10 to 15% is standard; or you can pre-pay a tip via our website) or if you’d like to purchase some things from the vendors we visit, you should bring cash. About $500 pesos should cover whatever you’d want to buy.

Will my guides speak English?

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Of course! Our guides are culinary experts and speak perfect English. The Ruta de la Milpa guide also speaks English.

Can I do the tour if I am traveling alone?

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We have a three-person minimum for this tour. If you’re traveling alone, we can wait to see if anyone else joins the group. If they don’t, we will offer you a different tour or fully refund your ticket. Some clients traveling in groups smaller than 3 people have decided to book three seats, to ensure the tour will run.

Is the neighborhood safe?

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Milpa Alta is a rural, quiet area. We have never experienced violence or petty theft there. During the tour, you will visit people’s homes, farms and small businesses, so you won’t need to be as vigilant about your personal belongings as you would in a more crowded, urban environment. Your belongings can also be left in the van during the visits to local homes and businesses.

Have more questions? Check out our FAQ page!

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