It is said that a manifestation of the Lady Virgin appeared to a peasant man on top of Tepeyac Hill in 1531. This led to the miraculous imprinting of her image on the man’s tilma, or cloak, and then the shrine being constructed in her honor — what is now called the Shrine of Guadalupe, located in the northern reaches of Mexico City. With more than 20 million annual visitors, the shrine is one of the most visited Catholic pilgrimage sites in the world.
Your 4-hour tour begins with meeting your guide at a central location in Mexico City. Climb aboard a comfortable vehicle that takes you to the shrine, formally known as the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe.
Upon arrival, admire the different architecture of the shrine’s two basilicas. At Basílica Antigua (Old Basilica), built in 1709, discover Spanish colonial architecture with Moorish influence. The miraculous tilma, along with devotional paintings, are on display inside. Then visit the New Basilica, completed in 1976, designed with a circular floor plan that gives you a view of the Virgin from any spot inside the church.
Observe pilgrims stream into the main aisle — for some of the older visitors you see, this is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. Learn about the importance of the Virgin in Mexican culture both as a religious and cultural symbol.
Next, head up Tepeyac Hill, where the miraculous events all began. Then, explore the museum behind the Old Basilica containing 4,000 pieces of 17th-century religious art.
Wrap up your visit with some free time to attend mass or stroll about the area on your own. Your tour ends with transport back to the departure point in Mexico City.