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Mexico: The Royal Tour – A Q&A with Host Peter Greenberg

By Michelle Michalos
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
  • comments (31)

President Felipe Calderon of Mexico with Peter Greenberg (Photo courtesy of Robert Landau)

Inside Thirteen spoke with travel journalist Peter Greenberg, who recently received a personal tour of Mexico by President Felipe Calderón for Mexico: The Royal Tour. From Chihuahua to Cozumel, Greenberg and Calderón cross the country to explore Mexico’s historical treasures, and even venture into Calderón’s hometown.

Here, Greenberg discusses his visit and what he learned from his experience in Mexico.

Mexico: The Royal Tour airs Thursday, September 22 at 8 p.m. on THIRTEEN.

Mr. Greenberg answered our questions via email.

Inside Thirteen: Was there anything you were surprised to learn about Mexico from your visit?

Peter Greenberg: Most people mistakenly think of Mexico as either a dusty border town with people wearing sombreros and drinking tequila, or a high-rise resort destination. I’ve been traveling to Mexico since I was 23 and a correspondent for Newsweek, and thought I’d seen most of the country. Mexico: The Royal Tour certainly showed me how much I didn’t know, and how much I hadn’t yet experienced. It allowed me — and hopefully will allow our viewers — to see a Mexico they didn’t know.

IT: Which location impressed you most on your tour?

PG: That’s a  tough one to answer. I was blown away by Palenque, I was seduced by Oaxaca, and then there was the Cave of the Swallows. What impressed me with that experience — where I repelled 110 stories off that cliff and into the cave with the President, was that we both survived!

IT: Were there any  places in Mexico that you wanted to visit but were not able to for the show?

PG: None. We were granted an all access pass.

IT: What was it like traveling with President Calderón and visiting  his hometown?

President Calderon with his family and Peter Greenberg riding horses on a tequila plantation (Photo courtesy of Robert Landau)

PG: I’ve also had the opportunity of traveling with U.S. presidents on Air Force One…there’s no waiting on the runway, and we’re always on time! But on this trip, we traveled with the president by  horseback, jeep, train, teleferico (gondola), boat, we ziplined, we dove, and yes, we repelled…the only thing we did on the presidential jet –  after shooting 16 to 20 hour days – is sleep on the way back to Mexico City!  But visiting his hometown, and especially his family, was very special. I got to meet his brothers and sisters, and also his  mother.

IT: After your visit and your time with President  Calderón, is there anything you think the U.S. can learn from Mexico?

PG: Mexico, like so many countries, firmly understands the importance of travel and tourism to build bridges of understanding. Also, its strength as  a huge economic engine. It is somewhat embarrassing that the U.S. government has never fully understood the economic power and social necessity of travel and tourism.

  • Alice Craig

    Will this hour show air in Cincinnati, OH again? On TV? If so what channel?
    Thank You

  • Michele Scharf

    This was an absoutely fascinating event! While I understand that President Calderon is trying to market his country (and he did an excellent job), it was a very personal and intimate look at a country that is mostly misunderstood. If Mr. Calderone was willing to take me around Mexico, I’d go in a second.

  • elisa martinez

    I teach Spanish Kindergarten thru 5th grades. Is it possibvle to order a copy of the Mexico Royal Tour for educational puposes?

  • lynn

    will this show be aired again and if so when? in Milwaukee WI

  • lynn

    I have traveled much of Mexico between Chapala and Laredo. Would be more the Happy to show you around.. I would realy like to see the show Mexico The Royal Tour PLEASE let me know if it going to air again in the Milwaukee WI area. or if it is for sale


    I was fortunate enough to see the live premier with President Calderon at LA LIVE. Having President Calderon as the tour guide is a wonderful way to engage consumers and business in both countries to the many incredible wonders that Mexico offers — I was particularly impressed by his charm, sense of humor and personal touch with his lovely wife and darling children and his family visit to Morelia.

    This enormous undertaking will certainly be well received – the right time, the right message!

  • L

    Having lived in Mex City and traveled the country while there, I was very sad to learn that I missed this tour of such a beautiful country!! I’m hoping my local pbs will air it again soon (in south TX).

  • IRAN

    where can i buy the dvd?

  • IRAN

    and i think they miss alot of beautiful places, we have more plases to visit

  • Dana

    Will it be shown on KPBS in San Diego area? I live in Ensenada and would love to see it.

  • Shirley Phillips

    When will this wonderful program on Mexico be on again. We are devoted to Mexico and travel there once a year and are delighted to see some positive views being aired on the country.

  • Mari

    My son just graduating from College and has never seen his Mother’s birthplace- Mexico! So he was taken by her to ‘know it’. We did almost the same itinerary (minus the Cave and Cenote dive) and he was left wondering “WHY did I leave?” and how wrong Americans view of Mexico is… We can’t wait to return! A big “Gracias” for showing how wonderful Mexico is and hoping relations between both countries improve!

  • marcela

    I was amaze by the wonderful report you did in Mexico, and having President Calderon as your personal tourist guide, and take you to all these wonderful and magnificent places, I was speechless, Mexico is my birth place and unfortunaly I have never travelled through most of the places you did, just love it, love it!!!!!

  • Jim Burton

    Where can I purchase the program Mexico, The Royal Tour. This was an excellent program. Thanks so much.

  • David Flores

    Where can I by this amazing program on DVD. I must show it to my family!

  • Ethna Dias

    I’ve lived in the States since 1970 – I search and search for good programs – this was the absolute best I have seen. I would like to purchase the DVD, please tell me if possible.
    Thank You

  • Martha

    I saw part of this program, I was flipping channels and found it! I would like to the complete program!! Will they show it again? When? I was glad we got to see another view of Mexico!! It was wonderful! Mexico is a wonderful, beautiful country!

  • Richard Castillo

    Please advise where I can order a copy of “Meico: the royal tour. Thanks

  • Richard Castillo

    please advise where I can purchase of copy of the dvd Mexico; the royal tour

  • Maryanne Walldorf

    When and where can I purchase a DVD of this wonderful Tour of Mexico by Felipe Calderon and Peter Greenberg? Many thanks for this great Tour that will contribute to greater understanding and appreciation of our wonderful neighbor, Mexico! I was lucky to have toured Mexico and lived fro 8 weekks with a Mexican family during the summer of 1965. I have always appreciated the Mexican people. This DVD is great to help us understand the wealth of the Mexican culture! So many thanks.
    Please send me an answer about where and when I can purchase this DVD for my students.

  • Cindy Monroe

    My son is a teacher in Mexico City. I would like to purchase Mexico The Royal Tour for him as a Christmas present. I can see other people are also requesting to purchase a DVD. Is this possible? Please reply.

  • Aida

    Like many others have asked, I’d like to purchase a DVD of this show. Please advise if and when the DVD will be available. If not available, I also ask (as others have) for information on when this particular show will air again.
    Please reply.

  • Don Carr

    Please put me on the “buy” list for the DVD.

  • tim perry

    Thank-You,as I went to Yucatan Living .com, this beautiful piece of film ,I got to enjoy with tears of joy.Being an American who has been to the Yucatan many times,who loves the culture, history, and its People, is always sad because of Media perception of the drug wars and killing, most Americans who have not expierenced the soul,the region,the proudness of its People, They are missing out on a whole new world. Will this be out on a dvd as so many Prople asked? discovery .com, I will check after this long thank You again To Peter Greenberg as I always enjoy Tour travel excerpts… VIVA MEXICO…TIM Perry

  • tim perry

    Hi, just a note to all who replied, I love to mention to anyone interested in a great blog to reserch and comment to is Yucatan Living >com . Please give it a try, and see and learn more about Mexico, the Mayan People and all the expats who are working and living and enjoying a life here in the good old USA that seems to be dissappearing daily..thanks

  • Mayra

    I want to buy the DVD. Where can I buy it?

  • Elizabeth Cortez

    Please, I want to buy the DVD, advise if and when the DVD will be available.

  • Michelle

    Apologies for not responding sooner to those inquiring about DVDs — currently DVDs of the program are not available, but they may be in the future. If they do become available, we will let you know.

  • Jennifer

    I would like to purchase a copy of the DVD if it become available.

  • eileen

    I went thru info@petergreenburg to buy this through paypal, as directed……..the funds have not yet been claimed even though paypal submitted them. I can cancel but I really want this dvd. help

  • Dinah

    I did not get to view the show but I would love to purchase a DVD.