A magical town in Guanajuato, México
San Miguel de Allende is a colonial town located in the state of Guanajuato, 275 km away from Mexico City. In 2008, it was awarded as World Heritage by the UNESCO and is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Mexico. Its history, colors and magic will take your breath away.
If you love art, this is the place that you should visit. San Miguel de Allende is known and famous for its variety of galleries, artists, music festivals and architecture. Mexicans and foreigners share this cultural place to inspire their creations. The best way of exploring it is walking. In every street, you will find different bars, restaurants, galleries, and street artists. Besides the artistically part of this place, it is surrounded by beautiful mountains, where you can enjoy of different activities, such as abseil and hiking.
You do not need to stay a long time to enjoy it. You could plan a weekend trip, and it should be enough to have an amazing experience.
Most iconic building
The most iconic building is the San Miguel Arcángel Church. It was constructed in 1555, but between 1880 and 1890 the facade was rebuilt. The artist was Don Ceferino Gutiérrez, a local architect. Don Ceferino was inspired by the Gothic style of Medieval Europe. This style has nothing to do with the rest of the architecture of the town, which is colonial. Some people say that this gothic building alters the style of the other buildings, but this alteration might be what makes this building so unique.
Mexican handcrafts and art
If you are a fan of Mexican handcrafts and art, you will love this place. A great place to start is the square outside the San Miguel Arcángel Church. It is always full of street artists, street food and handcrafts. You can find all the things you can imagine, from little dolls, bracelets and typical toys, to paintings. Although it is a good place to start, the truth is that any street that you visit will offer you numerous stores and galleries to shop. And why not accompany your purchases with delicious street food. You can find tacos, quesadillas, esquites (corn with mayo, cheese, lime and chili), chips with hot sauce, churros, tortas (the typical Mexican sandwich), etc. The list is endless, and one thing is more delicious than the other.
Time for a nice restaurant? Moxi is THE option
Moxi offers fantastic traditional Mexican cuisine. It is located at the Miranda hotel. Enrique Olvera collaborates with this restaurant; that is one of the reasons of why it has such a good reputation. He is considered the best Mexican chef and one of the best around the world. The menu is very varied. My recommendation is the ceviche and the papas trufadas con parmesano (fried potatoes with truffle oil and parmesan). Everything I tried was delicious, but those two dishes were my favorite.
After a long day… what about a refreshing cocktail?
La Fragua is a Mexican cantina or bar located 400 meters away from Moxi restaurant. If you are in the mood for an artisanal beer or liquor, this is a good place to visit. They also offer any other types of cocktails as well as excellent snacks. The mix of the music and the people create a very friendly atmosphere. Two other bars offer the same concept; one is called La Cucaracha and the other one is called La Azotea. The plus with La Azotea is that it is a rooftop bar and the view is beautiful.
At the end of the day … is time to sleep
San Miguel de Allende has a variety of boutique hotels, each of them will offer you something unique and an excellent experience. But my recommendation is Doña Urraca. It is a boutique hotel with 23 rooms, situated in one small colorful street. The facade of this building fits in with the architecture of San Miguel de Allende. But inside, the rooms are very modern. It is a beautiful and very cozy.
There are numerous events, from music and film to traditional Mexican festivals:
Mexican Independence Celebration – 15th September. San Miguel de Allende is one of the best places in Mexico to celebrate it.
“El Desfile de Los Locos” (the parade of the crazies) – June. People wear different costumes and go out to show them and have fun.
Festival of Baroque music – 17th to the 24th of March.
Marionette Festival – 15th to the 21st of August.
La Calaca Festival – 29th of October to the 2nd of November. This festival celebrates the day of the death.
All the events mentioned above take place every year.
If you like nature you have to visit El Charco del Ingenio, a natural reserve located a few minutes away from downtown. You can get there walking or with a car. The walking is fun but a little steep, so if you are not a fan of steep walks you should probably take your car or a taxi. You can do hiking, mountain biking, hire quad bikes, or ride horses. There is also a botanical garden. And the Coyote Canyon is part of the reserve as well; you can do abseil there, and the views are stunning!
You can not leave without visiting this amazing market! Markets are traditional in Mexico; this is a handcraft market, so if you did not find what you wanted on the streets or in the stores, visit it and find what anything you want! It opens seven days a week, from 9 am until 7 pm., and is located at the Lanatón Square.
Why do I like this place?
Every time I go, I have a lot of fun! I never get tired of it; there is always a new event, a new place to eat and new people to meet. I like the vibes there. People are very relaxed and open minded. There is always someone new that is keen to join you for a drink and a good chat. I have also met fascinating artists, who like to share their philosophy and passion. The food is always incredibly delicious. To be honest, just walking around this beautiful town makes me feel happy. I have never felt bored there.