Traditional and avant-garde city, San Miguel de Allende is one of the most appreciated destinations by art lovers. From the beautiful architecture to the local gastronomy, it is a city waiting to be discovered.
Located at 1910m above sea level, San Miguel de Allende is one of the emblematic cities of the State of Guanajuato and of all of Mexico. Even UNESCO could not help but recognize its unique beauty, naming it a World Heritage Site in 2008.
Walking through the streets of this city is a one-off experience. The streets covered with sanpietrini, so colorful and characteristic, give a sense of belonging and home, indeed.
This town offers many activities, from cultural tours to horseback riding. Here the 8 wonders of San Miguel de Allende:
1. Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangelo
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of San Miguel de Allende? Definitely, it’s the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel, the city’s pink neo-Gothic jewel.
Originally built in 1555, this parish is the result of multiple renovations as well as changes in style over the centuries. Finally, in 1890, Don Zeferino Gutiérrez will lead to the transformation of its facade and the completion of the architecture.
The neo-Gothic building appears a very distinctive light pink color. Do you know why? The complex was built with pink tuff, this stone extracted directly from the volcano Palo huérfano, at the time not far from the city, and now extinct.
Upon visiting the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel, you will come across the main square well recognizable by the circular trees. A very relaxing green area, perfect to take a break and enjoy the quiet but crisp San Miguel de Allende.
2. Museo La Esquina, Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano
La Esquina Toy Museum houses one of the greatest treasures of this country: the traditional Mexican toys. This collection, which counts with more than a thousand pieces, holds an extraordinary history.
Indeed, the collection was born more than 50 years ago from a little girl and her passion for toys. The owner, Angélica Tijerina, remembers how her father, upon returning from trips to the Mexican republic, always brought her a gift. Thus, her love for toys.
Colorful and creative, the Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano will surely bring your childhood spirit back. Here, you’ll find toys of all kinds from all parts of Mexico: from the desert territories to the mountains to the coastal areas of the south of the country.
3. Jardin Botanico el Charco del Ingenio
Just a few minutes from the center of San Miguel de Allende, we come to the botanical garden “El Charco del Ingenio”, an open-air museum with a great variety of succulent plants typical of the area.
This natural reserve was created with the aim of preserving the local flora, constantly endangered by urban expansion. Overall, this park hosts more than 535 species of plants and numerous animals including 156 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, dragonflies, and butterflies.
4. Artisanal Markets
During your stay in San Miguel, you can’t miss coming across its rich and colorful markets!
From carpets and wool tapestries to brass-made mirrors, boxes and stars, and decorated ceramic vases, you’re spoiled for choice. The queen of all, however, is certainly the papier-mâché, material par excellence of Mexican craftsmanship.
At these markets, each item is a unique work of art in its colors and shapes.
5. Cañada de la Virgen
Known across the country for ensuring respectful animal husbandry, this sustainable family business works to raise healthy livestock and help with environmental conservation.
And it is precisely in this terrain that the Cañada de la Virgen pyramids were built. Dating back to the period between 540 and 1050 B.C., they were used as ceremony sites and as observatories of celestial bodies.
This archaeological site is the perfect example of architecture, astronomy, and mathematics that distinguishes the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations.
6. San Miguel de Allende Food Tour
If you want to experience the city to the fullest, you should definitely try the flavors of Mexican cuisine! Local food tours are the perfect opportunity to enjoy the culinary tradition and local specialties.
Among the typical dishes, there are las enchiladas mineras, las pacholas, the famous local fiambre, not to mention the delicious Rabo de Zorra and chiles capones. These dishes are easily accompanied by the good cebadina, beet-water, or by a tasty colonche, an alcoholic drink made from prickly pear.
7. Canyon Coyote
Located just a couple of minutes from downtown, here we are in the middle of nature among rocks and streams exploring the area on horseback. It doesn’t matter if you have experience or not, as long as you don’t lack the spirit of adventure!
Guided hikes will take you to the top of the canyon from where you can enjoy the entire San Miguel de Allende zone.
8. Fábrica La Aurora
After decades of textile production, the La Aurora Cultural Center for Art and Design is now home to paintings, crafts, and art studios.
In 2004, in fact, with the help of Don Francisco Garay and the creative initiative of North American artists Christopher Fallon, Mary Rapp, Merry Calderoni, and DeWayne Youts, the factory became a meeting place not only for professionals but a real cultural center.
Accommodation green in San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende is a city to live in, and there is no better lodging than Posada Corazón. This beautiful home, located in the historical center of the city, covers an “apple heart“, a name given to the gardens behind the facades of the old residences.
This spacious building, typical of Mexican architecture of the 1960s, offers a peaceful experience among fruit trees, flowers, aromatic plants, and relaxing areas.
Discover more: Posada Corazón
So, what do you think? Ready to experience the city of a thousand faces?