Day of the Dead In San Miguel de Allende

If you will be in San Miguel de Allende during Día de los Muertos you are in luck, as they host one of the most celebrated Day of the Dead festivals in all of Mexico! Here’s what you need to know.

Day of the Dead In San Miguel de Allende-Excursions in San Miguel de Allende

What Is Día de los Muertos?

Day of the Dead is an Aztec spiritual holiday that is celebrated every year from October 31 to November 2. It is believed that the deceased awake from their eternal resting place and speak with their loved ones giving everyone the chance to reconnect. Alters are built to honor the deceased and families cook all of their loved one’s favorite foods for a celebratory feast. Ornate Mexican cemeteries are always a fun stroll, but there is no better time to visit than while graves and headstones are adorned with marigolds and decorations in honor of Día de los Muertos.

Day of the Dead In San Miguel de Allende-Mexican Catrinas

The Most Beautiful Skeletons And Skulls You’ve Ever Seen

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit Mexico, you will always find colorful and elaborate skull and skeleton artwork and dolls. The female dolls are called Catrinas and the male doles are called Catrines. Unlike in many countries, these skulls and skeletons represent life and joy, not death and gloom. In fact, Catrina and Catrines are global collectibles.

Day of the Dead In San Miguel de Allende-Mexican Holidays

Día de los Muertos In San Miguel de Allende

While most towns have at least a few processions for Day of the Dead San Miguel hosts a 5 day La Calaca festival. The main attraction is the annual Catrinas Parade which draws crowds from near and far. It is considered one of the top 5 Día de los Muertos celebrations in all of Mexico. The 2018 parade begins at 8 p.m. with the main attraction being the towering Catrina and Catrine puppets. But it doesn’t stop there. Professional makeup artists are plentiful and can be hired beforehand to paint your face into a beautiful skull, and feel free to get decked out from head to toe as there will be a costume contest.

There are many reasons to visit our city but if you will be in town for Day of the Dead you are in for a real treat!

6 Reasons To Spend Christmas In San Miguel de Allende

Christmas is one of the most popular times to travel, but not just to visit family and friends. If you are looking for a Christmas vacation destination look no further than San Miguel de Allende!

Christmas In San Miguel de Allende-Plaza

Finally A Real Vacation

If you typically use vacation days to visit friends and family for Christmas and New Year’s, you may be craving a real vacation. While spending the holidays with the ones you love is essential, alternate every few years with a getaway. And what better place to visit than Travel & Leisure magazine’s top city for 2 years running?

Unique Gifts

Just because you are skipping your usual holiday gatherings doesn’t mean you have to skip the gifts. Instead of shopping before you leave shop while in Mexico. This way you can find unique gifts for everyone on your gift list. This includes wine from the many local wineries, cigars, tequila, pottery, art, clothing, jewelry, coffee, and more! Just make sure to bring an extra bag to check your Christmas gifts. Or, just gift yourself with your Christmas getaway!

Christmas In San Miguel de Allende-Tree

Escape The Winter Blues

San Miguel isn’t a beach destination but you can expect the weather to be in the mid-70s during the day, and chilly in the morning and evenings. Either way, this is an excellent way to break up your cold weather months. With natural hot springs in town you’ll be sure to stay warm.

Less Stress

Sometimes getting away for the holiday is the best way to get into the Christmas spirit. Leave the stress of family gatherings behind by using your days off this year to take a vacation. Christmas is one of the most beautiful and festive times of the year in San Miguel making it the perfect time to get away.

Christmas In San Miguel de Allende-Things To Do in San Miguel

The True Spirit Of Christmas

It’s easy to lose sight of what Christmas is all about, and easier to remember in a city where Christmas is more about spirituality than it is about gifts. If you are Catholic or Christian or want to experience local culture and customs, check the San Miguel event calendar for the dates of each year’s December pilgrimages, parades, fiestas, and festivals. There will also be many musical performances throughout the month of December. From the local children’s choir to mariachi, classical music performances, and more.

December 12 is Día de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, the Festival of Guadalupe, which celebrates Mexico’s patron saint. There will be many events the days prior and the day of, elaborate alters placed throughout the city, fireworks, and mariachi bands.

Las Posadas is December 16 to December 24. There will be daily pilgrimages to posadas (inns and hotels) in the surrounding cities. This will be a reenactment of Mary and Joseph trying to find an inn and being turned away.

Christmas in San Miguel de Allende-A Mexican Feast

A Delicious Mexican Feast

Noche Buena is Christmas Eve, which is the largest day of celebration. There is a midnight mass and a feast of bacalao (salt cod). This is also when the life-size nativity will be set up in the main garden. Be sure to make your dinner reservation for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day well in advance. Salt cod is an acquired taste for many, but you have plenty of options. Many hotels and restaurants have prefix menus, some including traditional turkey dinner. If turkey is not on the menu you will find an impressive selection of 5-star Mexican cuisine.

Even if you don’t partake in the holiday festivities there are plenty of excursions and activities to keep you busy while in San Miguel. Feliz Navidad!

Taco 101: How To Eat An Authentic Mexican Taco In San Miguel de Allende

As an avid traveler you already understand that eating authentic local cuisine is nothing like dining in one of your hometown restaurants. While you know that Taco Bell is far from authentic you are sure to have dined in at least a few Mexican-owned and operated restaurants outside of Mexico. However, even the most authentic global chefs have to substitute ingredients with local fare. Here’s what to expect when dining authentic in San Miguel de Allende.

How To Eat An Authentic Mexican Taco In San Miguel de Allende-Hand Made Tortillas

Fresh Pressed Tortillas

While you are likely looking forward to what’s inside your tacos, in Mexico the tortilla makes all the difference. Expect a different flavor and texture than back home, and for many restaurants to have a signature tortilla recipe. While not all restaurants and taco stands make and fresh press their tortillas they have a local tortilleria they purchase fresh tortillas from daily. Just like fresh bread made from quality ingredients your tortillas will elevate your dining experience.

How To Eat An Authentic Mexican Taco In San Miguel de Allende-Taco Fillings

Fillings You’ve Never Heard Of

Since the tortillas are much smaller you will need to order 3 to 5 tacos per meal. This is a good thing because it provides you with the opportunity to try a variety of fillings. Fillings will vary from one region of Mexico to the next, and yes you can find vegan tacos—with potato tacos being a favorite or vegans and carnivores alike. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular taco fillings. Don’t expect lettuce, tomato, sour cream or cheese as these are not authentic toppings. You will instead top your tacos with onions, cilantro, and fresh squeezed lime.

How To Eat An Authentic Mexican Taco In San Miguel de Allende-Salsa

Salsa Is The Finishing Touch

If spicy’s not your thing then pass, but if you like spicy then salsa is the finishing touch for each taco. There is sure to be a bottle of Salsa Huichol at almost every taco stand and restaurant. While a Mexican favorite be sure to taste the house salsa from each place you dine. Expect to find a red salsa roja made from roasted peppers, a green salsa verde made from tomatillos, and maybe a signature salsa or two. There may be a pico de gallo, a thin avocado sauce (that’s not guacamole), pickled veggies, and maybe even a chipotle mayo. Even if you like things hot, spoon a small amount on your plate to taste it before you drizzle it on.

How To Eat An Authentic Mexican Taco In San Miguel de Allende-No Beans and Rice

Where Are The Beans And Rice?

If you are dining in a sit-down restaurant, beans and rice may come as an automatic side dish, but don’t be surprised if you have to order them individually. When dining at a street taco stand don’t expect either. Instead, give fresh roasted jalapenos and green onions with the stalk and bulb a try. Simple but delicious!

How To Eat An Authentic Mexican Taco In San Miguel de Allende-Plates With Plastic

Your Plate Might Be Covered In Plastic

Street food stand vendors almost always cover their plates in a plastic bag, about the size of a grocery store produce bag. This is less expensive than investing in disposable plates and means that all they have to do to keep the plates clean between diners is replace the plastic.

Some of the best tacos in any Mexican town, including San Miguel de Allende, are the street food stands—which almost always serve nothing but their signature tacos. Spend 3.5 hours with us taking a guided tour of the culinary gems that helped put our city on the map. This includes the best taco in town! We have 3 foodie tours to choose from including a Tacos and Tequila Tour.

What To Do Before And After Your Destination Wedding In San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende isn’t just one of the top places in the world to vacation but is the perfect place for a destination wedding. While there is no beach in sight there are many picturesque gardens and ornate churches to host your wedding. While your ceremony can be arranged any way you like, in traditional Mexican style you and your wedding guests will have your own mini-parade from your wedding venue to your reception venue. But what should you and your guests do before and after the wedding?

Destination Wedding In San Miguel de Allende-Wine Tasting

Take A Wine Tour

Tequila might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Mexican spirits but you are in an impressive wine region—and a wine tasting makes the perfect group activity or spot for a bachelor or bachelorette party. You have many wineries to choose from with Viñedo Dos Buhos, Viñedos San Lucas or, Viñedos La Redonda winery in nearby Ezequiel Montes being at the top of the list. Also, consider the wineries for your rehearsal dinner, wedding, or reception—or at least serve some of their wine.

Destination Weddings in San Miguel de Allende-Food and Drink Tour

Take A Food Tour

If you are looking for something to do with your bridal party, bachelor party, or with your family and friends consider booking a food tour. While your hotel may have an impressive restaurant and you can easily find 5-star international cuisine throughout the city—a Private Food Tour will introduce you to the local culinary gems. This includes the mom and pop shops that you might not find on your own, but certainly don’t want to miss out on!

Destination Wedding In San Miguel de Allende-Classical Concert

Take In A Concert

If you enjoy live classical music check to see what is playing at the Festival de Música de Cámara. This is the premier spot in town for world-class live music featuring artists from Mexico and around the globe. They also host a free outdoor concert every 2nd Saturday of the month featuring students who are training with the current featured artist. 2018 is their 40th anniversary so there are some big things planned this year.

Destination Weddings in San Miguel de Allende-Explore Solo

Explore Solo

One of the things to keep in mind when planning a destination wedding is to leave time to explore solo. Also, don’t book everything bright and early so that your guests can ease into their day. Plan on only 1 or 2 of your meals a day together and 1 or 2 group activities. Leave a good chunk of the day for exploring solo, as couples, or as a smaller group. That way it’s a true vacation for all.

If you’ve just started planning the premier wedding and event planner in town is Penzi and who specializes in destination weddings and special events.

Why Tenured Travelers Bypass Mexico’s Beach Resorts And Head Inland

If you only have one week off a year, you are crossing a vacation destination off of your Bucket List, or you hardly ever travel—a beach town or all-inclusive resort might be the way to go. However, tenured travelers often bypass Mexico’s beaches and head inland to San Miguel de Allende and other less populated cities. Here are just a few reasons why.

Bypass Mexico’s Beach Resorts And Head Inland—To San Miguel de Allende-Art

Pueblos Mágicos

Another attraction is the Pueblos Mágicos (magic cities) of which each of the 31 states designates a few. These are often quaint little towns with their own distinct appeal so be sure to check if there is one nearby your primary destination. Yes, San Miguel is one of these cities! Pueblos Mágicos are popular travel destinations for nationals and growing in popularity with international travelers. Some are so small that a day trip is enough to experience a city’s charms but some have enough to see and do that they are perfect as your primary vacation destination.

Bypass Mexico’s Beach Resorts And Head Inland—To San Miguel de Allende-Ruins

Mexico Has Many Great Cities To Choose From

Beaches and palms trees might be the first thing the comes to mind when you think of Mexico, but there is so much more to see and explore. Let your travel goals help decide where to go which might include hobbies such as bird watching, visiting one of the many Mayan or Aztec ruins, heading to a major metropolitan area such as Mexico City or Guanajuato, or visiting a region with the art or food you enjoy most.

 

Bypass Mexico's Beach Resorts-Head Inland To San Miguel de Allende

A True Feel For Local Culture And Customs

The problem with beach resorts and all-inclusives is that you can spend your entire vacation in your resort, leaving feeling as though you were never really in Mexico. Even if your resort serves ‘authentic’ local cuisine, it has undoubtedly been modified to appeal to a mainstream audience—and to be a bit more in line with Mexican food you find overseas. To experience authentic Mexican cuisine you will have to leave the resort.

Even if Airbnb or vacation rentals are more your style, in beach towns you may tire of the constant high-pressure sales pitches and cookie-cutter excursions. By heading inland you will still find plenty of guided tours and activities but without the crowds of tourism. This isn’t to say that you can’t visit a popular tourist destination, but the vibe will be far more relaxed and authentic outside of beach towns. A food tour should be at top of this list. Book your Evening in San Miguel Food Tour early in your vacation so that you can return to your favorite spots!

Bypass Mexico’s Beach Resorts And Head Inland—To San Miguel de Allende-#1 Travel Destination In The World

Why San Miguel de Allende Is So Popular?

For the second year in a row San Miguel de Allende has topped the list of Travel and Leisure Magazine’s top city to travel to. This accolade is awarded by readers who vote on a variety of criteria including culture, cuisine, shopping, friendliness, sights, landmarks, and more. The reasons why our city tops this list include the traditional Spanish Colonial architecture, stunning agriculture, and authentic cuisine, music, and arts. It’s like traveling back in time but with luxury amenities. Not to worry if you aren’t always in the mood for Mexican food as there is a nice mix of international restaurants to choose from. While we don’t have beaches our local foliage is lush green with colorful blossoms perfect for bird watching or a leisurely stroll.

The more you travel the less you will choose tourist traps and will opt for an immersive experience instead. Our city offers the best of both worlds balancing authenticity with the luxury and relaxation you crave while on vacation.

The Best Things To Do In San Miguel de Allende

Not your typical sand and sun Mexican vacation destination, our small Colonia is rapidly growing as a top tourist destination. Wondering what to do when there is no beach in sight? Here are just a few of the top things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

 

The Best Things To Do In San Miguel de Allende - Tuesday Market

Head To The Tuesday Market

There are no shortage of shops in town where you can purchase souvenirs and art, but if you will be in town on a Tuesday be sure to head to The Tianguis de los Martes. This market has a little bit of everything, including produce, fresh seafood, local cheese and honey, authentic pottery, art, woven baskets and rugs, furniture, and more. Located across from the Luciernega mall above town. The market is approximately the size of 3 football fields so it will take you some time to browse the vendors.

The Best Things To Do In San Miguel de Allende - Hot Springs

 

Head To The Hot Springs

The natural hot springs at La Gruda Spa are a must. About $110 pesos to get to by Uber and you can relax in the healing hot waters. One of the things that makes these open-air pools unique is that some areas have vertical water flow where you can enjoy a head and shoulder water massage. If you prefer steam you can do that too at La Gruda, or you can head to the temazcal (sweat lodge) at the Jardin Botanico. Explore the magnificent botanical gardens while you are at it!

The Best Things To Do In San Miguel de Allende - Food Tour

Eat!

What is a trip to Mexico without authentic local cuisine? While there is a nice mix of international food throughout the city you must partake in tasting some of the regional favorites. As a walkable city, you will find restaurants on every main street. This can be a bit overwhelming which is why we suggest that you sign up for a guided food tour to sample some of San Miguel’s culinary gems. Schedule your food tour early in your trip so that you can return to your favorite tasting locations to enjoy more of their menu!

The Best Things To Do In San Miguel de Allende - Live Music

Take In Some Music

Locals have a great love and respect for the art of music and aim to make the city an international music destination. Think beyond mariachi, banda, and street performers—to stunning guitarists, blues, jazz, and tenured classical musicians. Be sure to see if there are any music events or live performances while you are in town. One of the top spots for world-class live concerts is the Festival de Música de Cámara.

Once a sleepy little city we have quickly become one of the favored places to vacation in all of Mexico!

Is Romance On The Agenda? Romantic Spots In San Miguel de Allende

If you will be in San Miguel de Allende for your honeymoon, anniversary, or for a couple’s getaway—head to one of the romantic spots below.

Romatic Spots In San Miguel de Allende -Viñedos La Redonda

Wine Tasting And Dinner At Viñedos La Redonda

If you and your loved one are wine connoisseurs hop a cab, Uber, drive, or tour bus and take a scenic ride to the Viñedos La Redonda winery in Ezequiel Montes. Be sure to check to see if they are hosting any festivals, concerts, or special events.

Romantic Spots In San Miguel de Allende - Couples Massage

Book A Couples Massage

What better way to leave the stress of your daily grind behind than to book a couple’s massage? This is an excellent way to get you in vacation mode. There are several hotels and spas in town that offer couples massage, as well as a multitude of spa treatments.

Romantic Spots In San Miguel de Allende - Brunch

Head To Brunch

No need to reserve brunch for the weekends while on your Mexican vacation, as you can enjoy brunch any day of the week. Spend a slow and easy morning in your hotel or Airbnb then head to one of the many walkable restaurants and cafes. The sky is the limit as you can enjoy an authentic regional brunch, French, American, and Canadian brunch classics.

Romantic Spots In San Miguel de Allende - La Gruda

Relax In Healing Mineral Water

Even if your hotel has a hot tub you must spend at least a few hours in the healing mineral waters at La Gruda. One of the things that make these open-air pools unique is that you can swim to the semi-enclosed caverns, some of which have vertical water flow for a soothing head massage.

Best Vacation Spots In Mexico

Enjoy The Sunset

The sunsets in San Miguel de Allende are spectacular. To really enjoy the view we suggest heading to the boutique hotel Casa de los Angelitos. This is also a romantic place to stay during your visit. At the very least, head there for drinks or dinner—where you will be high enough above the city to view a romantic sunset.

Romantic Spots In San Miguel de Allende

Take A Romantic Stroll

Our city has a nice slow pace and plenty of sights to see. It’s the perfect place to head out and about for a leisurely romantic stroll with no particular agenda in mind. Between our cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and Spanish Colonial architecture you will have plenty to take in. Nature is a priority so everywhere you go you will find stunning greenery and colorful flowers. Or stroll through the local botanical gardens.

Romantic Spots In San Miguel de Allende - Hot Air Balloon Ride

Hot Air Balloon Ride

There are plenty of excursions to choose from in and around town but one of the most romantic things to do is to pop up into a hot air balloon and enjoy a breathtaking sunrise. Breakfast is included, and the entire excursion is about 3 hours, from 6 am to 9 am.

The list goes on, but these are some of the most romantic spots and things to do in San Miguel de Allende.

The Top 3 Cities To Visit In Mexico

Just like the United States and Canada, Mexico is a large and expansive country—offering vacationers many different options in weather, terrain, cuisine, culture, and more. While many of the coastal towns are popular cruise ship ports and tropical vacation destinations, there are a few inland cities that are gaining some serious attention. Below are the top 3 cities to visit in Mexico.

Best Vacation Spots In Mexico - San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende

Every year Travel and Leisure Magazine readers rate the top cities in the world to travel to, rating each city with sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, friendliness, shopping, and overall value. For the second year in a row, San Miguel de Allende tops the list! Readers include the colorful architecture, modern village feel, cobblestone streets, jewelry, art, and an impressive selection of international and regional cuisine as some of the reasons why they love San Miguel. Fly from your hometown into Guanajuato and drive the hour and a half to San Miguel. If you have the time, spend a day or two in Guanajuato and stop at a place or two on your way to and from town.

The Top 3 Cities To Visit In Mexico-Oaxaca City

Oaxaca City

What may come as a shock to some is that none of Mexico’s most popular coastal cities made the top 15, not even fan favorite Puerto Vallarta! Coming in at second place is the capital city of Oaxaca, in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Here you can enjoy both beaches and mountains. One of the unique things about this city’s authentic Spanish Colonial architecture is that many buildings are made from green volcanic stone. As the capital city, the town is rich in culture and history and always has something fun going on.

The Top 3 CitiesTo Visit In Mexico-Mexico City

Mexico City

With over 12 million people Mexico City is a proper and modern city—also the national capital of Mexico. No, you won’t find the charming cobblestone many tourist towns are known for, but you will enjoy a nice mix of both modern and historic Spanish Colonial and Baroque architecture. Considered the New York of Mexico, everything you can do in any major city in the world can be found here. Although a major metropolis there are still plenty of options to enjoy authentic culture, art, cuisine, music, and more.

If you crave culture when you travel add the top 3 inland cities in Mexico to your list. Cities like Mérida and Guadalajara also made the 2018 list of top travel destinations in Mexico.

Why San Miguel de Allende Is One Of The Best Vacation Spots In Mexico

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Mexican vacation? Swimming in the ocean? Lounging on the beach while drinking margaritas? While that is certainly one way you can spend your vacation, Mexico has some fantastic vacation locations that don’t border the beach. Here are just a few reasons why San Miguel de Allende was voted by Travel + Leisure as #1 in the 2017 Top 15 Cities in the World Awards!

Best Vacation Spots In Mexico-San Miguel de Allende

The Perfect Balance

San Miguel has the comfy Bed and Breakfasts, 5-star resort hotels, and boutique hotels that you crave during a luxury getaway—but not for one second will you forget that you are in a city rich in culture and history. The streets are lined with shops selling art and handcrafted goods, live music can be found any day of the week, and the food is beyond compare.  While there are restaurants and cafes that feature the cuisines of the world, you are never more than a few steps away from a restaurant serving authentic Mexican food. From Cochinita Pibl (a local slow-cooked pork), to Oaxacan Black Mole, street tacos you will never forget, homemade Mexican ice cream, gourmet Mexican chocolate—and of course tequila, margaritas, and Mexican spirits.

Best Vacation Spots In Mexico - San Miguel de Allende

The Architecture Will Take Your Breath Away

The combination of 18th century Spanish Colonial architecture, domes, columns, courtyards, cobblestone streets, and the colorful buildings—there is simply nothing that compares to this quaint town. Los Monjas dome, Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church and even the everyday homes and buildings are stunning. Don’t forget to check out the pyramid at Cañada De La Virgen.

Best Vacation Spots In Mexico

Nature Is Everywhere You Look

It’s clear the maintaining the local foliage is a priority. From trees that line many of the streets, to the tropical flowers and plants found in every courtyard, and the fresh cut flowers at the local markets. To really immerse yourself in nature, head to El Charco del Ingenio Jardín Botánico—San Miguel’s botanical gardens. Home to over 500 species of flora, 156 species of birds, 110 species of butterflies, 18 species of reptiles, and more!

These are just a few of the reasons why the central city of San Miguel de Allende has quickly become one of the hottest travel destinations in the world!

San Miguel de Allende’s Mojigangas: Giants Walk Among Us

On any given weekend, visitors and residents in  San Miguel de Allende may happen across a wedding, religious, or just a celebratory procession led by one or more colorful, whimsical mojigangas (pronounced mo-he-gan-gas).    In San Miguel de Allende, these dancing mojigangas lead joyful revelers in a “callejoneada”, or small parade of sorts,  through the cobblestone streets and into the Jardin. It is hard not to be completely enthralled with these amazing SMA icons.

mojiganga

A striking mojiganga adds color and texture to beautiful San Miguel de Allende!

These captivating giant puppets have their roots in the 1600s when the Spaniards brought over their antecedents, Los Gigantes (The Giants).  The original gigantes of Spain were meant to depict the aristocracy and were more symmetrical and resembled a large doll.  In Mexico and some parts of Latin America, these astounding figures took on a more exaggerated form. The enormous decorated heads are burlesque in appearance and made from paper mache while the body is an A-frame structure draped with fanciful garb. Typically, these delightful mojigangas are 15 feet tall. The dancer/puppeteer climbs under the structure (where their feet become the mojiganga’s) and a slight mid-body slit allows them to see.

Mojigangas are intended to be farcical representations of humanity, in all its beauty, whimsy and flaws. They can represent artists, such as Frida Kahlo, some of SMA’s own residents, politicians, Catrinas of the Day of the Dead  and of course, a happy couple. With San Miguel de Allende becoming a top wedding destination in Mexico, bride and groom mojigangas have surged in popularity –  becoming an integral part of wedding celebrations.

We, at Taste of San Miguel Food Tours, love to get caught in the joyful celebrations!