San Miguel Excursions

Eventbrite - 8th Annual San Miguel Writers' Conference & Literary Festival Individual Ticket Events

Historic Walking Tour of San Miguel: $15 usd

Two and a half hours. A great way to explore the city given its rich colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and fascinating history.

Wednesday, February 13 — 10 AM or Monday, February 18 — 10 AM

Meet in front of the Parroquia – cathedral-like church – in the main square downtown.

A well-informed guide, passionate about the extraordinary history of San Miguel, will walk you through San Miguel’s glorious past, showing you historic buildings, former convents, churches, markets, and homes. You will learn surprising historic facts, hear stories and “urban legends,” and meet some of San Miguel’s famous personalities. The tour, which includes an in-depth look at the interior of the Parroquia (parish church), will last between two and three hours, covering a ten-block area.

                                                                                                                  

Tour of Elegant Restored Colonial Homes in Downtown: $10 usd

Two and a half hours. Go behind some of San Miguel’s famous doors to tour the astonishing interiors of these grand residencies. The gardens alone will take your breath away!

Wednesday, February 13  — 1:00 PM OR Monday, February 18 — 10:00 AM

Meet in front of the Parroquia – cathedral-like church – in the main square downtown.

Most of central San Miguel was built in the early-to mid-1700s, when the town thrived as a way station along the silver route; midway between the between the silver mines of the north and Mexico City. Lavish homes were built by wealthy merchants. In other towns in Mexico, these gorgeous homes were destroyed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but because of a series of lucky circumstances, virtually the entire town has been preserved in San Miguel.

When San Miguel became a colony for the arts in the late 1940s, individuals began to purchase and restore old mansions (as well as secular and religious buildings) and convert them to impressive private homes. Several families have graciously offered to give us an inside view of their restored colonial homes

                                                                                                 

Bus trip to Atotonilco: $10 usd

Three hours. Enjoy one of two options in this nearby historic town.

Offered only once:

Monday, February 18 — 10 AM; Meet at the front door of Real de Minas Hotel to board the bus.

Excursion Option #1:

Historic Church: “The Sistine of Mexico”: A World Heritage Site AND Galeria Atotonilco – The Best of Mexican Folk Art

OR

Excursion Option #2:

La Gruta Hot Springs  (Separate 90 pesos admission, payable at the door.

Details:

Excursion Option #1:

Historic Church: “The Sistine of Mexico”: A World Heritage Site AND Galeria Atotonilco – The Best of Mexican Folk Art

The Atontonilco sanctuary is not a huge, spectacular cathedral, but a simple country church, with extraordinary paintings. The walls and ceilings of the interior are nearly entirely covered in mural work, sculpture, inscriptions and oil paintings in a style called Mexican folk Baroque, although indigenous influence can be seen.  This mural work has led the complex to be called the “Sistine Chapel of the Americas”.

UNESCO long ago identified the sanctuary as an important World Monument and, ten years ago, allocated funds to restore the paintings. Restoration is now complete. The church also played an important role in Mexico’s war of independence from Spain, which began in 1810.

AND

Galeria Atotonilco:  A 3000 sq. ft. showroom of the best of Mexican Folk Art, country antique furniture, vintage serapes and other textiles, and historic photographs. Voted “The Best Gallery in San Miguel” de Allende, for the second year in a row.

Galeria Atotonilco houses one of the finest collections of folk art in Mexico, in a gorgeous country setting in a much-published, architecturally interesting building. The owner, former ceramic artist Mayer Shacter, travels all over Mexico to find the best artists working today, and then he buys their finest work. Mayer will give a short talk about the history, importance, and variety of Mexican folk art, and then give you the opportunity to view his breathtaking collection of paper Mache, wood carvings, ceramics, yarn paintings, weavings, and more.

OR

Excursion Option #2:

La Gruta Hot Springs  (Separate 90 pesos admission, payable at the door.)
Bring a towel, wear a swim suit, prepare to totally relax! Gardens, restaurant, 3 pools (from hot to tepid swimming), massage available, and the famous “source water cave”.

If you are longing to luxuriate in the San Miguel’s famous hot springs, you will have two hours to do just that. La Gruta Spa’s has several pools including one that takes you through a mysterious tunnel to a cave where you can situate yourself under the forceful stream of water pouring from the cave wall for a reviving shoulder-and-back massage or simply soak in the soothing warm waters.  Relax and enjoy! An informal restaurant serves drinks and snacks delivered right to your lounge chair!

                                                                                                                              

Cañada de la Virgin Ancient Pyramid: $35 usd

Three hours. Visit one of Mexico’s historic pyramids with a fully guided tour.

Wednesday, February 13  — 10 AM

Board the bus at the front door of Real de Minas Hotel.

The ancient pyramid closest to San Miguel, only about twenty minutes from town, has only recently been excavated and open to the public for only a year. It is such an important site that it has caused archeologists to consider revising what they previously thought was the northern boundary of the historic area called “Mesoamerica.”

A guided tour will tell you the amazing history of the area, explain the uses of the buildings, describe the people who built and inhabited the pyramid over 1000 years ago, and reveal the religious and historic significance of the structures. The ancient peoples were astonishing astronomers. The lecture includes an explanation of the Mayan calendar and the significance of the December 21, 2012 date.

                                                                                                                            

Dinner Excursion: $25usd

One and a half or two hours. Traditional Mexican Dinner Excursion.

Thursday, February 14  — 7:45 PM, following Luis Urrea’s keynote address. Fifteen minute walk or five minute taxi ride from the hotel.

If you’re new to the Writers’ Conference this dinner excursion is a great way to meet other writers on your first evening in San Miguel.  Bugambilia is a traditional Mexican restaurant with indoor and courtyard seating in the center of town.  Famous for its chiles en nogada, this establishment is loved by locals and tourists alike.  For our evening there will be a set menu including appetizer, entrée, and non-alcoholic beverage.  Vegetarian option available.

Enjoy a fixed price dinner with other Conference attendees at the very first restaurant in San Miguel, founded in the 1930′s. More information here.

                                                                                                                         

Cantina Crawl: “Beat” Afternoon in San Miguel’s Old Cantinas: $15 USD

February 15th and 16th  from 3:30 to 5:30: Meets in the Jardin on the Parroquia side.

Come out for an afternoon of walking through the sun-drenched streets of San Miguel and visiting three of the oldest cantinas in town.  Learn the history of these old taverns and the writers who frequented them.

Sit at the bar while actors portraying Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and others entertain you.  Tours are limited to 25 people.

Each participant receives a commemorative cup, one drink, and a fun filled afternoon visiting some of the most memorable drinking establishments in San Miguel.

Eventbrite - 8th Annual San Miguel Writers' Conference & Literary Festival Individual Ticket Events