One of the best ways to explore a new place is to try local favorites. It is a way to find areas of interest that are a little more quirky or off the beaten path from common tourist attractions.
Here are 5 local favorite attractions in San Miguel de Allende that you should absolutely check out when you’re in town.
El Charco del Ingenio
The El Charco del Ingenio Jardin Botanico is a free, family friendly ecological preserve and botanical garden. It is the largest in Mexico.
It is home to hundreds of rare and endangered species, cacti, and succulents. It boasts walking paths, steam baths, and picnic areas. It also has a cafe, shop, nursery, and greenhouse for guests to enjoy.
La Gruta Spa
Another local favorite is the
La Gruta Spa. La Gruta has open air pools and a grotto.
Hot water rains down from natural hot springs for a relaxing water massage of your head and shoulders. The spa offers a massage wing and aromatherapy to further your relaxation.
You can lounge by the pools and enjoy food from the restaurants or juice bar. It also offers a boutique for shopping and a small lap pool.
Mercado de Artesanías
For more shopping, the Saturday organic market is a San Miguel institution.
Open from 9am -4:30 pm on Saturdays, it showcases a wide variety of local goods. You can find organic produce, crafts, chocolates, and baked goods. Vendors also sell cheeses, jams, ghee, and fresh fish.
There is also a variety of food stands to choose from. Get the best the area has to offer in one place. It is easy to see why it’s a local favorite.
Sanctuary of Jesus de Nazareno de Atotonilco
Nine miles from San Miguel is the Sanctuary of Jesus de Nazareno de Atotonilco. It was designated a UNESCO cultural heritage site in 2009.
The fortified city is from the 16th century and the church from the 19th century.
The main feature is a Mexican Baroque mural in the main nave and chapels. This mural work has earned it the nickname of “The Sistine Chapel of Mexico”. It depicts the ministry and death of Jesus according to the gospels.
It is still an active place of worship and on important days you can find a flea market and food stands.
La Azotea Bar
La Azotea is a popular bar for the area expats. You can find new locals from all over the world and enjoy a drink on their large rooftop terrace among the palm trees.
This place is not easy to find, because there is no sign for it. How can that be? A waiter inside will tell you, “We want to keep enough room in here for our regulars and by having a sign, it might bring in too many people.” Trust us, go eat during a sunset and you will not regret it.
Planning your trip around a local festival is a good way to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of this town that loves to party. You can find festivals dedicated to jazz and storytelling, music, or traditional Mexican holidays.
Dia de los Locos, or Day of the Crazies is held on the Sunday closest to June 13th and boasts a huge parade. People dress up in crazy costumes for the festival.
Mexican Independence day is celebrated mid September with the celebration of the city’s patron saint, Saint Michael the Archangel celebrated shortly after, It boasts spectacular performances with a parade of large dancing puppets and singing and dancing in the streets. Be sure to plan ahead if you choose to visit during this time.