Join us in Conde Nast Traveler’s #1 Travel Destination in the World and a Stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Miguel De Allende!
Monday October 28th – Sunday November 3rd 2019
7 Days & 6 Nights
San Miguel De Allende is the most beguiling city in Latin America.
Our Day by Day Itinerary
DAY 1: MONDAY, OCTOBER 28; ARRIVE IN SAN MIGUEL * DINNER AT LA PARADA
Depart your hometown for the flight to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Upon arrival transfers will be provided from Leon/Guanajuato Airport (BJX) or Querétaro (QRO) airport to San Miguel. You’ll check into the charming Casa Calderoni in the historic center of San Miguel, just three blocks from the main square. Address: Callejon Pueblito 4-A, Centro. Spend the afternoon acclimating or stepping out for a quick bite to eat. There’s a terrific coffee shop just across the street. This evening we’ll get to know one another over dinner at local favorite, La Parada. (D)
Our week-long NextTribe trip to San Miguel was like Girl Scout Camp for grown-ups, but with margaritas instead of cookies. —Ellen Williams, New York City
DAY 2: TUESDAY, OCTOBER 29; WALKING TOUR AND LUNCH; SHOPPING; DRINKS AT A PRIVATE HOME
After breakfast at the inn, included daily, you’ll meet your private guide in the main square (jardin) to enjoy an informative, two-hour tour of the historic center. Your guide, one of the town’s most noted historians and best-loved guides, grew up in San Miguel in a large family. She will give you a great insider’s view of a very different life in colonial Mexico just two decades ago.
Afterwards we’ll have lunch together at the lovely rooftop restaurant La Posadita. This local favorite has 180-degree views including the stone facade of the iconic Parroquoia church across the street. It also boasts one of the best margaritas in town so relax with some fresh guacamole and a drink while you soak in the views.
After lunch, Jeannie Ralston, Next Tribe co-founder and editor, will take you on a shopping tour of the town. Jeannie lived in San Miguel for four years and has written about the town for many publications, including the New York Times. She’ll take you to her favorite stores and to the Mercado de Artesanias, a collection of stands displaying tin mirrors, hand-woven shawls, embroidered linens, hand-painted pottery and the latest folk-art trends. The market continues outside to tiny shops showcasing their wares by the front door. Look for the shop with oilcloth bags as you exit the market at Calle Loreto―inside you’ll find placemats, cosmetic cases, and other clever items made from colorful Mexican oilcloth. This evening you’ll get a chance to peek behind one of those magical doors of San Miguel when we enjoy cocktails and canapés at a private home. We will be joined by some of San Miguel’s artists, women our age who are living a creative life in this lovely town. (B, L, cocktails)
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 30 VISIT TO CHARCO INGENIO BOTANICAL GARDENS * LUNCH AT EL PEGASO* CATRINA PARADE AT FABRICA AURORA * DRINKS AT ROOFTOP BAR
You’ll be picked up after breakfast by your driver and taken to the botanical gardens at the top of town. Here you’ll enjoy a guided tour and lecture by one of the garden volunteers. Located in the heart of the central highlands of Mexico, at the highest point of San Miguel de Allende, El Charco del Ingenio Botanical Garden includes over 170 acres of nature preserve and indigenous plants. An extraordinary natural monument, its name comes from a legendary spring-fed pool nestled in an impressive canyon spotted by historic vestiges. An old reservoir extends on wetlands frequented by birds and surrounded by vast slopes of native scrubland. This is the scene of the Botanical Garden, devoted to the preservation of this area and its biodiversity, as well as a remarkable botanical collection of cacti and other succulent Mexican plants. After the approximately two-hour walking tour we’ll be dropped off at the main square for lunch at El Pegaso, a local’s favorite.
This afternoon we will visit the Mask Museum, which is in a private home. You’ll view an enormous collection of ceremonial masks from around Mexico. The remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure. Drinks at a rooftop bar with a lovely view of all of San Miguel, an ideal perch at sunset. Dinner suggestion: Beautiful, airy La Parada, where Leche de tigre figures prominently on the menu. That’s a citrus concoction that “cooks” the unusual ceviches (fish, corn, and sweet potatoes, for instance) at this popular bistro, owned by Peruvian Cordon-Bleu- trained chef and her partner. Also memorable are the pork ribs and the gnocchi with shrimp and pecans, and don’t leave without a pisco mojito.There will be activities in the jardin this evening to kick off Day of the Dead. For those who still have energy, finish the evening with a night cap just down the street at El Manantial, which retains the hole-in-the-wall look of a cantina. (B, L cocktails)
I didn’t know anyone else going on this trip, but I quickly made new friends and learned some things about myself. It was a great adventure. —Beth Woods, Austin, TX
DAY 4: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 31; LA GRUTA HOT SPRINGS AND ATONTONILCO, PLUS DAY OF THE DEAD ACTIVITIES
After a leisurely morning, you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to one of the fabulous hot springs that surrounds San Miguel. La Gruta is the most famous of all the resorts and offers green leafy grounds and several pools. Swim through a man-made tunnel into a large domed room. At intervals through out the day, hot water straight from the ground pours into the room. The highlight is getting to stand under the powerful stream. It’s heavenly. Eat lunch at La Gruta (and book a massage if you’d like). In mid-afternoon, we’ll visit the nearby town of Atontonilco. Baroque Mexican churches are not unusual, but the 250- year-old Santuario de Atotonilco is over-the-top ornate, a dizzying visual cacophony. Nearly every inch of wall and ceiling space is filled with detailed Biblical scenes and passages, which is why the church is known as Mexico’s Sistine Chapel and was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. The sanctuary is also a pilgrimage site for penitents, who self-flagellate to atone for sins. Note the rope flails sold by vendors outside the church.
Dinner suggestion: The special four-course tasting menu at Aperi, a gourmand’s paradise set in an intimate courtyard of a boutique hotel converted from several adjoining town homes. This extraordinary restaurant in San Miguel’s historic district was voted ”Best New Restaurant” and Best Hotel Restaurant” by Travel & Leisure’s Gourmet Awards in 2015. Aperi, Latin for “open,” perfectly describes the restaurant’s vision and concept, featuring a unique culinary experience, prepared with the region’s freshest ingredients and the passion that characterizes chef Matteo Salas. (B, L)
DAY 5: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 1; FREE DAY FOR EXPLORING OR FINISHING YOUR SHOPPING
Last year, our guests asked for a free day to visit other sites and shops we hadn’t had time for on our schedule. Dinner tonight is The Restaurant, the most elegant dining venue in town. Its outdoor courtyard is stunning with a rose-filled fountain, handcrafted chandeliers, and often, live music. This is a fitting send off to a magical week in San Miguel. (B,D)
DAY 6: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2; DAY OF THE DEAD ACTIVITIES. GUIDE WILL TAKE YOU TO CEMETERIES.
Today the town is alive with more activity. A guide will pick you up and take you through the streets to view shrines set up in private homes now open to visitors, in businesses and restaurants and in Parque Juarez, where you’ll find art installations specific to Day of the Dead. Many will make the walk to the local cemetery to watch families decorate the graves of loved ones with their favorite foods and possessions. Mariachi bands, solo guitarists, child singers and more will stroll through the grounds performing at the grave sites of departed relatives. With thousands of flowers decorating hundreds of graves, the cemetery and the rituals seen there will leave an indelible impression upon you and this visit to San Miguel.
Lunch is on your own. We suggest Rincon de Don Tomas, on the southeast corner of the jardin under the portico. With great people watching, spectacular views to the church and the best guacamole and margarita in town. For organic salads, herbal teas and delicious homemade soups try the lovely La Lavanda Cafe, Hernandez Macias 87. It’s a huge favorite with locals! This evening we’ll go to the Jardin around 6:30pm to watch the parade of costumed, painted catrinas as they march through the city and end up in front of the main church. A staple of Day of the Dead activities, this parade highlights the playful nature of Mexican as they laugh at death, and the willingness of the ex-pat community to be absorbed in local rituals. You might enjoy a late dinner at the modern, sleek Cumpanio, which by day is one of the best bakery/bread shops in town. Just off the jardin, this is the perfect place to retire to after the festivities in the main square. (B, tour)
DAY 7: SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3; DEPART SAN MIGUEL
After breakfast we will return you to the airport for your homeward flights. Return transfers to León and Querétaro Airports are provided.
Accommodation for 6 nights at Casa Calderoni
Daily breakfast * Welcome cocktails and dinner on arrival day * Two-hour guided walking tour of historic center * Shopping tour * Lunch at La Posadita * Cocktail reception at private home * Lunch at El Pegaso * Lunch at La Gruta* Drinks at La Azotea* Farewell dinner at The Restaurant
Entrance into the Botanical Gardens and guided 2-hour walking tour * Entrance to La Gruta Hot Springs and Atotonilco Church * Entrance to Mask Museum * Guided tour of two cemeteries * All transportation as required by the itinerary * Roundtrip transfers from León or Querétaro Airport to hotel* Detailed notes with restaurant, shopping, sightseeing instructions
Price per person:
$1595, double occupancy
Single supplement: $350
Limited to 20 people.
Save your space with a $300 non-refundable deposit.
Questions? Join our San Miguel Trip Facebook group or email info@NextTribe.com.
FLIGHT ARRANGEMENTS: Roundtrip airport transfers by shuttle are provided from Leon/Guanajuato (BJX) and Querétaro (QRO) Airports. There are two airports that service San Miguel: Querétaro (QRO) and León/Guanajuato (BJX). Querétaro is about one hour from town; Leon is about an hour and a half. I prefer flying into QRO as the ride to town is a bit easier—it’s more on a highway and less in the countryside. However there are generally more flights in and out of Leon. United, Delta and American Airlines service these two cities.
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