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10 Fascinating Things to Do in San Miguel de Allende

Feb 23, 2024

With its vibrant culture and stunning colonial architecture, San Miguel de Allende is a canvas of unique experiences waiting to be discovered. Take a look at a list of 10 distinctive things to do while you visit our new property, Pueblo Bonito Vantage San Miguel de Allende, slated to open in August. 

Parades for All Occasions
A vibrant, colorful tradition that transforms San Miguel de Allende’s famously narrow cobblestone streets into stages for night-time parades, callejoneadas are a festive way to experience the city’s rich cultural heritage. Led by local musicians and performers dressed in period costumes, these walking and dancing processions wind through the historic district, where spectators are treated to stories, songs, and the occasional sip of local spirits. It’s an experience that offers a distinct sense of place in a world that’s become increasingly uniform.

The Puppets Take San Miguel de Allende
An extraordinary spectacle of giant, colorful puppets that tower above the delighted crowds during festivals and celebrations, mojingas are supersized handcrafted papier-mâché puppets creations, often reaching heights of up to 15 feet. Characters ranging from brides and grooms to fantastical creatures are paraded through the streets dressed in vibrant, elaborate costumes that reflect the joy and creativity of Mexican folk art. If you’re in town for a celebration, make sure you look out for one of these.     

The Door to a Fresh Start
This carefully restored property combines historic elegance with modern luxury, offering visitors an immersive glimpse into the San Miguel de Allende’s exquisite colonial architecture and rich heritage. Casa Proserpina—which translates to the House of Spring in Latin—features a traditional double door, whose rich brown tones, wood grain, and iron studs make the perfect canvas for the decorative details that are added to suit the occasion. Stop by to take a selfie.

Everybody Get Loco
Each summer, on the first Sunday after June 13, thousands descend upon the streets of San Miguel de Allende for one of the city’s oldest, most popular, and most highly anticipated festivals. Parades of locals dressed in wildly imaginative costumes showcase the town’s more playful side as they march, dance, and rock the town in celebration of San Antonio de Padua, patron saint of lost items. Wear your wildest outfit and indulge in a little madness.

Remembering Los Muertos
After Disney’s Coco, the world is more familiar with the marigolds, ofrendas, papel picado banners, and skeletally beautiful catrinas that signal the coming of Día de los Muertos. An enchanting and deeply spiritual celebration, the town honors its departed loved ones with vibrant altars and richly decorated cemetery plots adorned with gold flowers, photographs, and favorite foods of the deceased. On November 1st and 2nd, these are set up throughout the city, and the living hold candlelit processions that promote a serene but festive atmosphere. It is a profound expression of love, memory, cultural identity, and, above all, life.

Through the Grapevine

The countryside around San Miguel de Allende is dotted with local vineyards, offering a delightful escape into the untapped world of Mexican wine. These estates combine traditional techniques with innovative approaches to winemaking, producing exquisite varieties that reflect the region's rich terroir. Wine enthusiasts can indulge in tastings and tours, experiencing the flavors and stories of each vineyard, set against the backdrop of stunning landscapes.

An Artistic Community
Since the mid-1900s, San Miguel de Allende has been a beacon for artists and creatives, drawn by its stunning light, colonial architecture, and vibrant local culture. Chicago art student Stirling Dickinson took one look at the place and stayed, establishing the Bellas Artes and the Instituto Allende. Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera all lived and worked in the city. Rivera’s childhood home is now a museum. Beat Generation poet Neal Cassady also lived in this thriving artistic community. The legacy of this creative explosion continues today, making this dynamic destination a hub of creativity, with galleries, workshops, and art schools.

An Intangible Treasure
San Miguel de Allende was declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2008. Its narrow cobblestone streets and the Mexican Colonial architecture bathed in intense blues and ochres have become emblematic of the city’s unique character. Standing in contrast, the pink walls of the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel are part of a religious marvel inspired by European Gothic cathedrals. But the city’s cultural contribution to humanity goes beyond the structural. From the culinary and artistic to the vibrant fabric of its diverse population, this city is a gift.

Go People-Watching
Head to El Jardín, the town plaza where watching the people go by is a time-honored tradition practiced by locals, visitors, and expats. The park is a lively kaleidoscope of passing school kids, families, and street vendors. Spend a tranquil day at the park and watch the world go by before heading to dinner at some of the best restaurants in the country.

Take It Outdoors
The outskirts of San Miguel de Allende offer a treasure trove of outdoor activities set against a backdrop of rolling hills and clear blue skies blessed by a semi-arid dry climate. Adventure seekers can explore the rugged beauty of the landscape on horseback, follow winding trails on mountain bikes, or hike through the countryside dotted with wildflowers and ancient cacti. For a more leisurely experience, hot air balloon rides at dawn provide breathtaking views of this historic region, while nearby thermal springs offer a perfect setting to relax after a day of exploration.

Explore Pueblo Bonito Vantage San Miguel de Allende and begin planning a unique travel experience that’s full of character.