San Miguel is very centrally located in Mexico, which makes it a perfect base for day trips to fascinating sites and cities throughout the area.
We highly recommend spending a little extra time visiting the many fascinating sites and cities around San Miguel. Whether you have one or four extra days for exploration further afield, check out a few of the options below.
Colonial Guanajuato rivals San Miguel for the title of “Mexico’s Most Beautiful City.” Situated in a picturesque valley surrounded by the Sierra de Guanajuato mountains just 1.5 hours from San Miguel, Guanajuato is filled with dreamy pastel colored houses that seem to tumble down the surrounding hills. Enjoy a variety of interesting sites, including the Diego Rivera Museum, the fascinatingly morbid Mummy Museum, the El Nopal Mine, and the stunning 17th century Basilica. There’s so much to see and do in this city, we recommend staying overnight. Check out recommended accommodation options here.
To reach Guanajuato, consider hiring full-day taxi or a private guide (see Resources section). Alternatively, take a comfortable first class Primera Plus or ETN bus directly from San Miguel for less than $10 each way.
Lovely little Dolores Hidalgo is a small town with a big history: the Mexican Independence movement began here when, in 1810, the legendary priest Miguel Hidalgo rang the church bells and issued the “Grito de Independencia.” Today, you can visit the beautifully preserved Church of the Grito, where the declaration of Independence was made, while the excellent Independence Museum offers an unparalleled glimpse into Mexico’s past.
Interestingly, Dolores Hidalgo is also famous for its fabulous (and bizarre!) ice cream flavor tradition; think: octopus, chili, shrimp, tequila, or avocado…just to name a few! Visit one of the many street vendors along Calle Puebla, or check out Flor de Dolores ice cream shop.
And, as if all of this history and quirkiness weren’t enough – Dolores Hidalgo is also the birthplace of beautiful Talavera tile and ceramics. This iconic tile can is now exported throughout Mexico (and the world!) – but you can visit several factories directly for great prices. Check out Azulejos Talavera Cortés or one of the many shops along Calle Puebla.
Dolores Hidalgo is near many other fabulous sites, so it makes a great stop on your way to or from Cuna de Tierra vineyard, La Gruta Hot Springs or the beautiful Atotonilco Santuario. Check out the itineraries section for suggestions.
Dolores Hidalgo is best reached from San Miguel by taxi (approximately $24 RT).
Quite possibly one of the most mysterious and magical places in Mexico, the ghost town of Pozos was once a viable silver mining town in the late 19th century. Explore abandoned mines, chapels and incredible stone architecture – all in the company of the resident Pozos goats! The surrounding town has been recently revived and is now home to a growing number of quaint art galleries, restaurants, and a few charming hotels.
Pozos is approximately 30 miles from San Migeul; the easiest way to reach the town is by organized tour (see Resources section). Alternatively, consider hiring a private car or taxi for approximately $40-75 total for three to four hours round trip.
Although Querétaro is sometimes maligned as less beautiful than its colonial cousins San Miguel and Guanajuato, the city’s stunning, UNESCO world heritage recognized Centro is filled with clean pathways, a stunningly well-preserved aqueduct, lovely colonial architecture, high-end boutique hotels, lively green plazas, and fascinating cathedrals.
However, the one of the most appealing reasons to visit Querétaro is its proximity to many excellent natural and historical sites nearby. Check out the Peña de Bernal – the second largest freestanding monolith in the world, or hike to plunging waterfalls or verdant canyons with EXXI Mexico. Alternatively, take a quick trip to colonial, cobblestoned Tequisquiapan to enjoy a relaxing dip in the local thermal springs, or an adventurous peek into the local opal mines. Tequisquiapan is also famous for its cheese – visit the Vaca Feliz (Happy Cow) for a seriously delicious afternoon break.
Additionally, the Querétaro area has a prominent wine-producing tradition, specializing in sparkling wines. Most vineyards in the region are found at an altitude of 6,500 feet (2,000 meters); the most well-known winery in the region is the famous Freixenet, though La Redonda winery and La Hondonada Ranch are also highly recommended wine destinations.
With so much to do in the Querétaro area, consider staying overnight at one of these recommended hotels.
Querétaro is approximately 1 hour from San Miguel, and can be easily reached by taxi – expect to spend around $25-35 US each way.