As a nomad, I constantly find myself at odds with both wanting to stay in a community to immerse myself more fully, and wanting to keep moving to the next place. It’s kind of a dilemma!
Case in point: in January and early February 2022, I decided to stay put longer than usual because I felt so dang comfortable in San Miguel Allende — five weeks. And I definitely made the rounds all around town!
Since most people don’t have the luxury of a 5-week vacation, don’t worry — I’ve condensed my favorite activities down for you. And because I am traveling Mexico with my dog, I’ve noted which are dog-friendly. Enjoy one of my favorite cities!
But first, when to go to San Miguel de Allende? In Jan/Feb, it was pleasant and temperate by day, cool or chilly at night. Because San Miguel de Allende has an elevation of 6,135 feet (1,900 meters) — a daytime 50 degrees feels more like 60 and 60 like 70 — I think because you’re closer to the sun. Layers are your friend!
SMA Day #1: Thursday
The Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel and the nearby Jardín Allende are the hallmarks of San Miguel de Allende’s centro, and are bustling both at day and by night. Stroll the cobbled streets, grab a bite (Sabroso Taqueria has amazing nachos), and after dinner, try Thursday night karaoke at Mama Mia starting around 9 p.m. Songs are available in both Spanish and English, and you better believe I was up there a few times during my stay! (Don’t want to sing? Go for the show and the energy!)
SMA Day #2: Friday
About 20 minutes outside the city by car is Atotonilco, home to a historic church and courtyard dubbed “The Sistine Chapel of Mexico” due to its extensive murals inside. Grab a bite at the food stalls down the main drag, and pick up some handicrafts — then visit upscale La Gruta Spa to relax and rejuvenate for your Friday night out back in town — Tupi Rooftop 33 has a highly entertaining drag show starting around 10 p.m. If something more chill is your vibe, Polp SMA is a great option too with cocktails and a DJ.
SMA Day #3: Saturday
You’d be remiss to miss all the amazing murals painted across San Miguel de Allende’s colonias — many of which are outside “El Centro.” So fuel up with the rainbow smoothie at pet-friendly gourmet grocery store and cafe Luna de Queso, and hit the streets! Hire a guide for the art walk or follow my self-guided walk from my earlier piece, 13 of My Favorite Street Art Murals in San Miguel de Allende.
SMA Day #4: Sunday
I love me a good brunch, and in San Miguel, Rustica and Silveyra’s were two fantastic breakfast spots I visited that are both dog-friendly and delicious. The flat white latte at Rustica comes with a biscotti (love me a little sweet with my caffeine) and both the breakfast sandwich and frittata are awesome. At Silveyra’s, I loved the daily fruit-infused agua, the club sandwich, and the omelet. (Good luck choosing — everything on each menu sounds so good!) And because Sundays are for church and wine (obvi), head over to Hacienda San José Lavista viñedo (must call ahead) for Sunday funday and walking the beautiful grounds, which include an old church — it’s about a 20 minutes’ drive out of town.
SMA Day #5: Monday
The horseback ride with Coyote Canyon Adventures was one of my favorite excursions in San Miguel de Allende, and it also includes an authentic ranch-hand meal! Highly recommend.
SMA Day #6: Tuesday
The botanical garden of San Miguel, Charco del Ingenio, features a network of trails and beautiful indigenous desert plants and landscapes. Since it’s an uphill walk from town, driving is recommended, and unfortunately, it’s not dog-friendly. After your morning hike, head over to Fábrica de Aurora for awe-inspiring sights of another variety (man-made). If you fancy a quick, delicious, and affordable burrito, check out Mamá Mela.
SMA Day #7: Wednesday
Archaeology and history buffs, this one’s for you! About 20 minutes outside of San Miguel lies the visitor center for Cañada De La Virgen, an ancient pre-Aztec, pre-Hispanic pyramid. You must have a guide to get to the actual ruins (a ways away from the visitor’s center), so I recommend Albert Coffee Tours — he was actually one of the excavators of the site and the foremost expert of the area. After the tour, grab some dinner and finish up the night salsa dancing to the live band at El Faro.
Well there you have it — a one week travel itinerary in San Miguel de Allende! Is there anything else I should add to this list?
To see even more experiences in San Miguel de Allende, check out my “Story Highlights” on Instagram… and enjoy!