San Miguel de Allende and the Heartland Feature

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Top Reasons to Go

Experiencing modern life amid colonial grandeur: The Heartland's cities preserve the best of colonial Mexico, but they're not stuck in the past. All of the cities except Pátzcuaro appear on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites. Each has its own personality, restaurant scene, nightlife, and classic zócalo, usually anchored by a grand colonial church.

Enjoying the outdoors: The region's near-perfect weather, along with its farmland, hills, lakes, and river valleys afford many opportunities for day hikes, riding, mountain biking, or just sitting and soaking up the sun in one of the region's many hot springs.

A calendar full of festivals: From jazz in San Miguel de Allende to Pátzcuaro's elaborate Day of the Dead celebration, they're always partying somewhere.

Staying in a hacienda: Colonial mansions with gracious courtyards are ubiquitous in the Heartland's cities, and many have been restored into gorgeous hotels, where you can fall asleep to the strumming of guitars in a nearby plaza.

The chance to see millions of butterflies: Monarchs migrate to the Santuario de Mariposas el Rosario, 115 km (71 mi) east of Morelia, between November and March. The pine forest, layered with orange-and-black butterflies, looks as if it's on fire.

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