San Miguel De Allende day trips

Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 09:52 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
San Miguel De Allende day trips

I thought I’d do a few trip reports from around the San Miguel area, places that aren’t necessarily ‘off the beaten path’, but maybe somewhat, that might be worth a look. I've purposely left off places like Queretaro, Guanajuato & Dolores Hidalgo since they are frequently visited.
Mineral De Pozos is an easy day trip from San Miguel, about a 45 minute drive. But you’d need to have a car or hire a driver, as there really is no public transportation to the ruins and no taxis in town. I think our first visit there was almost 20 years ago and things have changed considerably. The road from hwy 57 back then was rocky and rutted, it’s now paved with stone. Some of the old buildings near the mines have been restored, and others are now fenced off. But it’s still an interesting place and great for photos. The town itself has experienced an increase in tourism, which has resulted in a number of new shops and restaurants, which is good, but at the expense of some of the rustic charm.
Pozos was the home of 2 major mining concerns. The Cinco Señores hacienda and its ruins are located up on the hill. It was established in the late 1800’s and consisted of a handful of mines. It continued in production until the late 1930’s when the mines were flooded by underground rivers, after which the town was essentially abandoned. At its peak, there were some 50,000 people living and working in the Pozos area. If you enter on the road from highway 57, you enter right by the aforementioned ruins. There is a small fee to enter the ex-hacienda if you’re so inclined, but you can still wander around most of the other buildings for free. The other main hacienda and mine is hacienda Santa Brigida, located down in the valley about 5 miles from 5 Señores. Santa Brigida was established by the Jesuits in the latter part of the 1500’s and was active throughout the 1700’s until Spain kicked them out of Mexico. Some holes were some 250 meters deep. There is a small restaurant on site, and I think entrance was like 50 pesos to the immediate area of the hacienda.
Interestingly, as many times as I’ve been to Pozos, until only recently did I happen upon the iconic ovens which I’d seen often in pictures. I figured they were destroyed, but they’re at the site of the Santa Brigida mine where I’d not been before.
In Pozos, a favorite stop for lunch is at the Posada De Las Minas, a beautifully restored casona with restaurant and boutique hotel lodging.
If you’re able to get to Pozos, you could supplement the trip with a stop in San Luis De La Paz or San Jose Iturbide. Both are pleasant enough towns with lots of activity in their clean colonial centers. It’s an easy enough visit from Queretaro or Dolores Hidalgo as well, just not by public transportation.

Cinco Señores

My wife with an old goat. Besides me. Inside 5 Señores

View from up by 5 Señores

A shop selling indigenous musical instruments

The ovens at Santa Brigida

Hacienda Santa Brigida


Fixer-upper for sale.

Last edited by baldone; Jun 3rd, 2021 at 10:24 AM.
baldone is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2021, 10:56 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the Pozos tip. I am thinking to go to SMA in July -if my wife gives permission and i will surely find my way over there..
Btw... why are e.mail addresses not permitted on posts? I seldom go to this website but i check my e.mail every day.
PopHargon is offline  
Old Jun 14th, 2021, 11:57 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 69,908
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by PopHargon View Post
. . .Btw... why are e.mail addresses not permitted on posts? I seldom go to this website but i check my e.mail every day.
Welcome to Fodors. Email address are allowed but new members are not able to posts links until they have some posting history. So soon you could post your address. However the forums really aren't set up for that sort of interaction - where one posts a question and expects personal e-mail responses. The discussions work better when they play out on the public forums so others can see what advice one is receiving and agree or offer alternatives. In your profile you can set it up to get an e-mail notice from Fodors when there is activity on your threads and those you subscribe to (I'm not 100% sure but I 'think' the default set up is to receive subscribed notifications).
janisj is online now  
Old Jun 15th, 2021, 05:54 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks for that quick answer. i had been using mexconnect for a number of years and found this site. not sure how to use it fully and will probably only visit once or 3 times a year as i plan and make my trips to s.m.a. - as i have since '81.
i will try to post again and see if i can find an answer to my origin query.
thanks again.
p0p
PopHargon is offline  
Old Jun 21st, 2021, 07:40 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Bernal. I wasn’t going to include Bernal since it’s easier to get to from Queretaro than San Miguel, but it’s an easy enough trip and a charming little town, one that truly deserves being a Pueblo Mágico. And we just went there on our way to the Sierra Gorda last week, so it’s fresh on my mind.
The Peña, or monolith, that dominates the landscape in Bernal is considered one of the tallest in the world. Some believe it’s got a mystical ‘energy’; I’m not sure about that, but the town does get its share of new age type visitors. Once a year they have a night (or maybe a weekend) where all the lights are shut off so people can enjoy a night under the stars without light pollution.
There’s a handful of good restaurants, but the town is mostly known for its blue corn gorditas, as well as different varieties of cheese bread. The bread is on the sweeter side with a cream cheese filling. “El Negrito” is very popular for said gorditas, even if the little figure in front of the restaurant would never fly in the US.
To get there from San Miguel you’d either need to first take a bus to the Queretaro central and from there a second class bus. There is no bus station in Bernal, just a stop. It’s not a long walk to centro. For a return trip, you just mosey back to where the bus dropped you off. The only taxis are those little tricycle type things. If you drive your own vehicle, be aware that the toll booth on the outskirts of Queretaro can have awful waiting times so check Google maps for delays. We had a painful hour delay. Alternative routes would either take you through Queretaro on the libre which can often have heavy traffic too. Another alternative route could be the back road (hwy 510) that is quite scenic and there are a couple of wineries on the way.


View of La Peña from town

Colorful corn

The best tequila is...

Cheese bread, que rico

El Negrito

Last edited by baldone; Jun 21st, 2021 at 07:44 PM.
baldone is offline  
Old Jun 22nd, 2021, 05:10 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Good summation of Bernal in this article (just saw it):
https://mexiconewsdaily.com/mexicoli...uiet-delights/
baldone is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2021, 08:57 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 9,503
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
I was looking at your photo of the monolith and thinking it would be very difficult to climb (at least for me), which that following article confirmed. I'd like to visit the town.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Old Jun 25th, 2021, 05:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Climbing the Peña de Bernal was good exercise, a treasured memory from when I did my language courses in Querétaro. I remember one Mexican woman was having fun with me as I was climbing up and said “¡carrera!”; she laughed when I said “¡pero no quiero morir hoy!” (it was steep and one had to watch one’s step). I ended up only hiking for half an hour to about halfway to an observation point as my time in Bernal was part of tour that included a winery, Tequis and a dairy farm. Fradiavolo—most only go vía paths to this observation point about halfway up (I think one needs rock climbing equipment to make it up further).
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2021, 07:19 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
San Miguel Viejo. I’m not sure if this really qualifies as a ‘day trip’ unless you like to walk. Although you could take a taxi. It’s not terribly popular with most visitors except on ATV tours as it probably only appeals to those that enjoy some of the more obscure history of the area rather than the typical touristy stuff in town. But San Miguel Viejo, or old San Miguel, was the original site of the settlement until a better source of water was found. San Miguel’s oldest/first church is there which is the primary (only?) thing of interest. I read where local indigenous were conscripted to build the church. Maybe the bird poop on Fray Juan’s statue is some sort of payback karma? If you like to walk, take Canal down towards the bus station and continue another mile or so until you pass Bodega Aurrera and reach the railroad tracks/train station. Take a left along the tracks; it’s safe. Walk another ¾ mile or so until you reach the sewage treatment plant. Follow the dirt road until you cross the river; there will be some stepping stones or plastic pallets on which to cross. The smell is not from raw sewage, but rather from discharge from the cheese plant. The village itself is pretty rustic and not particularly interesting, although there are a couple of high end homes in the village. If you like to hike, you can see a cross up on the hill to which you can hike for a nice view of the valley and the presa. No specially marked trails, just follow the footpaths.



Bird doo-doo on Fray Juan
baldone is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2021, 06:07 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Comonfort
Is a recently named Pueblo Mágico, just a half hour or so by bus from San Miguel. The bus station is near the city center, and a shortcut to get to the centro takes you right through the local market. IMO, while a pleasant enough town, Comonfort isn’t super magical, but a good day trip to get away from the much more touristy San Miguel. Or on the way to Celaya. (trip report to follow). It does have a small, shady plaza with lots of street food vendors which San Miguel lacks, at least all in one place. It is also known for its production of volcanic stone molcajetes due to the abundance of lava rock/stone in the area. Many examples are sold in nearby markets. A 20 minute walk from the jardin to Calle Ignacio Comonfort are several blocks of typical Mexico crafts, baskets, pottery, rustic furniture, etc plus more food stalls. Comonfort offers a nice slice of small town Mexico life. Sorry, no pics, but there are a number youtube videos.
baldone is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2021, 08:21 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Celaya
Celaya’s most recent notoriety is that it was considered the most dangerous city-wait for it-in the world, not just Mexico. At least according to one of those of lists that somehow keeps track of those things. There was a time a year or so ago where there had been some nasty stuff going on. Lately it’s quieter.
Celaya is not unlike other industrial Mexican cities, whose historic center is obscured by factories, warehouses and the like that ring the city. But the centro is actually quite attractive, not unlike cities like Saltillo, Leon or Aguascalientes, but not as grand as Queretaro or San Luis Potosi. But still worth a visit as a day trip from San Miguel or as a stop en route to Morelia or elsewhere in neighboring Michoacan.
Celaya’s bus station is a bit removed from centro so it’d be a good idea to take a taxi rather than walk. The main plaza is shady and large, and very active. It’s often difficult to find a bench to sit and eat your empanada(s) that you grabbed at Tia Guille just steps from the jardin. Some of the best anywhere. Very flaky and thus messy when eating, but the pigeons love the crust that flakes off as you eat. Wash them down with homemade root beer you got around the corner at La Fuente, a real rarity in Mexico. I’ve never seen soda fountain root beer in Mexico, anywhere, except for in Celaya. All the while you listen to the marimba music that is also a rarity in this part of Mexico. More of a Oaxaca thing. The other popular local treat is cajeta, a caramel like sweet made from goat’s milk. Outstanding over vanilla ice cream.
There isn’t a lot of tourist oriented shopping in centro, which is just fine. There are a few pedestrian walkways with the typical Mexican stores (including a Woolworth’s) where locals go about their daily activities.
There is tiny mummy museum by the municipal cemetery, not near centro. Some of the mummies found in Celaya were moved to Guanajuato’s museum. It’d take all of 2 minutes to see.
We don’t get to Celaya as much as we used to now that we live closer to Queretaro. But we really like the city, and even considered moving there before we opted for Queretaro after we sold our house in San Miguel. It has a bit of a grittier edge, and to be frank, it is not a destination city. But worth a few hours.

Celaya main plaza

Portal near the main plaza

Root beer

Marimba





baldone is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2021, 03:13 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Ruta De Conventos
Consists of 4 cities, Salvatierra, Yuriria, Cuitzeo & Salamanca.
I’ve never been to Salamanca. It has a large Pemex refinery and recently has had some security issues. So I won’t include it in my report. But Salamanca is part of the Ruta De Conventos, and the other 3 are all Pueblo Mágicos. And while the other 3 aren’t necessarily right next door to San Miguel, a long day trip to one or 2 is doable, or on the way to Michoacan.
Salvatierra. Oldest incorporated city in Guanajuato. A short bus ride from Celaya. A Pueblo Mágico. When we were there, both times, the convent wasn’t open. But it’s a smaller, pleasant town, a few nice restaurants, and 100% untouristed by gringos. Not a destination city, but worthwhile as part of a tour of the Ruta or on the way to somewhere else.
Yuriria. It too has Pueblo Mágico status. The main attraction is its fortress-like Ex-convento de San Pablo and view of the lake. If you’re into colonial era construction, then the convent is well worth a visit. Lots of tour buses stop here.
Cuitzeo. This Michoacan town visually is quite different than the aforementioned, with whitewashed walls with red trim. Similar to Patzcuaro. I lost the camera that had my pics of the Santa Maria Magdalena convent, so I swiped a couple from the internet.
Both Yuriria and Cuitzeo are located near lakes, which makes (made?) them quite picturesque. However, in recent years, water levels in both, especially Lago Cuitzeo, have dropped considerably due to drought and irrigation. Hopefully, this year’s rains have alleviated that somewhat. I haven’t been by there in a couple of years.
The end. Of the day trips.

Oddity in Salvatierra

San Pablo Convent, Yuriria


Yuriria

Painted on railing


I think it's a clock?

Cuitzeo

Cuitzeo

Cuitzeo

baldone is offline  
Old Oct 21st, 2021, 06:40 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Baldone,

I was interested to see a report on Celaya, as I'd only heard the negative side of the city. When I studied Spanish in Queretaro, Celaya was not a place Queretanos recommended visiting, so I never went. A Czech fellow at my boarding house worked there if I recollect correctly in something to do with the automobile industry. Nice to hear the centro is attractive. The cajeta reminds me of the Dulces de Bernal, which have the goat milk ingredient also. They sound similar. Anyway, I intended to bring the dulces back for family and friends to try, but out of concern that they could go bad, ended up persuading myself to just eat them myself (they are delicious!). Thanks also for the reports on the Pueblos Magicos Comonfort and the four in the Ruta de Conventos; as much as I've travelled in Mexico, of those, I've only heard of Salvatierra.

Best wishes,

Daniel
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Old Oct 21st, 2021, 06:30 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,463
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
Daniel, when I was doing the report, I was thinking that Celaya would be a city you might appreciate, knowing your tastes. You and I have a similar appreciation for more of the off of the gringo path cities. Like Saltillo, Monterrey, Tampico & Veracruz. One nearby "industrial" city (as I like to describe them) that I did not like, was Irapuato. I did buy a car there, however.
baldone is offline  
Old Oct 22nd, 2021, 09:25 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,326
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your last comment reminds me when I took the bus from Queretaro to Guanajuato back in 2015. I remember hearing on the loudspeaker "aeropuerto! Guanajuato!" for my bus. As the bus had gone a fair distance outside Queretaro, I remember thinking; this is ODD that an airport is so far outside the city. maybe it's the Leon airport? Turns out, the announcement had not said aeropuerto at all, but having never heard of Irapuato, my brain trying to make sense heard 'aeropuerto'. I remember considerable traffic coming into the bus station and thinking that it was a pretty big city for a place I'd never heard of before. We had about a 20 minute layover inside the bus before continuing on to Guanajuato, and considering all I saw was the Irapuato bus station cleaning lady mop the aisles while we waited, I do not count myself as having been to Irapuato.

Daniel_Williams is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
lilla
Mexico & Central America
13
Mar 4th, 2013 07:38 AM
SShprints
Mexico & Central America
18
Aug 16th, 2012 05:19 AM
syd1
Mexico & Central America
4
Mar 23rd, 2005 09:25 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information