3 worthy day trips
santuario de atotonilco
Because it’s so close, this is more of an excursion than a day trip – but whatever you call it, it’s worth the effort. The sleepy village of Atotonilco is approximately six miles from San Miguel de Allende. It is home to one of the holiest shrines in Mexico. The church, known as El Santuario de Atotonilco, is a place of pilgrimage and penitence. People travel from all over the country to pray and meditate there. The exterior is quite modest, but the interior is a work of art.
The outside of the church is simple—a belled dome rising above high pink-gold stone walls. But when you pass through the carved wooden doors, you enter another world entirely—one of fantasms and mythical creatures, flowers, bleeding penitents and gilded baroque virgins, suffering saints and Jesuses. Frescos, gilded altars, sculptures, painted mirrors and murals cover every visible surface in no discernible order or pattern. In fact, it has often been called the Sistine Chapel of the Americas.” Excerpt from ExperienceSanMiguel.com
We recommend hiring the professionals at San Miguel Rent-a-Car as your tour guide. You can schedule your tour through their website.
cañada de la virgen archaeological site and pyramid
Recently opened to the public after more than 10 years of research and development by the National Institute of History and Anthropology, the archaeological site of Cañada de la Virgen is located 25 kilometers west of San Miguel. Occupied by the ancient Otomis between 540 and 1050 A.D., the site is perched on a small mesa surrounded by canyons and includes four patio/pyramid complexes, an ancient artificial pond and a ceremonial causeway. We recommend visiting with Albert T. Coffee, an anthropologist who worked on the pyramid alongside the official INAH investigating team during the 2004 field season, as your guide. You can schedule a tour with Mr. Coffee through Coyote Canyon Adventures on their website. The tour includes transportation from San Miguel and back.
indigenous chapel tour
Taking in the sights along the Indian Chapel Trail is a wonderful way to experience the history and customs that the Otomí communities have preserved over the generations. These communities welcome the general public to their chapels and they are available to share their stories, their cuisine and their crafts. Tours, which are conducted on Saturdays and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., are a very important means of economic support for these communities. You can take this tour by car, horseback, bicycle or ATV. If you are staying in one of our homes, we will be happy to provide you more information.