A DAY IN SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE

If you have never been to San Miguel de Allende, you are missing out! This colonial-era city is dazzling with it’s cobblestones streets, colorful houses, beautiful principal plaza (called El Jardin), a stunning neo-Gothic Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel (church)  and stores filled with unique Mexican handicrafts.

I visited this wonderful city with my father and sister on a week long trip around central Mexico. When we first arrived to San Miguel Allende we stopped at the mirador. From there you are able to admire this splendid city. This is the perfect place to take a panoramic picture of the whole city and it’s landscape.

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After we finished taking pictures of the city we headed to Fabrica La Aurora. This was an old textile factory and has now been re-purposed with different art galleries. A beautiful place to visit, with many different artists’ work. We had a great time wandering from gallery to gallery. There is a cafe where you can grab a quick bite and a delicious cafe.

Once we finished walking around  Fabrica La Aurora we headed to the principal plaza of San Miguel de Allende (called El Jardin). All round the plaza you will see restaurants, bars and stores. Right in front of El Jardin you will see the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. The Parroquia has stunning architecture and beautiful altars.  It is a Gothic church made of rose canter. The construction is breathtaking and at night it also looks very impressive. Inside the Parroquia you will find a small chapel called Capilla del Santisimo.

Right next to the Parroquia there is a church called Iglesia San Rafael or Santa Esquela.

There are also other churches near the plaza and we visited two of them. The first church that we visited was Templo de Inmaculada Concepcion de las Monjas. Right outside this church you will see an ice cream stand.  The stand sells many different types of delicious ice cream. My favorite flavor is cajeta, made of sweetened caramelized goat’s milk. (As I type this I am craving and missing the cajeta ice cream.)

The other church that we also visited was the Templo de San Francisco. The facade is pure Churrigueresque with stone figures and fine columns. There is a beautiful plaza in front of the church bustling with activity people also sit on the benches to relax enjoy the day.

We had dinner at La Terraza, it is a restaurant located next to La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel. I think that this place is good if you want to have a drink while relaxing watching the people walk around El Jardin. However,  the service was very slow and the food was poor.

We spend the rest of the day walking around the cobblestones streets of the city while visiting different stores. We also took lots of pictures of indigenous ladies making beautiful flower headbands.

I highly recommend that you visit this wonderful colonial city. There are a lot of things to do and you can also just choose to relax all day sitting on the benches of El Jardin while admiring the different activities going on.

Have you ever been to San Miguel de Allende? If yes, what other places do you recommend?

 

EXPLORE THE CITY OF ETERNAL SPRING

Cuernavaca is know as the “The City of the Eternal Spring” because the temperature is always around 70 degrees. It is an hour drive away from Mexico City. The city is very modern but as you walk through the streets you will see many colorful colonial houses and buildings. There are also many beautiful gardens all throughout the city.

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We visited this beautiful place on our way to Taxco. On our brief stop we walked through the Zocalo of Cuernavaca, saw the Palace of Hernan Cortes, and visited the Cathedral.

The Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary of Cuernavaca

This cathedral is unique in that it does not face the city’s main square like  many cathedrals in Mexico do. Instead, it is located just to the south of the city in its own sealed space. The walls inside the cathedral contain seventeenth century paintings.

 The Palace of Hernan Cortes

This was the former home of Hernan Cortes. It is now the Cauhnáhuac Museum and preserves the state’s history.

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The Zocalo of Cuernava

Walking through the Zocalo of Cuernavaca you will see a a lot of street vendors selling delicious snacks, drinks, and souvenirs.

Have you visited Cuernavaca? If yes, what other places do you recommend? If no, what are you waiting for? Go now.

Visit a Magical Town in Mexico

Taxco de Alarcón is a small city in the state of Guerrero. This place is  named one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Mágicos” (Magical Towns) due to the quality of the silver work, the the surrounding scenery, and the colonial constructions. This city is known to have the best silver in Mexico because it is mined and crafted there. Walking through the cobbled stone streets of Taxco you will see many shops selling silver jewelry and art pieces. It is a very safe city and you will see quite a few tourists walking on the streets. The local people are really sweet and you can buy many items for a great price. If you are planning on buying silver jewelry or silverware please make sure you buy it from a store that gives you a certificate of authenticity. Do not but it from vendors on the streets because that is not real silver, what they are selling you is “Alpacca.” Which is a non-precious bright silvery-grey metal alloy that is made up of copper, zinc, nickel and sometimes iron.

Do not forget to visit the church of Santa Prisca which is located in the middle of the city. The inside of the church will leave you speechless with all of beautiful detail of religious art.

Teotihuacán

Teotihuacán is an hour drive from Mexico City. It is such an amazing place and if you ever visit Mexico City do not miss it. Teotihuacán means “place where gods were born.” There are two pyramids one is called the Pyramid of the Sun and the other one the Pyramid of the Moon. This is a very special place to me because I used to visit this place pretty often when I lived in Mexico. I have a lot of amazing memories from this place. I celebrated my 9th birthday climbing the Pyramid of the Sun because it is believed that once you are on the top of the pyramid you are charge with positive energy.

On our way to the Pyramids we stopped in a little shop/restaurant where they talked to us about the famous Aztec alcoholic drink called “pulque,” a milky drink made from the sap of the agave plant. We even got to try a shot of it. The taste is very strong and sweet. You will just drink a shot of it just how you drink a shot of Tequila with lemon and salt. We also got to see Xoloitzcuintles, which are hairless dogs. They are native to Mexico and it is also Mexico’s national dog. Xoloitzcuintles were considered sacred dogs by the Aztecs because they believed the dogs could safely cross their masters’ souls safely through the underworld.

My mom, sister, and I decided to go visit Teotihuacán before flying back home. I would recommend going early because now it has become such a tourist attraction that it gets pretty crowded by the end of the day. Climbing the pyramids can be very steep, so make sure you take comfortable footwear.