New “Must-Do’s” in San Miguel

September 15, 2011

Filed under: In and Around San Miguel — Annie @ 7:15 pm

Temporary residents, repeat visitors and first-timers alike all will want to add these activities to their list of “Must-Do’s” while spending time in San Miguel de Allende:

1) Climb up the ancient pyramid at the newly opened  Cañada de la Virgen archeological site.

While you can cab to this fascinating pre-Hispanic pyramid about 30 min southwest of town to explore on your own for less cost, the absolutely best way to visit the site is to join a guided tour with archeologist Albert Coffee.  Albert’s tour, lasting about 4 hours including transportation to/from the site, costs $40 USD per person.  Now a San Miguel resident, Albert was the only U.S. archeologist who was invited to participate in the official government excavation and restoration of the pyramid, and he offers an entertaining and insightful treasure trove of historical/geographical/anthropological facts about the ruin.  You can contact Albert directly to ask about tour times.  His local phone in San Miguel is:  415-102-5583.  You also can send him an e-mail at:   NOTE:  To preserve the natural landscape, cars are not allowed near the archeological zone.  Visitors must hike about 3 km up a gradual slope to reach the pyramid, so this tour is for able walkers wearing comfortable shoes!  Be sure to bring a hat and some water, too.

2) Shop for local organic produce at the Saturday organic farmer’s market.

Since the spring of 2011, local farmers have displayed their organic lettuces, tomatoes, squash and herbs in booths set up in the southwest corner of the Rosewood/Artesana complex during a Saturday morning outdoor market.  A couple of booths also sell artisanal cheeses and wild honey.  In addition, you can sample freshly made gorditas and other Mexican snacks served at simple food stalls.  It’s good to show up early, around 9:30 am, for the best selection.  Enter the Rosewood/Artesana property from Ancha de San Antonio, near the intersection with Codo.

3) Take in the incredible city view from the rooftop Luna Bar at the Rosewood Hotel.

No doubt about it, the expansive panorama from the Luna Bar is now the best view in town.  The town appears to embrace you from this vantage point, which also is our top choice for your sunset cocktail hour.  From the hotel’s main entrance on Calle Nemesio Diaz (formerly also known as Calle Nueva and Paseo del Parque), take the elevator to the roof terrace on the third floor.  Drinks and tasty tapas are understandably pricey in this elegant locale, which opened to the public in February 2011.

4) Visit the “Museo la Esquina”, San Miguel’s unique Mexican toy museum.

This fanciful collection of Mexican folkart and toys represents the personal private collection of Angelica Tijerina, gathered over the past 30 years from her travels throughout Mexico.  Housed in a renovated old “casona” at the corner of Nunez and San Francisco, the toy museum is open Wed – Sat from 10 am to 6 pm and on Sun from 10 am to 3 pm.  General admission is 30 pesos.  You also can check out the museum’s website at:

5) Sample fresh artisanal local breads at the gourmet bakeries in town.

Call it part of the Mexican slow-food movement or a new appreciation for fine baking, but there seems to be a bevy of new bakers in San Miguel.  While the best place for pastries is still Chef Paco Cardenas’ Petit-Four bakery on Mesones, you’ll find crusty sourdough and multi-grain loaves, plus some sweet breakfast breads, fresh out of the oven at these other shops:

Maple, located on Ancha de San Antonio across from the Telmex office;

La Mesa Grande, located at the corner of Zacateros and Pila Seca; and

Cumpanio, next door to the restaurant of the same name on Correo at Recreo.

You also can buy fine local breads at San Miguel’s favorite delis, including Queso de Luna, La Cava, Via Organica and Bové.

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