San Miguel de Allende, located in the state of Guanajuato and known as the “Heart of Mexico,” has reopened this week, with hotels working with a maximum 40 percent capacity. Everyone must adhere to social distancing and mask protection.
Access to San Miguel de Allende has been closed since March to non-residents. On May 25, the city launched its “Health First” certification, which is granted after local health and safety officials evaluate each location and certify compliance with sanitary protocols for reopening. This was followed on July 2 with the city receiving the World Travel & Tourism Council’s “Safe Travels” seal.
Those planning to make their way to the city—known for its cobblestone streets and Spanish colonial architecture—should not miss the following activities, according to the San Miguel de Allende Tourism Board:
El Charco del Ingenio: Located on the outskirts of San Miguel de Allende, El Charco del Ingenio is a privately funded ecological reserve and botanical garden dedicated to the restoration and conservation of Mexican flora and fauna and the encouragement of endangered species’ reproduction. The large grounds house a cactus conservatory, the remains of a mill and the manor house of a hacienda. It is home to native and migratory birds. All the terrain is linked by paths, ideal for walking, that allow visitors to climb the walls of the canyon, which offer excellent opportunities for bird watching.
Cañada de la Virgen: The Cañada de la Virgen zone is an Otomi archaeological site that has been recently excavated. The area has three sites that are in visiting conditions. “The House of the Thirteen Skies” is a 16-meter-high pyramid with a sunken patio and three platforms. “The House of the Longest Night” is composed of several structures, such as the pyramidal basement, one more sunken patio and a series of platforms that indicate mixed functionality of the architectural spaces. The so-called “House of the Wind” is a circular structure that presents three constructive stages.
El Chorro Park: Built around one of the oldest and most winding streets of San Miguel de Allende, the stairs of this quiet park rise to an ancient natural water spring, 18th-century baths, a primitive chapel and the current temple.
Instituto Allende: Built in the 17th century as a hacienda and a place of retirement, the old manor house is full of interesting courtyards, a private chapel in which you can see some colonial frescoes and a modern art gallery and restaurant. In 1951, it became an art institute offering courses and classes that range from silverware and ceramics to Spanish language instruction.
La Aurora Factory: After years of functioning as an important part of the regional textile industry, La Aurora Factory now house galleries, art studios, jewelry and design stores. There are about 50 galleries, as well as antique shops and a couple of restaurants and cafes.
Crafts Market: This market occupies a three-block-long pedestrian alley filled with stores that sell folk art and local craftsmanship, silver jewelry, decoration items, souvenirs and typical manufactured objects from all over Mexico.
Coyote Canyon Guanajuato: A family-owned destination management company specializing in adventure and ecotourism since 2000. Coyote Canyon Adventures offers horseback riding excursions, archaeological and cultural tours, adventure activities and unique events for families and private groups.
San Miguel de Allende Wine Country: The San Miguel countryside is one of the area’s hidden gems, with its mix of vineyards, orchards and cattle ranches.