24 Hours in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

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This is how to get the most out of one of Mexico's most vibrant and richly cultural cities in such short amount of time.

Mexico is filled with stunningly beautiful small towns and oceanside villages, but there's one that stands out among the rest.

In the Guanajuato region, just a short flight from Mexico City is the colonial-era city of San Miguel de Allende, where the buildings create a mosaic of vibrant colors and flowers adorned over rustic doors. San Miguel de Allende is filled with art lovers and creatives looking to experience the culture of this tiny town. With tons of galleries and restaurants, San Miguel de Allende is a far cry from the all-inclusive resorts that dot the country's coastline.

It is a place to draw inspiration and has been the muse from many travelers both local and international for their passion projects and artistic pursuits. With so many things to do and explore in this paradise, here is how to spend a full day in San Miguel de Allende.

Courtesy Rosewood San Miguel de Allende

9 a.m.: Breakfast at the Rosewood Hotel. One of the most enchanting properties in the San Miguel de Allende with breathtaking views of lavender trees and vibrant homes from the rooftop terrace and bar. Their signature restaurant, 1826 is an ode to Mexico's rich heritage, and culinary traditions are celebrated through innovative infused dishes with locally sourced ingredients embracing a farm-to-table approach. Choose to dine in the picturesque outside courtyard.

11 a.m.: Take a walk around the Jardin Principal also known as the historic center of the main plaza area of San Miguel. You can step inside the picturesque Parroquia de San Miguel Arcángel church that towers over the area and browse through the traditional craft markets for unique trinkets to bring back home.

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12 p.m.: Explore the art district known as La Guadalupe. You will wander the cobbled streets past vivid murals from local artists. You can also stop by Fabrica la Aurora, an enclave of unique art installations, galleries, antique shops, and a café. You can find everything from original works of Salvador Dali to American expats finding a home in the local artist community, displaying their creations for visitors.

2 p.m.: Have lunch at the Bovine restaurant that has an international menu inside a modern art deco space.  The brasserie’s concept embodies a blend of sophisticated luxury and eclectic taste through its fusion dishes.

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4 p.m.: Take a horseback tour at Sunset. There are plenty of tours that will offer you a different perspective of the city. The best way to end your day in San Miguel de Allende is by venturing outside the city limits and taking a horseback ride at sunset to take in a magnificent view. 

8 p.m.: San Miguel de Allende has no shortage of rooftop lounges and restaurants to choose from that offer different vantage points of the city at sunset. At Casa Nostra, you will enjoy local Mexican fare with classic entrees and a gorgeous view of the city from the central plaza.  

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Where to Stay

San Miguel de Allende is becoming the center of luxury travel in Mexico with a collection of established elegant hotels that provide five-star treatment to all their guests. The Lôtel (rooms from $315) is not only centrally located, but each room offers a unique, elegant aesthetic with plush accommodations and decadent bathrooms with its own private spa experience. The property also features a terracotta-tiled rooftop terrace and is furnished with colorful local artwork from artists in the area. It’s also home to local artisan boutiques from clothing to food.

Casablanca 7 (rooms from $350) is one of the newest centrally located luxury boutiques in the area in the shadows of the Arcangel church just footsteps away. It is an intimate experience with only ten large, lavish high-ceiling rooms with a peaceful open-air courtyard for dining and relaxation.

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