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17262
Mexico

Exploring San Miguel de Allende

Discover one of Mexico’s most artistic cities as you join experts to explore San Miguel de Allende’s magnificent architecture, local crafts markets and historic center.
Rating (4.57)
Program No. 17262RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,299
Mexico

Exploring San Miguel de Allende

Discover one of Mexico’s most artistic cities as you join experts to explore San Miguel de Allende’s magnificent architecture, local crafts markets and historic center.
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,299
Length
8 days
Rating (4.57)
Starts at
2,299
Program No. 17262RJ

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2022
Starting at
2,299
Oct 24 - Oct 31, 2022
Starting at
2,299
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2022
Starting at
2,299
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Mar 13 - Mar 20, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Mar 27 - Apr 3, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Apr 24 - May 1, 2023
Starting at
2,499
Sep 4 - Sep 11, 2023
Starting at
2,549
Oct 2 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
2,549
Nov 13 - Nov 20, 2023
Starting at
2,549
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2022
Starting at
2,859
Oct 24 - Oct 31, 2022
Starting at
2,859
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2022
Starting at
2,859
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2023
Starting at
3,089
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2023
Starting at
3,089
Mar 13 - Mar 20, 2023
Starting at
3,089
Mar 27 - Apr 3, 2023
Starting at
3,089
Apr 24 - May 1, 2023
Starting at
3,089
Sep 4 - Sep 11, 2023
Starting at
3,149
Oct 2 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
3,149
Nov 13 - Nov 20, 2023
Starting at
3,149

At a Glance

Considered a national monument in Mexico, San Miguel de Allende is a nostalgic, uncommonly beautiful throwback to the Mexico of a more romantic era. Originally called San Miguel el Grande and founded by a 16th-century Spanish friar, the city’s magnificent colonial buildings, combining baroque and neoclassical elements, offer clear examples of an eclectic mix of architectural styles that has evolved over five centuries. Get to the heart of this handsome, tranquil city with is varied architecture, meandering cobblestone streets and deep-set traditions and culture.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Extensive walking on uneven terrain, narrow cobblestone streets, steps. Elevations up to 7,000 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Meet local people and observe handcraft at a pottery factory and other centers of regional commerce.
  • Visit Charco del Ingenio Ecological Park to learn of encroaching urban sprawl.
  • Understand local art, architecture and ways of life as expressions of the culture and history of the region where the Mexican War of Independence began.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Sylvia Sanchez
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Sylvia Ruiz was never far from the cultural milieu that defines her birthplace. She chose to pursue a degree in tourism and business administration at the University of Guadalajara. Sylvia worked for the Jalisco Department of Tourism before attending Cochise College in Arizona to pursue a degree in international business communications. After graduating, she began working with Road Scholar at Geronimo Educational Travel and Studies and is now Geronimo’s vice president of international programs.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Sylvia Sanchez
Sylvia Sanchez View biography
Born and raised in Guadalajara, Sylvia Ruiz was never far from the cultural milieu that defines her birthplace. She chose to pursue a degree in tourism and business administration at the University of Guadalajara. Sylvia worked for the Jalisco Department of Tourism before attending Cochise College in Arizona to pursue a degree in international business communications. After graduating, she began working with Road Scholar at Geronimo Educational Travel and Studies and is now Geronimo’s vice president of international programs.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Letters from Mexico
by Cortas, Hernan & Anthony Pagden
Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans
by Riding, Alan
Conquest: Montezuma, Cortéz and the Fall of Old Mexico
by Thomas, Hugh
The Forging of the Cosmic Race: A Reinterpretation of Colonial Mexico
by MacLachlan, Colin M. and Jamie E. Rodriguez
The Wind that Swept Mexico: The History of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1942
by Austin: University of Texas Press
Mexico: From the Olmecs to the Aztecs
by Coe, Michael
The Aztecs, Maya and their Predecessors: Archaeology of Mesoamerica
by Weaver, Muriel Porter
Mexico: Biography of Power, A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996
by Krauze, Enrique
The Course of Mexican History
by Meyer, Michael C. and William L. Sherman
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8 days
7 nights
16 meals
7 B 5 L 4 D
DAY
1
Arrive, Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m. Driving approx. 60 miles; about 1.5 hours.

Afternoon: After clearing Customs and Immigration, proceed to the arrivals hall and meet our Group Leaders who will be holding a Road Scholar sign. When everyone has arrived, we will board a bus and begin transfer to our hotel around 5:00 p.m. After arriving at the hotel, checking in and getting your room, take some time to unpack, freshen up, and relax. Program Registration: 6:30 p.m. Come over to the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant, we’ll enjoy a plated welcome dinner featuring Mexican and international cuisine with a variety of salads, soups, main dishes, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the days ahead.

DAY
2
Orientation, History of SMDA, Downtown San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L,D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day; cobblestone streets. Taxis available at your own cost.

Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy a buffet featuring Mexican and international cuisine including a variety of hot dishes, bread, pastries, yogurt, fruit, plus coffee, tea, juice, water.

Morning: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. All transportation will be provided via bus unless specified otherwise. An instructor will conduct all sessions in the classroom; a certified expert will lead field trips and excursions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We’ll then be joined by our instructor for a lecture to learn about the history of San Miguel de Allende, a colonial silver trade city and birthplace of Ignacio Allende, a captain in the Spanish army who sympathized with the Mexican cause and was a vital figure in the War of Independence. In the mid-20th century the town was revitalized by domestic and foreign artists; who were interested in its colonial architecture. With our newly acquired knowledge, we will then set out on a walking field trip with a local expert to downtown San Miguel de Allende, including a visit to the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, an emblem of the city with its neo-gothic facade and tall towers, which can be seen across the town. With our local expert, we’ll go inside to see the oil paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, a large German organ brought in in the mid 19th century and carvings of saints including one of St. Miguel Arcangel.

Lunch: At local restaurant, we will have a plated meal featuring a local specialty, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We will walk with a local expert to Museo Casa de Don Ignacio Allende y Unzaga. The actual family home where Ignacio Allende was born, this preserved house from the early 1800s was bought by the state government and turned into a museum to display information on the beginning of the armed conflict for independence of Mexico. Along with valuable historical, social, and cultural context of the time San Miguel lived through, some sections of the museum also show how important San Miguel de Allende is as industrial and commercial center. Next, we will continue on our expert-led walk to Plaza Civica, which used to be the main market place and square in San Miguel de Allende. On the edge of the plaza is the Church of our Lady of Health, built in 1735 Baroque style and has indigenous influence. A short walk will bring us to the Biblioteca Publica, Mexico’s second largest bilingual library, and a visit to the Craft’s Market. We’ll gather at our private meeting room for a social hour, an opportunity to get to know your fellow travelers.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated dinner consisting of a 3-course meal including dessert, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Mexican History, Atotonilco & Dolores Hidalgo
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day; periods of standing in museum up to 1 hour. Driving about 28 miles one way; approx. 1 hour.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: For those who travel through Mexico, it is next to impossible to alight anywhere without seeing some depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Therefore, this lecture will examine the apparition, its history, interpretation, criticism and the impact of the Virgin on Mexican and Latin American culture and history.. Heading out via motorcoach, we will stop in Antotonilco where we will visit the Sanctuary of Atotonilco. Nicknamed the “Sistine Chapel of Mexico,” it was built in the 18th century after a priest had a vision of Jesus. The complex is known for its rich Mexican Baroque murals completed by Antonio Martinez de Pocasangre over three decades. Colorful and ornate on the inside, in 2008 it became an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is still used as a place of religious worship. Afterwards, we will continue our transfer to the city of Dolores Hidalgo, known as the Cradle of Independence, for a field trip. Upon arrival, we will visit the church where Father Hidalgo rang his bell and gave the call to arms known as the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores), which marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence on September 16, 1810. We will also visit the Independence Museum near the church to admire artifacts, paintings, and murals related to the independence movement.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will have a plated meal featuring a local specialty, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: As we return to the San Miguel de Allende, we will make a stop to visit La Fabrica de la Aurora, this is an art and design center that is home to local artists and craft studios ranging from antiques and jewelry to furniture and textiles. While here we'll explore and enjoy the center as a group, visiting its working artist studios, contemporary art galleries, ageless antiques, unique furniture, textiles and home goods, designer jewelry and clothing, and gourmet restaurants and cafes. After a while, take some time to look around independently. We'll then continue to our hotel.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in San Miguel de Allende. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Mexico History, Charco del Ingenio, Food of San Miguel
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walk up to 3 miles throughout the day; periods of standing at gallery up to 1 hour. Minimal driving.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our instructor will present a lecture on the relations between Mexico and the United States; It is hoped that, in the brief time allotted to the program, participants will emerge with some degree of knowledge of the issues and differences between Mexico and its neighbor, the Colossus of the North. Accordingly, the final lecture will seek to define the cultural, economic and societal challenges faced by the Republic in the 21st century and how their resolution will affect relations between Mexico and the United States. Then we’ll travel to Charco del Ingenio Ecological Park for a field trip led by a park expert. Walking along the greenery-lined trails, we’ll learn about the various species of local cacti while spotting local wildlife. After years of petitions from several local organizations and administrations, the park became a Natural Protected Area in 2006 with a goal of mitigating the urban footprint and maintaining the natural environment. Afterwards, we’ll transfer to Downtown San Miguel de Allende

Lunch: Lunch will be during the culinary journey, an opportunity to sample different regional dishes. The group will make stops at local restaurants where they will eat a variety of dishes including drinks and desserts.

Afternoon: We’ll spend the afternoon downtown on a culinary journey featuring several tasting locations specifically chosen to highlight the best of the regional flavors San Miguel has to offer. An appetizing opportunity to experience the Mexican culture through its food. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Cañada de la Virgen Field Trip, Agustin Gonzales Village
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walking up to 2.5 miles throughout the day; uneven terrain. Driving approx. 20 miles; about 1 hour one way.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Gathering with our instructor at the hotel, we’ll learn about the excavation of the Otomi archaeological site Cañada de la Virgen. Through a slide show with photographs of the site we will visit today, we will learn in detail about the excavation and the artifacts that were found there. After the presentation, we will board the bus to go to the site where our expert will teach us about the seven architectonic structures that form sunken patios, ball game court, square, esplanades and the road of this pre-Hispanic settlement. We’ll then make our way to Agustin Gonzales Village.

Lunch: At Agustin Gonzales Village, we’ll enjoy a traditional family-style Mexican luncheon with coffee and water included.

Afternoon: We’ll then have the opportunity to expand our knowledge of the local culture that has existed in the highlands of central Mexico for well over a thousand years. Many visitors to San Miguel de Allende and la Canada de la Virgen leave without realizing that the Otomi culture is alive and well in the 21st century, and that a vibrant Otomi community exists nearby the archaeological site, at the village of Agustin Gonzalez. There, a women’s cooperative of rug-hookers has gained distinction not only for their colorful carpets but also for their efforts in preserving the history, art, music and folk-ways of their people. Each rug from the cooperative is a work of art, detailing many aspects of daily life in the village. Proceeds from rug sales go toward medical care, food and the education of village children.

Dinner: On you own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Free Time
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Free day; activity level dependent on personal preference.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast we will gather for another lecture focused on the historical and cultural development of the Mexican people through the centuries. As it would be more than difficult to interpret what one experiences in San Miguel without having a definition of what it means to be “Mexican,” this lecture will be a summary of the several elements of Mexican culture, including the pre-Hispanic and Spanish influences, art, literature, philosophy and religion. Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like in San Miguel de Allende. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Enjoy a three course dinner with coffee, water, tea; other beverages available for purchase

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
7
Transfer to Guanajuato, Juarez Theater, Diego Rivera Museum
Guanjuato, Gto
B,L,D
Hotel de la Paz

Activity note: Driving approx. 35 miles; about 1 hour. Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day; paved sidewalks.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll then board our bus for transfer to Guanajuato and, once we arrive, we will enjoy the view from a lovely lookout over Guanajuato. While here, a local expert will point out and explain the importance of the historic buildings below, such as Universidad de Guanajuato, Teatro Juarez, and la Iglesia de la Compañia, among others. We’ll admire the variety of colors of the traditional colonial homes against the green hills.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a delicious plated 3-course meal featuring Mexican cuisine with soup, a main dish, and dessert, plus soft drinks, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Walking across the street from the restaurant, we’ll visit Juarez Theater which, since its inauguration in 1903, has been the center and the headquarters of the most important artistic events in the city. We’ll see the majestic and splendid interior led by our local expert while learning about the history, architecture, and unique decorations of this magnificent theater. Continuing with our expert, we’ll walk to the Museo Casa Diego Rivera where our local expert will explain the importance of the most significant works before allowing time for independent exploration of the museum. As the house where Diego Rivera was born, it is now a museum displaying the collection of Marte R. Gomez with work realized from Diego's early years until 1956, just one year before his death. Born in 1886 in Guanajuato, Diego Rivera began to take classes at the Academy of San Carlos at the age of ten. By the age of twenty, he had more than two dozen works at the Academy's annual exhibition and received a grant to go study in Europe. Returning to Mexico, his early works followed Mexican society and dealt with the Mexican Revolution, with his style expanding to include Maya and Aztec influence. Twenty years his younger, he married Frida Kahlo in 1929, to whom he remained married for ten years. We’ll then check into the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll enjoy a farewell plated dinner, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We’ll then gather with our Group Leader for a program review and discuss transportation for the conclusion of the program. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Guanjuato, Gto
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 1:00 p.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.