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 (4.5)
Program No. 17262RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
2,599
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
10 days
9 nights
22 meals
10 B 6 L 6 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
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.

Afternoon: After arriving at the hotel, check in and get your room, then take some time to unpack, freshen up, and relax. Program Registration: At 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, enjoy a welcome dinner featuring Mexican and international cuisine, including a variety of salads, soups, main dishes, and dessert, plus coffee, tea, fruit water, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: 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 on cobblestone streets. Participants can take a taxi if they don't want to walk back to the hotel.

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 with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. 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. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will be joined by our instructor to learn the history of San Miguel de Allende. A colonial silver trade city, 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. After the lecture, we will walk to Museo Casa de Don Ignacio Allende y Uzanga, the building where Allende was born and where you can learn about the history and culture of San Miguel, with a stop at Jardín Allende. The center plaza is a popular spot to relax and listen to mariachis. Our next stop is the Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, an emblem of the city with its neo-gothic façade and tall towers, which can be seen across the town.

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

Afternoon: We continue our walking excursion of San Miguel de Allende with a stop at the church of Our Lady of Health; built in 1735 Baroque style with indigenous influence, admire the gigantic stone carved seashell in the main entrance. We will also stop at the public library or Biblioteca Publica which is the second largest bilingual public library in México We will then return to our hotel for a social hour before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated dinner consisting of a two course meal plus dessert with water, coffee, and tea; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Mexican History, Aurora Factory, Nigromante Fine Arts
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L,D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walk up to 2 miles on cobblestone streets. Standing in museum for up to 1 hrs. Bus to La Aurora Factory.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Join our instructor at the meeting room for a lecture: "People, Places, and Things". It will cover individuals, both Mexicans and expatriates, who have had an impact in making the name San Miguel synonymous with art and the artisanship and handicrafts that may be found in the city. After the lecture we will board the bus to go and visit La Fábrica la Aurora – an art and design center that is home to local artists and crafts studios ranging from antiques and jewelry to furniture and textiles. Explore and enjoy the center, 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.

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

Afternoon: We will then begin a walking field trip to downtown San Miguel de Allende, including a visit to Nigromante Fine Arts School. We will visit the prestigious Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramirez “El Nigromante” – a former monastery that was converted into a fine arts school in 1938. In the interior of the institute, you can see the murals by Pedro Martinez and David Alfaro Siqueiros’s unfinished mural. Continuing to Teatro Angela Peralta, Angela Peralta Theater; built in 1873 this theater is the premier place to see a play or a concert. Learn the history and the reason of the name for this place with excellent acoustics.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Mexican History, Atotonilco and Dolores Hidalgo
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L,D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walk up to 1 mile. Stand in museum for up to 1 hr.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Beginning our day, we will set out for our field trip to Dolores Hidalgo, known as the Cradle of Independence. We will visit the church where Father Hidalgo gave the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) that marks the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. We will also visit the Independence Museum to admire artifacts, paintings, and murals related to the independence movement. On our way 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 World Heritage Site. It is still used as a place of religious worship.

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

Afternoon: As we return to the San Miguel de Allende, we will visit a Talavera Pottery factory for an opportunity to witness the delicate process, from working the clay to decorating and firing the pieces. Brought to Mexico by Spanish colonists, pottery development became very successful in the Puebla region thanks to the accessibility of fine clays and the demand for decoration and tiling in newly established churches and monasteries. Back at our hotel, we will get together for another lecture: “Who Are the Mexicans?” 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,” the third lecture will be a summary of several elements of Mexican culture, including the pre-Hispanic and Spanish influences, art, literature, philosophy and religion.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Free Day
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Optional Independent Sunday Morning House and Garden Tour

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will get together in our private meeting room for a lecture on The Patroness of Mexico, 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. Free time all day after the lecture. 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 also happy to offer suggestions.

Lunch: On your own-- enjoy what you like in San Miguel de Allende.

Afternoon: On your own-- see and do what interests you the most.

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

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Mexican History, Charco del Ingenio, Chapel of Jimmy Ray
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walk up to 2 miles. Standing at a gallery for up to 1 hr.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our instructor will present the lecture: "The Test of Nationhood. 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. From the hotel, take a field trip to Charco del Ingenio Ecological Park led by a park expert. Walking along the greenery-lined trails, 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.

Lunch: At Chapel of Jimmy Ray, enjoy a two course lunch plus dessert with coffee, water, and soft drinks.

Afternoon: Visit the colorful and fantastical gallery, studio and home of Anado McLaughlin, an expatriate artist living in San Miguel de Allende, for an out-of-the-ordinary property with mosaics of colorful glass and tile.

Dinner: On your own-- enjoy what you like or sample the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Cañada de la Virgen and Field Trip; Agustin Gonzales Village
San Miguel de Allende, Gto.
B,L,D
Posada de La Aldea

Activity note: Walk up to 2.5 miles on uneven terrain.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast we will join our instructor and learn about the excavation of the Otomi archaeological site Cañada de la Virgen. Our instructor will present a slide show with photographs of the site you will visit and he will explain in detail the excavation and the artifacts that were found. After the hour presentation we will board the bus to go to the site. Led by our expert, we will learn about the seven structures that form sunken patios, ball game arenas, squares, esplanades, and the road of the pre-Hispanic settlement.

Lunch: Today’s lunch will be at Agustin Gonzales village consisting of a home made traditional Mexican luncheon with water and coffee.

Afternoon: After lunch participants in “Exploring San Miguel de Allende” will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of a people and a culture that have existed in the valley of the highlands of central Mexico for well over a thousand years. Many visitors to San Miguel de Allende and la Canada de la Virgin, however, 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 the sale of the rugs go toward medical care, food and the education of village children. Visitors to Agustin Gonzalez are always amazed at the energy and drive displayed by the fifteen busy women who make up the cooperative.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a two course dinner, plus soft drinks, fruit water, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Take this opportunity to pack your suitcases, you will be transferred to Guanajuato the next morning.

DAY
8
Transfer to Guanajuato, Juarez Theater, Iconografico Museum
Guanjuato, Gto
B,L
Hotel Camino Real

Activity note: Bus ride 1-1.5 hrs. Walk up to 1 mile.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After breakfast we will board our bus for the 1 to 1.5 hrs transfer to Guanajuato. This is a great opportunity to admire a panoramic view of Guanajuato from a high point, accompanied by a local expert who will point out and explain the importance of historic buildings such Universidad de Guanajuato, Teatro Juarez, and la Iglesia de la Compañia, among others. Admire the variety of colors of traditional colonial homes against the green hills.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, enjoy a plated three course meal featuring Mexican cuisine with soup, a main dish, and dessert, plus coffee, soft drinks, and water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Visit Juarez Theater. Since its inauguration in 1903, the Juarez Theater has been the center and the headquarters of the most important artistic events in the city. This is a great opportunity to see the majestic and splendid interior. Continue walking to the Iconografico Museum of Quijote. The museum is dedicated to Don Quijote de la Mancha and has a collection of over 800 pieces from different artists like Guadalupe Posada, Salvador Dali, and Picasso.

Dinner: On your own-- enjoy what you like in Guanajuato. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Alhondiga Granadita, Alley of the Kiss, Diego Rivera Museum
Guanjuato, Gto
B,D
Hotel Camino Real

Activity note: Walk up to 1.5 miles on flat surfaces.

Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel, featuring Mexican and international cuisine.

Morning: From the hotel we will go on a walking excursion to visit important buildings and sites in Guanajuato. We will visit the historic Alhondiga de Granadita. The building is now a museum and is a symbol for the battle that was fought there on September 28, 1810, when the revolutionaries were fighting for the freedom and sovereignty of the Mexican nation. Admire the murals, painted by Jose Chaves Morado from 1955 to 1966, depicting colonial Guanajuato. We will continue to Callejon del Beso – The Alley of the Kiss – and learn the tragic and romantic legend behind it.

Lunch: On your own-- enjoy what you like in Guanajuato.

Afternoon: After lunch, we will meet at a designated spot and walk to the Museo Casa Diego Rivera, where a local expert will explain the importance of the most significant works before letting you browse the museum on your own. Also the house where Diego Rivera was born, the museum displays the collection of Marte R. Gomez, which includes work from Diego’s early years until 1956, just one year before his death. Born 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 Mayan and Aztec influences. Rivera married Frida Kahlo, whom was twenty years his junior, in 1929; they remained married for ten years.

Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel. The Group Leader will review the program and discuss airport transfers for tomorrow when the program concludes.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Transfer to Airport. Depart to USA
Guanjuato, Gto
B

Activity note: Check-out time 1:00pm, coach departs to Leon airport after breakfast

Breakfast: Enjoy the daily buffet featuring Mexican and international cuisine, including a variety of hot dishes, fruit, pastries, and breakfast meats, plus coffee, tea, juice, and water. This concludes our program. 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. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Click here to provide website feedback
Website Feedback