Last updated: 03:30 PM ET, Fri May 20 2016

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  • May 20, 2016 3:30 PM ET

    The Treasures of San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico

    The Treasures of San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico

    Miguel de Allende, a colonial, yet cosmopolitan city nestled in the hilly central highlands of Guanajuato, Mexico, is an awe-inspiring destination.

    Dotted by architectural structures that earned the city a UNESCO designation as a World Heritage Site in 2008, San Miguel de Allende’s cobblestone streets lead you through Mexico’s past and present, its colorful landscapes, and seemingly magical aura.

    At one time, a critical stop on the silver route between Zacatecas and Mexico City, this colonial city showcases 17th and 18th century churches and buildings, Spanish courtyards, and the evolution of architecture, from Baroque to late 19th century Neo-Gothic that bloomed in the region at its inception. With so much to see, walking is the best way to indulge in this city’s treasures, and San Miguel de Allende is chock full. Here are a few walking tour itineraries to get you started:

    Between Conspiracy and Devotion: This tour takes you the through the halls and chapels where the history of San Miguel de Allende was forged.

    Got Treasures? Go Shopping: This tour takes you through the city’s center, a shopper’s delight offering colorful displays of lanterns, shawls, ceramics, paper mache, carpets, jewelry, antiques, glass, carvings, and paintings. Take cash and wear comfortable shoes.

    An Eyeful: This tour will take your breath away as you take the tram to one of the most beautiful and romantic places in San Miguel, the Mirador, where you will be able to get the best panoramic view of the city and its colorful rooftops.

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    If you’re not the itinerary-following type, the city’s must visit list includes:

    • The Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco: Dubbed the Sistine Chapel of Latin America, this is the place where Miguel Hidalgo, the father of Mexico’s independence, took the emblematic banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe with which he started the war.

    The Sanctuary’s ceilings and walls are beautifully adorned with frescos prompting UNESCO to state, “The Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco constitutes an exceptional example of the cultural exchange between European and Latin American cultures.”

    • Jardin Principal (Main Garden): This town square is recognized by both visitors and locals as the heart of San Miguel de Allende. To the south you can see the towers of the

    Cathedral of San Miguel, to the east and west are the arches that act as portals to the city and its colonial buildings, and to the north is San Miguel’s city hall. It’s central location makes el Jardin, a favorite of musicians, tourists, and sanmiguelenses.

    • El Mirador de San Miguel de Allende: If you opt-out of the walking tour mentioned previously, a stop here is still a must. Located on land donated by General Lazaro

    Cardenas, which is now within the estate of tenor Pedro Vargas, the mirador offers a spectacular view of the city, and is ideal for taking pictures.

    For more information on San Miguel de Allende, and the state of Guanajuato Mexico, go to:


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