An Artist’s Haven
We had an enjoyable few days exploring the colourful colonial city of San Miguel de Allende. Not only are artists drawn to San Miguel, but it’s also a popular spot for American and Canadian ex-pats. Studios, artisan shops and excellent restaurants make the city a fascinating place to explore.
The cobbled streets (watch your step!) and beautiful colonial houses are a photographer’s dream. The light is such that it is easy to see why artists are attracted to the city. Most of our time was spent exploring the streets and hidden courtyards. However, there were a couple of other things that really stood out for us.
The Toy Museum – An Unexpected Delight
La Esquina: Museo del Juguete Popular Mexicano is one of the city’s premier attractions. For a few pesos, we were given access to the most delightful toy museum. Now that may not sound too exciting to some, but this place is really special! The contemporary building houses Mexican toys from across the generations and regions. The owner, Angelica Tijerina, has been collecting the toys for over fifty years. She has consequently amassed an extraordinary variety.
The exhibits are displayed beautifully in the attractive building. Additionally, there is also a roof terrace and an excellent shop. Exhibits range from Mexican folk art to full size lucha libre wrestlers. Furthermore, there are cars, dolls and Dia de los Muertos skeletons aplenty. We both agreed that it was a unique and engaging museum.
The Botanical Gardens – Cactus Galore!
The other highlight of San Miguel was the Botanical Gardens. If you are thinking in terms of a small, neatly landscaped botanical garden, think again! As a matter of fact, this remarkable place covers eighty-eight hectares. It encompasses a wildlife sanctuary, a ceremonial space and a canyon not to mention cactus as far as the eye can see!
In fact, we spent several hours hiking the trails and communing with the cacti, birds and butterflies under the hot sun. The garden is located a couple of miles out of town. However, there’s a complimentary mini bus service which took us there and back.
We really enjoyed our stay in San Miguel de Allende. In fact, it’s somewhere we can definitely see ourselves returning to. Additionally, the city is also only an hour away from the equally enticing Guanajuato. In fact, if you’re in the area, it’s worth checking out two of the country’s most captivating places at once!