Girl’s Trip to San Miguel de Allende and Mexico City
1 Week | Sept 2019 | 9 Women | City Exploration
Nine high school friends reunited for a reunion vacation in San Miguel, and 3 went on for a few day visit in Mexico City
Days 1-5: San Miguel
The trip was 9 50+ women who went to high school together reunited with a visit to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The city is super quaint and colorful and has cobblestone streets (and hills) everywhere (so be sure to wear running shoes or equivalent so you won’t trip or twist an ankle) and is a great place for this type of girls trip. Couple notes:
-Wander wander wander
-Taxis are cheap
-Really nice vibe and people
-Large expat community
-Lots of great restaurants
Mon Day 1:
Flew into Leon airport in the afternoon. I had booked a ride ahead of time online via BajioGo – $24pp for the 1.5 hour van ride to the house we were staying at in San Miguel. Arrive early evening and had dinner at the house via a couple who came in to cook for our group of 9. Beautiful house was booked via HomeAway had a pool and was about a 15 minute walk from the city center. Those who had arrived the day before did a walking tour of the city center that morning.
Tues Day 2:
This was cooking day. An expat couple Lee Duberman and Richard Fink ran a restaurant in Vermont for many years until they retired to San Miguel. They now offer cooking classes upon demand (contact them via their website casapapayasanmiguel.com or email at firstname.lastname@example.org) and they also host popular pizza nights on their rooftop every other Sunday when they are in town (you can also ask to be on their mailing lists – this is how they publicize the pizza nights as well). They also have 3 rooms they run as a B and B. Our full day included:
Walking up the (steep) hill to their home
Going to the bustling tuesday market as Lee purchased items from her favorite vendors Back at their house we joined Lee as she prepared over 7 dishes/sauces etc from scratch, explaining to us along the way what she was doing – and we helped in some of the prep as well. Gives so much appreciation for all the work that goes into a big Mexican meal like this.
After prep was done we enjoyed margaritas on their rooftop deck, followed by the incredible meal
After a walk home we swam and relaxed for the evening after this special day with a wonderful, talented couple.
Wed Day 3
From Lee the day before we learned about a great local class. From 10-11am we joined a salsa/exercise class. Super fun and only cost about $1.50!. Check schedule but it’s walk in and offers other classes as well. It’s a must!
Right around the corner from the class is the Mercado de Artesanias. Definitely work exploring as there are great buys on silver jewelry, crafts, bags and textiles (the textile store is towards the very end on the right that sells rugs, napkins etc and is the only one there that sells those specific items). There is no hard sell, no haggling – it’s very calm and casual and not a stressful market experience. Much purchasing was done!
Lunch at La Bella Italia on the square. (another great lunch place very close to the market is the Inside Cafe, where we went another day but would be great to do before or after the on their rooftop -breakfast and lunch spot). La Bella Italia was a great location right on the square so you get a sense of where things are/what’s going on.
Post lunch we wandered the streets around the central square exploring all the little hidden shopping spots.
Afternoon swims, leftovers for dinner
Thurs day 4
In the morning we walked up (maybe 40 mins up hill) to the botanical gardens and wandered for an hour or so. It was nice but not a show stopper. Took taxis back down to lunch., coz
Lunch at popular breakfast/lunch spot Lavanda. It has a great inside cozy courtyard and is known for its egg dishes (although all were good). There can be lines for brunch given its popularity.
1.5 hour massage at The Spa. It’s right in the downtown area and offers massages, facials etc. I booked ahead just that morning and it was great – and can’t beat the price – $30 for 90 minutes.
Dinner at The Restaurant – beautiful courtyard dining.
After dinner we walked to the main square to hear music, as there was a festival starting that night.
Then we walked to rooftop drinks at the beautiful Rosewood Hotel to end the evening with a sweeping view of the city.
Fri day 5
Some of our group left early morning.
Late morning quick trip back to market for a couple of last things!
Lunch at Inside Cafe. Great casual breakfast and lunch spot with coffee bar and rooftop casual dining. Bring your laptop to catch up on work or come with friends to hang out . Know. For their grilled cheese (‘best on earth’) but great salads and other breakfast fare as well
4:30 Took 4 hour bus to Mexico City via Primera Plus which we’d booked online ahead of time for $25 (very large comfy bus with individual video screens, reclining seats). Arrived Mexico City North bus station 8:30pm and got cab to our B&B The Red Tree House (a bit hectic finding a cab after our Uber couldn’t’ find good place to pick us up).
Upon checking in realized we were one suitcase short….! The staff at Red Tree House COULD NOT HAVE BEEN KINDER OR MORE HELPFUL (this night and for the duration of our stay). We had aa two bedroom/living room/kitchen apartment which was so reasonably priced. Two of our group of 3 were having stomach issues and not feeling well and they took incredible care of us. The following day a miracle occurred as the taxi driver BROUGHT BACK the suitcase that had been left in his trunk. We had nothing but kindness from everyone we encountered on this trip.
Sat day 6 – Mexico City
Note: There is tons to do in Mexico City and we barely scratched the surface. There are lots of museums (and we only had time for one), lots of great restaurants and things to do. We didn’t have time to visit the pyramids either. We loved what we did though and fit a lot into a couple of days.
Took Uber to Freida Khalo Museum. (Ubers are CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP and great way to get around!!!) Had tour booked ahead via Context Tours (worldwide tours with incredible guides). The informative and completely enjoyable 4 hour tour (10:30-1:30) included:
Frida Khalo Museum
Diego River mosaic mural
Frieda and Diego house
Lunch at Hotel del Angel which is right across street from the Frieda/Diego homes and has a beautiful restaurant and inside the courtyard for drinks/snacks.
Wandered the Saturday market which is walking (or Uber) distance.
Dinner at Califia Taqueria- casual chain that has super good food and is open until 3am.
Sun day 7
Downtown ‘Centro’ morning:
-National Palace to see the Diego murals – incredible (be sure to have ID when you enter as you leave it and then pick it up at the end – one per group).
– We skipped the tour of Templo Mayor as the line was too long but we were able to view the ruins from outside (just missed the museum with prehispanic pieces)
– Visited Metropolitan Cathedral in the central square
– Walked down Madero Street – a pedestrian street with lots of people and stores.
– Decided not to go up the Latin American Tower (you can get a great view of the city)
– Went to the Folk Art Museum (Museo de Art Popular) just off the Madero Street – really enjoyed the collection that showcases Mexican handicrafts and folk art in a beautiful space
– Grabbed a bite of tacos
– Wandered the Condesa and Roma districts. A lot was closed due to it being Sunday but enjoyed walking from Red Tree House up Amsterdam Ave around the far side of the park and then in Roma walked up Zacatecas and took a left on Orizaba and walked up to the Plaza Rio de Janeiro. Good restaurants in that area are Lalo! (a popular breakfast spot but also serves lunch) and Macelleria.
– Dinner at El Capital in Condesa which was enjoyed by all
Mon day 8
Note: lots of museums and activities are closed on Mondays so plan accordingly!
We took a 10am-12 Roma street art tour via Street Art Chilango – booked via Airbnb. Street Art Chilanga offers tours on Saturday directly and also offers tours via Airbnb Experiences. Our tour ended up being a private one, which was great, and our guide Chris was so knowledgeable and friendly that the two hours flew by and we loved seeing the murals of the area and learning about the artists and the histories and meanings of the (ever-changing) pieces.